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Weddings Around the World: Latin America


Last time, we explored weddings in Asia, highlighting the unique ways brides dress for their special day across the continent. Today we’re taking a look at Latin America and the traditions they hold.

Venezuela absorbs customs from all over, including Hispanic, African, Italian, Portuguese culture and more. By taking from these cultures, you’ll find Venezuelan weddings are never quite the same.  Usually the day is quite festive, with food and feasting being a main priority.  Often there is a la hora loca, or a “crazy hour” in which guests of the party dress in special masks and use noisemakers to continue celebrating. Instead of a big farewell, the bride and groom will often slip away during the reception and whichever guest discovers their absence first is granted good luck.

Latin America WeddingAfter courting the bride, a groom in Panama will give 13 golden coins to the bride during the ceremony. The coins are usually presented in an ornate box or similar extravagant manner. This is known as las arras and, though the tradition originated in Spain, Panama has taken on the practice. It symbolizes the groom recognizing his responsibility to provide for his wife and her acceptance of the coins symbolizes her unwavering trust in her husband’s provision.  Another popular belief is that the coins also represent Christian faith, with 1 coin representing the Christ and the other 12, His disciples.

Argentina is known for its unique schedule, and wedding parties Latin America Weddingare no exception to the rule! A typical wedding won’t begin until 9pm and once it starts, it doesn’t stop. The party lasts well into the night and through the morning at which point it’s common for the hosts to provide breakfast. Facturas, a variety of pastries, are certainly present along with the well-known churro.

If you ever find yourself able to participate in a Latin American wedding ceremony—do it! We’re pretty sure you won’t be disappointed.