What a Colombian Wedding Looks Like

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The Godfather and Crazy Hour. This is a Colombian Wedding.

No one falls in love like another person. For each person it’s unique. When it happens when you’re travelling, everything moves at an incredible pace. Together you flash through temporary moments in a world of your own creation. Everything is magnified by an impending flight, bus or train taking you apart. You will only ever have a few days or months, but it will feel like a lifetime.

What makes a wedding special? A nice, romantic spot for a ceremony, a beautiful wedding dress, and other attributes that spice up the event. But the main ingredient that makes it truly unique is traditions. Each country has a couple of customs you won’t see in other parts of the world.

A wedding is always a big deal in Colombia. There’s no reason to expect otherwise when it comes to a country where people turn any memorable date into a crazy fiesta. So it’s not surprising that an average celebration is bright and loud. You’ve never seen anything like it. In case you ever try to date single women from South America or find yourself at a Colombian wedding, these facts will make sure you know what to expect.

The godparents

No, this has nothing to do with an old Christian tradition. The thing is that at weddings in Colombia, you’ll never see Best Men or bridesmaids. Instead, there are Godfathers and Godmothers.

For a groom’s friend, it’s an honor to accept the role of Godfather. And before you ask, no, a Godfather’s duties don’t involve walking around, demanding respect from every guest. His main task is to provide the groom with help or a piece of advice. The Godmother does the same for the bride.

The outfit matters

The most important thing for a foreigner at a South American wedding is to look authentic. And there’s nothing more authentic than a Guayabera suit. It’s a plain but rather stylish white cotton outfit. Add a cigar and fedora, and you’ll get a showy image, with a light touch of elegance.

A few coins for the bride

The wedding is in high gear, and the guests are weeping and admiring the bride’s beauty. It’s time to add some local flavor to the ceremony with an old custom called Las Arras. The priest blesses 13 coins that symbolize Jesus and twelve apostles, and after that, the groom presents these coins to the bride. The coins represent the groom’s willingness to take care of his loved one and provide for the family.

Let’s dance!

The ceremony is finally over, and this means that the fun is about to begin. What’s the first place all Colombians go to after a few shots of whiskey? The dance floor, of course! No matter how confident your moves are, you’re probably no match for an average guest at a Colombian wedding. In South America, dancing is in people’s blood, and they’re always ready to show off their skills.

Reception traditions

The reception is accompanied by a variety of traditions. In addition to the common ones, like throwing the bouquet, a classic Colombian reception includes a few local customs. According to the first one, all the single male guests hide their shoes underneath the bride’s dress. Then the bride picks one shoe, and it’s believed that the man it belongs to is next to get married. There’s also “the longest belt” competition. Men take off their belts, and the guest with the longest one is the winner.

La hora loca

It’s a bit past 12 am, and you think that the wedding is coming to an end. But you’re in Colombia, remember? The party is far from over. Suddenly, the music stops, and a bunch of drummers takes over the dance floor followed by Salsa dancers in mini-skirts, colorful bras, and crowns made of feather. That’s what Colombians call “La Hora Loca” (Crazy Hour). And the word “crazy” is there for a reason. Despite the name, this part of the feast lasts longer than just one hour, turning into a spectacular play. Each couple chooses an individual theme for the party.

The final feast

The next day after the ceremony is often dedicated to the national dish called Asado. Yes, a Colombian wedding is a crazy train that’s hard to stop. The guests get together one more time. They reflect on the events of the previous day and wish the newlyweds well again.

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