An Anglo-Brazilian Wedding (Take 2) in Canela, Brazil

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The setting for this Big Fat Brazilian Wedding, was Canela in the deep South of Brazil, the land of the gauchos and Bavarian style architecture, a town situated in the green, lush hills of the “Serra Gaucha”. See my earlier post about this little picturesque, Southern town named after a Cinnamon tree.

The bride is my niece Caroline, who like me was born and brought up in this quiet and quaint little town. The groom Benjamin, British, born and brought up in the Isle Of Wight (IOW), just off the coast of Hampshire in the South of England. They were already married in a civil ceremony in the IOW in early May 2014 which I covered in my earlier post,  Take 1.

The big day was at the tail end of the Brazilian winter in early September 2014, and we were hoping for good weather. Unfortunately we woke up to grey skies, rain and a drop in the temperature. In Brazil weddings are usually in the evening, with most brides booking the church ceremony between 6 pm and 8 pm. After the church ceremony the wedding party have a meal followed by a disco and dance until the early hours of the morning after. Caroline like most brides started planing her wedding more than a year before the big day, it was at times difficult for her, since she has been living in the UK and the wedding was to take place in another country, therefore it was crucial that her family in Brazil were able to help out.  Angelita (Caroline’s aunty) played an important part since she knows so many people in the leisure industry who helped it all come together at the end.

The Big Day – 06 of September 2014

The bride spent the day of the wedding with her mother and sister getting ready, and drinking champagne to steady those last minute nerves at a private salon in Canela.

Bride with her mother, sister and sister-in-law having the VIP treatment

Bride with her mother, sister and sister-in-law having the VIP treatment

She had her very own team of hairdressers and make up artist, who even accompanied her to the church for any last minute touch ups. The delights of getting married in a small town where there is an opportunity for a very personal service.

Bride's beauty team

Bride’s beauty team

Pearls always look so elegant

Pearls always look so elegant

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The Bride's mother, Luciana

The Bride’s mother, Luciana

Across town the groom had spent the morning with his family and also my son James, doing some exhilarating white water rafting. I guess it is different for boys, since there is less hair and make up to worry about. But later on in the afternoon Ben went over to the “Grand Hotel”, where his parents and the rest of the British party were getting ready. They were all staying at same hotel where the wedding meal and party was going to take place, after the religious ceremony in the church.

Groom getting some help from his cousin James

Groom getting some help from his cousin James, who flew over from Australia for the wedding

Groom getting ready at his parents hotel

Groom giving his father a hand to do up his tie (or was he practising his jiu jitsu?)

7 pm – By now we were are all gathering inside the church hall,  it was raining and so my father managed to drive us right by the church door and we ran inside, while he had to go and park the car, poor thing. The church looked beautiful. Lucia, who is a friend of my sister Angelita, was hired to decorate the church and the wedding venue where Caroline wanted a white and green theme.

Inside the church was decorated in white and green

Inside the church was decorated in white and green. A few guests were already waiting

In Brazil, the Bride does not have Bridesmaids and the Groom does not have a Best Man, instead there are “Padrinhos” and “Madrinhas”. Usually there are four couples on the Bride’s side and four couples in the Groom’s side, and they stand at the side of the altar and act as witnesses and guardians of the Bride and Groom. We had spent few hours on the previous day learning about when and how to enter the church and where we should be positioned at the altar. Caroline hired a wedding planner ( another friend of my sister Angelita), who together with her assistant was in charge of getting us all coordinated in our respective places.

There was a live singer, singing songs at specific times in the ceremony. I was a little worried about how this arrangement would work, since it is a large church and I wondered what the acoustics would be like. Also the musician could not speak much English, although she had been having English lessons with Angelita for some time, and I knew she was very nervous about singing in English in front of an English speaking audience. Gosh, how wrong I was. Her voice was AMAZING, she sang all the specially chosen and beautiful English songs impeccably and added a very personal touch to the religious ceremony.

The musician was fabulous

The singer was fabulous!

7:15 pm  – The Groom was the first to walk up the isle to the altar, accompanied by his mother Vanessa. The Groom’s father, David, followed accompanied by the Bride’s mother, Luciana.

