Relationships, Marriage, & Family Life in Venezuela
WARNING: Violence is common in Venezeula,
please read this travel warning before
Dating in Venezuela is fairly liberal, but generally speaking
the man is expected to do all the work and the woman is expected to play hard to
get. Most people meet each other on the streets, in restaurants, bars, etc. In other
words the people are social and are not afraid to meet new people and go on a date.
Once that initial conversation is done the man is expected to call and text the
woman countless times until she finally calls him back. From here dating tends to
be casual, until people are ready to settle down and find the right person, which
generally happens in the mid-20s for the Venezuelans, but can be younger or older.
Prior to marriage the future groom is expected to ask his girlfriend's father
for permission to marry her. If granted the couple will have two ceremonies, first
the legal or civil ceremony, which officially marries the couple; this is often
small and only attended by close family, after which there is usually a small celebration.
The second marriage is the church wedding and this is the one that holds much more
cultural significance in the eyes of the Venezuelans. One important part of the
ceremony is the coin exchange, during which the families of the bride and groom
will exchange coins to symbolize prosperity and a great future. After the church
ceremony there is generally a large celebration with family and friends; the celebration
can go through the night and it is considered good luck for the wedding couple to
sneak out of the party without saying goodbye.