Have you ever wondered what a traditional Peruvian wedding looks like?
From engagement to post-wedding, Peru’s weddings’ unique customs, and rituals are full of color, joy, and significance.
Today we’ll be exploring some of the most popular Peruvian wedding traditions from each stage in the process – from engagement traditions all the way through post-wedding traditions.
So if you’re looking for an exotic yet meaningful way to celebrate your special day, this article is right for you.
Let’s dive into these incredible Peruvian wedding traditions now.
Peruvian Wedding Traditions
1. The Proposal
In Peru, proposals are typically very romantic and involve a lot of symbols and customs.
The man will often give a woman an engagement ring or other jewelry gift to symbolize his commitment.
He may also serenade her with traditional Peruvian love songs; if they are from the same town, he might even carry her on his shoulders as part of the proposal.
Finally, there is usually a symbolic exchange of candles, representing light and hope for their future together.
2. Pre-Wedding Celebrations
Bachelor and bachelorette parties are a common tradition in Peru for celebrating the last days of single life.
They usually involve a gathering of family and friends, who will often give gifts to the bride or groom-to-be. The events usually include lots of dancing and food.
Additionally, Peruvians may also have pre-wedding celebrations like a henna party, where the bride’s hands and feet are decorated with henna tattoos as an expression of joy.
Wedding Ceremony Traditions
Peruvian wedding ceremonies are full of meaningful rituals and symbols.
The dress code typically includes traditional attire such as brightly colored ponchos or shawls for the bride and groom, with a white dress for the bride.
This is symbolic of purity and innocence in the marriage.
Processional and recessional involve music, dancing, and blessings from family members and often include an exchange of gifts between families to symbolize their union.
3. Vows and Rings
The exchange of vows and rings is an important part of Peruvian weddings that symbolizes the couple’s commitment to each other.
It usually occurs after both families have exchanged gifts during the processional or recessional.
During this ritual, couples exchange rings while making promises to one another about their love and commitment throughout life’s journey together.
4. Other Rituals and Traditions
In some cases, couples may also choose to incorporate additional traditions into their ceremony, such as a unity candle lighting or sand pouring ceremony, which symbolizes two lives becoming one through marriage.
Other common customs include:
- exchanging garlands made from flowers signifying everlasting love; breaking pottery together,
- representing that no matter what happens in life, they will remain strong;
- tying ribbons around trees, indicating eternal growth;
- releasing doves into the sky, denoting freedom;
- walking around a fire seven times, implying loyalty;
- planting trees together, suggesting fertility;
- writing letters expressing undying devotion towards each other
- singing songs proclaiming joyous celebration over uniting two hearts as one
Peruvian wedding ceremonies are full of meaningful rituals and symbols.
The dress code typically includes traditional attire, such as brightly colored ponchos or shawls for the bride and groom, which is often a reflection of their culture and heritage.
Processional and recessional involve music, dancing, blessings from family members, and sometimes even fireworks.
This serves to celebrate the union between two families and the couple themselves.
The exchange of vows and rings is an important part of the ceremony, symbolizing the couple’s commitment to each other.
This exchange usually involves both partners placing a ring on each other’s finger while repeating their promises out loud.
Sometimes, couples may also choose to exchange gifts during this time.
A Peruvian wedding is typically held in a church or religious venue, like a chapel. But there are also popular places to hold ceremonies and receptions outdoors, such as beaches, gardens, and country clubs.
In addition to traditional indoor venues, it’s also common for couples to have their reception in historic mansions or beautiful villas for an elegant and unique experience.
6. Dress Code
At traditional Peruvian weddings both bride and groom to wear brightly colored clothing, such as ponchos or shawls made from alpaca wool or cotton fabric with intricate designs unique to Peru’s cultural heritage.
The colors chosen by the couple can represent different things. For example red could signify passion while blue could represent loyalty towards one another.
It is not uncommon for bridesmaids or groomsmen to also be dressed in these same traditional garments during processional/recessional events too.
