5 Tips for Hosting a Latin-Inspired Wedding
by Carmen Ordonez
When I first got married six years ago, it was very important for me to have a piece of my Latin culture incorporated into my wedding. From Latin-inspired appetizers such as croquetas to Latin music, Cumbia, to keep us dancing the entire night, we had the best time! If you’re looking to infuse a piece of your own Latin traditions and heritage into your wedding, here a few simple tips to make your fiesta one you’ll never forget.
Picking the Venue: We got married in a Spanish mansion and that really helped bring together the overall Latin theme of our wedding. You can also look for other venues that have Latin-American significance such as a church, a hacienda, a Spanish monastery or a garden. Don’t forget about the decorations – try to find tropical flowers that typically grow in Latin America for your centerpieces.
Latin-Inspired Drinks. You can have so much fun getting creative with the drinks that are served at your wedding. For Latin-inspired drinks, try serving Sangria to your guests. Sangria is a wine punch typical of Spain, Portugal and Argentina and normally consists of wine and chopped fruit. It can be served in a bowl, making it easy for your guests to help themselves. For Latin-inspired cocktails, I love mojitos, which are typical of Cuba. For non-alcoholic drinks you can also serve Latin American sodas. For example, in Colombia we have sodas called Colombianas and Manzana Postobon, which are amazing!
Latin Food: Try looking for a caterer that specializes in Latin food or ask your favorite Latin restaurant if they cater. Appetizers such as empanadas are always a favorite and many countries such as Argentina, Colombia, Spain and the Caribbean have their own variation. Tapas are also a favorite for appetizers; they include cold and hot snacks such as mixed olives, cheese, prosciutto, fried squid and sausages.
The Music: A Latin-inspired party would not be a fiesta without the music! When you meet with your DJ consider bringing him a list of artists or music that you would like to be played at your wedding. Try having a good mix for your guests from salsa, merengue, bachata to rhythmic hip-shaking rumba. Also, depending on your background, you might want to include the genre of music that is typical to your country. For example, Dominicans have Bachata, Colombians have Cumbia and Spain has Flamenco.
The Ceremony: Consider including a Latin tradition during your ceremony. For example, in Mexico and Guatemala there is a tradition called “el ate de nudo,” where a rope is placed around the couple during the ceremony. In Latin America and the Philippines, some couples also opt for having Godparents “el padrino y madrina,” which accompany the couple during the ceremony.