Wedding Expectations of Colombian Women
She finally said “yes,” the single, potent word that will ultimately transform her from girlfriend to fiancé, and eventually, wife. Such a word will have monumental and life-altering effects for both of you. It is now the happiest you have ever been, a precursor to the most memorable day both of you will ever have, save for the eventual birth of your children.
Your fiancé is from Barranquilla, Colombia, where she wants the wedding to take place. Not a problem, as you assure to give her the wedding of her dreams. Being the naive, eager, and lovestruck groom-to-be, you have little to no idea of the impending preparation and cost that awaits.
Like many an obliging man, you nod your head in complacent approval to your lover’s every whim. It is at this point that a consultation with a trustworthy wedding planner is of the utmost importance, as to divert from any forthcoming disaster on your wallet.
Like most weddings around the world, the grandness, elaboration, and costliness of one depends almost totally on the wishes of the spouses-to-be. However, due to social and personal preferences, most couples in Colombia and worldwide choose to maintain standard modern practices.
You will find that a wedding in Colombia is not unlike every other wedding in the world, save for a few nuances native to the country. Then there is the fact that you are a foreigner, which makes logistics and planning even more complicated.
So before you put pen to paper and send out invitations, read on to learn what Colombian women expect their weddings to be like.
A Year Long Preparation
Most modern weddings, by sheer complexity and magnificence, almost always require at least a year of planning and preparation. Even if, by some miracle, a wedding organizer were to put together a complete wedding in less time than that, booking wedding and reception venues would be near impossible due to the fast filling of pre-booked vacancies.
Typical Colombian weddings involve 3 venues - a hotel, a church, and a party place or ballroom.
Most Colombians are Catholic, so you may need to consider booking at a sanctioned church or cathedral for the wedding ceremony. Since many churches only allow weddings on the weekends, vacancies are few, so your wedding must be booked many months to a year before. If the reception venue is a popular one, like a hotel ballroom, the same applies.
Procuring important items, like the wedding gown, rings, etc. will require a generous amount of time and money. Not only are these things expensive, but since they are most likely custom-made, they can also take months to make.
No modern wedding is complete without flowers. Lots of them. Colombian women want to plaster flowers in every corner and crevice they can. Unfortunately, many men do not grasp the significance, and more pertinently, the cost of wedding flower arrangements.
Most wedding and reception venues must be decked out in the whitest, most fragrant cocktail of flowers possible. While men naturally do not understand why they need flowers when they can buy a second hand car for the same price, they are simply indispensable.
Of course you cannot forget about the guest list. One of the characteristics of a Colombian woman is her family orientation, so expect to invite the whole barrio. If you plan to fly over relatives from your home country, you need to plan well ahead of time so airline tickets can be bought at reasonable prices.
Lots of Pictures
Weddings are once-in-a-lifetime events. Every single moment leading to and during the actual wedding day must be captured in vivid detail. This is a job for a professional photography crew. Don’t try to scrimp, you’ll definitely regret the day you left principal photography to your nephew Andrew instead of a reputable camera crew.
Expect photoshoots for your engagement, at the hotel, at the wedding ceremony, before the reception, and at the reception. You and your lovely bride will be accompanied and assisted at all times by a makeup artist as well. You definitely do not want to scrimp on makeup. You want your bride to look like the winner for best actress on awards night.
Women in Colombia know how to look beautiful, and their record with international beauty pageants says so. If there are any problems marrying a Colombian woman, her looking like a goddess on wedding day won’t be one of them.
A Banging Reception
While wedding receptions always make for fun times, few can party like the Colombians do. People in Colombia love to dance, especially to the tune of Latin music. One can easily mistake a Colombian wedding party for a full-out mardi gras.
The wedding reception serves as a release from all the stress and pressure from the wedding formalities. Here, both newlyweds can breathe a sigh of relief and truly enjoy the night. While not a stern requirement, food is usually served buffet style, and in great quantities. Running out of food is embarrassing for the hosts no matter which country you are in.
Whether it’s a DJ or a band that you hire for the music, make sure they know how to make the people party. The choice of music in many cases can make or break a wedding.
It is at this point that your single groomsmen will be thanking you to high heavens for bringing them over. Make sure they don’t miss their chance to meet Colombian women. You could be back the very next year for another international wedding!
When all is said and done, and when the guests have had their fill of song, drink, and dance, the couple can return to their hotel to cap off the night.
A Wedding is What You Make It
At the end of the day, a wedding is ultimately how you and your wife-to-be choose to make it. If a glamorous, movie-like wedding is for you, then you know what you need to plan for. If instead you two agree that a wedding does not define a marriage, then a simple ceremony should satisfy you. Also, like most people, if you fall somewhere in between, do your due diligence and have the wedding you deserve.
Now that you know what Colombian women expect for their weddings, you can look forward to the planning and preparation for tying the knot with your one and only.