If taking a more modern approach rather than traditional, Peruvian brides will wear a traditional white wedding dress, while grooms typically wear dark suits.
It is becoming increasingly popular for couples to include elements of their culture into their wedding attire.
For example, many brides opt to wear a bolero jacket over their dress in bright colors featuring embroidery or beading.
Grooms may also choose to don colorful accessories such as ties and pocket squares that reflect the vibrant colors of Peru.
7. Processional & Recessional
During processional/recessional events at Peruvian weddings, there will be music playing along with dancing performed by family members who have been invited to celebrate this special occasion.
Fireworks are often used as well, adding an extra element of excitement throughout these moments until they finally walk down the aisle together arm-in-arm ready to say “I do”.
Blessing of the marriage is done by elders in order to ensure a long-lasting union between husband and wife.
During this ritual, prayers are said over both partners while they hold hands and exchange rings again as a symbol of their commitment.
This tradition reinforces love and respect within relationships while providing spiritual guidance for married couples throughout their lives together
Peruvian wedding receptions are lively affairs that bring together family and friends to celebrate the newlyweds.
8. Food and Drink Offerings
Guests at Peruvian weddings can expect to be served delicious food and drinks throughout the reception celebration.
Popular dishes include ceviche – typically prepared with fresh fish marinated in lime juice – and lomo saltado – a stir-fry of beef and vegetables.
Drinks may range from chicha morada – a sweet drink made from purple corn and spices – to pisco sours – an alcoholic cocktail made with brandy.
9. Music and Dancing
Music plays an important role during Peruvian wedding receptions; guests will enjoy listening to traditional tunes like marinera or huayno while they dance the night away.
The music is usually provided by a live band or DJ who keeps everyone entertained until late into the evening.
First dances are a popular tradition at Peruvian weddings.
The bride and groom usually kick off the dancing with their first dance together as husband and wife.
This is usually followed by traditional folk dances that involve everyone in attendance.
Moreover, the couple may also choose to do a special dance in honor of their parents or grandparents, which is always a touching moment.
10. Cake Cutting
After dinner has been served, it is time for the cake cutting.
This tradition involves the couple cutting the cake together before sharing slices among all guests at the reception; this symbolizes unity between husband and wife and their families coming together in celebration of their union.
Once everyone has had some cake, it is time for toasts, where both families offer words of congratulations and best wishes for the couple’s future life together.
From the joyous music and dancing to the traditional cake cutting and toasting, reception traditions are a time-honored way of celebrating a newly married couple’s union.
After the wedding ceremony, several post-wedding traditions must be observed in Peru.
This is an important part of the wedding process and involves selecting a destination that will bring luck to the newlyweds’ marriage.
It is believed that traveling to places such as Cusco or Machu Picchu can bring good fortune for their future together.
Couples also often choose destinations based on personal preferences and interests, such as beach getaways or cultural tours.
12. Gift Giving
Gift-giving is another important way to show appreciation for those who have helped plan the wedding. The newlyweds will often give their friends and family small gifts to thank them.
Guests may give gifts of money, jewelry, or household items like kitchenware and linens to the newly married couple.
The couple may also receive special gifts from family members, like heirloom jewelry pieces or handcrafted items with sentimental value.
13. Peruvian Wedding Superstitions
There are many superstitions and traditions associated with Peruvian weddings.
For example, brides may wear a certain color of ribbon on their wedding day for luck.
Also, couples often enter their homes after the ceremony through a heart-shaped archway created by family and friends to symbolize love and unity.
Additionally, some families burn sage to ward off bad luck or evil spirits.
Finally, it is common practice to have the bride’s mother give her daughter away at the altar.
Peruvian wedding traditions are a unique and beautiful way to celebrate your special day.
From the engagement traditions to the ceremony, reception, and post-wedding festivities, each step of the process is filled with meaningful customs that will make your wedding truly unforgettable.
Whether you choose to incorporate all or just some of these Peruvian wedding traditions into your celebration, they will surely add an extra layer of love and joy to this special occasion.