About Time: Dominican Republic Wedding TraditionsBy Angelica Malin
Choosing a location for the wedding of your dreams can be a lot of fun. If you consider the Dominican Republic as a potential place, take a look at photographs from this professional wedding photographer in Punta Cana. Doesn’t it look like paradise? But it’s not only beautiful there, but there is also a wealth of interesting local traditions that can be incorporated into the ceremony. At first, Dominican Republic wedding traditions might seem different, but they make sense for anyone looking for a truly unique experience.
Why Dominican Republic wedding traditions are so interesting
The culture of the Dominican Republic is a mixed one, especially when it comes to creating a family. There are some African elements, and there also lots of Spanish elements. This blend of cultures makes the wedding here so much more interesting than anywhere else. You don’t need to have any Spanish heritage yourself to enjoy bright and happy Dominican wedding traditions.
Bride and groom don’t have to hide
In many other countries, it’s prohibited for a groom to see his bride before the ceremony begins. However, this is not among the marriage traditions in the Dominican Republic. Here they can not only meet and take pictures before the official event begins, but they can also have a ride to the ceremony together. It’s convenient for several points of view:
- Clothes, hairstyles, and makeup are at their best
- The best pictures of a couple can be taken before the ceremony starts
- The groom has more time to hold his happy tears rather than seeing the bride for the first time at the altar
- It’s special for a groom and bride to start this magical day together
So, you can get pictures in beautiful outfits before anybody else even has a chance to see you. However, in the Dominican Republic culture, bridal parties tend to be smaller than most of us in the modern world are used to. It makes the whole deal way more intimate between you two.
The ceremony of arras
One of the strongest and most interesting Dominican Republic marriage culture traditions is the ceremony of arras. The general meaning of this ceremony is to start the married life together not only spiritually, but also materialistically. Here’s how it goes: One of the young boys among the guests of the wedding passes the arras – a silver tray with thirteen golden coins – to the certified minister. In his turn, the minister blesses those coins and passes them further, to the groom. Finally, the groom passes the tray to the woman who soon becomes his wife. The ceremony symbolizes that all the possessions of this couple will now be shared between them.
Religion plays an important role in the lives of many people, and there are some particular religious aspects when it comes to Dominican Republic marriage traditions. First of all, there is a special way of entering the church. The groom comes in with his mother, then his father escorts the mother of his bride. Eventually, after everything is ready to start, the bride comes in escorted by her father.
Interesting fact – there can be many witnesses there in the church for you. Actually, you can ask all the guests to come to the altar and witness the beginning of your marriage. It makes not only a priest but all of your guests as well very special during this ritual.
While your guests can be witnesses at the altar, they are expected not to wait for the newlywed couple in front of the church as is traditional in many other cultures. In the Dominican Republic, all the guests proceed to the reception right after the ceremony is over and all the greetings are saved for later.
One more thing to know is that if you choose to get married with the help of the Catholic church, you should also take care about registering the marriage officially with proper government representatives. In this case, you’ll have to arrange it in advance and provide all the required documents. For instance, a certificate stating that you have gone through a divorce in the past if it’s the case. Make sure you research and go through all the formalities to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
The Dominican Republic dating and marriage traditions include dancing merengue. It is official music and dance of the country. Don’t even try getting away from it! It’s hard to imagine who would want to miss out on so much fun.
There are several interesting ideas involving merengue that we can suggest:
- Make your first dance in the style of meringue to add some local feeling
- Invite professional merengue dancers to teach your guests a bit
- Plan a “hora loca” where everybody is supposed to dance with no exceptions
In any case, you’ll have lots of fun dancing this hot rhythm. Dominican wedding ceremony traditions are mostly meant to make everything more colorful and memorable.
Don’t forget to ask your guests to keep their gifts
In Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic in general, it’s not so popular to bring presents for weddings. Now, wait, you think, what kind of wedding has no gifts?! But don’t worry, there are gifts, of course.
The only difference is that those gifts should not be brought on a reception. The reception is for warm greetings, amazing pictures, delicious food, awesome drinks, and hot dancing. As for the presents, they are usually sent to the bride’s room the day before the event. It’s very convenient as nobody needs to worry about where to keep them and when to give them during the event.
If you are still doubting about wedding traditions in the Dominican Republic and wonder if this might be the right choice for you, take a look at Excellence Punta Cana wedding pictures. It’s hard to imagine a marriage beginning in a more graceful way than this! Each moment of this destination wedding is simply meant to be remembered forever and warm up your heart through bright photographs for many years to come.