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Marriage Culture in Medellin

A man holding a woman in Medellin.
Like many of our clients, you can make your dream wedding in Colombia come true. Learn about the marriage culture in Medellin and plan for a truly authentic Colombian experience!

How would you like to have your destination wedding in the magnificent city of Medellin in Colombia?

You deserve a truly unforgettable wedding celebration with an exotic venue, an atmosphere filled with joy and love, vibrant hues, and, most importantly, the most beautiful bride in the world.

So what can you expect your future wedding to look like? How different is the wedding ceremony compared to that in the US? And what other cultural elements make this a true destination wedding?

Marriage culture in Medellin and in Colombia as a whole is based, in large part, on the dominant Catholic religion in the country. While Colombia doesn’t take an official census on religion, it’s estimated that between 70.9 to 79 percent of the country is Catholic.

It permeates the culture of marriage so much that while divorce is legal, the union between a man and a woman is still seen as sacrosanct in the country, so much so that Colombia’s 9 percent divorce rate is among the lowest in the world.

Having Your Wedding in Medellin, Colombia

Because of the Catholic majority, wedding venues are limited largely to churches, even if there are alternative venues for the receptions. Basically; in Colombia, marriage culture is largely based on Catholic traditions and even the ones without explicit Catholic roots may be viewed through a Catholic lens.

The Catholic tradition that permeates the country and limits the best wedding venues in Colombia to churches also informs a lot of Colombian wedding traditions that may not necessarily have religious origins.

Weddings in Colombia, just like in most countries around the world, are large family events. Your fiancé might know exactly how she wants the wedding to go down, but neither of you will have the time nor energy to put it together, considering the scale of it.

This is why it’s wise to hire a reputable wedding planner, both for your peace of mind and so your guests can enjoy the event the best way possible. From the wedding venues, photographers, props, and reception, a competent wedding planner can put together a wedding to remember while you focus on your bride-to-be.

Since it’s always a good idea to know how your wedding will go, here is a rundown of things you should plan for:

1. What to Wear

The first thing that needs to be known about a wedding in Medellin, Colombia is what to wear. The bride will wear a white dress. The groom, in lieu of a suit or a tuxedo, will don a Guayabera. It’s a white button-up with two vertical pleats running down the front and the back. They’re typically made of linen, silk, or cotton, which makes them appropriate for hot and humid weather. The Guayabera is typically worn with white or even khaki pants.

Male guests are expected to wear a Guayabera when attending a wedding and the groom himself is expected to wear something similar.

Other than her dress, the bride may sometimes wear a mantilla. A mantilla is a special veil, made to circle and frame the face while also providing cover from the sun. The mantilla is not an exclusively Colombian practice as it is popular throughout Latin America, Spain, and Italy.

2. The Bridal Shower

Before the wedding ceremony, there will be a bridal shower. During the bridal shower, the bride will be showered with gifts from all guests, but there will be a special emphasis placed on bonds between the bride and her mother and mother-in-law. The mother-in-law will also pass down heirlooms to the bride.

3. Las Arras

A prominent wedding tradition in Colombia is Las Arras. Las Arras translates to earnest money. What exactly is Las Arras? It’s when a priest blesses thirteen gold coins. The priest then hands these coins to the groom. The groom then gives them to the bride. The ceremony is symbolic of the groom’s commitment to providing for the bride. The coins aren’t supposed to be bare, either.

The coins are supposed to be covered in lace. That lace is then to be saved and used to make a Christening hat for the couple’s first child. That’s the essence of Las Arras.

Speaking of coins, there’s a tradition in Colombia for brides to put a coin in their shoe. What does this mean? This is supposed to symbolize the hope that she and her groom will never go through a time when they’re unable to meet their basic needs.

4. Godparents

Another Colombian wedding tradition that might be unfamiliar to you is the Godfather and the Godmother. In lieu of a best man, maid of honor, bridesmaids, or groomsmen, Colombians have a Godmother and a Godfather to attend to the bride and groom respectively.

What do the Godparents do? They provide guidance and counseling to the couple to help them get through the day and to married life beyond the day.

5. Candle Ceremony

The candle ceremony is a tradition that takes place after the bride and groom exchange rings.

During the candle ceremony, the bride and groom are each given a lit candle. Then they take the pair of lit candles to light a third candle.

Once the third candle is lit, the first two are extinguished and the couple leaves the church holding the lit candle together. The third candle is meant to symbolize their unity and their commitment to each other.

6. Belt Game

There’s a game that’s to be played by the single male guests and it’s very simple in nature. Basically, they take off their belts and whoever has the longest one wins the game. What does the length of the belt symbolize? It’s supposed to be a symbolic measure of masculinity.

7. The Crazy Hour

Then there’s the wedding reception. In Colombia, the reception can run long and after midnight, La Hora Loca begins. La Hora Loca translates to the Crazy Hour. The couple chooses a theme for La Hora Loca and it’s usually something like Mardia Gras or Brazilian Carnival, which is appropriate considering Brazil is Colombia’s neighbor.

8. Pairing Shoes

Much in the same way that the bride throws her bouquet towards the single women to signal who’s getting married next, she’ll also play a role in deciding which of the single men will be the next to get married. The single male guests will place a shoe under the bride’s dress. The bride closes her eyes and selects a shoe. Whoever owns the shoe is the next to get married.

You will have noticed that there are quite a few elements that go into the wedding, requiring particular items and props. Not to worry, your wedding planner should handle everything for you.

Wedding festivities do not end on the day itself, either. Guests gather again the next day to continue celebrating. Traditional fare, such as Asado, is served.

Why Marry Medellin Women

Now, why would a man even want to marry a woman from Medellin in the first place? There’s the obvious physical beauty, of course. Colombian women have a reputation for being gorgeous and there aren’t many men who’d turn down marrying a beautiful woman.

But the culture of Colombia also encourages women to have certain traits that make them desirable wives.

Good Wives

Because there aren’t many people in Medellin who can hire household help and because of traditional gender roles, women in Medellin grow up helping around the house. As such, they’re accustomed to household chores. Laundry, cooking, and cleaning are all tasks that many Medellin women grew up doing.

This makes women from Medellin ideal wives for a man who believes in traditional gender roles and that men can expect hot meals before and after work.

Nurturing Mothers

Building on the above, women in Colombia are also encouraged to have as many children as soon as possible. Beyond being taught to be mothers who adore their children, they are also taught to be good wives, which means that they will treat their husbands like kings.

The women in Medellin are taught how to be good wives and mothers by their culture. That same culture also teaches them to do those things passionately, to throw themselves wholly into the roles of being a wife and mother.

You Need a Woman from Colombia

There are a plethora more reasons you would want to marry a woman in Colombia. But perhaps one of these reasons is that their overall characteristics separate them from the rest of the women you have had experience with.

This woman is the type of person you want and need in a lifetime partner — loyal, traditional, passionate, and kind. You want to be with her because she isn’t a dime-a-dozen. She’s exactly what you need.

Are you ready to meet your future wife? Meet her in person by checking out our romance tour schedule. Join now and find your missing piece for FREE!


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