guadeloupe wedding tradition

Wedding Tradition Guadeloupe

Wedding in Guadeloupe is a joyful and festive occasion, which is deeply rooted in the history and culture of this Caribbean island. Wedding traditions in Guadeloupe reflect the influence of various cultures, including African, European and Creole. In this article, we will explore the different traditional stages of Guadeloupean marriage, the role of the family, customs and symbols, music and dance, traditional outfits, religious and secular ceremonies, games and entertainment, the exchange of wedding rings, gifts and tokens of love, as well as current trends in weddings in Guadeloupe.

History of marriage in Guadeloupe

Marriage in Guadeloupe has a long history dating back to the days of French colonization. At the time, marriage was often arranged by the parents and families of the future spouses. Weddings were also an opportunity to strengthen alliances between families and preserve cultural traditions. Over time, weddings in Guadeloupe have evolved to become more personal and reflect the individual choices of couples.

The traditional stages of marriage

The Guadeloupean wedding follows a number of traditional steps. First, there is the engagement, during which families come together to discuss marriage arrangements. Then there is the actual wedding ceremony, which can be religious or secular. After the ceremony, there is a reception with food, dancing and music. Finally, there is a honeymoon period where the couple goes on a trip to celebrate their union.

The role of family in Guadeloupean marriage

The family plays a central role in Guadeloupean marriage. Parents and family elders are often involved in marriage decisions, including the choice of partner. Extended family is also very important, as they are often involved in planning the ceremony and reception. The family also provides emotional and financial support to the newlyweds.

Wedding customs and symbols in Guadeloupe

There are many customs and symbols associated with marriage in Guadeloupe. For example, the “bougé” is a traditional ritual where parents bless and greet the bride and groom with words of encouragement and wisdom. Another important symbol is the "kanmawad", a flower crown worn by the bride to symbolize her beauty and purity. The bride and groom also wear gold wedding rings, which symbolize their mutual commitment.

Culinary traditions linked to marriage

Cuisine plays an essential role in Guadeloupean weddings. Traditional dishes such as chicken colombo, Creole boudin and coconut blancmange are often served at wedding receptions. Additionally, the wedding cake is usually a multi-tiered cake, decorated with flowers and ribbons.

Music and dance at Guadeloupean weddings

Music and dance are at the heart of the wedding celebration in Guadeloupe. Zouk, a genre of music and dance originating from Guadeloupe, is often performed at weddings. Couples and their guests dance together all night long, creating a joyful and festive atmosphere.

Traditional wedding outfits

Brides in Guadeloupe often wear a white dress, just like in traditional Western weddings. However, it is also common for brides to wear a "madras dress", a colorful dress made from a fabric traditionally used in Guadeloupe. The bride and groom usually wear an elegant suit.

Religious and secular ceremonies

Weddings in Guadeloupe can be celebrated as both a religious and secular ceremony. Couples have the choice between a Catholic, Protestant or civil ceremony. Religious ceremonies are often followed by a mass and secular ceremonies are personalized according to the wishes of the bride and groom.

Games and entertainment during the wedding

During Guadeloupean weddings, it is common to organize games and entertainment to entertain the guests. For example, there may be traditional dances where guests are invited to participate. Games such as "shoot to the side" can also be organized, where guests are divided into teams to compete in a friendly manner.

The importance of exchanging alliances

The exchange of rings is a key moment during Guadeloupean weddings. This symbolic act represents the mutual commitment of the bride and groom. Wedding rings are often blessed by a priest or officiant during the ceremony and are then worn by the bride and groom as a sign of their union.

In conclusion, the wedding in Guadeloupe is a celebration rich in traditions and symbols. Guadeloupean weddings are a mix of African, European and Creole customs, reflecting the history and culture of the island. Despite the evolution of modern weddings, many traditions and customs are still respected and cherished by Guadeloupean couples. These traditions make a wedding in Guadeloupe a unique and memorable experience for everyone who participates.