Groom enter the church with his mother

Groom entering the church with his mother Vanessa

David, groom's father with Luciana, bride's mother

David, the Groom’s father with Luciana, the Bride’s mother

The Groom is now nervously wanting by the altar, but before the arrival of the Bride it is the turn of all the “Padrinhos”and “Madrinhas” to walk into the church; four couples on Caroline’s side and four couples on the Groom’s side. We take turns to enter the church, walk up the isle and position ourselves up by the altar. Brian and I were the first pair of “Padrinhos” to start the procession, and the assistant of the wedding co-ordinator sent Brian and I off at the wrong time…Oops, we should have waited a little bit longer for the “Padrinhos” song to start, I think that confused the musician a little bit, but it all worked out OK in the end.

Brian and I are the first Padrinhos to walk to the altar, it reminds us of 26 years earlier, when we were Bride and Groom here.

Brian and I walking up the isle, remembering 26 years earlier when we took these same steps as Bride and Groom.

Bride's sister Aline with her partner Marcelo

Bride’s sister Aline with her partner Marcelo followed us

Bride's brother Bruno with his partner Carole

Bride’s brother Bruno with his partner Carole

Bride's brother Mauricio with a friend, Nina

Bride’s brother Mauricio with Nina

My sister Angelita with her fiancée Juliano

My sister Angelita with her fiancée Juliano

Caroline's cousin Bruna with her husband

Caroline’s cousin Bruna with her husband Vinicius

My son James and my daughter Chloe are next

My son James and my daughter Chloe are next

Ben's maternal uncle Gavin with his partner Beth

Last couple to walk to the altar were Ben’s maternal uncle Gavin with his partner Becky

All the “Madrinhas” wore a green dress, in different shades of green and different styles, and the “Padrinhos” all wore green ties. Once we were all in place by the altar we eagerly waited for the arrival of the Bride. Meanwhile the flower girl Kalinka, who is the Bride’s nine year old sister, was busy looking after little Joao Pedro, the ring bearer and the two year old son of Aline and Marcelo. Joao Pedro was getting a little fractious, since he could see his mother up in the altar but he was not allowed to go and be with her. Kalinka was doing a good job of distracting him until finally the Bride arrives, fashionably late of course.

Bride arrives fashionably late with her entourage of hair and make up

Bride arrives fashionably late with her entourage of hair and make up

Before the Bride makes her grand entrance, Kalinka and Joao Pedro walk the red carpet carrying the rings and Joao Pedro surprises us all by doing his bit for the big day perfectly, perhaps he could see his mum, Aline, up at the altar and was happy to finally be allowed to walk towards her…

Kalinka with a well behaved Joao Pedro carrying the rings

Kalinka with a well behaved Joao Pedro carrying the rings

As the Bride arrives and is ready to have her moment, the bell’s in the tower start chiming, a beautiful melody. The twelve bronze bell’s gifted to this church by Caroline’s Great Grandfather, today welcoming her for her very special day. I noticed my father had tears rolling down his cheeks, no doubt feeling very proud of his beautiful grand daughter, the first of his grand children to get married here in our family church. I also had tears in my eyes as I remember twenty six years ago, when Caroline then aged four together with her sister Aline aged six, carried the rings at my wedding to Brian.

My proud brother Joao Remy, looked very nervous and emotional as he stands by her side, ready to give her away.

Father and daughter moment

Father and daughter moment

She looked stunning

Caroline looked stunning as she walks towards her Groom

Beautiful Bride

Beautiful Bride

Bride's father very emotional

Bride’s father gets very emotional as he gives her away to her Groom

The Priest welcomes the happy couple and explains that the ceremony will be mostly in English, with a little Portuguese thrown in, since more important than the guests understanding what is going on, is for the Bride and Groom to know and understand what they are saying “I do” to.

