Brazilian weddings are rich in tradition and culture. They are usually very expensive and the parents of the bride usually pay for the wedding, but that is becoming less common due to the total cost. Brazil is a Christian nation and therefore has several customs similar to other Christian regions; however, there are some traditions that are different.
Unlike in the US, engagement rings are not that important and instead the couple exchange wedding rings. The rings are placed on the right hand and then changed to the left hand during the wedding ceremony. It is customary for the bride and groom to write names on their ring. It is considered bad luck to drop the ring during the ring exchange and you are told that the marriage would not last if it happened.
Unlike a typical bachelorette party that is done in other countries, in Brazil they launch what is called a Kitchen Shower. It used to be a small gathering of close friends of the bride so they could catch up and give gifts that the bride will use for her cooking. However, the meetings have gotten bigger and not even men can join.
A Brazilian bride can wear any dress color she wants, but white is a tradition. However, it is customary to wear gold shoes. It is considered bad luck for the bridesmaids to match; therefore, no two people can use the same color. Unlike the United States and other European countries that choose their boyfriends months in advance, in Brazil, the groom could wait until the last hour before choosing his. The wedding party is usually of three couples very close to the bride and groom, however, they do not have to be in a relationship together.
Before the ceremony
It is a tradition that the day before the wedding the Brazilian bride and her family go to a spa to take a break. There they can receive a message, as well as comb their hair, do their hair and put on makeup before the big day. However, when the wedding actually takes place, it is a tradition for the bride to be at least 10 minutes late, as it is considered good luck. There are times when the groom and the other guests have to wait a few hours before the bride finally shows up for her big day.
The wedding ceremony is performed like most Christian weddings. However, some differences are that the bride has two florists accompanying her, one who distributes the flowers and the other who looks more like a ring bearer. Then the bride and groom will recite their vows and then change their rings from their right hand to their left hand to symbolize the change from fiancé to married. Most wedding ceremonies can last up to an hour, but at other times they can take even longer.
The wedding reception is a large party where the guest and the newly married couple drink, dance, and give speeches. One tradition is for the couple to exchange gifts with their parents. Often times, the bride takes off her shoes and places them in the middle of the dance floor. As the guests dance, they will drop money on the shoes to help support the financial future of the newlyweds. Instead of a wedding favor, it is customary to give a Brazilian sweet, bem casado (which means “well married”) to your guest when they leave.
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