Matrimonios -- Colombian Wedding Traditions
After having polled numerous Colombian family and friends, and found painfully little that was very different between American customs and Colombian customs. Like here the wedding reception is paid for by the bride's family. The groom buys a ring. The bride and her family find the dress and make most of the wedding preparations, etc. etc. etc.
There were a few differences that I found that might be of interest.
#1 -- No Bridesmaid or Best Man
Most of the people I spoke with said that though some people may have adopted this tradition today, typically most ceremonies and receptions will not include them.
#2 -- A Dance
Most families will host a dance as part of the celebration. Couples will dance to Salsa, Merengue, Cumbia, Vallenato, just about anything. But, they will dance. And so will most of the guests. Here a dance may be rather hit or miss depending on your family. There, EVERYONE, no matter the age, dances to the same music and so it is quite a party.
#3 -- The Coins
Many Colombian couples will follow the tradition of Las Arras. The Arras are little coins that are exchanged during the wedding ceremony. These coins are given by the groom to the bride as a symbol that what is mine (monetarily speaking) is now yours. Some people mentioned that there are actually 13 coins given, others didn't mention a specific number, just that the bride received the coins. Still one other person mentioned that at her wedding both the bride and the groom exchanged coins. So, apparently the way and number of coins is not as important as the actual exchange of the coins.