• Kelley Jorgensen

Andean Wedding Traditions

Updated: Apr 12, 2019

Peru is a country that has it all. Deep history, breathtaking landscapes, vibrant and friendly people, and the food is just out of this world. They have coast, highlands, and jungle to please any type of traveler.

Most Peruvians are Catholic so naturally, weddings are mostly held in churches. You can, however observe a traditionally spiritual and romantic ceremony honoring the ancestors.


In a traditional Andean wedding you can observe a small and private ceremony between just the bride, the groom, local musicians, and a priest. This shamanic ceremony is preformed in the hopes that the marriage will be more fortunate. There's singing, and dancing, and music all preformed in the ancient Incan language, Quechua. This ceremony is a beautiful way to pay tribute to Mother Earth, or Pachamama, who is the most important God to the Incan culture.

Photo credit: Marco Nishiyama


In Huancayo weddings include a special tradition. A Pallpa ceremony is a competition between the groom and bride's families. Who can give more presents to the new couple. This takes place after the wedding ceremony during the reception. The families will dance with their gifts to the rhythm of the music. It is not uncommon for the families to give houses, cars, and even land as gifts.

Koka Kintu

Photography by the fantastic: Ivan Bustor
Three leaves of coca is called koka kintu in the andean cultures. It signifies the gift of god Inti and symbolizes three worlds - the divine, human and posthumous. The shaman prepared the koka kintu for the bride and groom, together with flower petals. Meanwhile, the guests also picked three coca leaves for them as well. -- Ivan Bustor

If you are thinking of getting married in Peru, there are different places that you can consider for your religious ceremony and wedding reception: luxury hotels, indoor and outdoor venues, private haciendas in the countryside, historical museums and charming architectural ruins.

Thank you to the photographers, wedding planners, couples and everyone involved in taking these breathtaking photos!

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