Jamaican weddings, like other Caribbean weddings, are full of traditional customs that set them apart from typical Western-style weddings. Many Jamaican couples choose to incorporate many or all of these traditions into their wedding ceremonies as a way to celebrate their culture with their family and friends on such a special day. Of course, you don’t have to be Jamaican to celebrate the way they do on the “Rock.” At Eden Catering we love helping couples incorporate their own traditions into their events, which is why we’re sharing some basic information on Jamaican wedding traditions.
If there is one word that can be used to describe a Jamaican wedding it’s “community.” Jamaican weddings are full of family, friends, neighbors, and even casual acquaintances. It’s no surprise to see a large number of guests at a Jamaican wedding. In fact, community plays an important role in Jamaican wedding customs. Before a bride is walked down the aisle, she is traditionally paraded before her guests to seek their approval. Many of her guests will also be involved in helping build the structure in which she will be married in.
Because brides are aiming to gain approval from all the guests at her wedding, you can expect that looking her best is on the top of a Jamaican bride’s list. While there are no specific traditions that dictate how she must be dressed, most Jamaican brides will choose a dress with a long train and veil. The veil is important since it is preferred that the first person to see her face on her wedding day be her husband, when he unveils her at the altar. Many Jamaican brides will also opt for lace on their wedding dress, often incorporating some of the lace from their mother’s wedding dress into theirs.
You’d be hard-pressed to find any Caribbean wedding that doesn’t involve lots of food! Jamaicans love to cook, eat, and share food with their guests. Some foods you can typically expect to find at a Jamaican wedding celebration are curried goat and rice. Jamaica is also known for its local rum varieties, so you can expect to find lots of rum, as well as a special rum punch. It’s no surprise that everyone wants to be in attendance to celebrate the marriage!
Another very important tradition in a Jamaican wedding is the cake. The cake isn’t just something you eat after dinner. In Jamaica, the cake is often a part of the wedding procession! What makes this cake so special is how much involvement there is to it. Grandmothers and mothers help prepare the cake for the wedding day from the day that the engagement is announced. They soak fruits in rum to bake into a rich pound cake, known as Black Cake, for the big day. The cake is so much a part of the wedding that it is tradition for a couple to send pieces to those who couldn’t make it to celebrate!
If you’re interested in incorporating some of these Jamaican wedding traditions into your own upcoming event, we’d love to help! At Eden Catering we have experience helping brides from all over the world plan the wedding of their dreams. We can help with everything from providing you with an excellent venue (great for large parties!) to catering traditional dishes. If you have any questions or would like to find out more about how we can help you plan a fantastic Jamaican wedding, give us a call today!