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The spiritual side of Andean Wedding ceremonies in Peru

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Photo credit: Marco Nishiyama

After so many years organizing destination weddings in Peru I thought this was the exact time to write about Peruvian ancestral weddings ceremonies, due to the high requests and all the questions I receive every day on this topic.

Andean marriages are spiritual unions between two people who love each other as a traditional wedding ceremony, but there is something more, a spiritual value added: the connection that these two people create with nature, I would rather say with the nature’s energies. The idea is to unify the couple with the “Pachamama”. This  is a Quechua word which means Mother Earth. For those of you who are wondering what Quechua is here more information; however, I can briefly say that it is the indigenous language spoken in the Peruvian Andean region, which is still used today and to me is extremely charming and fascinating.

Pachamama is a powerful goddess of the Andean religion extremely worshiped by indigenous communities in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile and Argentina. Quoting villagers from Peruvian Andes: ‘Pachamama gives us life, she nourishes us throughout our existence on this earth and when we die, we go back to our Pachamama from where we will rise again.’ All this comes from the ancient Andean beliefs that there is reciprocity between the material world and the spiritual world. But let’s go back to Andean wedding ceremony…

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Photo credits: Marco Nishiyama

The ceremony is performed by an Andean priest, called shaman, with the help of all the Pachamama energies and the union they are celebrating is not a common conjugal union between two people who love each other but it is much more important and it has a strong spiritual value. There are two essential components in an Andean wedding ceremony: the Pachamama, which represents the feminine side in the ceremony and the Apus, which represents the masculine side. The Apus is the great protector spirit coming from the mountains and it is the closets living ancestor to the Incas.

The couple during the ritual will give thanks to the Pachamama and will ask for blessings to the Apus, such as their intentions to follow the right path in their life, especially now that they have built a spiritual union. Usually the ceremony is accompanied by Andean music that contributes to create a mystical atmosphere and you will feel merged in the nature, feeling the energies of all the natural elements, such as water, air, fire and earth. So your compromise will not only be with the love of your life, but also with all the natural elements of the Andes. This union cannot be broken by human beings since it was performed before deities and Pachamama is its main witness.

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Photo Credit: Marco Nishiyama

The person in charge of the ceremony is the shaman. Before the ceremony you should undertake a cleansing ritual with incense and flowers to clean up your souls and get ready for this spiritual union. The wedding ceremony starts with the ritual of cocoa leaves reading. Cocoa leaves are sacred in the Andean culture and they symbolize the ancestral tradition of the Inca Empire as well as its vigorous resistance to the colonial domination. Then the shaman will start talking about life, the importance of the union and how man and woman come together to become one element.

Bride and groom should bring as a symbol of their union the following:

  • men need to bring a lliclla (shawl) for his wife, which symbolize protection and express that he will always be with her;
  • women need to bring one pair of sandals for her husband, symbolizing strength. Wherever he goes, his wife will always be with him. He will be the support of their family.
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Photo Credit: Marco Nishiyama

Then with a chumpi (Belt), calling the Apus and the elements of nature to witness this union, the shaman will unify the couple. This symbolize that man and woman should walk together thought the life path and respect each other before the Tayta Inti, which is the God father, the universe and the Pachamama.

During the wedding ceremony you can also have an offering to Pachamama, a special ritual performed by an Andean shaman where you express your gratitude to the Mother Earth. The aim of this ceremony is to find the right balance between you and the nature’s energies. In this way the Pachamam might protect your sacred union just sealed.

To strengthen the union you can also choose to have a special toast of honor called T’Inkay, which is a toast with an Andean beverage, offered to the sacred mountain to also protect the union from that moment on.

So, if you are looking into a very special way to strengthen your union this is an awesome option. For more information just drop me a comment and I will be happy to help you. We can work together to make your wedding day very special for you and your loved one.

In Venues/ Wedding Trends

Peru destination weddings in the Sacred Valley of the Incas

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There are many reasons to choose Peru as a wedding destination. Many couples look for a wedding in Peru as a way to have a unique and memorable wedding experience with their loved ones, other as a way to have a princess-like wedding at a lower price. A Peru wedding allows them to travel somewhere exotic and fabulous, where they can also enjoy an unforgettable vacation, visiting awesome archeological sites, tasting delicious food and new fresh and genuine ingredients and discovering a new fascinating culture.

