As any other country, Colombia has plenty of wedding traditions which are followed even nowadays by couples ready to tie the knot. That’s why if you are planning a traditional Colombian wedding you should familiarize yourself with these wedding customs and traditions.
Usually, these Colombian wedding traditions cover not only the ceremony and the reception, but also the engagement. That’s why after the couple gets engaged its partners and their families go to be blessed by the local priest. During this ceremony, the wedding rings and the arras (which are in essence thirteen gold coins) are also blessed in order to gift the future spouses with health and abundance. After the engagement ceremony, the couple and their family members can start planning the wedding.
In order to celebrate the bride, those close to her use her home as location for a bridal shower party where she will receive gifts from all the guests, including her mother. The mother usually gifts the future bride with various monogrammed items which will be useful in her new home including table clothes, bed sheets and towels. Another important Colombian wedding tradition followed by many local couples involves planning a so called “Serenata” which is the responsibility of the groom and involves the bride and her house. This pre-wedding party is usually held on the night before the wedding and is attended by the families of the bride and groom and their friends. They will listen to the songs played by a live mariachi band while drinking aguardiente which is traditional Colombian liquor. The groom will also perform a special song for his beautiful bride.
You should also know that Columbia is a Catholic country, so many of the wedding ceremony traditions are similar to what you already know. For instance, on the wedding day the church is beautifully decorated with plenty of natural flowers. The bride always comes out dressed in a beautiful western-inspired wedding dress and accompanied by her flower girls. These flower girls are also joined by a boy who holds a cushion with the blessed wedding rings and the gold coins. On the other hand the groom wears a stylish suit or tuxedo and waits for his bride at the altar along with the groomsmen and the bridesmaids. After exchanging the rings, both the bride and the groom light up the candle placed on their side and then, together, the central candle in order to show everyone that they have become one body. They will have to dance their way out of the church while holding this third candle in their hands.
The Colombian wedding reception is usually organized in a country club or estate. The space tends to be decorated with lots of flowers. You will also see on each table beautiful floral centerpieces, silver tablewear and sugar coated almonds, elegantly arranged. At a traditional Colombian wedding reception there are no speeches, the main activity being dancing. During the entire party a band will play traditional Colombian music styles, including meringue, vallenato and regueton in order to satisfy everyone invited at the wedding. Besides dancing, the wedding guests will enjoy eating traditional Colombian dishes and drinking local beverages.
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