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Of Marriage and Other Evils: Weddings in Argentina

Even though I tend to be a bit skeptical about weddings and commitment issues, I´ll try to provide the best look into the Argentinian planning, organization, and celebration of this important day in a person’s life; and I’d also like to share what weddings mean for me and my very close friends.

First of all, pre-marriage parties are held for both the bride and the groom. They are called “Despedida de Soltero” (it is Bachelorette/Bachelor party in the US). They are hosted by the couple’s close friends and relatives. Basically, people play drinking games in order to make the couple drunk and wear unusual sexy clothes. After that, they are taken in a van to public places such as squares and discos. Finally, the people attend a stripper show. Though this may sound like steamy stuff, it is very natural and common that this kind of parties take place one week before the wedding ceremony.
Regarding the planning and organization of the wedding, families as a whole are involved, and usually couples who are thinking about taking the big step start saving money to pay for the costs. The extent of the event depends on your purchasing power. However, most people tend to invite around 200 guests; they rent a reception room and leave a gift list at a well-known appliances store. Some people also hire a catering service while others prepare home-made food. An essential element is the music which is always loud and sometimes live shows are displayed in honor of the newlyweds.
Wedding days are usually Fridays since those are the days assigned by the registry. You also need two witnesses and sometimes you can hold the ceremony at the reception all at once. In case you are Catholic, you may want to get married at a church–which is true for most people, considering Argentina is a very religious country. The father of the bride and the groom’s mother escort the bride to the wedding venue and the little children in the family carry the rings to the altar. The guests throw rice at the church’s entrance which is an act of wishing the couple abundance and fertility.
As regards the bride’s wedding dress, it is usually white although many brides are choosing to wear trendy colors and simpler outfits. As a traditional custom they are required to wear 3 special elements as part of their attire: something new, something borrowed and something blue.
Last but not least, when talking about parties, Argentinians are the best. During the dinner reception there is a very emotional moment when the couple share with the guests a photo display of memorable moments of their relationship and after that they dance the first waltz together and then with different family members and close friends. The party lasts till 5 or 6 in the morning with people dancing, drinking and watching live shows such as folklore dances, Arabian dances or batucadas (Brazilian type of drum playing). Another interesting tradition is when the groom passes a garter from his wife’s leg to one of her friend’s.
All in all, one may wonder: What’s so special about this whole matter by the way?? What leads you to think about committing yourself to one person for the rest of your life? Well, as far as I’m concerned from what I learned from my best friends, it is the feeling that the person you choose will be there in good and in bad moments as the vow says, he will love you with all your virtues and flaws, and above all he will try to make you happy even with little details. Although I tend to be cynical when dealing with love issues, marriage is for me something you must take seriously, and thanks to my friends’ beautiful families I’m hopeful that such a person exists and, without fear of sounding sentimental, when I see how caring and generous they are about each other I’m pretty sure I want to get married some day!
P/S: This entry goes to Jose, Mimi, Guada, Ani y Rich. I love you and I miss you so much!

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  1. 1 Comment(s)

  2.   By Maria on Dec 6, 2012 | Reply

    I love your post babe! No te olvides de invitarme a la tuya, besos mi gordi :)

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