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Category Archives: Weddings

Cuban Wedding Traditions: dress, band, songs, food. music…

Weddings in Cuba are events filled with joy, color, and traditions deeply rooted in Cuban culture. Every detail, from the ceremony to the reception, is imbued with symbolism and meaning. Over the years, customs and traditions have evolved, blending native elements with foreign influences, creating a truly Caribbean and unique experience.

One distinctive characteristic of Cuban weddings is the importance of family and community. For Cubans, a wedding is not just a union between two people, but also a celebration that involves the entire family and close friends. From the moment the engagement is announced, preparations begin with enthusiasm and shared joy.

How are weddings celebrated in Cuba?

The Cuban wedding ceremony can take place at civil registry offices or in a local church, where the couple receives a religious blessing. However, it is also very common to celebrate outdoor ceremonies on paradisiacal beaches, air-conditioned hotel halls, or beautiful tropical gardens. Music plays a fundamental role during the ceremony, with romantic songs performed by local musicians or live salsa bands, creating a festive and joyful atmosphere.

Cuban wedding dresses

Dress and suit at Cuban wedding

Attire at Cuban weddings, especially when it comes to bridal gowns, reflects a unique combination of cultural traditions, personal style, and the warm climate of the island. Cuban brides often opt for dresses that highlight their beauty and elegance, taking into account contemporary tastes and international fashion influences.

Bridal gowns in Cuba can vary from classic and romantic styles to modern and avant-garde designs. Many brides choose long dresses with flowing skirts and delicate details. Lightweight fabrics such as silk, lace, and tulle are common due to the warm and tropical climate of the island.

Details and adornments on Cuban bridal gowns are usually subtle yet elegant. They can include intricate lacework, hand embroidery, gemstone or pearl embellishments, adding a touch of sophistication and sparkle to the dress. Some brides also choose to incorporate traditional Cuban details, such as a fan or a tropical flower in their hair, to enhance their style and honor the local culture.

In terms of styles, bridal gowns are usually versatile and adapt to different tastes and body shapes. Brides can choose from fitted silhouettes, princess-cut dresses, mermaid-style dresses, or straight-cut dresses, according to their personal preferences and the theme of the wedding.

The color of the bridal gown in Cuba is generally white, symbolizing the purity and joy of marriage. However, some brides may also opt for soft or ivory-toned dresses that complement their skin tone and enhance their natural beauty.

In addition to the bridal gown, Cuban brides often complement their attire with elegant accessories. This includes jewelry such as necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, which can be subtle or more eye-catching depending on the bride’s personal style.

Hairstyling and makeup also play an important role in the overall look, and brides often choose natural and fresh styles that enhance their beauty.

The groom at Cuban weddings usually wears a formal suit that reflects elegance and style. Dark suits, such as black or navy blue, are popular among Cuban grooms. These suits are usually made of high-quality materials and are paired with dress shirts in white or soft tones. Some grooms choose to incorporate traditional Cuban elements, such as a guayabera or an embroidered linen shirt, to add a touch of authenticity to their attire. They complement their look with ties, bowties, or cravats in colors that harmonize with the wedding theme or colors. The Cuban groom strives to look impeccable and sophisticated on his special day.

As for the guests, attire at Cuban weddings is usually formal and elegant. Men, especially the best man and immediate family members, opt for dark suits such as black, navy blue, or gray, paired with dress shirts and ties. It is also common to see male guests wearing linen suits, which are a cooler option suitable for Cuba’s warm climate. In some cases, tropical touches can be incorporated through vibrant color prints on shirts.

Tradition of cutting the cake at Cuban weddings

Women, on the other hand, wear elegant dresses in a wide range of styles and colors. They can opt for long or short dresses, depending on the formality of the wedding, and choose lightweight and fresh fabrics to be comfortable during the celebration. Floral prints, vibrant colors, and elegant details are common in the guests’ dresses, adding a festive and tropical touch to the event. Despite the economic difficulties in Cuba, both the bride and the guests make an effort to wear appropriate outfits for the occasion, adding style and elegance to Cuban weddings.

Cuban weddings traditions

 

car ride tradition at Cuban weddings

One of the most deeply rooted traditions in Cuban weddings is the “Cortejo de la Novia” (Bride’s Procession). Before the ceremony, the bride travels through the streets in a convertible car, accompanied by her entourage, which includes her family, bridesmaids, and close friends. This procession is a symbol of support and happiness.

