• Many traditions and customs in Spanish-
speaking countries can be traced back the
influence of Spanish settlers.
• Weddings are big affairs and while some
customs are similar to other cultures, others
are less familiar.
• Some traditions remain a thing of the past,
but a good amount of them are still used
• “The evening before the wedding
ceremony, hand lanterns were known to
be used to show the light along the way
from the groom’s house to his bride’s.”
• Once the bride receives her soon-to-be
in-laws, her groom and family will carry
boxes lavishly decorated in lacquer and
red colored cloth represented wealth.
• Tea is then served and advice is traded
between parents and children.
• During this tea party the groom’s mother
opens the box and gives her daughter-in-
law gifts, most often jewelry.
• Most weddings begin later
in the evening around
7p.m. and continue late on
into the night.
• This time is common in
Spanish events due to the
weather. Avoiding the
midday sun is another
aspect that has to be taken
into account for the
everyone’s comfort, and
¿A QUÉ HORA?
• The wedding dress (vestido de bodas) is an important
aspect of the wedding much like it is in America.
• A dramatic mantilla veil , triangular with lace trim, is a
custom essential in Spain instead of a velo nupcial
• Also in Spain, they traditionally wear a black gown to
symbolize their “til-death devotion.” In recent years white
has become another acceptable color.
• Flamenco-style ruffles at the hem of their gown is also a
PARA LA NOVIA
(FOR THE BRIDE)
• While the bride has many
traditions, a groom has a
couple as well.
• A groom from Spain may
wear a guayabera, a
short-sleeved, light shirt
perfect for tropical
• He has 13 gold coins to
be blessed by the priest
before they are given to
POR EL NOVIO
(FOR THE GROOM)
• The bride will receive 13
gold coins, which
represents Jesus and his
12 apostles, known as the
• These coins are blessed
by the priest before they
are given to the bride with
a promise by the groom to
care, love and support her.
ARRAS, TRECE MONEDAS
All sources contained information regarding the Arras tradition.
• Walking the bride down the aisle is
different in every culture, and
• In Argentina, the bride is escorted
down the aisle by her father, much
like in American tradition.
Although she is brought to the
altar by her father, there are no
bridesmaids or groomsmen.
-The only people to stand with
them are their parents and
• In Chile, only the couple’s parents
are standing at the altar with them.
• Madrinas y Padrinos are tradition
throughout Latin America; chosen by
the parents to guide their children
through engagement and marriage.
• In Mexico, the godparents are essential
to funding the wedding, and overall
supporting the couple both spiritually
• The godparents can be chosen at birth
or even marriage, who continue to play
a large role in their wedding and the
rest of their lives.
MADRINAS Y PADRINOS
• Unlike the tradition of waiting
til the wedding day, Chilean
couples wear their rings on
their right hand until they get
married; then they switch to
the left hand.
• Argentinean couples also
exchange rings when they
• In Spain, the alianza
(wedding ring), is worn on
the right hand ring finger.
Information on engagement and weddings
rings came from all sources.
ATE EL NUDO (TIE
• An interesting tradition in
Guatemala is the binding of the
couple. During the ceremony
they bind themselves together
with a silver rope.
• Mexican couples engage in a
similar ritual, where a rosary, or
white rope, is wound around
their shoulders in a figure eight
to symbolize their union.
• While they are bound the priest
will recite a prayer to bless their
• Every Spanish country has their own set
of signature foods, so the food at a
wedding is enormously varied.
• Appetizers can be pasteles (pastry),
empanadas (Puerto Rican meat
patties), Spanish tapas (Columbian
pastries with meat and veggies).
• For a honest Latin-American flavor
stations are set up for make-your-own
fajitas or tacos. Other dishes include
rice and beans, arroz con pollo (chicken
with rice), ropa vieja (beef stew), paella
LA COMIDA (THE
• For dessert, a common one is flan; a custard made with milk,
eggs, vanilla, and caramelized sugar.
• In Mexico, Panama, and throughout the Caribbean,
traditional wedding cakes are made with nuts and dried fruit
and soaked in lots of rum.
• A reception normally has 7-10 courses.
• Sangria, Caipirinha, wine, batidos and café con leche are
just a handful of drinks popularly served at weddings
during the reception.
• Sangria is a punch made from wine, brandy, sugar, fruit,
• Caipirinha is a Brazilian potion of fresh lime juice, sugar,
and sugar cane liquor.
• Chile, Argentina, and Spain are excellent producers of
• Batidos are fruit shakes made from fresh fruit, ice and
• Café con leche is a common addition with the wedding
• There is a large variety of
Latin music to chose from for
a wedding reception, such as;
• For the celebration, a
Mexican mariachi group or a
Cuban big band may be hired
to make sure the party is
BAILEMOS (LETS DANCE)
• Seguidillas Manchegas is a dance also referred to as
the money dance, which symbolizes prosperity and
financial security for the newlyweds.
• The couple dances with their guests and during this
short interaction they are given blessings and pinned
with a certain amount of money.
• By the end of the dance both the bride and groom have
bills hanging off their suit and dress.
Video of the Money Dance:
• In Spain, during the
reception, the bride and
groom greet members
table to table handing
out detalles, wedding
• During this interaction
the guests will likely
return the “favor” and
hand the bride/groom
dinero en sobres, money
• Some couples also send out
the number of a bank
account with the wedding
invitation to make sure
money can be passed to
them before or after the
• In Puerto Rico capias, or
small favors are presented
to guests which are made of
feathers tied with ribbon and
printed with the couple’s
name and wedding date.
In lieu of attending a traditional wedding, I have interviewed a person
that has attended one and asked him of his experiences and
observations. This slide will include the first half of questions and
INTERVIEW PART II
1. How did you know the soon-to-
be wed couple? Where did the
wedding take place?
2. What time of year did it take
place? What time of day was
it? How was the weather for the
3. Was there anything unique
about the bride or grooms
attire? Was there a specific
Response by Orion O’neill
1. It took place in a main Catholic church in
Caguas, Puerto Rice.
2. It occurred during the fall at about 11:00
in the morning. It was a overcast day
oddly, with a slight chance of rain. Humid
and hot despite the grayness of the sky.
3. The groom wore traditional guayabera
attire (a white shirt to get married in with
lines down it). The bride wore a very long
dress with many ruffles at the end. Color
scheme was white.
INTERVIEW PART II
4. What kind of music
and entertainment was
there? What kind of
foods and drinks did
5. Was there anything
overall the stood out to
4. A lot of salsa, bachata, merengue, and
reggaeton music at the wedding. The food
consisted of rice, beans, salad, pernil, coca
cola, medalla, rum and Hennessey.
5. Many family members gave a presentation
contesting to the hoped duration of the
bride and groom’s marriage, while also
supporting their characters through their
life. It stood out because usually people
just give cheers to the couple. This was a
sequential family member orientation
presented orally giving opinions and
certainties about their marriage and in
1. How many gold coins are given to the bride from the groom during
A. 10 coins B. 13 coins C. 15 coins D. 8 coins
2. What happens during “seguidillas manchegas,” the money dance?
A. Money is thrown into the dance floor B. Certain song played that
costs money C. All guests dance with the couple and pin money to
3. Who financially supports the couple during and beyond the
A. Parents B. Older siblings C. Godparents D. In-Laws
4. Name one common dance performed during the reception?
A. Waltz B. Ballet C. Hip-hop D. Salsa
4. What is a common, and expected, gift given to the couple at the