Portugal is definitely one of the most beautiful places in Europe. Rich and fascinating history of this country is reflected by impressive architecture. It's also the sunniest place in Europe - over three thousand sunny hours a year is more than anywhere else on the continent! If those two arguments didn't convince you (how possibly it could be?), Portuguese wines and extremely romantic venues are the ultimate arguments for organizing your wedding reception in magical Portugal! Find out what are traditions connected with weddings in Portugal; brief guide by Lois Heckman will give you at least a clue. Enjoy. Lois Heckman
I’m heading to Lisbon so I thought I’d research Portuguese wedding traditions. Here’s what I’ve learned so far. First of all I am very heartened to hear that there’s currently a resurgence of ancient wedding customs, as more and more couples choose to have a ceremony that is reflective of their own personal future and the culture and heritage of their past. Many feel the same here in the USA. Most weddings are held in the church, which in Portugal means the Roman Catholic Church, but still there are unique touches that are distinctly their own.
For example the groom and the bridal party wait at the church while the bride walks through the village and is seen and admired along the way. Love this! Towards the end of the ceremony the priest covers the couple with his own stole, symbolizing their unity and that the church will protect them. For the ceremony the traditional bride wears a white Chinese-style tunic covered with colorful jewels.
The groom wears a dark suit, white shirt, and a stylish dark top hat. At the conclusion of the ceremony, as the bride and groom place their wedding bands on each other’s hand. In northern Portugal brides used to wear black for the wedding reception, somehow this symbolized fidelity to her future husband. However a lot of gold jewelry added sparkle. Speaking of style, embroidery is popular in Portugal and having lace or embroidered fabrics for table wear at the reception or given as gifts is a must.
For centuries community has always played an important role. And today that is still true – with neighbors and friends lending a hand. And when the couple leaves the church they are pelted with confetti, rice, candies or flowers.
There are some Portuguese superstitions that are fun to learn about, here are a few:
Don’t marry someone whose name starts with the same letter as yours.
Marry on the day of the week your partner was born, or on their birthday.
It’s good luck if you find a spider on your wedding clothes.
On the night of the wedding, the first one to fall asleep will be the first one to die.
Good to know about Portugal: same sex marriage is legal, in fact they were one of the first in all of Europe!
Here’s an odd fact: Anglican churches in Lisbon, Estoril, Oporto and the Algarve and the Scottish church in Lisbon are not licensed for marriages (it’s a Roman Catholic Country) but all civil marriages are legal. The weather is great! Portugal is beautiful! And everything sounds romantic in Portuguese!