It is common to decorate classic or vintage cars with balloons and flowers and honk their horns throughout the city as a sign of jubilation. Passersby often join the parade, congratulating the bride and wishing her the best in her new life. It is part of the tradition that the route and the entire celebration are accompanied by professional wedding photographers and videographers to capture the best moments.

During the ceremony, as in many cultures, it is customary for the officiant or master of ceremonies to say, “You may now kiss the bride,” followed by a romantic kiss and cheers from all the guests. It is then common to throw rice or flowers at the couple as a symbol of prosperity, cut the wedding cake, and invite all the guests to drinks and cocktails.

During the reception, in more budget-friendly Cuban weddings, guests enjoy drinks and a light buffet. In weddings with a more comfortable budget, it is common to have an exquisite meal featuring typical Cuban dishes such as roasted pork, congrí rice (a mixture of rice and black beans), yuca, and fried plantains. Everything is accompanied by cold drinks or beer.

Music and dance are also essential elements of the celebration. The couple chooses rhythms and songs that suit their tastes and those of the guests. Infectious rhythms such as salsa, reggaeton, Cuban son, or fusion music invite everyone to join the dance floor. In recent times, Mexican Mariachi groups have also been seen frequently at Cuban celebrations.

Another interesting tradition in Cuban weddings is the “Casa de los Regalos” (House of Gifts). Instead of receiving gifts at the reception, the couple sets up a specially decorated house to receive guests who wish to give them presents. This house, often located near the wedding venue, becomes a meeting point for friends and family who want to congratulate and express their good wishes to the couple. There is a variation of this tradition where a hat or box is passed around during the party for family or wedding guests to contribute financially to the new couple.

At the beginning of the party, the “dance of the newlyweds” is a tradition borrowed from Spanish culture that has been adopted by Cubans. The couple takes the initiative to dance in the center of the dance floor, creating a moment full of energy and emotion, symbolizing the joy and celebration of their marital union.

Another fun tradition, borrowed from other cultures, is the tossing of the bouquet and garter, adding a touch of fun and friendly competition to the party. Under the direction of the master of ceremonies, the bride prepares to throw her beautiful bouquet of flowers to a group of single women eager to catch it.

Later, the groom blindfolds himself and takes a garter from the bride’s leg, preparing to throw it to the single men who are ready to participate. Both moments become a spectacle full of laughter, enjoyment, and excitement. The master of ceremonies encourages guests to gather around the bride and groom, creating a festive and lively atmosphere. With lively music in the background, a vibrant atmosphere is generated that invites everyone to participate in this tradition. Single guests prepare to catch the bouquet or garter, while others cheer and applaud excitedly.

Tradition of throwing the bouquet at Cuban weddings

When the time comes, the bride throws her bouquet towards the group of single women, who jump and reach out their arms in an attempt to catch it. Excitement and laughter fill the air as they all compete to be the lucky one to catch the bouquet. Similarly, the groom throws the garter towards the single men, who strive to grab it while having fun and enjoying the competition.

The master of ceremonies, with their charisma and contagious energy, keeps the atmosphere lively and enthusiastically directs the activity. Their role is key to ensuring that all guests get involved and enjoy this special tradition. Additionally, they can add a touch of originality by introducing variations in the game, such as additional prizes for those who catch the bouquet or garter. The party ends with drinks, dancing, laughter, and fun.

Cuban weddings are a fusion of traditions rooted in Cuban culture and the influence of other countries. These celebrations reflect the importance of family, community, and shared joy. If you have the opportunity to attend a Cuban wedding, you will not only be amazed by the beauty of the surroundings but also by the warmth and hospitality of its people.

Tags: cuban wedding band, cuban wedding cake, cuban wedding songs, cuban wedding food, cuban wedding music, cuban wedding ceremony traditions, cuban style wedding, cuban marriage culture

 

If you are looking for expert wedding planners in Cuba, follow the links:

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Affordable Wedding Packages

Wedding Packages in Varadero

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Gay marriage in Cuba. Equality marriage

The new law recognizes that same-sex couples can legally marry before the relevant authorities and, in addition, can legally adopt children if they wish.

To celebrate your gay marriage in Cuba we recommend the services of our event organization agency Bodas en Cuba Fiestas. Follow the links and check our wedding packages in Cuba. We have offer packages for hotel weddings, ceremony with party for your wedding celebration on the beaches of Havana or Varadero. Live your unforgettable experience with us!

What documents do I need to celebrate my equal marriage in Cuba?

