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Argentine Wedding Traditions/Customs
mobius ants
fizzylizard wrote in little_details
Time: The not-too-distant future. Assume a world that's not really too different to now.

Situation: The family of one of my characters emigrated from Argentina to an unspecified Western country when the character in question was about nine or ten. This character is now twenty-three, and about to get married.

Question: What sort of traditions/superstitions/customs/things that you just do because that's what happens at weddings (I'm thinking of things like pinning money on the bride's dress like I've seen at Greek weddings in Australia, or the 'something old' rhyme that now seems to be fairly common all over the place) might she know about or remember and want to include?

Already Searched: Wikipedia - 'wedding traditions', 'Argentine culture' etc
Google - 'Argentina wedding customs'

I thought your question was interesting, so I googled "South American wedding traditions" and found this:

http://www.worldweddingtraditions.com/locations/south_american_traditions/argentinean_traditions.html

Yay, I question I can answer! :D I'm actually Argentinian (don't you love the internet?). It depends a bit on your characters, of course, but there are some general things I can help you with.

Catholic people get married legally first, then have the church ceremony (usually the same day) and then the party. Non-religious people only do the legal thing and party, of course. I can't help you with other religions, sorry.

When people had larger houses it was common to celebrate at home, but now it's increasingly common to rent a "salón de eventos". I have no idea how to translate this. "Events salon"? It's not exactly a restaurant - you rent the place and the catering, service, DJ, etc. is included. Celebrations usually last the whole night and involve a lot of relatives. The salons organize the timing of the party - they serve several different courses, and in the meantime there are times to dance. (Something like: appetizer, dancing, first course, dancing, so on).

There's a waltz around the beginning of the party, started by the bride and groom, then the bride and her father, and then other people join in. The rest of the music played is modern and/or "oldies" from the bride and groom's teenage years. Around the end of the party there's a "carnaval carioca" with Brazilian music and a lot of plastic hats, music, etc. I've no idea how this tradition started, but it's there.

I've never seen people dance tango at a wedding. I might disappoint a lot of people here, but... tango is for tourists. ;P

A common tradition is for the bride to wear many garters and then give them away to the single women in the party. Other tradition involving single women (including little girls) is that there are lots of ribbons on top of the cake. Before cutting eat, each of the women take one of the ribbons and pull. Each ribbon has some trinket tied at the end. One of them has a ring, and the one who pulls it is supposed to be the next to get married (sort of like catching the bouquet).

That'd be a generic wedding. Of course, you can complicate it as much as you want depending on your family's European traditions! We're a country of relatively recent immigrants, after all. We've got a lot of Italian traditions, and you can add German or French or Welsh or... whatever you need, actually. And all possible combinations work, too.

Also, I've been following the other links, and I'd like to confirm that we don't make much of a fuss about bridesmaids and all that.

I don't want to edit - just add. My parents are both Argentine and both agreed that bridesmaids and a best man is not part of tradition in any sense.

(Deleted comment)
I forgot to mention the tons of alcohol. That's a very good point.

The root cultures are also a good point, but it's useful to remember that people heere mixed up a lot more than in the US, and so did the traditions. There are some originally Italian traditions that now mostly everyone follows, Italian or not (like giving kids presents on Twelfth Night) and it's rare to find people identifying themselves as [country of origin]-Argentinian like they do in the US.

That's mostly because immigrants didn't always stick to their own communities. I'm Italian/German/French/Swiss/Spanish, for example. And that's usual.

... and what I meant to say by all that rambling is that, say, people from German descent won't have an entirely German-like wedding.

(Deleted comment)
Really? I never tried Vietnamese food. Now I'm curious...

And yeah, that's true about the fusion cuisine. A lot of thing considered "ethnic" in other places are regular meals here. (No need to go too far for that - I had a really hard time finding everyday pasta in Chile.)

Argentine food tastes like Vietnamese?? Umm, think your friend needs to try more of both cuisines.

I'm Argentine and live in Australia where we're fortunate to have cultures and thus food from all over the world. One of our local favourite restaurants is Vietnamese (cheap and fresh products) and nothing Argentine to me about it....

When a friend of mine married an Argentine guy, the only thing that I remember being different from a typical American wedding was something about a sheaf of wheat given to them for good luck or babies, I think by the parents. Of course it was held in the US and planned mainly by the bride's family as that was where the couple was living, so don't know what else would be different if the groom's family had planned it.

Argentine customs

(Anonymous)

2010-02-20 04:02 am (UTC)

I was wondering if anyone could answer a question i have on Argentine marrage customs. My fiancee says that in Argentina they get married by the justice of peace days before the ceremony is a tradition. I was wondering if that is true.

Re: Argentine customs

(Anonymous)

2010-04-14 02:00 am (UTC)

Yes, in Argentina, the bride and the groom - and their witnesses - usually sign the wedding certificate at the Registry Office the day before the wedding reception is held (for example, Registry office on Fridays and wedding reception on Saturday) or they may do both things on the same day. After they've been to the Registry office, there is usually a small get-together (probably at lunch time) with the bride and groom's closest relatives and friends, apart from the big wedding party (which is held at night, between 10p.m and 5pm)