Argentinean wedding traditions are as rich as culture and traditions of the land. Its old heritage and its customs that date back decades have influenced the Argentinean weddings to a large extent. Argentinean weddings are known for their vibrancy, the joy and the merriment that it very often accompanied by. Every wedding ceremony in South America is unique, but the Argentinean one is definitely an intriguing and interesting event.
Argentinean wedding traditions often depend on the religion followed by the couple getting married. Catholic Argentineans get married in churches with the traditional Christian customs. These involve typical Christian wedding traditions, like the wedding march, wedding cake, the act of offering the bride and the involvement of the ribbon, the hosiery and the bouquet.The bride wears a white dress, in most Argentinean marriages. Underneath, she often wears a blue petticoat. This is a salute to the old rhyme, “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”
Likewise, people of other religions often get married according to the dictates of their religion. There is often a mixed ceremony because of the varied ethnic composition of the country. When people of different cultures or heritages get married, there is often a mix-and-match of wedding traditions. Jews, Arabs, Armenians, Greeks. Etc, are often keen on displaying their own family roots and as a result there is often a mix of wedding traditions. There are civil marriages that are often conducted as well.
Did you know that in Argentina, both the parents escort the couple down the aisle? The couple walks down the aisle accompanied by the mother of the groom and the father of the bride. The role of the bridesmaid and that of the best man is nearly non-existent. The family is much more prominent. Another unique custom that is practiced in Argentina is the exchange of rings. Rings, in Argentina, are exchanged at the engagement rather than at the wedding. Once the wedding ceremony is over, the rings are moved from the right hand to the left.
After the wedding, Argentinians have a large party that goes on throughout the night. When people had large houses, they would hold the parties in them. In these modern times, people prefer to hold them in a ‘salon de events” which is like a banquet or reception hall. Celebrations last the whole night and involve a large number of relatives and friends. Often, the party is organized such that there are courses of meals followed by dancing.
Around the beginning of the party, the bride dances a waltz with the groom, followed by one with her father. The party then starts in earnest. Often the music played is chosen from the songs that were popular when the bride and groom were growing up. Often, the tango, which is becoming extremely popular, is danced. The Argentinean food is always meat based, and usually there is a lot of beef consumed. The desserts are also often, the helado or the very popular national ice-cream. Towards the end of the party, there is a carnival carioca where there is a lot of funky, Brazilian music and paper hats. The party often finishes with breakfast the next morning.
The bride wears several garters under her wedding gown, which she gives away, one by one, to the single girls in the party. Another similar tradition involves the wedding cake. Several ribbons, carrying trinkets are tied to the cake and just before the cake is cut and eaten, the single girls pull a ribbon each. The girl, who gets the ribbon containing the hidden ring, is said to be the one who would get married next. Don’t you think this is similar to the tradition of catching the bouquet that is practiced in many parts of the world? Another interesting Argentinean wedding tradition is the opening of wedding present almost immediately. The presents are very often opened in front of the guests.