Salvadoran Wedding Traditions

Are you planning a Salvadoran wedding? If so, there is no better way to honor your culture and heritage than by incorporating traditional customs into your special day. From the ceremony traditions and attire right down to the music and food – here are some unique salvadoran wedding traditions that will make your celebration one-of-a-kind. Let’s explore what it means to have a truly authentic Salvadoran experience as we look at these fascinating rituals of marriage. So get ready for an unforgettable journey full of color, flavor, music, dance…and most importantly love.

Salvadoran Wedding Traditions

Ceremony Traditions

Pre-Wedding Customs:

Salvadoran weddings typically begin with a series of pre-wedding customs that are meant to bring good luck and prosperity to the couple. One of these is the “boda de compromiso” or engagement ceremony, which involves the exchange of rings between the bride and groom. Another common custom is for family members to give gifts such as jewelry, money, or other items as a symbol of their support for the union. The night before the wedding, there is often an event called “la noche de velaciones” where friends and family gather together in prayer and song.

Wedding Day Rituals:

On the day of the wedding itself, many rituals take place at both church services and civil ceremonies. During religious ceremonies, couples will often light candles in honor of Mary and Joseph as well as receive communion from a priest or minister. In addition to exchanging vows during civil ceremonies, couples may also sign legal documents such as marriage certificates in order to make their union official under Salvadoran law.

After all formalities have been completed on wedding day itself, it is time for post-wedding celebrations. These usually involve large feasts with traditional dishes like pupusas (stuffed corn tortillas) accompanied by live music performances from local bands playing everything from salsa to cumbia tunes. As part of this celebration processional dances known as “baile con la novia” are performed where guests dance around the newly married couple while holding ribbons tied around them in a symbolic gesture that binds them together forever.

Salvadoran wedding traditions are filled with rich customs and rituals, from pre-wedding festivities to post-wedding celebrations. Now let’s look at the attire and accessories that make up this traditional celebration.

Attire and Accessories

When it comes to Salvadoran weddings, the attire and accessories are just as important as any other part of the celebration. The bride and groom typically wear traditional clothing for their wedding ceremony.

Bride’s Outfit:

For a Salvadoran bride, her outfit is usually made up of a white dress with lace detailing or embroidery. It can also be accompanied by a veil or mantilla, which is an ornate lace shawl that covers the head and shoulders. Other accessories such as jewelry, flowers in her hair, and colorful ribbons may also be included in her ensemble.

Groom’s Outfit:

A Salvadoran groom will often wear a guayabera shirt paired with black pants or slacks along with leather shoes and belt. He may also opt for more formal attire such as a suit jacket or tuxedo if desired. Accessories like cufflinks, suspenders, pocket squares, hats or fedoras are all acceptable additions to his look too.

In addition to what the couple wears on their big day, there are plenty of options when it comes to accessorizing everyone else at the wedding. Women can choose from wearing colorful dresses adorned with sequins and jewels, while men can don suits in shades of grey or navy blue paired with bow ties or neckties depending on how formal they want their look to be. As far as accessories go, both sexes have plenty of choices including belts, scarves (for women), pocket watches (for men) plus boutonnieres/corsages for guests who wish to add some extra flair.

From the traditional attire to the accessories, Salvadoran weddings are filled with vibrant colors and intricate details that bring a unique touch to any wedding. Now let’s move on to explore the music and dancing of a typical Salvadoran wedding.

Music and Dancing

Music is an integral part of any Salvadoran wedding celebration. From traditional music genres to popular dance styles, couples have a wide range of options when it comes to selecting the perfect soundtrack for their special day.

Traditional Salvadoran Music Genres:

Traditional Salvadoran music includes marimba and salsa as well as folkloric songs like “La Sombra de Tu Sonrisa” and “El Pajarito”. These musical styles are often accompanied by drums, guitars, and other instruments that create a lively atmosphere at weddings.

Popular Dance Styles at Weddings:

Popular dances at weddings in El Salvador include cumbia, merengue, bachata, reggaeton, and salsa. Couples can choose from these different styles depending on their preferences or even mix them together for an eclectic performance. For example, some couples may opt for a romantic waltz while others might prefer something more upbeat like cha-cha-cha or tango.

Live Entertainment Options:

Live entertainment is another great way to add excitement to your wedding reception. There are many talented musicians in El Salvador who specialize in performing traditional tunes as well as modern covers of popular songs. You could also hire dancers or acrobats to entertain guests during the reception – this will definitely make your event one that everyone remembers.

No matter what type of music you decide on for your big day – whether it be traditional or contemporary – there is sure to be something that appeals to all tastes and adds energy and joy throughout the entire ceremony.

From the traditional rhythms of marimba to the more modern salsa and merengue, music and dancing are an essential part of Salvadoran wedding celebrations. For those looking for a truly unique experience, there are plenty of options when it comes to food and drinks at your special day.

Food and Drinks

Traditional dishes served at these events include pupusas, tamales, and yuca con chicharrón. Pupusas are corn tortillas filled with cheese or other ingredients such as pork or beans. Tamales are made from masa dough that is steamed in banana leaves and can be filled with meat, vegetables, and spices. Yuca con chicharrón is fried cassava root served with pork cracklings.

Popular beverages served at Salvadoran weddings include horchata, agua de jamaica (hibiscus tea), and café con leche (coffee with milk). Horchata is a sweet drink made from rice milk flavored with cinnamon and sugar. Agua de jamaica is an infusion of hibiscus flowers that has a tart flavor similar to cranberry juice. Café con leche combines espresso coffee with hot milk for a creamy beverage often enjoyed after dinner or during dessert time.

Desserts and sweets are also popular treats found at Salvadoran weddings. These include tres leches cake, flan with its custard-like texture, arroz con leche or rice pudding, bizcocho de naranja or orange cake, pan dulce featuring various pastries such as empanadas and buñuelos which are deep-fried balls coated in honey syrup among other delicacies.

No matter what type of wedding you are planning for your special day, there is sure to be something delicious for everyone to enjoy.


Salvadoran wedding traditions are full of unique and special customs that make the celebration a truly memorable experience. From the traditional ceremony to the music, attire, food and drinks, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a way to honor your Salvadoran heritage or just want an unforgettable wedding day, these salvadoran wedding traditions will ensure that your big day is one you’ll never forget.