Colombian avaSome Colombian wedding traditions are the same as those that typically occur at a Western-style wedding, like the proposal, a bachelor/bachelorette party, not seeing each other before the wedding, etc. But other wedding customs and rituals are unique and truly fun. For example, single male guests hide their shoes under the bride’s gown to find out who’s going to be the next groom. Or wedding guests having la hora loca (crazy hour) on a dance floor. There are also some more curious Colombian wedding traditions below.

The serenata

One evening a few days before the wedding, the groom comes to the bride’s home with a band and sings her a serenade. Usually, it’s a surprise for the bride, but the couple’s friends and family often gather to listen to this serenata. After that, they all have a party.

Wedding attire

Colombian grooms typically wear a traditional shirt called “guayabera” with lightweight pants. The guayabera is light-colored, made from natural cotton or linen, and the front is adorned with embroidery. Seldom you can see grooms in Colombia wearing a tux or another heavy suit for a wedding. That’s because of the local hot and humid climate. By the way, male wedding guests wear guayabera shirts as well.

Colombian brides prefer to dress in Western-style wedding gowns of different styles, depending on the woman’s taste and fashion trends.

Godfather and godmother for bridal party

In Colombia, it’s traditional to invite a godfather and godmother to be among the most important and honorable people at a wedding. Very often, there are no bridesmaids, groomsmen, maids of honor, and best men. Only a godfather and godmother who help the couple, give them advice, and support them.

At the same time, flower girls, ring boys, and page boys are usually present.

Coin in a shoe

Many brides in Colombia place a coin in their shoe on their wedding day. And they walk throughout the day with it. It’s believed that the coin will bring well-being to the new family, so they never know poverty.

Coins in Christening hat

At the wedding ceremony, the groom presents his bride with 13 gold coins. They symbolize Jesus and the Twelve Apostles and represent the willingness of the groom to provide for his new wife. These coins are ceremonially passed by a priest to the groom who gives them to his bride. This wedding ritual is called “las arras”. And another adorable fact is that the coins are wrapped in a piece of lace that will later be used to make a Christening hat for their firstborn.

Candle unity ceremony

Colombian couples often perform the candle ceremony during their wedding ceremony. Each of them lights a separate candle and then they light another candle together. This lit candle the bride and groom carry out of the church. Such a unity ceremony is pretty common in Colombia.

Alternative to wedding bouquet throwing

Colombian brides don’t typically throw a wedding bouquet for unmarried guests. Instead, they have another fun ritual. Single men who are present at a wedding hide their shoes under the bride’s dress (obviously, it has to be floor-length). The bride blindly picks one shoe – and the owner is supposed to become the next groom from the crowd.

Colombian wedding cake

The absolute favorite choice of wedding cake in Colombia is a black fruitcake soaked in red wine. Of course, every couple picks whatever wedding cake they want, but this option is very, very common.

Colombians love dancing

No Colombian wedding is held without dancing. During the reception, the main thing people do is dance. There can be folk music involved, modern hits, retro songs – anything you like. But dancing is an obligatory part of a wedding in this part of the world.

And when you think that the reception is coming to an end and dancing stops, the “crazy hour” or “la hora loca” begins. Drummers and salsa dancers fill the dance floor and the crowd goes wild. This part of a wedding celebration usually lasts much longer than an hour. And la hora loca typically has its theme.

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