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Breathtaking waterfalls, beautiful beaches, astounding rainforests and passionate people are some of the features that make Brazil one of the most beautiful countries in the world and the perfect destination for your dream wedding.

Picture sharing your wedding vows with the man or woman you have pledged your heart to against a backdrop of cascading waterfalls. Why not add some color and vibrancy to this image by spending your first few days as husband and wife at the most popular carnival in the world? Come and take a journey that will captivate all of your senses as you partake in the beauty and culture of the fifth largest country in the world, Brazil.

Fact File Highlights
Weather & Climate Culture & Etiquette
Food & Drink Money & Wedding Costs
Legal Requirements States

Fact File

  • Size: 8,515,767 km²
  • Population: Approximately 198.7 million
  • Capital City: Brasília
  • Currency: Brazilian Real (BRL)
  • Languages Spoken: Portuguese
  • Main Religion: Christianity (primary denomination being Roman Catholic)
  • Major Holidays and Festivals:
    • New Year’s Day - 1 January
    • Carnival - February / March (occurs seven Sundays before Easter so varies every year)
    • Easter - March/April (varies every year)
    • Tiradentes Day - 21 April
    • Labor Day - 1 May
    • Corpus Christi - May / June
    • Independence Day - 7 September
    • Our Lady Aparecida / Children’s Day - 12 October
    • All Soul’s Day - 2 November
    • Republic Proclamation Day - 15 November
    • Christmas Eve - 24 December
    • Christmas Day - 25 December
    • New Year’s Eve - 31 December

Highlights

The Brazilian tradition of proposal and marriage is slightly different from what is customary worldwide. Most Brazilians don't have elaborate wedding proposals but, as a couple they will decide if they are ready to get married and, if so, will go and purchase their wedding rings (alianças) together. After purchasing the rings, they go and tell their families and place the rings on their wedding fingers to show their commitment to each other.

Traditional Brazilian weddings occur in a church and the bridal party usually only wears whatever formal attire they can afford instead of wearing matching tuxedos or dresses.

Nevertheless, being the hopeless romantic you are, you're going to want to experience more of what the huge country of Brazil has to offer. With its beautiful gardens, landscape and ocean views, Brazil has a wide range of options for those wishing to get married. Some of the more popular options are listed below:

Hotel Caesar Park Ipanema

Overlooking the beautiful IPanema beach, this resort offers guests one of the best wedding venues in one of Brazil’s largest states, Rio de Janeiro. Hotel Caesar Park also offers the newlyweds with the perfect place for a romantic honeymoon. Visit their website at http://www.sofitel.com/gb/hotel-8941-caesar-park-rio-de-janeiro-ipanema-managed-by-sofitel/index.shtml for more information.

Iberostar Bahía

Featuring beautiful beaches and highlights of nature, the Iberostar Resort located in Bahía is an excellent wedding and honeymoon destination. Picture joining hands as you say your vows with a breathtaking view of the ocean…such a magical experience. Visit their website at http://www.iberostar.com/en/hotels/salvador-de-bahia/iberostar-bahia for more information.

Catedral Metropolitana

If you desire a religious wedding fit for a queen, why not have your wedding at the grand Catedral Metropolitana located in the nation’s capital, Brasília? A portrait of beauty and tranquility in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Brazilian life, this Cathedral grants brides the opportunity to have a wedding similar to that of Kate Middleton and Prince William. For more information about the cathedral you can visit http://catedral.org.br/  (ensure that you translate the page from Portuguese to your native language) and you can speak with a Brazilian wedding planner for more information about planning a wedding there.

When thinking of a vacation in Brazil, many people often think about dressing in skimpy beach wear and basking in the glory of the sun while lounging on a beach. However, if you've ever watched Rio or Fast Five you will see that Brazil has much more to offer than just beautiful beaches and gorgeous sunshine. The vibrancy of Brazil’s culture and beauty of its landscape will compel any visitor to get up off the beach and explore. Below are some of the sites that you should visit while in Brazil.

Iguaçu Falls

Listed as one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the majestic Iguaçu Falls is one of Brazil’s most beautiful attractions. It's found at the border of Brazil and Argentina, contains over two hundred and fifty (250) waterfalls and is surrounded by two national parks. Legend has it that the falls were created because of the jealousy of a god whose fiancée ran off with another man. In his anger, he sliced the river on which she was travelling thus creating the beautiful waterfalls the Brazilians have come to enjoy. Not only is there immense beauty in the falls, but the forests of the national parks contain some of the most exotic and beautiful wildlife and animals. Iguaçu Falls is a definite must see when you're in Brazil.

Amazon River

A trip to Brazil would be incomplete without a visit to one of the most well-known rainforests in the world - the Amazon. Brazil has sixty percent of the Amazon rainforest and the Amazon River is the second longest river in the world.  A tour of the amazon mainly consists of a boat ride up the Amazon River to view the three thousand known species of fish that inhabit its waters.

Rio Carnival

Caribbean carnivals pale in comparison to the grand spectacle of the Brazilian Rio carnival. If you enjoy the thrill of a vibrant party atmosphere that showcases the depth of Brazilian culture, then the Rio carnival is the best place for you. It is a four day festival that attracts millions of people. One of the must see features of the Rio Carnival is the Samba Parade which features a variety of elaborate floats and is broadcasted live for millions of viewers worldwide. The date for carnival changes annually so be sure to check so that you can plan your wedding around it. Visit https://carnivalservice.com/rio-carnival/dates for upcoming carnival dates and http://www.rio.com/rio-carnival for more information about the carnival.

