Wedding favors have grown in popularity all over the world in recent decades as a way of thanking guests for sharing in the special day. They can have just about any theme imaginable, and come in every price range. Cuban weddings are lively occasions
Cuban weddings are huge celebrations, with great lively music and great food. A roast pig is usually the centerpiece of the wedding repast, and often the “money dance” is part of the celebration. In this tradition, each man who dances with the new bride must pin money to her dress, to help the couple with their honeymoon expenses. This tradition may have been borrowed from European traditions where the bride would have a money pouch to collect money paid to dance with her. In other countries, an accordion player would play at the entrance to the ceremony and you had to pay the musician to enter.
The Cuban lifestyle lends itself to narrative, and music and dancing are part of it, particularly during wedding celebrations. In Cuban weddings guests bring gifts that are displayed on a large table. The couple also often gives a small gift or wedding favor to each guest as a way of thanking them for participating in the festivities. In some Latin American traditions, gifts are presented to guests who line up for them. These gifts are made from ribbons and feathers and have the name of the couple printed on them along with the wedding date.
But there are countless variations on Cuban wedding favors. Perhaps the most uniquely Cuban gift would be hand-rolled cigars. (For Cuban weddings in America, they can’t be real Cuban cigars unless they were made before the 1960 trade embargo, so beware.)
Here are a few other Cuban wedding favors:
- Miniature Cuban guiro. These are the Latin percussion instruments that come with a stick that is dragged along the surface of the guiro to make Latin sounding rhythms.
- Cuban bongos. Another fun percussion instrument.
- Miniature Cuban sugar sacks. Made of cloth in the designs of sugar sacks of the early 1900s.
- Little maracas. They can be designed with the Cuban flag on them, or personalized with the couple’s name.
- Silk fans. With or without handles, they can be personalized with the name of the bride and groom and the wedding date.
- Personalized small glass candy jars with colorful candy inside.
- Small bottles of gourmet pepper sauce.
- Sets of personalized playing cards or dominoes.
- Mini photo albums.
- Personalized cupcake boxes with a cupcake inside.
- Scented tin travel candles.
Cuban wedding favors, whether in a wedding in Cuba or in Cuban-American regions like southern Florida reflect the joy and celebration that Cuban traditions embody. They can be as simple or elaborate as the bride and groom want, and are a way to thank guests for being a part of the wedding celebration.