To carry out the same-sex marriage process in Cuba, you must visit one of the Collective Law Firms in the country, the Wedding Palace or Notaries. The legalization process is simple, if you have the necessary documents.

The first thing is to go to the Center or Notary with the identity cards of both members of the couple. In the case of marriage between Cubans and foreigners, the assistance of one of the spouses can be dispensed with if they have a legalized Special Power of Attorney.

An essential requirement is to go with two witnesses who have their identity documents respectively. If it were the case of divorced people, they must present themselves with a divorce or marriage certificate previously contracted with their divorce notice.

If the marital status of one of the members of the couple is widowed: she must deliver the certificates of widowhood, marriage with widowhood certificate of the spouse and the marriage and death certificate of the spouse. All documents are issued by the Civil Status Registry.

On our website you will find excellent offers to organize your gay wedding in Cuba, according to your tastes and needs. We stand out for the elegance and personalization of the event, your big day can be special and unique.

Legalization of gay marriage in Cuba between Cubans and foreigners?

Yes, marriage between people of the same sex with different nationalities is allowed in Cuba. The documentation required for the process varies.

To get married in Cuba with a foreigner, it is requested in International Legal Consultancies or in the Specialized Services Law Firms. The requirements are:

For the Cuban citizen:

– Present identity card

– Attend with two witnesses with their respective identification documents

-If the person is a minor, they must present the public authorization of their parents granted before a Notary.

– If either of the future spouses is divorced, they must show the divorce certificate or the previous marriage document together with the divorce note, both legal records must be issued by the Civil Registry.

– If the marital status is widowed, you must present the corresponding certifications:

  1. a) certification of widowhood
  2. b) marriage certificate and attach the spouse’s widow’s note
  3. c) marriage and death certificate of the previous spouse

For the foreign citizen:

– Birth certificate

– Passport or identity document with the boarding pass or tourist visa

-Documentation of singleness or sworn statement authorized by a notary, if he is single. You must bear in mind that this document prescribes after 6 months of being issued.

– If you are a woman, you must show a medical certificate specifying in case of pregnancy to determine the paternity of the child that will be born.

– In case of being divorced, you need to present the final decree of divorce

-If the foreign citizen is a minor, he has to present the public authorization of both parents before a notary.

– All documents to be presented abroad must be translated into Spanish, to be legalized in the corresponding consulate of the Republic of Cuba.

Foreign citizens can legalize the documents at the Cuban consulate abroad; these must be presented at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Cuba. We recommend hiring an International Legal Consulting service or a specialized Services Firm.

Frequent questions

If you have any doubts after reading the entire article, here we make a compilation of the most important topics:

What is the process for equal marriage in Cuba?

The future spouses must visit a Notary or International Legal Consultancy, or if they prefer, a Specialized Services Firm.

There they must set the date of the ceremony, always with a term of 72 hours after making the request. On the wedding day, they will present the documentation explained above and two witnesses must be accompanied.

What are the requirements that witnesses must meet?

The requirements to witness a marriage in Cuba are:

– Being over 18 years

– Master the Spanish language

– Not be legally incapacitated

– Not being blind or deaf, special conditions that prevent them from having knowledge about the facts they declare, due to said limitations.

– No witness may have blood ties within the fourth degree or second degree of affinity with the authorizing Notary.

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Marriage in Cuba with a Mexican

In Cuba, a beautiful island in the Caribbean, marriage between Cubans and Mexicans is allowed, and it is possible to formalize the union through the Civil Status Registry and according to the provisions of Cuban law.

The procedure is not usually complicated, but it is essential that you know before getting married in Cuba, what are the requirements, the necessary documentation and notary prices.

Below, you will find all the information you are looking for about the marriage between Cubans and Mexicans.

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Marriage in Cuba with a Spaniard. Requirements to get married

If you are a Spanish or Cuban citizen and you are researching marriage in Cuba with a Spaniard, you must assess the requirements that allow you to formalize the union. Later, if it is of your interest, you can apply for the family reunification visa. The first step to take is the marriage registration and then apply for the visa.

The Cuban spouse must go to Spain and remain in the foreign country in order to be granted the Community Family Residence. For her it is necessary to meet the requirements that we show you in this article.

Documents required to get married in Cuba with Spanish

The documents vary if it is a Cuban or Spanish citizen, so it is best to review each aspect and have all the paperwork before approaching a Specialized Law Firm to carry out the marriage bond.