The country offers a wide variety of destinations for authentic and sophisticated wedding, from Lima, the big and vibrant capital city on the Pacific Coast, to Cusco, the wonderful town in the Andean with a deep history, the Sacred Valley, with its luxury hotels and resorts and the stunning landscapes, and Paracas, with its beautiful flora and fauna and its peaceful beaches. All destinations are extremely charming, but if you are looking for an authentic venue for your wedding celebration and luxurious accommodation for you and your guests Sacred Valley would certainly be your best option.

In the past the Sacred Valley was simply a transition area on the way to Machu Picchu for many tourists. The valley, which stretches between Cusco and the historic ruins of Machu Picchu, has become home for luxury and sophisticated hotels and resorts with modern spas and facilities in the last years. All these hotels and resorts located in the middle of the valley, are perfect venues for wedding ceremonies and receptions, and they can accommodate your guests, who will enjoy the perfect location, since they are very close to Machu Picchu, the beautiful views and the special energy of the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

project : 2people1life Lisa_Marie_Gant_and_Alex_Pelling a couple in love and taking time out to find the perfect place to get married. How? By having a wedding ceremony in each country they visit... facebook : www.facebook.com/2people1life/info

A romatic gateway is hidden from the rest of the Valley’s Hotel and it is located beside the Vilcanota River, set in an 18th century colonial hacienda, 1 hour away from the city of Cuzco and 30 minutes from Ollantaytambo train station. It is one of the most romantic properties in the Urubamba valley; it has 115 air-conditioned rooms and a 25,000 square-foot spa, which is the most impressive in the entire Cusco region. It features a collection of historically-inspired rooms coupled with modern elements and a minimalist design. Among its facilities we can mention the 4 restaurants on the grounds, the small art gallery, the glass-covered orchid pyramid, the cinema, a small library, a restored chapel and a business centre. The St. Peter and St. Paul temple maintains the seventeenth century architectural style, with a modern colonial touch and it features painting of the Cusco School and gold.leaf platings and amazing decorations.

RSG_Peru_Wedding-0317 baja blogA beautiful garden setting venue located down the hills of the valley, which confers more privacy to its guests and contributes to create a cozy atmosphere. It is set next to the Urubamba River, 15-minute walk from Urubamba main square.  It is one of the finest boutique hotel in Urubamba with its three options of Villas, Deluxe rooms and Junior Suites, with their beautiful outdoor terraces and the stunning view of the river, and it serves as ideal setting for a magical and spiritual wedding ceremony. The tranquil and quiet gardens are extremely immaculate and you can find alpacas walking around in the peaceful environment. They feature a wide variety of Peruvian flora and fauna as well as stunning landscapes, especially at sunset and dawn. The immaculate gardens and grounds contribute to create the perfect atmosphere for you and your loved ones. This property is ideal for outdoor ceremony and reception.

DMT_0378In the Urubamba valley with a panoramic view of the Andes, only a short drive from Urubamba town we find a a luxurious and romantic chalet-style retreat. This is a beautiful outdoor venue with a breathtaking view of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. It is ideal for your wedding ceremony and reception, especially if you are looking for a property with an extensive green area and beautiful design interiors in a remote and quiet location. The decorations are mainly rustic with traditional Andean details. The venue is perfect for traditional Andean ceremonies in a rustic atmosphere, nestled between the mountainous peaks and the sound of the river. You will have the wedding of your dreams in a mystical, intimate and magic setting and you and your guests will enjoy the peace and the energy of the Sacred Valley.

sonesta yucay fountainAnother option, actually one of the most peaceful places of the valley is a beautiful rustic chalet where you can have a real countryside experience in a bucolic ambience. You can breathe the atmosphere of a real Peruvian village. The elegant venue is surrounded by lush and landscaped gardens, very well-maintained, with a wide range of Peruvian flora and found. You can find wonderful and colorful flowers, fruit trees and alpacas rooming around the property. If you opt for this venue you can have an unforgettable outdoor wedding reception for you and your wedding guests and you can also use the charming rustic Chapel, which is part of the property. It is the ideal venue for a country style wedding with an intimate religious ceremony and a peaceful outdoor rustic reception.

Destinations weddings in Peru are becoming more and more popular; the country offers high quality facilities and services for religious ceremonies, civil ceremonies, Andean traditional ceremonies, vows exchanges and wedding-related events.

If you are planning to get married in Peru we can take care of every little detail of your  destination wedding in Peru, for more information visit our website, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.