A Brazilian Wedding Reception

Treats at a Brazilian Wedding Reception Gorgeous strawberry dessert served at a Brazilian wedding reception. Photo by Petra Mafalda. Used under commercial license.


We now arrive at our final post in our Brazilian wedding series. A Brazilian wedding reception begins and ends with bem casado - a well-married couple celebrating their nuptials with friends and families.


Bem Casado - Really a Tasty Treat

While the sentiment of bem casado permeates the entire Brazilian wedding reception, every guest receives an actual dessert treat called bem casado as they leave the reception.

This represents one of many traditional customs carried out throughout the night. It almost goes without saying that a Brazilian wedding reception includes feasting, dancing, and making merry.

In between the dancing and feasting, a few rituals take place. For one thing, the best man might take the groom's neck tie and cut it up into pieces. He then proceeds to auction these special nuptial tokens to the highest bidders. He collects the money and safeguards it for the couple to use on their honeymoon.

Concurrently, a member of the bride's party carries a tray with a pair of golden shoes. She goes table by table, encouraging guests to fill the shoes with cash for the honeymoon. At one time, it may have been customary for the golden shoe to sit on the dance floor. However, it does not happen this way any longer.


The Brazilian Wedding Reception

To help the guests find their assigned tables, labels with the names of Brazilian cities rest on each table. As the guests find their seats, the bride walks around the tables with a basket full of lembrancinhas (small remembrances/souvenirs).

Throughout the course of the meal, members of the family and the wedding party make speeches. A drink called caiprinha, made from sugar cane, lime, and sugar, is served along with myriad tasty cakes and treats.

Meanwhile, the couple exchanges gifts with their parents. Before the wedding day, the bride and groom pick out presents for their parents. In like manner, their parents also bestow them with gifts during the reception.

Following dinner, the drinking and dancing begins. The most important way for a guest to shower the newlyweds with affection is to have a grand time at their reception.

The dancing at the "ceremonial," as the Brazilian wedding reception is called, begins with the couple's first dance. This is typically a Waltz.

During more elaborate receptions, the festivities may be led by a group of professional entertainers. These singers, musicians, and dancers enliven the party with Brazilian samba, often loosening up the mood and filling the room with true Brazilian flare.


The Bride & Groom Depart

Shortly before the bride and groom depart to begin their honeymoon, the bride may sit down with her closest single friends. These friends might take markers and write their names on the inside hem of her wedding dress. This tradition bestows good luck for love and happiness to her friends.

She might also line up all the single ladies and throw her bouquet. Finally, the bride and groom leave the party. Upon arriving at their hotel room, the groom lifts his bride and carries her over the threshold, taking care to place his right foot into the room first.