As a traditionally Roman Catholic nation, some Portuguese wedding traditions may be familiar to Western
wedding-goers. Many of the customs that were practiced historically in Portugal have evolved over time to
greater symbolize the mutual love of the wedding couple. While these aspects of a Portuguese wedding may
not differ that widely compared to a traditional Western wedding, there are some customs that have been
retained from the olden days that still exist in modern Portuguese weddings. While few Portuguese weddings
are products of arranged engagements, as they were hundreds of years ago, they still incorporate some of
the customs that were typical at the time.
For one, the bride and groom will not usually see each other until the bride enters the church. Yet, the
bride’s big moment usually occurs before she reaches the church. The bridal procession begins not at the
front of the church, but at the bride’s house itself. This is quite a spectacle in the small towns and
communities where the tradition originated.
After the bride arrives at the church, a traditional mass would be held for all the attendees. Then, the
priest unites the couples and binds their hands together in marriage. As the couple exits the church,
Portuguese wedding attendees will usually throw bonbons or flowers, rather than rice.
Portuguese Wedding Receptions
While times have changed for many Portuguese families living in Canada, traditionally, Portuguese wedding
receptions were decidedly low key. Held in a private home or at a restaurant, close friends and family
gather to exchange stories about the bride and groom and enjoy traditional dancing, singing and other
entertainment. An important part of the Portuguese wedding tradition is collection of money for the
newlywed couple. Customarily, this money was collected in the bride’s shoe, but modern Portuguese
weddings will often have a money dance, similar to other wedding traditions.
After dinner, the bride and groom will make their rounds, greeting guests and ensuring that they are
having a good time. Then, there is a champagne toast and the cutting of the cake. But unlike Western
weddings, the first slice of cake isn’t shared among the bride and groom (or smashed in their face).
Instead, it is offered to a single friend for good luck.
The night ends with the bride and groom attempting to leave early. However, it’s customary for the guests
to play pranks on them in order to prevent them from leaving, such as hiding their luggage, moving their
car or putting them on the spot just as they are about to leave.
Capturing Your Portuguese Wedding on Video
All of the above traditions make for an excellent keepsake that remains a treasured memory for years to
come. At VideoWedding Productions, we capture all of the details and magical moments so you can relive
them over and over again. The stress, excitement and festivities surrounding a Portuguese wedding can
be a lot for a bride and groom to take in all at once. Our wedding videos let you revisit those happy
moments and fully enjoy the payoff from those months and months of planning.