Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ceremony Traditions from Dominican Republic and Columbia

My last clients were from Hispanic backgrounds (Dominican and Columbian) and it inspired me to write about wedding traditions from both countries. Today I’ll focus on ceremony traditions. Most Hispanic countries have Christian faith. Most wedding ceremonies take place in the couples’ house of worship. Here in NYC, many couples are choosing to have their ceremony and reception in the same location. Just because your ceremony doesn’t take place in your house of worship, doesn’t mean you can’t have the traditions that are important to you.

Dominican Wedding Ceremony
Every Dominican bride becomes the recipient of 13 coins, ceremoniously passed to her on a silver tray. A child starts the hand-off, transferring the tray to the priest, the groom and then the bride to symbolize their commitment to care for each other and share equally.  You can find these coins online.  Here is a treasure chest with the coins included.  To personalize it, have it engraved with your monogram and wedding date.

                                Photo Courtesy: J McKinley                                       

Columbian Wedding Ceremony
There is a traditional custom in Colombian Christian weddings. After the ring ceremony, the groom and the bride each has to light a candle. Each lighted candle represents the life of each one. After that, they light another candle together and put out the first candle of each one, leaving only the one that they lit as a couple. This bright candle means that now they are the same body and they are going to share every moment of their lives. This is also known as the unity candle ceremony and there are many options out there today so you can customize your candles.

Photo Courtesy: Etsy

To ensure you have the right space and setup to perform your ceremony traditions, consultant with the venue manager, your officiant and if you have a wedding planner/coordinator ask their opinion as well. The venue manager will be able to tell you how much space you need at the altar and what the best setup will be for the altar you need. They should know best what the venue can accommodate. You officiant can run you through the all the steps of your ceremony so you know what to expect and how to prepare for it. Last but not least, your wedding planner/coordinator will be there for rehearsal and to ensure your ceremony is setup the correct way.

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