Special Wedding Traditions in Brazil and All Details About Them
Brazil is a beautiful South American country filled with breathtaking scenery, and it is famously known for its passion, colors, and weddings. The majority of the Brazil population practices Christianity, and thus most Brazilian wedding traditions have been adopted from Christian’s customs. The weddings are often characterized as a lively, fun-filled, and extravagant affair. You can learn more about the experience with us.
Portuguese is a beautiful language, and to understand wedding traditions in Brazil better, you will need these words:
- Bumba-meu-boi — It’s a tradition whereby a groom tames a donkey to signify his feelings and that he is able to live with his bride.
- Aliança(s) — wedding or engagement ring.
- Chá de cozinha / chá de panel — It is a party that the bride hosts before the wedding.
- Padrinhos — The three best men.
- Madrinhas — The three best ladies.
- Bem casado — It is a special sweet given to guests symbolizing good luck.
The Brazil traditional weddings combine religious rituals and more common customs to form a standard wedding ceremony. Brazilians offer a rich set of creative and numerous traditions and customs. Observing wedding traditions in Brazil is said to bring good luck to the newlywed couple as well as a long-lasting marriage. The traditions and customs are performed at different times of the wedding process like the samba music and the traditional dance pagoda which are performed during the reception.
Pre-wedding pampering usually the day before the wedding, when the bride spends some time with her family talking and preparing for the big day. This is done at a local spa where they spend time relaxing.
Chá de cozinha / chá de panel or the kitchen shower is a pre-party organized by the bride who invites her girlfriends and relatives to come and bring gifts that she might need to use in her new house. Initially, it used to be a gathering for girls only, where the bride and her cousins and friends would converge in the kitchen but more recently the trend has changed and male relatives and friends have been invited to tag along too.
Traditions and Customs
Brazilian wedding ceremonies are more often than not accompanied by several customs and traditions which set them apart from weddings conducted elsewhere. Traditions that the bride and groom choose to add to their wedding may vary due to many factors such as cost, venue, and type of wedding. In rural settings, weddings may have many traditions such as a farmer barbecuing two cows as a wedding contribution.
Brazilian couples usually don’t attach much importance to engagement rings or Aliança(s) as compared to their US counterparts. This is because plea to their wedding ceremonies the engaged wears their actual wedding ring to their right hand. When it then comes to the ‘D-day’ they exchange their ring from their right hands to their left hands to symbolize that they have changed from being engaged to being officially married.
The couple chooses the bridesmaids and the groomsmen months before the wedding. The bridesmaid and groomsmen are referred to as Madrinhas and Padrinhos respectively. It is very uncommon to hear people at the wedding with matching attires. It is considered a sign of bad luck when bridesmaids have matching wedding dresses unlike in other cultures. It is more preferable for the bridesmaids to wear different brightly colored dresses.
Bumba-meu-boi is one of the most unique Brazilian wedding traditions. The ceremony requires that the groom proves his worth to the bride’s family by taming a donkey. This deed portrays his capability to take care of his bride, their future home, and the numerous responsibilities that come with marriage.
In a Brazilian wedding, the bride and the groom do not spend time together a few days before the celebration itself because it is considered a bad omen if they do. The groom should also arrive first at the wedding ceremony followed later by the bride. It is customary and acceptable for the bride to make a late entrance of at least ten minutes, which is a sign of a good luck.
Brazilian brides walk down the aisle with two flower girls in cute dresses. One of these girls scatters flower petals while the other one is the ring bearer. The clergy blesses the engraved wedding rings and then the couple exchanges their vows. The marriage is publicly symbolized by a kiss declaring the couple newlyweds.
The wedding ceremony is followed by a reception where the big party is held for the wedding guests and involves a lot of singing, dancing, and speeches by the bride and grooms’ families. During these ‘ceremonials’, the groom’s tie is taken and cut into pieces. It is then sold to the highest bidder among the guests to help in adding to the funds for the honeymoon. The best man is the one in charge of the ‘auction’.
Meanwhile, the bride engages in a heel and toe dance, where she puts her gold heels on the dance floor. All the guests then dance and throw cash around it. The Brazil wedding tradition is performed to wish the couple financial prosperity. Another common custom is for the couple to give bem casado or special sweets to the guests at the end of the wedding reception. The name of these sweets can be translates as well-married so they are thought to bring good luck to the newlyweds.
Wedding Dresses and Accessories
Bride’s Wedding Attire and Accessories
Brazilian brides wear colorful attire where the bride can choose to wear white but she is not confined to only wear this color. The bride will likely write down the names of her single female friends on the hem of her wedding dress it is a wedding custom which acts as a symbol to bring good luck to her girlfriends and hopefully becomes newlyweds. It is also a common feature for the bride to wear golden shoes.
Groom’s Wedding Attire and Accessories
Brazilian groom can wear formal official clothes like the traditional black tuxedo but can also choose any other color like white or light blue. He is also free to wear a suit and most bride groom add the Brazilian flag in their lapel to complete his look.
Family Attire and Accessories
The family can wear any formal clothes that they can afford in the ceremony. They can also accessories as they like. There are not many restrictions in place for how to look but matching clothes is not a common occurrence in the event.
Guest choose their outfits depending on the time of the day the wedding is happening. Most Brazilian weddings are formal and the guests wear formal clothes. For weddings happening during the day women wear knee-length dresses preferably not white or black. Men, on the other hand, wear a coat tail in the day or night depending on their preference. During the evening women can choose to wear any long dress preferably not white.
Duration and Place of Event
How Long Does A Brazilian Wedding Last
A Brazilian wedding mostly takes place on Saturdays in the evening. The celebrations are big and attended by many but the official ceremony lasts for about an hour and can last longer depending on the program. The reception and the after party takes place all night and the celebrations can even last for two days.
Where Does A Brazilian Wedding Often Take Place
The venue for the celebration varies according to the couple. The most common wedding venue is the church where a mass takes place and the vows are exchanged. Some big churches usually offer space to hold the wedding reception, but there is also a really common tradition to use some other venues particularly for this celebration.
Cost of Wedding
Brazilian weddings are almost always lavish and expensive. Traditionally, the bride’s family would pay for the wedding, but this is gradually changing over time, and now both the husband’s and the wife’s relative split the cost of the party. Nowadays the cost is incurred jointly by the bride and groom and both families are involved in all preparations.
If you choose to do a traditional wedding or a modern wedding all that matters is the celebration, the enjoyment, and the commitment. Wedding celebrations are one the biggest moments in a person’s life and a lot of the experience depends on whether or not you have met your soulmate. Couples often enjoy incorporating Brazilian wedding traditions because there are many optimistic and funny aspects of them. If you choose to do a Brazilian traditional wedding, you better be ready to put your party face on.