Caribbean Wedding Traditions

By: Marita & Philomena, High Society Creations

Growing up in Toronto as first generation Canadians of immigrant families from Trinidad and Guyana, we the ladies of HSC were raised to know the cultures of our parents’ homelands.

With Toronto being one of the most multicultural cities in the world, we always had access to familiar foods, drinks and music. As a testament to Toronto’s many diverse neighbourhoods, it wouldn’t be uncommon to bump into an old friend or school mate while grabbing said food and drink. In all honesty, we couldn’t possibly picture life without the cultural knowledge, celebrations, and yummy cuisine we grew up on and love so much.

One of the questions we ask our soon to be married couples with deep rooted cultural backgrounds is “how can we highlight YOU on your special day”? Whether it be a traditional prayer, dance, outfit change or a special dish, guests will love the interconnected experience. Likewise, the happy couple will be able to look back in awe at how things came together, resulting in memories to last a lifetime.

Below are some Caribbean wedding traditions that highlight food, religion and let’s not forget, good vibes!


Trinidadian weddings can be experienced in 3 different ways based on 3 different religions:

Hindu: Three days of celebrations starting on Friday with a Mehndi party that usually has a lounge vibe with colourful pillows. Saturday the couple prepares and eats foods such as roti and other cuisines with close family and friends. Finally, on Sunday it’s the day that everyone has been preparing for: the Wedding!

#Inspo Mehndi party decor

Muslim: The central event is the Nikah ceremony. Couples are married by an Imam [worship leader of a mosque]. Grooms are also known to give their brides a ‘Mahr’ which is a marriage gift that provides financial security to the bride during and after the marriage. Please note, this is not to be confused with a ‘Dowry’ that is given to the family instead of the bride.

Christian: As seen in most Western societies, couples are married by a priest in a church. However, some opt for nuptials outdoors or at another unique location that represents their style and interests.

*Pictured: Trinidadian Soca Singer Machel Montano and his bride at their traditional Christian Wedding ceremony on Valentine’s Day 2020.

It’s also common to have two cakes at a Trinidadian wedding. One for the bride and one for the groom. The cakes are traditionally known as black cake – which is a dense textured cake with a rich deep black colour. They consist of rum and wine-soaked fruits which is grounded and combined into the cake batter. The cakes are then iced and decorated to the couple’s liking.

*Pictured: Black cake in its original form

*Pictured: A Trinidadian bride and groom cake

{Day of coordination, High Society Creations, October 2018}


Guyana has six different ethnic groups with weddings that are celebrated in different ways. Like Trinidad, Guyana also has large Hindu, Muslim and Christian communities. The wedding ceremonies of the different religious faiths are done in similar fashion, with some differences mentioned below.

Hindu: Hindu Guyanese weddings include a variety of events like the ‘Maticore’ or ‘Dig Dutty’ as it is popularly called in Guyana. The Maticore is a ritual done for the bride and groom two days before the wedding. The ritual is done separately at their respective homes.

Muslim: In Guyana, the groom typically travels to the bride’s residence to perform the ‘Nikah’.

Christian: Christian weddings in Guyana are very similar to Christian weddings around the world.

Something very unique to Guyana is an Afro-Guyanese celebration known as the ‘Kwe Kwe’ or ‘Queh Queh’. This celebration occurs the night before the wedding. Rooted in African origin, Kwe Kwe is a rehearsal dinner and bridal party all rolled into one. The bride is hidden away, and the groom sets out on a pursuit to find his soon to be wife, all while the beating of drums guides him on his search. Kwe Kwe celebrates the uniting of families and the building of a marriage. There is lots of food, family, music, and dancing alongside traditional folk songs.

*Pictured: Roti. A famous Guyanese dish served at different functions such as ‘Kwe Kwe’. Roti can be served alone or alongside a curry dish or choka.

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