It’s time for a wedding, mon! Add some tropical flare to your wedding day with some island customs.
Caribbean wedding traditions vary from island to island. Here are a few common traditions that are still practiced today.
Ceremony - The bride and groom dress in their finest clothes and walk to the church as church bells ring announcing their wedding.
- Anyone is welcome to the wedding.
- There’s no best man at a Caribbean wedding.
- The bride is escorted down the aisle by her mother and father. Her face is hidden under a veil.
- The Caribbean ceremony is a mixture of Catholic, Mayan and African traditions.
- The reception can go on all night, with traditional steel-drum island music and dancing.
- Traditional cuisine is curried goat, spicy jerk chicken, fried plantains and conch fritters.
- Rum punch is the favourite island wedding drink.
- The traditional wedding cake is a “Black Cake” (a dark fruit cake served with hot rum sauce).
Honeymoon - The couple spends a week in seclusion at a home provided by the groom’s family or they can travel to an island of their choice for the week.
Wedding Traditions from…
Bermuda - A tiny cedar tree in a pot is used as a cake topper. Later, the couple plants the tree to represent their growing love.
Cuba - Wedding guests partake in the traditional money dance, where each man who dances with the new bride must pin money to her dress, to help the newlyweds with their honeymoon expenses.
Jamaica - After the reception, the couple delivers slices of the wedding cake, (dark fruit cake laced with rum), to guests who couldn’t attend the reception.
Puerto Rico - At the reception, it’s customary for a doll dressed like the bride to be placed at the head of the receiving table. The doll is covered with charms that are given as favours to the guests.
Dominican Republic - The ring bearer or "arras" carry coins on a silver tray. During the ceremony, the priest will bless the coins and pass them to the groom, who will pass them to the bride. This exchange signifies the couple’s pledge to provide for each other and that material goods are to be shared equally.
French West Indies - Traditional rum-flavoured wedding cake is hidden from guests with a fine white table cloth, but if they want to sneak a lucky peek they have to pay.
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