I love travelling, and I always try and ensure to learn as much as I possibly can about a culture wherever I go. As you have no doubt been aware of, my husband and I travelled to South America last year, and we visited Peru, Bolivia and Chile. I learnt a lot about the weddings in each of these wonderful nations, but I have yet to share with you the wonderful details I learnt about Chilean wedding customs. So, without further ado, I give this to you!
Chile is rich in Spanish culture due to the arrivals of the Spanish in their history. Because of this, Spanish wedding traditions are generally included in Chilean wedding Customs. In Spain, the entire extended family and even the entire village can attend this event, and the list is usually 200 people long. Most weddings generally start quite late (they can even start at about 7pm) and end very early in the morning. In Spanish traditional weddings, there is also no designated best man and the groom's mother accompanies him down the aisle, much like the bride's father would accompany the bride down the aisle.
The Spanish Colonists introduced
Roman Catholic religion into Chile when they first settled, so 75% of the population are Catholics. Because of this, Chilean weddings are generally conducted in Catholic churches and with Catholic ceremonies.
Ringing the Wedding Bells
At the time of the reception, it is also tradition for little bells to be placed on the tables of the guests and when someone rings the bell, the bride and groom have to kiss. This is a tradition that has been included in modern weddings as well.
The Wedding Dance
I saw a dance that took place in — the most famous meat restaurant in Chile – that was the national dance of Chile, called the Cueca. It originates from peasant folklore and was considered a symbol of rebellion against the Spanish hostilities. The steps represent the courtship in which the female is a young horse, and the man is a huaso or Chilean Cowboy. It's an interesting dance, and is accompanies with twirling handkerchiefs in the air.
|Photo by Byron Carr|
It is tradition in Chile that when the engagement occurs, the man and wife to be generally place their wedding rings on their right hands, and after the marriage during the ceremony they switch the rings to the left hand.
If you're wondering what the bride and groom are wearing, the bride is usually seen in the traditional wedding dress of white or ivory silk, and the groom are generally dressed in short jackets of either black or grey, with grey pin-striped pants. Bridesmaids generally rock similar tea or formal dresses to that of Western style weddings as well.
I was very taken with the courtship dances of all the Chilean wedding customs because the dancers reminded me of my brother and his girlfriend. Nonetheless, a Chilean wedding would definitely be something to look forward to! Stay tuned for more international wedding inspiration from my next trip to New Zealand later this year.
Photos by Byron Carr
*culled from www.thepartyconnectionautralia.com