Wedding Trend: La Hora Loca

Daphne Nikolopoulos

La Hora Loca—Spanish for the crazy hour—is becoming a hot trend among brides. It began as a tradition in Latin weddings, but like most things that are outrageously fun, has quickly spread to other cultures. The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne - Elda Brouwer - La Hora LocaA party within a party, La Hora Loca is meant to be a high-energy transition from the first part of the reception, which focuses on wedding traditions like speeches and the first dance, to the bona fide, no-holds-barred party, which often goes into the wee hours. Elda Brouwer, director of catering sales for The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, has some insight on the trend that is sweeping Florida.

WI: How did this trend take root in Florida?
BROUWER: The first time I was exposed to the concept was at a Venezuelan wedding. They wanted us to bring out baskets of eyeglasses, noisemakers and masks after the dinner so everyone can get into the dancing mood. They called it the cotillón. Then I started to get other nationalities doing it, and it became known as La Hora Loca. Now everyone is doing it.
 

La Hora Loca - The Ritz-Carlton Key BiscayneWhat elements are involved?
Depends on the wedding and the budget. In some weddings, they just bring down the lights; in others, they bring new musicians to kick-start the party again. One couple brought in Brazilian Carnaval dancers to fill the dance floor and get everyone on their feet. We’ve also seen drummers bring people to the dance floor, and a tequila cart serving shots.
 

So it’s like a show.
In a way, yes. It lasts about 45 minutes, typically; just enough time to revive the party.
 

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne - Wedding - La Hora LocaWhat makes La Hora Loca successful?
At a wedding, you have very happy people who are not ready to go home [after the traditional wedding festivities are over]. They want to stay and have a good time and this is the perfect way to keep the party going.
 

Is there a food element?
Yes. For this part of the program, which can go until 5 or 6 in the morning, they like mostly comfort foods. We have done tapas, mini hot dogs, mini pizzas, arepas, Chinese soup, churros and chocolate, croquettes, empanadas … anything that is small, starchy and flavorful.

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