The Priest spoke very good English

The Priest spoke very good English

A traditional Brazilian wedding

A traditional Brazilian wedding in English

Exchanging the rings

Exchanging the rings

The Groom can kiss the Bride

The Groom can kiss the Bride

Padrinho and Madrinha signing as witnesses

Padrinho and Madrinha signing as witnesses

After the ceremony we all gathered outside, where luckily the rain had stopped. It is traditional to throw rice at the newly weds in Brazil, but since it was an Anglo-Brazilian wedding we had a mixture of rice and confetti to throw.

Confetti and rice

Confetti and rice

Now off to the Grand Hotel for the party. The Groom and Bride had a Vintage car waiting to whisk them away.

Off to the party now

Off to the party now

Wedding Party at the Grand Hotel

The dinner party took place at a lovely hotel by a lake, the Grand Hotel, just 5 minutes by car from the Church. It was beautifully decorated with a green and white theme, and each table was named after a place in Europe or Brazil that has been part of their life together as a couple. A year earlier they did an inter-railing trip in Europe and visited some of their bucket list cities, therefore some of the tables were named after one of the places they visited. As guests arrived at the dinning room there was a sitting arrangement map at the door. Brian and I were seated with my father and partner, my sister Angelita and her fiancée Juliano and my brother Joao Remy and his wife Janea at the Venice table.

Our table was "Venice"

Our table was “Venice”

 

Caroline and Ben decided against a top table and they were seated with Caroline’s brothers Bruno and Mauricio, Caroline’s sister Aline and their respective partners at the table named “Canela”. The Priest popped over for a while to chat with the newly-weds..

The Priest also come over to the party for a little while

The Priest also come over to the party for a little while

The food was delicious and after the meal, only the Groom was allowed to make a speech, in fact in Brazil speeches are not expected. Aline who speaks fluent English was on hand to translate for the Brazilian’s.

Only the Groom was allowed to make a speech

Only the Groom made a speech

A lovely tradition in Brazil is to put money in the Bride’s shoes. Usually one of the Madrinhas, in this case it was my sister Angelita, will take  the Bride’s shoe around the room and everyone then makes a contribution towards their honeymoon.

Money inside the Bride's shoe is a Brazilian tradition

Money inside the Bride’s shoe is a Brazilian tradition

The British shared a table together, I shall not mention what they kept under that table....

The British shared a table together, I shall not mention what they kept under that table….

Caroline enjoying her guests

Caroline enjoying time with her guests

Caroline with her paternal aunties, me and my sister Angelita, unfortunately our other sister Virginia was unable to make it

Caroline with her paternal aunties, me and my sister Angelita, unfortunately our other sister Virginia who lives in London was unable to make it

Bride and Groom started the dancing

Bride and Groom started the dancing

The DJ, a friend of Angelita, had the difficult task of choosing songs that would appeal to the different cultures and also the different generations.

Bride's mother dancing with her partner

Bride’s mother dancing with her partner

Party favours were given out to all the guests to dress up

Party favours were given out to all the guests to dress up, Angelita enjoying a boogie with her fiancée

Chloe in the middle with Mauricio and his girl friend Suellen

Chloe in the middle with Mauricio and his girlfriend Suellen

Bride dancing with her father

Bride dancing with her father

Groom dancing with Bride's step mother Janea

Groom dancing with Bride’s step mother Janea

Vanessa (Groom mother) and Luciana (Brides mother) did not let language get in the way of having fun together

Vanessa (Groom’s mother) and Luciana (Bride’s mother) did not let language get in the way of having fun together

Brazilians love to party, but the British kicked our butts and they were last to leave

Brazilians love to party, but the British kicked our butts as they were last to leave the party

Bride with some of her old school friends

Bride with some of her old school friends

Little Joao Pedro loved to party with his parents Aline and Marcelo

Little Joao Pedro loved to party with his parents Aline and Marcelo

Caroline hugging her maternal grandfather, just few days before the wedding Caroline's maternal grandmother had passed away

Caroline hugging her maternal grandfather. Just few days before the wedding Caroline’s maternal grandmother had passed away adding a sad note to this otherwise very happy family occasion

Caroline with her half sister Kalinka and her cousin Chloe

Caroline with her sister Kalinka and her cousin Chloe

Bride throwing her bouquet

Bride throwing her bouquet, it was quite a fight, many of the youngsters decided not to get involved and just watched and laughed from the sidelines.

