A Wedding in Cuba and Ladies in White

Rosa Martinez

Wedding in Cuba. Photo: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES, March 20— Everyone knows that when it comes to weddings, the bride’s gown always has to be the most beautiful.

That is why it is the tradition in many countries for the guests never to wear white dresses or light colors, so as not to overshadow the bride.

In Guantanamo, however, it is tradition to wear the same color of dress as the bride, perhaps because in any case no one will look more beautiful than her.

Following the custom in Guantanamo, a friend and I decided to wear short white dresses and headed towards the cathedral to attend the wedding of a cousin.

The day before we had agreed to meet at her home, and from there go to the church in the center of town.

We were both dressed completely in white, from our shoes to what we had on our heads, so I was not surprised when more than one person asked us if we were going to get married. What I did not expect was for a neighbor to say: “Be careful, you could have problems.”

I didn’t understand his words, but I was so happy with the occasion I didn’t bother try to find out what he meant.

I expected someone would notice us, but not for people to look at us as though we were aliens or had a mark of the devil on our faces.

“Why do they keep looking at us all the time?” my companion said, intrigued.

“Don’t take any notice, they’re just people who don’t know any better and aren’t used to seeing people dressed elegantly,” I said.

However, I searched her features closely to see if there was anything wrong and looked at her back to see if a label or some other weird thing was sticking out. I asked her to do the same for me but neither of us found anything that seemed funny or out of place.

We went into church intrigued, but immediately forgot the suspicious glances.

It was not until we were returning to our homes that we realized what was happening. I stopped a taxi to take us back to our neighborhood and that’s when we got our final surprise.

“I can’t take you, sorry,” said the taxi driver.

“But why? Is the car rented?” I asked him.

“No, I’m free, but I’m not taking Ladies in White in my car, I don’t want any trouble,” he said.