Wedding Traditions of Puerto Rico
A wedding is a joyous celebration and that is no different in Puerto Rico. There are a few traditions that are associated with a conventional Puerto Rican marriage. One of these traditions is the offering of the bride and groom a beverage called café con leche and is served in coconut cups.
The Bride’s Bouquet
Bridal bouquets in Puerto Rico are abundant with the amapola, which is a traditional flower often used at a Puerto Rican wedding. The bouquet may also contain a fan as it is a part of traditional wedding attire in Puerto Rico. The maids of honor also carry bouquets made of amapola flowers whether real or silk, and fans as these things are said to signify good luck for the couple.
Traditional Wedding Favors
Typical wedding favors presented to guests at a Puerto Rican wedding are called capias. They are narrow ribbons imprinted with the names of the bride and groom on one end and the date of the wedding on the other. The bride and groom snip them off the bouquet before they are pinned upon their guests by the happy newlyweds.
The Wedding Ceremony
A Puerto Rican wedding ceremony is similar to most others except for one thing. During the wedding ceremony, a priest will bless a plate of coins and gives it to the groom. Once the wedding vows have been exchanged, the groom gives the same plate of coins to his new wife as a gift to her. This gift is a symbol of prosperity and good luck for the marrying pair. While the ceremony is being performed, you can usually hear the soft strains of the sounds of coqui, lending the atmosphere a most romantic air.
At the Reception
Puerto Rican custom dictates that at the head of the main table, a doll that is similarly dressed as the bride is placed. The doll is covered with charms and these charms are passed out to the wedding guests. A typical Puerto Rican wedding cake is decorated with seashells and is often a rum, pineapple or coconut flavor.
Puerto Rican weddings are chock full of delicious foods and joyous music. For their first dance, the bride and groom might choose a traditional Puerto Rican waltz called a “danza criolla.” Centerpieces are usually made from palm trees and utilize “abeto” ferns and then decorated with shells. Candles are also popular as decorations at a traditional Puerto Rican wedding.