If you get married in Haiti and choose to go the route of having it legally done here in Haiti, odds are you will be signing your marriage license at the wedding. Unlike the US where it is done as a leftover thought during the reception. If you have an official presiding, he will bring out this giant book where you sign along with your witnesses- the best man and maid of honor (or parren and marren in Creole). Typically while he reads from the book and asks you questions, before you sign, the bride and groom will be seated.
So you are getting in married in Haiti or marrying a Haitian and want to incorporate some of Haiti into your wedding. Here are some ideas on ways you can do that in any type of ceremony:
- The groom leads his soon-to-be wife to the church, usually with her bridesmaids in town
- The bride and groom are seated facing each other with their best man and maid of honor sitting at their sides.
- The certificate of marriage is signed by the wedding party during the ceremony
- Gifts are given at the wedding receptions and don’t contain cash offerings.
- Have Creole food as the food at the reception.
- The wedding cake is cut at the couple’s home a few days after the wedding, not at the reception
Those are just a few ways you can have a little taste of Haiti at your wedding! Enjoy!
Wedding gifts are appropriate and common at Haitian weddings with one caveat. It is considered poor taste to give money to the couple. Couples receive gifts at their wedding reception as is usual in the US as well. Typical gifts range depending on the size and class of the wedding but varied household and remembrance items are usual.
Other Haitian Traditions:
Food at Haitian Weddings
There are in Haiti, like the US, varying customs throughout the nation in regards to weddings. Class and location play a large part in that. This series is designed to give you an overall look at Haitian weddings in general with the knowledge that each wedding will vary.
Food at a Haitian wedding reception is typically deemed necessary as the reception is a time of community and celebration. A large amount of the budget will be spent on food and drinks with family helping out as needed to cook and prepare.
It is typical Creole fare but food at a wedding is taken up a notch through bringing out a little bit of everything. Typical food that you will see at a wedding is Rice and beans (diri ak pwa) and meats such as chicken, conch, fried pork, and goat. Salads are seen as a special dish typically served for Sunday dinner as well and will be there usually, which are more like the US’s potato salad but with other items like beets too than a traditional salad. And of course, pikliz and plantains will be there.
The amount and number of drinks will be based on how much the budget is and the type of wedding it is but typically you will find that they serve beer and wine and sometimes champagne and whisky. A traditional tea will also sometimes be served.
The below picture is rice and beans (top left), pikliz which is a spicy coleslaw (top right), and grilled lobster (bottom)