What must the Spanish spouse present?

– Two birth certificates. One legalized for marriage in Cuba and another for the Spanish consulate.

– Two registration certificates

– Photocopy of ID before a notary

– In case of being single, attest to it and legalize that document in Cuba, in addition to having another certificate for the Spanish consulate.

-If you are divorced you will need: Two marriage certificates with an annotation in the margin of divorce legalized in both countries or Divorce Decree, it is not a requirement that the document is legalized.

It should be noted that in the event that the divorce occurred more than six months ago, the document attesting to the divorce status must be presented to the Spanish consulate.

– If the Spanish citizen is a widower, they require: Two previous marriage certificates, two spouse death certificates and a widowhood document. Everything must be legalized in both countries to get married in Cuba and be valid in Spain.

Documents that the Cuban spouse must present to the Cuban authorities:

– Identity card

– Birth certificate

– Divorce certificate or copy of said notarial deed, if applicable

-For women with less than 300 days of divorce, they must show a medical certificate to attest to their pregnancy status in case she presents it.

-If the person is a widow, she must present a marriage and death certificate of the spouse.

Where can you legalize your Spanish documents?

All documents issued in Spain must be legalized through diplomatic channels. When carrying out said legalization, you must say that they are for Cuba since there are two types of stamps: a single apostille from The Hague and those through diplomatic channels of those who signed the Andrés Bello agreement, the latter being specific for Cuba.

The stamp of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not necessary, this depends on the place of residence. This is related to the jurisdiction of the Cuban consulate in Spain for those who live in the province or in an autonomous community of Madrid, Castilla León, Castilla la Mancha, La Rioja, Navarra and the Basque Country.

In the case of Madrid, the documents can be legalized in:

– Ministry of Justice of the community

– Ministry of Justice of Madrid

– Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Request an appointment.

– Cuban Consulate in Madrid

For the other provinces it is legalized in the following institutions:

– Supreme Court of Justice of the community

– Consulate of Cuba to which your community belongs

How long are these documents valid?

The Birth Certificate is valid for two years, from its date of issue until the marriage takes place.

The Single Certificate is valid for six months, and if the person is single or widowed, they must present all the documents corresponding to each case with a duration of six months as well.

The expiration of the documents in the Spanish consulate is three months just at the moment of their legalization through diplomatic channels.

What are the prices and tariffs of all the documentation to present to get married in Cuba with Spanish?

– By notarial deed of marriage: 13125 CUP

– Writing protocol: 2500 CUP

– Documents made immediately: 1875 CUP

– Stamp stamps: 125 and 500 CUP

Three Marriage Certificates will be delivered in Cuba to accredit this union of spouses before the Cuban authorities and other countries.

Finally, you must remember that this marriage act that occurred in Cuba must be registered at the Spanish Consulate in Cuba or at a Spanish Civil Registry in order for it to be accepted by the Spanish authorities and to give visa approval for family reorganization

 

If you want to hold your ceremony and wedding party in Cuba, we recommend our organizers to bring glamor and elegance to your event. We can take care of all the elements of planning and organization.

Check our Wedding Packages. Click the links:

Wedding packages in the Hotel Nacional of Cuba

Wedding packages at Tarará Beach

Varadero beach wedding packages

All-inclusive beach wedding packages

Wedding Packages with Honeymoon Accommodation

 

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Marriage in Cuba requirements

Marriage is the union of two people who decide to live a life together. The wedding day is usually a special moment with family and friends, but for some it can be stressful not knowing the exact documents, procedures and prices of this type of wedding.

When making the decision to contract a civil marriage in Cuba, you must take into account the legal process to formalize the union in accordance with the rules established in the Cuban Civil Status Registry Law.

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Places to get married in Cuba

Getting married is one of the most important decisions one makes in life, so taking the time to carefully plan the details of this moment is not too bad. They say that a good start is already a good sign for marriage, so we recommend some places to get married in Cuba that will make your wedding a beautiful and unforgettable moment.

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How much does getting married in Cuba cost? How much does a wedding cost in Cuba?

If you ask yourself: how much does a wedding in Cuba cost; we can tell you that this is a relative value that depends on factors such as family budget, fantasies or sumptuousness. If you have decided to marry on our island, you should know the importance of the bureaucratic procedures and legal particularities involved in this decision and its associated costs. Follow the link and check on our website all the offers of Wedding Packages. We highly recommend these excellent Beach Wedding Packages.

