Latin Food & Music in Weddings

Latin couple surrounded by colorful decor
September 15, 2021

Latin food and music transcend time through generations of celebration. They're what bring Latin communities together and highlight the beautiful and rich cultures all across Latin America. From delicious flavors to the beating heart of a drum––food and music play a special role in weddings! To kick off Latin Heritage Month, learn about different types of Latin food and music and their importance in weddings.



Latin Food

Importance

Latin food reflects the social diversity in Latin America’s history. It has a mixture of influence and roots from Indigenous, Spanish, and African flavors. Every vibrant culture in Latin America has its own flavors and dishes that are integral to the community. As a communal culture, sharing food is the pinnacle of all gatherings. Food is a way of life–– it’s not just something you eat, but something that you savor. Food tells the story of the Latin spirit and conveys the importance of family and friends.  

Popular Dishes 

Start with tapas like elote and flautas, then move onto the main entrees. The following mouthwatering dishes are classic staples from Mexico all the way to the tip of Argentina. 

  • Arroz con Pollo: Origins in Cuba. Delicious rice and chicken made moist and flavorful with ají, garlic, oregano, cumin, tomato, and lime juice. 
  • Paella Valenciana: Origins in Valencia, Spain. Made with chicken and a myriad of seafood, rice, spices, and herbs.
  • Ceviche: Origins in Peru. Traditionally made with shrimp and Peru’s signature leche de tigre. 
  • Tamales: Origins in Mexcio. Traditionally made of corn masa filled with shredded chicken, beef, or pork, served with frijoles charros. 
  • Lechona: Origins in Colombia. Lechona is a roasted pig stuffed with herbs, peas, rice, onions, and spices, accompanied by arepas or potatoes. 
  • Feijoada: Origins in Brazil. A rich and hearty stew with cuts of pork and black beans. 

Get a taste of more traditional Latin food from Amor Latino Unveiled.

Different types of Latin food
Photo courtesy of Nikk Nguyen Photo & Tali Photography


Popular Desserts

  • Arroz con Leche: Rice pudding made with cinnamon and raisins, or coffee and nutmeg. 
  • Flan: A rich toasted caramel top with a fluffy milk-based egg custard base.
  • Sweet Empanadas: Filled with fruit jams like guava, pineapple, and coconut.
  • Biscochos or Mexican Wedding Cookies: Small cookies of different shapes topped with powdered sugar.
  • Natilla Cubana: A thick and creamy custard sprinkled with cinnamon.
  • Buñelos: Fried dough balls with different types of fillings like apples and bananas, topped off with with caramel or sugar.
  • Dulce de Leche or Cajeta: A caramel-like sauce made with sweetened milk or goat milk. It can be paired with ice cream, cookies, cake, etc. 

Check out 26 Of The Best Desserts From Latin American Countries and be prepared to fall in love! 

Cake and latin desserts
Photo courtesy of XO & Fetti Photography


Popular Drinks

  • Tequila
  • Rum
  • Whisky
  • Beer
  • Sangria
  • Agua Fresca
  • Coca Cola
Couple looking at each other holding Coca Cola bottles
Photo courtesy of Abigail Marie Creative


Latin Music 

Importance

Like food, music is interwoven into Latin identity and community. Song and dance date back to the use of instruments like bones and shells used for religious rituals, ceremonies of rites of passage, and celebrations of harvest. At the turn of the 16th-century Spanish was introduced and is still widespread in modern Latin music. It’s important to note that not all Latin America speaks Spanish, it is the dominant language due to Spanish colonization, but there are other native languages used. Due to the region’s diverse history, Latin music is a blend of genres and sounds. This is what makes it contagious, and what creates that unique atmosphere full of energy, fun, passion, and romance. It has a way of always getting everyone on the dance floor, swaying late into the night. 

Popular Genres

  • Salsa: Origins in Cuba and Puerto Rico 
  • Tango: Origins in Buenos Aires, influences from Spain
  • Mariachi: Origins in Mexico
  • Norteño: Origins in Mexico
  • Samba: Origins in Brazil, influences from Africa
  • Bossa Nova: Origins in Brazil
  • Cumbia: Origins in Colombia
  • Ranchera: Origins in Mexico
  • Merengue: Origins in the Dominican Republic, influences from Afro-Cuba and French Minuet 
  • Latin pop: Modern mixes with influences from America
  • Bachata: Origins in the Dominican Republic 
  • Rock en Español: Influences from American and British rock bands
  • Reggaeton: Origins in Puerto Rico, influences from Jamaica/ Caribbean/ Africa

These genres have now been popularized all across Latin America! Learn more about these genres in the History of Latin Music Genres.

Mariachi, dancers, and bands playing music
Photo courtesy of Tali Photography


Popular Songs 

Romantic Slow Songs

Up-Beat Dance Songs

Check out more of these Romantic Spanish Slow Songs and 30 Latin Dance Songs for inspiration!




Hero photo courtesy of Casey McDaniel Photography

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About the Author

Aisle Planner Editorial Team
Aisle Planner Editorial Team
The Aisle Planner Editorial Team is a collective of creative writers, editors, and former event pros who obsess over weddings and special events—and the businesses behind them! Drawn to the details of their design and extravagant charm of their creativity, our team provides intelligent and straightforward articles with insights, practical tips, and expert guidance in putting Aisle Planner's "Power of One" behind your business. ...