(Closed) Hispanic culture…. what is and is not ‘traditional’?

posted 7 years ago in Latino
Post # 3
1303 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

Im not Latina but I would imagine (outside of speaking Spanish) it would depend on the country.  Panama is going to be different from Cuba from Mexco, etc.  I would also think the cultural traditions would differ based on how extensively the African vs. European vs. Native customs have survived and been embraced over the years.

Post # 4
76 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

@SimplyChic11: I am so glad you asked this! My fiance is dominican and I am African American. I want my reception to involve some of the hispanic traditions, foods, etc so I am excited to see who comments!!!!1

Post # 5
665 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

This a pretty broad question. Hispanic isn’t one big culture but there are many ethnic groups in that category. So you mean Mexican, Puerto Rican, salvadorian? They all range and it also depends what religion they follow.


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Post # 6
7291 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

I agree with the other Bees on the fact that hispanic is broad, each indivudal country has their own customs and such.

I would recommend using food as a great way to reflect the heritage of your soon to be hubby 🙂

Also google dominican wedding traditions and mull over what might work for the two of you.

Post # 8
7291 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

Aww that is so sweet, I’m sure you can salvage some traditions to reflect and honor your abuelita!

As far as PR I have found: Puerto Rican Tradition

While a Priest is performing a traditional Puerto Rican wedding ceremony, he blesses a plate of coins and gives them to the groom. After the wedding vows have been exchanged, the groom gives the plate of coins to his bride, which she keeps as a wedding present from her husband. The gift of coins represent good luck and prosperity for the newlyweds. At the traditional Puerto Rican reception it is customary for a doll, dressed similar to the bride, to be placed at the head of the main table. This “bride doll” is covered with little charms, and are given to the guests as gifts. “Copias” are also passed out as presents to guests. These reception favors are ornately decorated cards with the newlyweds names and the date of the marriage.

*****I also recommend adding a Puerto Rican flavor to the wedding in decorations, flowers, foods, flavors etc. and then include Dominican for your husband. Since you cant have it on the island, ditch the american traditions and start making your own fusion version!

Post # 9
68 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I’m Puerto Rican, so I’ll try to offer some insights into our traditions. This is going to turn out pretty long, so I apologize, but I just want to make sure I cover as much as possible so that you can hopefully end up with several ideas to pick and choose from. Also, I don’t know if you’ve ever lived on the island or how familiar you are with certain terms and traditions, so I’m sorry if I end up explaining stuff you already know!

The coins Mrs. Argentina referred to are called “arras,” and the “entrega de arras” is part of a Catholic ceremony. If your grandmother was Catholic, this was most likely something she performed on her wedding day.

The arras are thirteen coins, usually gold or silver, that are usually carried in by a little boy other than the ring bearer. Right after the rings are exchanged, the priest blesses the arras and pours them on the groom’s hands. The groom drops them on the bride’s hands while saying the appropriate words and the bride says she accepts them. Then the bride drops them back on the groom’s hands as they repeat the previous lines. This ceremony symbolizes the couple’s commitment to sharing and taking care of their possessions and assets in marriage.

Another tradition is the wedding waltz (which I think is decreasing in popularity). The couple starts dancing alone and eventually their parents cut in. After both sets of parents have danced with the couple, other family members might have a turn, or the wedding party, or the entire guest list if the couple wishes. Once the bride and groom switch to new partners, the previous partners can keep dancing together if they wish. This is often done instead of the first dance, father/daughter dance, and mother/son dance, which are more American traditions. Here’s a link of what it looks like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03prlFXVQPQ

The music in the reception is usually very danceable, featuring salsa, merengue and boleros, as well as pop numbers in both Spanish and English. Reggaeton is generally not considered wedding-appropriate, but it can be added if your guests enjoy it or if it’s just for a couple of songs at the end of the night once most of the older guests have left.

The food in every wedding I’ve attended has included rice and plantain sides, usually with two choices of meat. Paella is served often and is considered a pretty fancy meal. A whole roast pork is veeery Puerto Rican, although not common in weddings. I’ve seen it only once, where the couple was living in the states and they wanted a Puerto Rican theme to honor their heritage. It was a really great choice for a meal.

I’ve honestly never seen or heard of the “bride doll”, but it could be an older tradition or something that’s done in other parts of the island, so you might want to ask your family members about it.

As for other Puerto Rican touches, you could serve rum (Bacardi or Don Q), sangria, or tropical drinks at the bar and maybe have some Puerto Rican desserts. You could have a mini salsa lesson if you feel your guests would need a little encouragement to get into the latin music, or you may check if there are “pleneros” in your area. Your decorations could feature orchids or hibiscus and your colors could be inspired by either the rainforest, the beach, or even taíno petroglyphs and artifacts. At a wedding I went to recently the couple even had a “cuatro” (a Puerto Rican instrument) for the guests to sign, and it was a huge hit. Pretty much anything you like or hold dear about your culture can be creatively incorporated into the wedding. Best of luck!

Post # 10
5423 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2012

Like everyone else said, it does vary based on origin.  However, you don’t necessarily have to include “wedding” traditions if you don’t want to.  You could just do something more typical to the geographic area.  The arras, are not just puerto rican based but also practiced in other countries too.  Still important nonetheless.  The whole roasted pig on a parilla might not be expected at a wedding but still a nice addition if you so choose.  Puerto Rico also has a lot of american influence so a lot of american customs have been adapted in some areas.  Its amazing how such a small island can vary.  If you have family your close with there maybe they can offer advice.

I’m not doing traditional wedding things according to my cultural wedding traditions, its more so my upbringing.  Like no calla lilies since theyre considered funeral flowers or not using pearls because they represent tears.  Your wedding will reflect who you are no matter where you draw inspiration from because its yours.

Post # 11
242 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

Hi! I was born and raised in PR and recently got married there. I too wanted to incorporate PR traditions in the wedding, but I’m not catholic (so the ‘arras’ idea was out) and none of my family or friends had ever heard of the ‘bride doll’. Here’s what I did:

1) Walked down the aise to instrumental ‘danzas puertorriquenas’ (PR classical music essentially)

2) The groom and the groomsmen wore ‘guayaberas’ (which was also very comfortable considerable it was a beach wedding and it’s always hot in PR!)

3) Wore a clay ‘amapola’ in my hair (a very common local flower)

On the cocktail hour tables I placed picture frames with ‘wedding trivia’ that included explanations to these things. All of my non-puertorrican friends loved learning about it. 

My Darling Husband and I would have LOVED a pig roast, but he comes from a Jewish family, so that was out. I did have yucca/cassava and plantain side dishes. As someone mentioned, I also wanted ‘pleneros’ but they were out of our budget. I didn’t think of the ‘cuatro’ music idea but I wish I had!

Post # 12
453 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I am Dominican and so is my Fiance. We are doing the traditional lasso and coins at the ceremony in the church and the only thing DOMINICAN we are incorporating in our wedding is a Perico Ripiao band. other than that, I think to each his own. I agree with PP that every country is different.

Post # 13
1668 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

The lasso ceremony is a latino tradition.  It can be done both at a religious ceremony or not.  If it is a Catholic ceremony you can use a rosary but I have seen it also done with a rope or flowers (kind of like a large lei).  You can google lasso ceremony for additional information.  Good luck!

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