Her old school friend got the bouquet

Her school friend, Ana got the bouquet

Carol and Ben with my father and his partner Lelia

Carol and Ben with my father Remy ,Carol’s Grandfather and his partner Lelia

Bride and Groom with all their Padrinhos e Madrinhas

Bride and Groom with all their Padrinhos e Madrinhas

Caroline's parents united for a family photo

Caroline’s parents united for a family photo, they have been divorced for many years but remained good friends

With her father, step mother and half sister

With Caroline’s father Joao Remy, step mother Janea and sister Kalinka

With Benjamin's parents David and Vanessa

With Benjamin’s parents David and Vanessa

With Chloe and James

With Chloe and James

With her University friend Victoria, they finished their law degree last year

With Caroline’s University friend Victoria, they finished their law degree last year and Ben’s cousin James who lives in Australia

With Victoria and her boyfriend Simon

With Victoria and her boyfriend Simon

With Caroline's brothers Bruno and Mauricio, sister Aline and half sister Kalinka

With Caroline’s brothers Bruno and Mauricio and sisters Aline and Kalinka

Mr and Mrs

Mr and Mrs

Canela has again been the setting of an International wedding, and our family church once again the perfect venue to bring together our families in celebrating such a special occasion.

Canela, a town named after a Cinnamon tree

Canela, a town named after a Cinnamon tree

Bride and Groom left Canela 2 days later, bound for the North East of Brazil where they spent many happy days enjoying their honeymoon in the warm sunshine and beautiful beaches of Recife and Porto de Galinhas.

Many of the pictures in this post were taken by the photographers of Zimmermann Photo Studio, which were hired by Caroline to document this very special day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Comments on “An Anglo-Brazilian Wedding (Take 2) in Canela, Brazil

  1. Querida sister! Este casamento realmente entrou pra historia.. foi muito legal participar e principalmente ajudar a minha querida sobrinha a fazer uma bela festa. Foi um dia muito especial na vida de todos nós. Obrigada por ter me prestigiado em varios comentarios seus. Amei!

  2. Querida Gilda! Adorei o post, muito lindo e é emocionante lembrarmos de um dia tão especial como esse. Como disse a Angelita: “entrou pra história”! Beijos

    • Obrigada Aline, foi mesmo uma ocasiao muito especial, ver a Lola tao feliz foi bom demais. Obrigada querida por comentar no meu blog.

  3. Lindo este blog. Gilda, conseguiste capturar bem as nossas tradicoes e a energia do event. fiquei ainda mais triste por nao ter podido divider com a Carol este dia maravilhoso mas sei que ela sabe que eu estava la em pensamento.
    Estou adorando ler tuas aventuras querida, que muitas mais venham por ai.

    • Sister obrigada, sentimos tua falta e voce estava presente no nosso pensamento e coracao. Obrigada querida pelo teu apoio, espero mesmo que tenhamos muitas aventuras pela frente.

  4. What a lovely blog!! Fairy tale wedding and beautifully written…. You captured it all….

    • Thank you so much Val, it was such a lovely family occasion, Caroline looked stunningly beautiful and they were both so happy. It is nice to have an opportunity to dress up a little.

  5. What a beautiful wedding; I love the colour-scheme and outfits. It looks like you had an amazing party afterwards too 🙂

    • Hi Amy, it was a lovely family get together and we partied until the early hours of the next day, Ben’s family were the last to leave. Caroline looked so beautiful. Thanks for your comment:)

    • Thank you Patti, she looked so beautiful. It was so nice to have such a happy family event, l value our times together as a family since they are such a rare event. I hope you are now well settled back at home after your 13 weeks away:)

  6. Beautiful bride! I love her dress with the train and the long veil is so pretty. It looks as if it was a wonderful happy event. Congratulations to all!

  7. Pingback: Brazil | Traveller Interrupted

    • Thank you Jayne, it was such a lovely day, the wedding was last year in September and the newly weds are just about to became parents. Time just flies bye.

I would love to hear from you, leave a reply.

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