Wedding Bells Part One: Sierra Edition

Bride, Groom, Cake, Dancing, Family and Friends. All over the world marriages are celebrated everyday, and Peru is no different! During my six months in site I have been invited to two weddings; one in a big city on the coast and the other in the small sierra town where I live.

The first wedding was last September during the weekend of our town fiesta! Allie’s host parents decided to get married, 17 years and two kids later. In Peru (and especially small towns) it is common to just skip the marriage step, and go straight to living together and kids. Wedding can be expensive for young people and there are no financial advantages in small towns.

I think they were getting married so their kids could get baptized, because the wedding was in the morning and that same afternoon both of their kids had baptisms. Talk about a day full of major events!

baptism cake in Cajamarca Peru

The wedding ceremony was held in their living room and conducted by an official from the municipality. It was a small group of family and friends, with the madrina and padrino standing beside the bride and groom. Instead of a whole wedding party, in Peru it is common to just have a maid of honor and best man.

sierra wedding in Peru wedding in Peace Corps Peru

The official gave an… interesting speech. Phrases included “You need to look at each others phones because dishonesty is the cause of divorce.” To the groom he said, “your wife is always right, unless you catch her cheating… then it’s time for a divorce.” The word divorce was mentioned seven times during the fifteen-minute speech. Allie and I kept exchanging confused glances, but like everything else you just kind of go with it.

After the short ceremony we ate a big meal and then the dancing began. Drinking circles between the men and dancing of all sorts started in the living room and continued into the wee hours of the morning. I was a champ and made it until 5am, terribly dancing my way through the night.

dancing at Peruvian wedding dancing in Peru Peace Corps Peru Volunteer Blog

It was great to celebrate with some of our Peruvian family and I appreciated how laid back the whole event was. Asi es la vida en la sierra! Check out Part 2 (coming soon) to see the difference between a sierra and coastal wedding.

Sneak Peek into Part 2!
Sneak Peek into Part 2!