Pro-Ecuador Reader Question:
Last year my son married a lovely Ecuadorian young lady whose family is from Ambato, now they live in New Jersey. Her parents were unable to travel north for the ceremony. This year they have scheduled a ceremony to repeat their vows there and we would love to go and meet them.
Are there any customs that we should be aware of in this situation? We would love to bring them a gift of some sort, but can think of nothing in particular which would suit the circumstances and worry that we may inadvertently commit a faux pas while visiting. We are not particularly wealthy (as far as I know neither are they, nor are we or they especially poor).
What advice do you have to help make this a comfortable, pleasing and respectful visit for all of us?
The timing of your question is perfect as my wife and I just did the very same thing!
Your daughter-in-law’s family will not be expecting a gift. However, it’s a good idea to bring small gifts for her immediate family. Here are a few ideas:
- Souvenirs from the United States
- Framed photo of the bride and groom
- Leatherman Tool for father / brother
- Bottle of Whiskey (Johnnie Walker Black Label or Swing)
Whiskey is the drink of choice for celebration in Ecuador. Whiskey will most likely be part of the wedding reception and a good quality bottle from the airport duty-free store would be appreciated. Even non-drinkers like to have Whiskey on hand to share with friends.
Don’t be surprised if the wedding day lacks a detailed schedule. Ecuadorians are much less fussy about formalities and enjoy a much less stressful wedding day. Rather than plan everything, in Ecuador we work out problems as they arise.
Wear your dancing shoes because an Ecuadorian wedding is a real party. The Ecuadorians will dance all night…and will expect you to keep up.
Ecuadorian men greet each other with a medium firm handshake. Don’t use the U.S. style “squeeze of death” handshake while in Ecuador.Don’t worry if you cannot speak a lot of Spanish. You can communicate with only a smile! Click here for Spanish phrases and words.
Don’t be afraid while in Ecuador but be aware of your surroundings. Try not to let valuables out of your sight.