Jamaican WeddingsPublished Apr 3, 1999
Weddings are considered grand family occasions. In the rural parishes the entire community helps with the wedding preparations. The older women giving last minute instructions to the young bride is a very common way of life.
In rural communities a large booth made of coconut leaves and bamboo is built and decorated with flowers. The table is decorated with a white table cloth with the cake being in the centre of the table. Next to the bride the wedding cake is the centre of interest. In the olden days people would not bring gifts but bid to uncover the cake with money. The cake was normally covered by a net. This money would be given to the couple as a financial start.
The wedding reception would be a time of feasting on curried goat, roast pork, goat head soup (manish water), rice, boiled green bananas, wine, rum punch, fruit punch and aerated water. It was customary at times to see the dinner table decorated with a roasted pig head and a large hard dough bread made in the shape of a duck or a chicken. The loaves of bread were placed on each corner of the table. The evening normally ends with dancing to the music of the local band in the district. The traditional entertainment at a wedding is a sound system with a local disk jockey.