A Peep into a Chilean Wedding

Our chosen profession is planning and directing weddings and events and we love what we do! Still, it’s a pleasure to have the honor to attend weddings as guests. This past week Kate had the great pleasure to fly down to Puerto Montt, Chile to participate in the wedding of a very dear friend. Here is the story of her trip…

“I had the great honor to spend a week with my friend, Isa, in Puerto Montt, Chile, and attend her wedding on September 13. I had been to a wedding in Chile before, but it was very informal and a quiet affair in a church. Most weddings in Chile include drinks and dancing. My friend wanted to demonstrate a different way of conducting a wedding. From the bits and pieces I heard about it before I came down, it promised to be well planned, semi-formal, and very beautiful. You can imagine how curious I was as to how it would unfold.

     When I finally reached my destination I learned that in order to be married, Isa and Lucas needed to participate in two ceremonies: a civil and a religious. The civil ceremony took place the day before the wedding in the building equivalent to our city hall in la sala ceremonia, or ceremony room, conducted by a city official. It was straightforward and to the point. After agreeing to the legal marriage requirements the bride and groom signed the necessary documents along with Isa’s godmother and Lucas’ mother. The city official shook them by the hand and gave them their marriage certificate. Unlike our marriage license in the states, in Chile it is a booklet, very similar to a passport.

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The next day came the wedding!

     The ceremony was so sweet and simple. The bride and groom were attended by their parents and godparents. Since her father officiated the ceremony, the bride was escorted down the aisle by her brother to the soft strains of a guitar strumming “Love Me Tender, Love Me True”. The bride and groom repeated traditional church vows (in Spanish, of course) as they pledged their lives to each other. After this, the ceremony was almost at an end, but there was a pause and we awaited the last two elements. Lucas leaned toward his bride anticipating the salute and then leaned back as it the injunction was not uttered. The officiant almost forgot to announce the kiss. He finally remembered and quickly added, “el beso, por favor” (the kiss, please) and then announced the new marriage. In Chile, couples are known as el matrimonio so-and-so with both the groom and bride’s last names given.

     While the bride and groom had photos taken, guests mingled in an anteroom enjoying sweet mocktails and plentiful heur d’oerves. A photo booth was set up with accessories and a large picture frame so guests could take snapshots themselves.

     When the bride and groom were finished with the photo session we entered the dining room and the wedding director announced the entrance of the newlyweds. The reception was filled with much celebration and joy. In order to occupy our time and provide entertainment in the absence of dancing and drink, we were caught up in a series of toasts, games, and karaoke. There were so many thoughtfully planned details throughout the evening and I loved that guests were able to interact with each other and with the bride and groom. The bride and groom practically courted over cups of coffee and they incorporated that tasty item into the reception by naming tables after specialty coffees (I was seated at the Irlandes) and giving prizes of mugs and saucers with their logo on them. The hours flew by and and when I looked at the clock and saw it was 11:30 I was honestly astonished.

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I am so grateful for the opportunity to see my friend married and to experience firsthand a wedding taking place in another country. I have come away with a store of new ideas, some of which you can catch if you follow us on twitter at AYOccasions or on facebook.”

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