Caribbean Wedding Customs
Getting married in the Caribbean can be a truly fun and memorable experience. There are many customs that can be integrated in your ceremony to make it even more special.
1. A dime placed in the bride's shoe on the day of the wedding will bring wealth and prosperity to couple.
2. Throw your bouquet directly to someone and do not let it fall on the ground. If it falls on the ground and break into pieces, your husband will cheat on you throughout your marriage.
3. Never give the dog a taste of your wedding cake or let the crumbs fall on the ground as this may not bode well for the longevity of the marriage.
4. To appease the departed and ward off any evil intentions, do sprinkle a little white rum in the yard outside so that everyone can enjoy in the celebration.
5. Keep a sliver of wedding cake wrapped under your pillow as it will guarantee fertility.
6. Brides maid should dress in white to confuse any evil spirits lurking by. Hence Kate's sister Pippa was dressed in white for the Royal Wedding.
7. Do you know why shoes are tied to the back of the car after the wedding ceremony? This is a symbol by the father of the bride that the new husband is now financially responsible for his daughter.
8. The only cake served at a wedding in the Caribbean is the 'black cake'. Tradition dictates that this fruit cake (fruits are soaked in rum and wine for at least six months) When baked it is more like a plum pudding - all fruits are melted in the batter (a different feel, taste and texture of the American fruit cake). Recipe of this traditional cake is handed down among families.
9. Of course the something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue is strictly adhered to.
OLD: You want something from a close friend or family who enjoys a good relationship with their partner - then this luck could be transferred to you.
NEW: Your wedding attire and shoes - bringing new ideas, new thoughts to the marriage.
BORROWED: A quality piece of jewelry or expensive trinket - good fortune should follow you throughout the marriage.
BLUE: Signifies purity and love.
10. Wearing of the veil - A full veil that covers the entire face is worn and lifted only after the ceremony is over. This signifies modesty, purity and basically you have had no emotional attachment to anyone else.
In some areas, the veil is also used to hide you away from evil spirits.
FOOD FOR THE CEREMONY
No Caribbean celebration is complete without certain items on the menu. Curried goat and white rice, Jerk Pork, Jerk Chicken, Fried Plantain, Goat Head Soup with Mannish water (this is the viagra soup) Rice and Peas, Rum Punch and of course Champagne for toasting the couple. Pastries abound starting with the black cake with hard icing: the Wedding Cake", puddings: cornmeal, potato, cassava, coconut cake and fruits of all description. Fruits are abundant in the Caribbean and they are used in drinks, eaten as is and sometimes cooked in with meats and also stewed.
Each destination has its own version of local music - reggae, steel pan and of course a regular DJ. Whether you can dance or not, the music will move you, especially if you have been sipping the local rum punch.
*Photos supplied by the USVI.