Marriage can be contracted on the Island by Cubans residing in Cuba and foreigners residing outside of Cuba; foreigners and Cubans residing in other countries who will travel to Cuba for the wedding, and Cubans residing abroad with Cubans residing in the national territory.

 

Foreigners must present:

  • Certification of birth.
  • If single, the certificate of singleness, faith of life and state or sworn statement authorized by the registrar of civil status or Notary Public. It is valid for 6 months from the date of issue.
  • If you are widowed: marriage certificate and death certificate of the deceased spouse.
  • When divorced: literal sentence of divorce.
  • Passport and permit to stay in Cuban territory.

If the documentation was not made in Spanish language, it needs to be translated and later legalized in the Cuban consulate in your country.

 

Cubans residing abroad must present (even when another citizenship has been acquired):

  • Passport and permission to stay in Cuban territory.
  • Cuban Birth Certificate.
  • If divorced: certification of a final divorce sentence or copy of the notarial deed. If the document is in a foreign language, it must be translated into Spanish and legalized in the corresponding Cuban Consulate.
  • If you are a woman and you have less than 300 days of divorce, counted from the extinction of the previous marriage, you must present the “medical certificate” that proves whether or not you are in gestation.
  • If you are widowed: marriage certificate and death certificate of the ex-spouse, if the documents are foreign, they must be translated into Spanish and legalized in the corresponding Cuban Consulate.

 

Cubans living in our country must present:

  • Identity card.
  • Cuban Birth Certificate.
  • If divorced: certification of a final divorce sentence or copy of a notarial deed.
  • The woman who has less than 300 days of divorce, counted from the extinction of the previous marriage, must present a medical certificate that proves whether or not she is in gestation.
  • Widowers: marriage certificate and death certificate of the ex-spouse.
  • If you are a minor, you must present the authorization of both parents.

In the case of foreigners and Cubans residing abroad, the interested parties must present themselves with the entire documentation ready, at one of the offices of the “Consultoría Jurídica Internacional, S.A.” (CJI), where “Special Notaries” are located. These are located in the capitals of all Cuban provinces.

How much does it cost to get married? Notary Fees

The notarial fees that you should know are: the instruction of the marriage file, formalization and delivery of two marriage certificates, the protocolization of the birth, single or death certificates provided for the formalization of the act, immediacy for the cases that are requested, and stamp stamps.

The place where the wedding takes place can be from a local authorized in the notarial headquarters to a hotel, lounge, restaurant, home … In the second case, the additional payment for the transfer of the notary away from the headquarters will be added.

Here is a summary:

Costs for natural persons with permanent residence in Cuba

  • Stamp as a tax levied on notarial public documents: 5.00 CUP (Cuban pesos).
  • Formalization of marriage between Cuban citizens in the Notarial Unit: 75.00 CUP (Cuban pesos).
  • Formalization of marriage between Cuban citizens outside the Notarial Public: 300.00 CUP (Cuban pesos).

 

embajadores de la marca BCF

Costs for natural persons with permanent residence outside of Cuba, and foreign persons not permanent residents in the national territory

  • Stamp. Tax on notarial public documents: 125 CUP (Cuban pesos).
  • Formalization of marriages between Cuban citizens and foreigners within the Notary Public: 13125 CUP (Cuban pesos).
  • Formalization of the marriage between Cuban citizens and foreigners outside the notarial headquarters: During business hours: 2500 CUP (Cuban pesos). Outside working hours: 3750 CUP (Cuban pesos). With Immediacy (24 hours): 1875 CUP (Cuban pesos).
  • Formalization of marriages between foreign citizens: 7500 CUP (Cuban pesos).
  • Formalization of marriages between foreigners as part of tourist offers: 10,000 CUP (Cuban pesos).
  • Protocolization of documents to contract marriage (certifications of singleness, birth or death provided to formalize the act): 2500 CUP (Cuban pesos, each).

The ceremony is another of the key aspects when talking about marriage. This is not very different in Cuba with respect to other countries. In our agency we can offer you several wedding packages for all economies: Cheap wedding packages, with Honeymoon, in houses for parties, in hotels, ect.

In our agency we can organize your wedding party in places like the Hotel Nacional, the Club Habana, the Divina Pastora or the Castillo de Los Tres Reyes del Morro; or if you prefer, a beautiful beach or farm, with select menus and a first-rate buffet. You can order open bar, disco, DJ, photography and video service, honeymoon accommodation, vintage cars or any fantasy.

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