Statue of Christ the Redeemer

The story is told of a wealthy Catholic man who, many centuries ago, decided that he would erect a special monument to God wherever he became rich and, as luck would have it, he became rich in Brazil. This led to the construction of the Statue of Christ the Redeemer located at an altitude of 710 meters on the Corcovado mountain of Rio. It is an amazing spectacle and a definite must see when you are in Brazil. Visit http://www.corcovado.com.br/ingles/index.html for more information.

Weather and Climate

In Brazil, summer is from December to March while winter is from June to September. It's therefore no surprise that the peak tourist season is from December to March and most of the activities, such as carnival, occur in these months. Consequently, if you're planning a budget friendly wedding in Brazil, it may be better for you to set the date for April, May, October or November.

Brazil is so huge it has five different climate zones: the equatorial zone, the tropical zone, the semi-arid zone, the highland tropical zone and the subtropical zone. The semi-arid zone has the warmest climate due to a lower propensity to rainfall. The subtropical zone is the coolest of the five zones and can become particularly cold during winter but not cold enough to produce snow.

Culture and Etiquette

The Brazilian population is primarily made up of a mixture of Portuguese, African, Japanese, Italian, German and indigenous Brazilian people which gives the country a diverse and alluring culture.

Common courtesies are very important to Brazilians, so saying “Good morning”, “Good afternoon” or “Good evening” is very important. Physical contact amongst friends and strangers is also common amongst Brazilians.  If a woman is married, she will greet another woman by kissing her twice on the cheek but if she is still single, she will greet her by kissing her three times on the cheek. Men greet each other with a firm shake of the hand while maintaining eye contact.

Appearance is also very important to Brazilians and Brazilian women are always found in the sexiest outfits and well-manicured nails.

Food and Drink

Brazil is a melting pot of cultures originating from its deep roots in the many Africans and Europeans who inhabited the land during the slave trade of the 1800s. This rich diversity has resulted in a wide variety of tasty dishes, including:

Comida mineira: This is a dish originating from the Minas Gerais region that features pork, a variety of vegetables and a thick bean sauce.

Acarajé: Popular amongst the locals of the state of Bahia, acarajé is a deep fried black eyed peas and shrimp fritter filled with different types of fillings.

Bolinhos de Arroz: This small appetizer is the locals’ method for creatively using left over rice. They are fried rice fritters seasoned with onions and parsley.

Vatapá: Unique to the state of Bahia, vatapá is a wonderfully delicious stew made from bread, coconut milk, peanuts or cashew nuts, and dried shrimp.

Moqueca de peixe: This is a Bahian fish stew consisting of fish, coconut milk and palm oil. It is generally served with rice, fried plantains, and farofa (roasted manioc flour).
Comida baiana: This is a cooking style unique to the Salvador coast that features seafood, hot peppers, palm oil, coconut milk and cilantro.

Escondidinho: Unique to the northeastern Brazilian coast, this dish features mashed cassava, cheese, and well-seasoned dried meat.

When dining at restaurants, the service charge is usually included in the bill. If it’s not, then you’re expected to tip your waiter or waitress 10% of the overall cost of the bill unless the service was particularly bad. Additionally, if your waitress or waiter had been extremely hospitable it is customary to give him or her an additional tip.

Another very unique and interesting feature of Brazilian cuisine is the fact that Brazil has its own national drink - the Caipirinha cocktail. It’s made from lime, sugar, and a local Brazilian rum called cachaça. This tasty beverage would be a great addition to your wedding, although it's stronger than the taste would suggest and is better taken in small doses.

Money and Wedding Costs

The Real is the official Brazilian currency and most wedding suppliers will expect to be paid in the local currency.  Most hotels and larger restaurants will accept debit and credit cards and ATMs are common in larger towns and cities. Smaller shops and restaurants will usually only accept cash however, and ATMs can be hard to find in smaller towns and villages.  You can often negotiate a discount when paying in cash.

Pickpockets are common in Brazil’s largest towns and cities, so it’s best not to carry too much cash around with you, just take with you what you need for the day.

The cost of a Brazilian wedding varies greatly depending on the venue and number of guests you invite.  It’s possible to plan a wedding for a little as US$9,500 but can cost up to around US$127,000 if you go all out.

Legal Requirements for Marrying in Brazil

Warning The following notes are not comprehensive and are intended as a guide only. Before planning your wedding in Brazil we strongly advise you to contact the Brazilian embassy in your home country or your country's embassy in Brazil to obtain up-to-date legal requirements.

The legal requirements to get married in Brazil are a little complicated. The first step in the process is to provide original copies of your birth certificates, proof of residence in your home country, and proof of the fact that you’re both single to the Brazilian Consulate in your home country. You’ll then have to register your intent to marry at least a month before your wedding date at the Civil Registry Office for the region in which you want to marry.  You’ll also need to present original copies of your passport and declaration of civil status as well as the stamped copy of your birth certificate from the Brazilian Consulate. If you’ve been previously married or are a widow or widower then you must also provide proof of these claims. This registration process can take between 20 and 60 days.

After the registration process has completed, the Registry Office will place your intent for marriage in the local papers as well as on its walls for fifteen days. When these fifteen days have elapsed, you’re free to get married. It must also be noted that religious ceremonies are not recognized as legally binding. Instead, civil ceremonies are accepted as legally binding proof of marriage. So, essentially, if you’d like a religious wedding you’ll have to have two ceremonies: a civil ceremony at the Registry Office and the elaborate and romantic ceremony you’ve always dreamed of at the venue of your choice.

States of Brazil

Brazil is divided into five main regions and twenty-seven states, with each state having its own aesthetic appeal. The five regions and their corresponding states are shown below:

  • North - Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima, Tocantins
  • North-East - Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Maranhão, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte, Sergipe
  • Central-West - Goiás, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Distrito Federal
  • South-East - Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo
  • South - Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina

Find out more about the States of Brazil or browse our Brazilian Wedding Directory to start planning your dream wedding.