Brazilian marriage customs

Written by ticara gailliard
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The South American country of Brazil features a host of traditions and customs within its culture. For Brazilian brides, these traditions lead to extravagant, fun-filled weddings. Following Brazilian wedding traditions is said to give a newlywed couple good luck and a long-lasting marriage. They involve combining Brazilian culture with Christian traditions for a standard wedding ceremony.


Bridesmaids and groomsmen are chosen at the time of the wedding. Those selected consist of couples paired off at the altar, usually three men and three women. The groom arrives at the wedding ceremony location first. The bride comes to the location, usually a church, at least 10 minutes after the groom’s arrival. The two should not see each other before the ceremony, however, as it is believed this will bring bad luck.


Groomsmen carry or are pinned with small Brazilian flags instead of flowers. Matching tuxedos may be hard to come by in Brazil. Because of this, groomsmen wear any kind of formal clothing they already own or that they can find in a shop. Brides tend not to purchase a wedding dress for the ceremony. Instead, they go to bridal shops and rent a dress for one-time use.


Brazilian wedding ceremonies follow Christian traditions closely. The bride and groom recite wedding vows to each other after a prayer is read in Portuguese. A traditional Brazilian song or the Brazilian national anthem is sung. Then the bride and groom exchange wedding rings. These rings are usually engraved with the name of the groom on the bride’s ring and the name of the bride on the groom’s ring. During the ceremony, the wedding ring should not be dropped. If it is, superstition states the marriage will be short-lived. Once the marriage is confirmed, the bride and groom sign their wedding license.


Receptions for Brazilian weddings involve food, drinks and music. A type of samba music and dancing known as pagoda is performed. Caipirinha is served at the wedding. Caipirinha comes from the word “caipira,” a word which means “a person coming from the countryside.” This drink consists of cachaca, a drink made from sugar cane, lime and sugar. To go with the drink, guests eat cookies called casadinhos, or “marry well” cookies. The married couple gives gifts to their parents, while the parents bestow a number of gifts upon the couple. Tables at the reception bear the names of Brazilian cities to help guests identify where to sit. The bride then walks from table to table with a basket of lembrancinhas, a Portuguese term for small remembrance trinkets, to give to the guests as a souvenir.


After the ceremony and reception, the bride and groom go off alone to begin their honeymoon. Similar to the Western superstition, grooms carry brides over the threshold of their home or hotel room. The first step across the threshold must be taken with his right foot for luck.

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