Cuban Wedding Traditions: From Pre to Post-Wedding

By  Tommy Peske
Updated on 01/24/24
Cuban Wedding Traditions: From Pre to Post-Wedding

Cuban Wedding Traditions: From Pre to Post-Wedding

By  Tommy Peske
Updated on 01/24/24

Part of the Wedding

Cuban Wedding Traditions: From Pre to Post-Wedding

By  Tommy Peske
Updated on 01/24/24

Are you of Cuban descent and want to incorporate Cuban wedding traditions into your big day? Or do you just want a better idea of what to expect from a traditional Cuban wedding you plan to attend? Whatever the case, we have a comprehensive list of the best Cuban wedding traditions right here. This is everything you need to know, from proper wedding attire to where the couple stays after the ceremony.

Before the Wedding: Misa de Fianza

A few days before the wedding, Cuban couples engage in misa de fianza. The couple exchanges wedding rings and shares a special dance during this cuban wedding tradition. The parents also bless the marriage.

Cuban Wedding Attire

Cuban Wedding Traditions: From Pre to Post-Wedding
If you’re following strict, older, and more traditional Cuban wedding traditions, then white dresses are reserved for virgins, as a Cuban bride is expected to be “pure” on their wedding day. 

Historically, this would be such a big deal that, a day after the wedding, the newly married couple would bring the sheets they used on their wedding night to prove the bride was indeed a virgin (as the sheets would, supposedly, be bloodied — though this is an inaccurate assumption based on outdated understandings of virginity). 

In terms of the actual dress, a Cuban bride’s wedding dress is traditionally white with floral motifs, has satin, silk, and ruffle accents, and full skirts (a long skirt that is gathered at the waist). A white bouquet represents fertility and acts as an accessory.

Grooms wear matching dress suits and shoes, though a tie is optional.

As for the guests, wedding attire in Latin America is often colorful and festive, with shades of red, green, orange, and yellow.

Cuban Wedding Traditions

Cuban Wedding Traditions
A Cuban wedding ceremony is usually very large and held in a religious wedding venue like a large Roman Catholic Church. The couple invites all their relatives and just about everyone else. The guest list often reaches well over 100 people.

Most Cuban wedding traditions find their roots in Christianity. In one of the most important wedding traditions, the groom vows he’ll financially care for his new bride by giving the bride 13 gold coins blessed by a priest. The coins represent Christ and his 12 apostles. The bride places the 13th coin in her right shoe.

Also, the couple will light a unity candle during a Cuban wedding. Some couples save this candle to light every year on their wedding anniversary.

Cuban Wedding Reception Traditions

Cuban Wedding Reception Traditions Wedding
Cuban wedding receptions can last for hours and may go on until the morning! 

Music is a large part of the reception. Some of the main music genres you’ll hear at a Cuban wedding include salsa, merengue, and bachata. Some classic Cuban wedding song staples include… 

  • “Suavemente” by Elvis Crespo 
  • “Despacito” 
  • “Danza Kuduro”
  • “La Chona”
  • “La Vida Es Un Carnaval”
  • “Mesa Que Mas Aplauda”
  • “Vivir Mi Vida” 

Dance traditions include the conga, also known as the comparsa, and the rumba (which doubles as a music genre and a dance). There’s also the money dance, where the wedding party and guests toss money on the bride and groom while they dance together. The couple can use the money for whatever they want, like the honeymoon or to pay off the wedding.

After The Wedding

Cuban Wedding Traditions After the Ceremony
After the wedding, the newly married couple will move into either the bride’s or the groom’s parent’s home, depending on the situation. For instance, if the bride has more siblings, they’ll move in with the groom’s family instead. 

The couple lives with their parents until one of their siblings marries; at this point, they’ll move to a private home, and the sibling and their new spouse will take their space in the parents’ home.

Cuban Wedding FAQs

  • Can Americans go to Cuba for a wedding?

If you want to visit Cuba legally as an American, you must obtain a Cuban visa or a “general license” in advance. The Cuban government requires these documents to travel to Cuba for any reason. 

  • What is the dating culture in Cuba?

Dating in Cuba typically means spending more time with a person’s entire family, enjoying a big meal, and getting to know parents, cousins, aunts, and uncles.

Need More Wedding Inspiration?

Cuba is not only beautiful but also rich in culture, especially when it comes to wedding traditions

Are you looking for more international wedding ideas from Norway to India to Korea and more? TheGroomClub has you covered! Keep reading for more tips on groom etiquette, getting your partner to be more present in wedding planning, and more.

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