Peru is one of those countries which culture and beliefs are closest to Mother Earth. The local people highly appreciate nature and their centuries-old traditions. So, the wedding rituals here are charming and only a few foreigners can understand what’s happening on their own. That’s why we decided to explain the main Peruvian wedding traditions and help you fall in love with this unique wedding culture. Weddings in Peru are extremely colorful, look amazing and deeply symbolic.
Peruvian clothing, in general, is multicolored and looks cheerful, so it’s only logical that wedding attire also is colorful and bright. It’s an unbelievable mix of red, pink, green, blue, violet, yellow, etc. The garments are adorned with geometric patterns.
In Peru, people prefer hand-woven clothes, so even the bride and groom dress in ceremonial woven items – a poncho for him and a skirt for her. Sometimes, both wear special ponchos created specifically for the wedding day. Wedding outfits are really important for the local couples – they often prefer traditional garments instead of Western-style white dresses, but, of course, some couples wear Western-style clothing and have Western-style wedding ceremonies.
Peruvian newlyweds wear their wedding rings on the right hand. By the way, it is considered bad luck to put any rings on the right ring finger before marriage.
Peruvians respect their elders very much. That’s why during the wedding ceremony, it’s typical to have one of the bride or groom’s ancestors make a speech about marriage and the couple’s future life together. This elder relative blesses the newlyweds and wishes them happiness. Such a ritual is even more significant than the officiant’s speech.
Cintas de la torta ritual
This wedding ritual is the Peruvian analog of the wedding bouquet throwing. But it is a bit different. A simple ring or charm is prepared by the bride and groom; they also get several ribbons and attach them to the base of the wedding cake; one of the ribbons is tied to this ring or charm but no one knows which one. All the single women come to the cake and pull a ribbon. Who gets the ribbon with the ring, will supposedly be the next bride.
Another chance for unmarried ladies is to steal the groom’s boutonniere. Who gets the boutonniere – either steals or receives it as a gift from the groom – is the next to marry.
Another curious wedding tradition in Peru is to bury two small dolls that represent the bride and the groom. The dolls are wrapped in cocoa leaves and are buried with a seed of a tree. This seed will grow and the couple’s love will grow with it.
Another unique wedding ritual in Peru is a symbolic sacrifice to Mother Earth called “despacho”. They take a traditional woven piece of fabric, spread it on the ground, and put different symbolic items onto it (food, flowers, and other items made from natural materials). Then, each wedding guest comes to this cloth, adds some coca leaves to the arrangement, and says his/her wishes to the couple. After that, the despacho is wrapped, blessed, and given to the bride and groom, who can either burn it or bury – it’s a sacrifice for Mother Earth.