- Which rings are more common than the traditional engagement ring?
- What are typical wedding traditions in Brazil?
- How do couples get married in colourful Peru?
- Why it is that people in Mexico do not only marry other people?
Promising eternal loyalty to one another goes hand in hand with a range of traditions. From kneeling down to propose with a diamond engagement ring to carrying your bride across the threshold after the wedding. Both the engagement and wedding have a myriad of particular practices and meaningful traditions.
But such practices and traditions are different all around the world. Why should a Brazilian man tame a donkey before he can propose? Why do people in Peru plant a seed during the wedding ceremony? In this article we get to learn about some unique Latin American engagement and marriage traditions.
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Which rings are more common than the traditional engagement ring?
Should you kneel down and slide an engagement ring on her finger? Not in Argentina, Chile, and some other Latin American countries. The engagement ring, which in many other countries cannot be separated from the marriage proposal, is not a common thing here. Or at least not in the same way.
There is no real proposal. A couple in love can simply decide to get married. No proposal and no engagement ring? Both partners do exchange a kind of wedding ring that they wear on their right hand until the actual big day. When the couple marries, they both move their ring to their left hand.
In Mexico, on the other hand, the bride usually receives a ring before she receives her official engagement ring. This is a kind of 'commitment ring'. On average, the bride will wear this ring for one year before the official engagement. And although the 'commitment ring' can be rather sober, a Mexican woman will be expecting a diamond engagement ring!
The valuation of jewellery is taught to them from quite a young age. This starts shortly after the birth of a Mexican girl, when a doctor will pierce her ears so she can wear a traditional gift: silver or gold stud earrings from her grandmother. At her baptism in a Catholic Church she will be wearing a necklace with an image of the Virgin Mary. And for her first communion she will receive a silver bracelet with her name engraved in it.
But the absolute highlight in the life of a Mexican girl, is her quinceañera, her 15th birthday. A great celebration in many Latin American countries! It is actually a ritual in which the transition from child to adult is celebrated exuberantly. On that day she will look just like a real princess in an exceptionally beautiful dress. And the gift for the occasion? More silver and gold jewellery.
In the more rural Mexican regions, reaching the quinceañera used to signal that the girl was ready to get married. That interpretation has, of course, now disappeared. However, the contemporary quinceañera is looking more and more like a wedding party. Extremely large and classy, with professional photographers and often planned to the last detail by event planners! A phenomenon that is especially common in North America, where a lot of Latino families have migrated.
Which are typical wedding traditions in Brazil?
In Brazil there is not really a proposal that includes an engagement ring either. A young man should, in principle, obtain the consent of his future in-laws in order to get engaged. But the way in which he is to obtain such consent is... unusually challenging, to say the least!
The groom-to-be has to tame and ride a wild donkey. If he succeeds in that mission, he can get permission to marry. Of course, there will be a true engagement party as well. As mentioned before, this does not include the typical engagement ring for her, but there will be a wedding ring for both partners.
Just like in Argentina and Chile, that wedding ring is first worn on the right-hand and worn on the left hand from the wedding ceremony onwards. Dropping the ring during this ritual is believed to be a sign of bad luck... Just like seeing the bride in her wedding dress before the wedding ceremony takes place.
But the Brazilians would not be Brazilians if there wasn’t an exuberant party afterwards. And when thinking of Brazilian parties you automatically think of many hours of sensual dancing, right? When the bride and groom start the first dance, the bride’s shoe is placed in the middle of the dance floor in order to collect donations.
Another possibility to raise money during a Brazilian wedding, is for the groom to cut his tie in pieces. These pieces will then be offered to the guests to be purchased. The proceeds of these traditional practices are usually spent on the honeymoon.
How do couples get married in colourful Peru?
When searching online for the best and most beautiful destinations to propose with an engagement ring, you will surely come across the Huayna Picchu. This mountain located near the lost Inca city in Peru, towers approximately 2700 meters above sea level. Perfect for those who have a 'high level' proposal in mind!
But what about the local wedding traditions? Peruvians do have some unique customs. For example, during the ceremony there is a ritual dedicated to Paca Mama, goddess of the earth. For this ritual, small dolls symbolizing the bride and groom are wrapped in cocoa leaves and planted in the ground together with a seed. The tree they have planted will grow just like their love for each other.
It is also customary to pour a glass for Paca Mama before having a drink oneself. This daily ritual to honour Mother Earth is repeated several times during the wedding celebration.
But the most interesting Peruvian marriage ritual is undoubtedly the cintas de la torta. A cheap ring is attached to a piece of string and baked into the wedding cake along with numerous other strings with other charms attached to them. Before cutting the cake, a number of single female guests is invited to gather around the wedding cake. Each of them is asked to pick a string and pull it. Whoever pulls the fake-wedding ring out of the wedding cake is the next one to get married. One can compare this ritual with the throwing of the bridal bouquet. Or with the preceding medieval tradition of ripping of the bridal dress.
Why do people in Mexico not only marry other people?
Some marriages are even more unique than others. The mayor of the Mexican fishing village of San Pedro Huamelula will certainly be able to confirm this. As he has to get married over and over again every single year. Not to a woman, but to a crocodile! A tradition dating back centuries that is intended to bring prosperity to the fishing trade.
The crocodile, which is believed to be a princess, does not get an engagement ring of course, but is in fact baptized first and then put in a wedding dress. Then, the mayor proclaims his marriage vows in the presence of all the villagers. Next, the animal will even take part in the opening dance. Albeit with his mouth tied shut...
And it is not only animals that get to marry in Mexico. To draw attention to the issue of deforestation, several women have married a tree. Such a marriage is not binding, but it did draw worldwide attention to the issue.
Do you prefer a marriage between two actual people? Find unique proposal inspiration & wedding inspiration through our blogs or contact the BAUNAT experts for the perfect engagement ring or wedding rings.