The week after the Ohio wedding came a second wedding for the couple in Brazil. Since D is from Brazil, there was a blessing/ceremony of the marriage for her family members that couldn’t make the trip to the US.
Eight of us, not including the bride and groom, made it to the Brazil ceremony. Beyond a few Greek weddings, this is the first multi-cultural wedding I have attended, so I thought I would share a few customs we noticed:
1 – Contrary to the USA where people are supposed to arrive a half hour prior to the wedding time to be seated, in Brazil, it is completely normal for the bride to be late. Guests arrive late in anticipation of it, typically a half hour. In fact, this wedding started over an hour after the time on the invitation.
2 – Instead of a traditional wedding party where everyone dresses the same, the important people in the couple’s lives are paired up, in duos called padrinhos. This can be siblings, cousins, or important friends. They don’t dress in the same bridesmaids dress, or suit, just in what they have chosen. They stand at the altar, but seats are provided to sit in during the ceremony.
3 – While USA flower girls are tiny, flower girls can have more of an age range in Brazil.
4– The parents share a prayer at the beginning of the service.
5 – The weddings are more formal than the normal US wedding. I actually wasn’t aware of this and had a little confusion thinking we were wearing the same dress as Ohio and didn’t bring anything suitable. I passed in one of my dresses packed for Rio. However, 99% of guests were dressed in their best suit and ball gown.
6 – After the ceremony, the samba music starts rocking. They are very talented and their rhythms inspire instantaneous dancing.
So instant, in fact, that everyone dances during the appetizers and before the dinner. And their feet can move!!! We were so impressed, especially by Awesome Son’s fast footwork.
7 – Similar to throwing the bridal bouquet, in Brazil, the bride throws a cluster of Santo Antonio dolls at the eligible girls. This Saint, Antonio, is whom you pray to when you want to get married.
D threw one of these in Ohio. As soon as it is launched, all the individual saints fly off into the crowd, at least four or five of them. We Americans thought that it was a pretty neat trick for appeasement of many women who want to be married. But the little girls got more sad they didn’t ‘win’ the game because they were dolls!
In fact, I had to console one little granddaughter of Aunt Foxy Floridian, letting her know that it was okay….she shouldn’t want a husband quite yet, they are a lot of work! (just kidding, my love)
8 – Caipirinhas, the national drink of Brazil, are served in addition to beer and non-alcholic beverages.
10 – Things get crazy after dinner at Brazilian weddings. Dinner was served a little after midnight, and shortly after eating, the sisters handed out fun dress up items for us to “get crazy”. It was like New Years Eve!
Everyone convened to a little glass room where a late night DJ was stationed to continue partying until the early morning. Confetti cannons started booming and everyone danced the night away.
It is said that Brazilian festivities don’t stop until all the food and booze run out. We only stayed until 2:30am so I can’t personally vouch for this, but I think the rest of the crew got in around 5:00am.
And tradition # 11 didn’t happen. Gabe had read the below custom on this site, so he was disappointed his brother didn’t ride the donkey.
“Very interesting wedding tradition in Brazil is that the groom has to subdue an unruly donkey. In such way he should to prove his worth as a responsible husband. The Brazilians called this custom as Bumba-Meu-Boi. This custom appears only in some parts of Brazil.”
The blog post is named Eu Aceito as these are the vows one would say (like “I do”) in the Portuguese language. B, the groom, realized a few minutes before the ceremony that this information would be helpful. He found D’s father who gave his son-in-law a quick lesson on when and what to say during the ceremony!!