In the old days, when a young man wanted to marry a young woman, it was customary for him to send his best friend to ask the father if he would consider the young man for his daughter. If the father answered in the affirmative, the young man would then go and ask the father for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Today the young man might ask a father for his daughter’s hand in marriage as a sign of respect, not because the father’s approval is a requirement.
In the ancient traditions, it was customary for the bride to wear a white Chinese tunic embroidered with colorful jewels and the groom would wear a dark suit with a white shirt and a top hat. Today the young women of Portugal prefer the western bride’s white dress and the groom prefers the modern tuxedo.
According to the old traditions, the newlyweds would exit the church and be showered with flowers and candles in much the same way rice and bird seed are thrown today in other cultures. The couple would stroll through the streets to be congratulated by the town’s people, even people they did not know. After this public display, the couple would enjoy quiet time together sipping tea and eating small wedding cakes. It was traditional for the wife to be buried in her wedding dress when she died.
The Roman Catholic wedding ceremony’s Order of Service includes the entrance
rite, the greeting, singing of “Glory to God in the highest,” the opening prayer, Liturgy of the Word, the first reading, the responsorial psalm, the second reading, the Gospel Acclamation, the Gospel of the Lord, the homily, the Rite of Marriage, Statement of Intentions, Consent and Exchange of Vows, blessing and exchange of rings, Profession of Faith, prayer of the faithful, Liturgy of the Eucharist, Eucharistic Prayer, Sanctus “Holy, Holy,” memorial acclamation, great amen, communion rite, The Lord’s Prayer, nuptial blessing, sign of peace, Communion, concluding rite, blessing, and recessional. This ceremony is usually about an hour in length.
Today a young couple would prefer a traditional Roman Catholic wedding ceremony followed by a reception with guests, good seafood, wine, dancing, and much toasting to the newlyweds. It is customary for friends, family, and neighbors to help with the wedding planning and celebration. There is the traditional money dance in which the bride is paid for a dance and then her shoe is passed around to collect money for the honeymoon or the couple’s new first home together. Traditional wedding gifts include cash, dinnerware, cookware, and embroidered fine lines.
The Avenue Banquet Hall has hosted many Portuguese weddings. Our executive head chef was trained in Europe and can prepare authentic Portuguese foods. Our Boulevard Room was designed to hold up to 120 guests and our larger banquet room can hold 350 guests. These rooms are completely separate.