Que os noivos são muito felizes! Boda Portuguesa.
Rob has a strong advantage over me in Portuguese weddings. Being raised in Hillside alongside a plethora of Portuguese friends and spending most of his young adult life at the Elizabeth Portuguese Sports Club’s parties, he understands Portuguese perfectly. I can when spoken to very slowly and thankfully we have on staff Portuguese speakers and offer Portuguese M.C.’s.
Over the years we have both worked alongside some wonderful Portuguese bands as well as provided our DJ services for many a Portuguese wedding, baptism celebration or party. Our collection of fado, bate o pé and danças folclóricas is large and has classic songs as well as modern Portuguese music.
Beyond the music, Portuguese events are about the food! Portuguese weddings are traditionally slightly different then typical receptions. The cocktail hour goes for upwards of 2 hours. A small display is available upon entrance with a barrel of wine and a collection of tapas.
When the majority of the guests arrive the cocktail buffet is opened. These pictures are taken at Iberia Banquet Hall in Newark NJ. A large volume of food is prepared, plated, and served largely seafood including oysters and lobster as well as Rissois de Camarao (shrimp turnovers), Camarão ao Alho (shrimp in garlic sauce), Picadinho, Pasteis de bacalhau (codfish cakes) etc. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. And all this food is JUST cocktail hour. I cannot tell you how many times I needed to tell people who had never been to a Portuguese wedding reception before that this was in fact NOT a buffet dinner.
It’s common for every table to have a bottle of water, Vinho Verde and Vinho Alvarinho for guests to indulge in throughout the night. First course is notoriously the famous caldo verde (kale soup) and is followed by either a surf and turf entrée or 2 separate entrée courses (first fish then meat.) And upon cutting of the wedding cake the dessert tables open – just as large as the initial cocktail.
It goes without saying that in Portuguese weddings you should come with a big appetite. At one wedding we were at they actually served a rodizio with a continuous flow of barbequed meats. In the past the receptions typically did not have a firm schedule and lasted long into the night but I’m seeing less and less of that lately though they still occur on occasion. You have to dance off all that food after all.