I've been to 2 different weddings the past 2 weekends here in Brazil. I thought they were pretty interesting, so I wanted to give you a "peek" into some Brazilian culture.
The 1st wedding was for Renato's cousin. It was fairly big and traditional. The ceremony was held in a Catholic church. The only main difference I saw was that they have a different way of having attendants. They pick married couples generally to stand up for them and as many as they want. At this wedding there were probably 10 couples. The couples stand together and actually face the congregation and the couple, up towards the front. And they don't have matching dresses or suits. They just wear any style/color formal dress they want, as well as with the suits. So it's quite colorful.
The reception was in a big hall across town. They served bite sized cheeses and meats, sandwiches, along with grilling some yummy beef and chicken. It was nice and all were having a good time. Renato's family is very large so I even got to meet a few aunts and cousins I hadn't met yet. Camden had fun chasing other cousins around and getting lost in the big crowd. (there was a guard at the door so I knew he couldn't get out of the building, so we just let him run free!)
The second wedding was much different. It was for Renato's friend. He lived with Renato a while in Denver many years ago. The wedding was in downtown Sao Paulo, the 3rd biggest city in the world, that is about 1 and 1/2 hours from us. This time Camden stayed with Grandma and Grandpa. The wedding was late in the evening and weddings always start late here in Brazil, so I knew there was no way Camden would make it. (We didn't make it home until 1:30 am!)
I also had a hunch that this wedding would be on the fancy side and thought we needed to dress up a bit more for this one. Boy am I glad we did! When we walked into the hotel where it was at and saw the people and how they were dressed, I still felt a little under dressed. The price of a room at this hotel was $20,000 (reis not dollars) a night. Yikes! This was a small wedding of about 70 people or so. Renato had some friends there, so it was nice to catch up with them too.
This was the 1st wedding I had ever been to that had nothing at all to do with any religion whatsoever. It was just done by a justice of the peace. They still had the couples stand up for them, maybe 6 couples this time. But it was sad because there was nothing touching about the wedding at all. They just all signed the certificate (all the attendants too) and then they exchanged the rings. No vows, no music, just totally dry. It only took about 15 minutes total....and that's stretching it.
Then it was hor d'ourves and open bar time, which lasted about an hour. But the exciting part was, it was all very fancy with waiters walking around with the "snacks" and drinks. And I got to try caviar(sp?) for the very first time. It was good, just tasted salty. After about an hour they escorted us into the formal dinner, which was very yummy. They had music and dancing. They also had complimentary cigars for your enjoyment. (Thank goodness we left just as some were starting to "enjoy" them.) This was definitely the fanciest wedding I had ever been to.
So two weekends, two very different weddings. It was fun to see a little bit of how culture can differ here in Brazil. And I'm totally bummed I didn't bring my camera to either wedding!