Whether you are getting married in Mexico, attending one; perhaps you are marrying a Mexican, or would just like to learn more about different wedding traditions around the world, Mexico is a country of many traditions that will amaze you! As you will discover in this article, Mexican weddings include some one of Mexico’s most beautiful and rich traditions.
Mexican couples traditionally have a long engagement period, that is why a bride often receives a promise ring (or pre-engagement ring) a year or so before the formal engagement, when she gets her “official” engagement ring.
This ring is meant to show a couples’ commitment to each other and symbolizes that they will treat each other with love and devotion as if they were husband and wife. This is only done if the couple knows it will be a long courtship, otherwise an engagement ring is presented.
In Mexico it’s quite usual to have printed on the wedding invitation a complete list of the bridal party and the “sponsors”. All of the wedding attendants and contributors are individually listed on each wedding invitation with their contributions noted; sponsors, or padrinos, are the people who have made a financial contribution to the wedding.
Traditionally, in Mexico, the godparents are the primary sponsor, although this has changed somewhat in modern times; not only are the padrinos honored on the wedding invitation but they frequently they play a role in the wedding as well.
If the bride or a groom have deceased parent(s), by Mexican tradition their names will be included on the invitation, each on a line by itself with a cross or other religious symbol depending upon the religion of the person.
Information about the reception and dance are either printed on the invitation or included separately; one common tradition is the invitation acts like a ticket and must be brought to gain admittance to the festivities!
Both families are involved in planning the wedding and help with all the expenses. Traditionally the sponsors of the wedding provide money for the wedding costs, or pay for something specific for the ceremony or the party which follows.
Mexican Wedding Attire
The bride mostly wears a mantilla veil, or a slim dress with a bolero jacket, or even a Flamenco-style dress with ruffles at the hem. The groom may wear a matadorian outfit – a bolero jacket with tight fitting pants, or, a Mexican Wedding shirt with loose, drawstring pants. In modern days this has changed, and often a bride and groom, while dressed in contemporary wedding dress and suite, include at least one traditional wedding item into their wedding attire.
Wedding Food and Music
Traditional Mexican foods include spicy rice, beans, tortilla dishes whose main ingredients are chicken and beef. A cold drink Sangria is served which is made from red or white wine mixed with brandy, sugar, fruit juice and soda water. To add a Latin flavor to the reception, salsa, merengue and flamenco guitar music is played live to the guests. Of course, Mariachi are a very important part of the wedding as well – they might appear to play just after the ceremony, or at the end of the wedding.
Thirteen Gold Coins
The groom gives the bride thirteen gold coins as a symbol of his unquestionable trust and confidence placed in her as his beloved wife and gives the responsibility of all of his material to her. The acceptance on her part assures him back of her total love and dedication in looking after him, his possessions and her unconditional love.
The coins (arras) signify that the groom will always support her and the number 13 represents Christ and his 12 apostles. The groom puts the coins into the bride’s cupped hands and places the box on top.
Mexican Wedding Lasso
A lasso is a large rosary, a ribbon or a decorated cord that is symbolically draped around the necks or shoulders of the bride and the groom. It is first placed around the groom’s neck or shoulders. It affirms their union and their commitment to always be together side-by-side. The couple wears the lasso throughout the service and at the end of the ceremony the lasso is removed and is given to the Bride as a keepsake.
Mexican Wedding Money Dance
Money Dance is a popular tradition across all weddings where male guests “pay” to dance with the bride. However the guests are expected to be generous when “paying” since the money collected is to be used by the newly weds on their honeymoon and for setting a household.
Mexican Wedding Colors
The bride is authorized to choose the wedding colors and they dominate. Every thing including cake, site, attire and also the bridal path are reflective of the wedding color thus creating a sense of harmony throughout the event.
Ancient Wedding Traditions
In ancient times, weddings were held in the bride’s yard or house. The groom traveled by horse to the bride’s house and after the wedding ceremony took his wife in a cart to his parents’ house to live.
Tell me, what are Your favorite wedding traditions, be it Mexican or from anywhere else in the world? In 2013 I am excited to be planning weddings for several Mexican brides as well, and I look forward to sharing the photographs and stories of Mexican wedding traditions they will chose to feature in their weddings.