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Brazilian Wedding: Getting Married in Brazil

April 04, 2019
After a wedding in Brazil: Champagne and roses on the beach.

Are you currently in the middle of your wedding planning and would like to get some inspiration during your vacation in Brazil? If you don't want to travel far, then read our blog entry on how to celebrate a Brazilian wedding.

Planning and Budgeting for Weddings in Brazil

For the majority of Brazilian couples, the wedding day is the most important day in their lives and is therefore carefully planned. Even during the long engagement period, both partners show their bond by wearing identical rings, usually made of yellow gold and without gemstones. This extensive period is also due to the detailed planning of a Brazilian marriage. For months, all aspects of the wedding celebration are thought through and coordinated. From the invitations, the location and decoration to the food, music and, of course, the bridal couple's clothing, everything has to be carefully selected.

It's not uncommon for two hundred or more guests to be invited to a Brazilian wedding, so the celebrations are usually expensive. A survey of couples in Brazil who want to get married has shown that an average of 40,000 reais (equivalent to approximately 10,000 dollars, as of April 2019) is spent on a celebration with eighty to one-hundred-and-twenty guests. Expenses vary from region to region and depend on the financial means of the engaged couple. In the economically advanced South of Brazil, including the metropolis of Sao Paulo, bridal couples spend considerably more than in the poorer Northeast.

The largest expense in the wedding budget is allocated for the preparation of the wedding reception. This includes food, drinks, snacks and the wedding cake. The wedding cake is on display during the entire reception before being cut at the end. The food is hardly ever served at the tables of the guests. Instead, they help themselves to the sumptuous buffet.
The second largest expense is the cost of the venue, such as a church and a ballroom, including decorations and thank-you gifts for the guests. Brazilian newlyweds are not conservative when it comes to the pompous flower decorations at the venue of the wedding ceremony.
In Brazil, people who want to get married pay a near equal amount for professional service providers, such as a DJ or a live band, for the reception. A team for photography and filming is also hired. A Brazilian bride is usually accompanied by a camera all the way through to capture the big day in a wedding album.
The expenses for the bridal couple's clothing, the "dia da noiva" ("the bride’s day," with beauty care and make-up) as well as invitations, renting the bridal car and obtaining the necessary legal documents are much cheaper. These costs are only about half as much as the expenses for the reception. Brazilians hold true to their reputation of being excellent and generous hosts.

Brazilian Wedding Traditions

There are some traditions that should not be missing in a classic Brazilian wedding. Many brides in Brazil have the names of their single girlfriends sewn into the hem of their dress to help their love life so that they'll soon be led to the altar themselves. At the wedding ceremony, the friends pose individually with the newlyweds and point to their names for a meaningful keepsake.

Before marriage in Brazil, both partners select several close friends as best men and maids of honor. These individuals receive specially designed wedding invitations and have the task of helping the bride and groom to organize their big day and arrange the bachelor/bachelorette party. These individuals, as the well as the parents of the bride and groom, stand in pairs at the altar.

A custom adopted by Brazilian women at the altar from the United States is to wear something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. Often an old family jewel is used, which symbolizes the bride's continuing deep bond with her family. New shoes, for example, represent the happy connection to the groom. Borrowed earrings are an expression of the constant relationship with good friends. A blue garter reflects the fidelity between the couple. If the bride follows all the guidelines, her marriage will be under a good star.

Many couples decide to pour sand of different colors together during the wedding ceremony. Three glass containers are needed for this. One container each for the bride and groom, filled with sand of different colors, and a third empty container. The bride and groom pour their sand into the third container at the same time. If the couple already has children, they can take part in the ritual and add their own sand. The sand ritual is especially popular for weddings on the beach.

When leaving the church after the wedding, the couple is pelted with rice to conjure up happiness, love, and success for their union. Petals or confetti are also often used at modern Brazilian weddings. What is important is that positive energy rains down on the couple.

Throwing the bridal bouquet towards the unmarried female guests is also a part of the process of a typical Brazilian wedding and is always a hilarious moment that generates many laughs.

Cutting the wedding cake together is the start of a happy life together. Many Brazilians believe that the first piece of cake is the bride's and guarantees that the couple will have children together. A photo of this moment is a part of every Brazilian wedding album.

To raise money for the honeymoon, a process known as "operação lua de mel" (operation honeymoon), a Brazilian groom often sacrifices his tie. For a small financial contribution, he cuts off small pieces of it and gives them to the donors gratefully as a special keepsake

Lembrancinhas: A Wedding Memory for Each Guest

Brazilian wedding couples stand out when it comes to thank-you gifts. Lembrancinhas (keepsakes) are an integral part of any celebration. These traditional sweets are distributed to each guest at the end of the wedding and represent the newly formed union of the bridal couple. According to legend, they also bring the newlyweds good luck. It's a small pastry consisting of two halves held together by a sweet caramel filling, wrapped carefully with paper and bow. The packaging always matches with the overall decorations of the wedding reception.

The bridal couple will also think of a gift for their guests, which will always remind them of the beautiful celebration. These small gifts are meant to express the couple's happiness and gratitude for the presence of their loved ones, and depend on the personality of the bride and groom and the arrangement of the wedding feast. Luxurious celebrations require expensive gifts made of porcelain or crystal. For a rustic wedding in the open air, for example, small plants in pretty pots are considered appropriate.

We hope this blog entry has given you ideas for your own big day or just entertained you. Perhaps you would like to spend your honeymoon on a trip to Brazil...

Sources: www.aceitosim.com.br, www.guiabolso.com.br

Source: Aventura do Brasil