Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Caribbean wedding traditions

Weddings are fairly casual affairs, with the bride and groom dressed in their finest. The bride wears a veil and walks to the groom's house, then they walk together to the church with the whole town turning out to congratulate them. Anyone is welcome to the wedding. Only honored guests receive written invitations. The bride's father or both parents give her away, and the groom has no best man.

The traditional wedding cake is called a Black Cake, a sort of rum fruitcake recipe passed down through generations of the bride's family. The reception can go on all night, and the happy couple usually spends a week honeymooning, either right in town or on another island.

The Caribbean wedding traditions are really interesting and exciting due to the fact that many Caribbean islands follow the wedding traditions of the Americans while the others create a peculiar blend of the African and European cultures which is typically Caribbean and could be found nowhere in the world.

The customs actually vary from island to island. But a common custom enables the bride and the groom to dress in their finest clothes. Then the bride and the groom head towards the church either from the bride's place or from the groom's place. Then the church bells ring in order to announce the wedding to the island. Usually the villagers line the street to view the bride and the groom walking to the church and it is compulsory for every onlooker to comment on the bride and the groom's clothes.

The guests are usually invited by the word of mouth, only in some exceptional honored cases, invitations are hand written. The bride's father or both the parents escort her to the aisle with her face covered by a veil. At the end of the ceremony, the groom lifts the veil and kisses his new bride, which is an amalgamation of catholic and African traditions.

The food served to the guests include typical food of the island like curried goat, spicy chicken jerky and fried plantains. The Wedding cake is prepared in the traditional manner. It is the traditional black cake, the recipe of which has passed down from generation to generation. The cake is made of flour, brown sugar, fresh eggs, butter and cherries, raisins, prunes, currants are added to it. The cake is served with Hard Rum Sauce. The dried fruits added to the cake are soaked in rum in a crock pot for a period of two weeks to one year. The guests are also treated with sweets.After the wedding ceremony the newly wed couple leave for honeymoon or spend a week at home in absolute privacy.

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