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.
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.
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.
- 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!
The weather is great! Portugal is beautiful! And everything sounds romantic in Portuguese!