Mexican Wedding Traditions
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Mexican Wedding Traditions: A Guide To A Modern Mexican Wedding

A celebration of Mexican newlyweds is a unique mix of old and new traditions that can differ based on the family's background and even where in Mexico they come from. It goes without saying that the best way to experience the joy of Catholic Mexican wedding ceremony traditions is to take part in the wedding, but if it's not an option right now or you are getting for your own wedding with a Mexican lady, here are the key Mexican wedding traditions to know about.
mexican woman for marriage

Mexican wedding ceremony traditions: the top 5

So what are the traditions of the wedding ceremony in Mexico? Here are the top 5:
Padrinos y madrinas. This is an older couple, usually married, who act both as the godparents to the newlyweds and the sponsors, giving guidance and valuable advice, purchasing the bible for the ceremony, and help with every stage of the wedding planning right until the day of the wedding.
Equality for everyone. In Western wedding culture, the bride is usually walked down the aisle by her father and given out to the groom. Mexican people don't believe that it's anyone's job to give out the bride. In classic Mexican weddings, both parents walk the future husband and wife down the aisle.
Traditional Catholic ceremony. The bride and the groom may be the most modern couple in the world, but when it comes to traditions, they will always respect them. A classic Catholic wedding ceremony can take well over an hour and is often performed in Spanish even when most guests speak English.
Mariachi band. A band of Mariachi musicians will always accompany the wedding reception, but many couples prefer to also hire Mariachi to play during the official ceremony.
The blessing. At the final stage of the wedding ceremony, the priest will bless the new husband and wife, asking God to watch over them and praying for a happy, faithful life for the new family. At this point, the couple can also present their bouquet to Virgin Mary.

Mexican wedding dance traditions

Mexico is a country whose inhabitants love to dance, therefore, different dance traditions are found at wedding ceremonies:
The processional dance, which looks like a parade on the way from the church to the reception venue.
La Vibora de la Mar—a dance where the guests dance around the married couple in a circle, often holding hands.
Lanzar el Ramo—a dance that the bride and her unmarried female friends perform before she throws her bouquet into the crowd.
Tirar la Liga—a similar traditional dance, but for men: the groom will dance with the single male guests and then throw the bride's garter at them.

Wedding lasso in Mexican wedding customs

A wedding lasso, or el lazo, is not a literal lasso you've seen in Westerns. It's a rosary that can often feature both flowers and beads. At a crucial point in the church ceremony, once the new husband and wife have said their vows, the lasso is put around the couple's shoulders to create a figure 8. According to the Catholic tradition, figure 8 symbolizes new beginnings, and the couple will continue wearing the lasso until the end of the ceremony or until their priest removes it from their shoulders.
mexican girl prepare for mexican wedding

Who pays for Mexican wedding?

There are some Mexican brides and grooms who want a very small, inexpensive event just for themselves, their parents, and a couple of their closest friends. However, things rarely happen that way. For parents whose son or daughter is getting married, a big, lavish wedding is incredibly important. However, planning a grand wedding ceremony and reception costs a considerable amount of money, so who should cover the financial side of the nuptials?
Historically, the bride's father is the one who bears the most financial responsibilities while preparing for the wedding. In fact, the bride's dad is one of the most crucial figures of a wedding in Mexico. The wedding won't even take place unless he gives approval, and the bride and the groom will heavily rely on his experience and wisdom to plan the perfect celebration.
Other people who can financially contribute to the wedding planning are the groom's side of the family, as well as the padrinos and madrinas we've talked about earlier. As for the couple themselves, the opinions can be very different. If the bride and the groom are financially stable, or if they want an event that is more expensive than their relatives can afford, they can make their own contribution. If not, their financial responsibilities may be limited to planning a honeymoon.

Traditional Mexican food

A Mexican wedding is a celebration of love and support, but it's also a feast showcasing the finest, heartiest Mexican food. In the past, the whole village or community might have participated in preparing the feast, while now many couples prefer to get professional catering. These are the five most popular dishes you will see at any Mexican wedding reception:

Arras in Mexican wedding tradition

The arras, or las arras matrimoniales, are one of the most essential wedding customs that can be seen in the majority of Catholic Mexican wedding ceremonies. The ceremony itself is rather simple. First, the groom gives an ornately decorated box or tray with 13 gold coins to the priest, who blesses it. Then, the groom hands the box to his bride, who accepts the gift. The gift of arras symbolizes the groom's readiness to support his spouse financially and to give her everything valuable that he owns.
Like many Mexican wedding ceremony traditions, this is a deeply religious custom that dates back to the times when Romans brought their culture and religion to Mexico. The 13 gold coins stand for the 12 apostles and Jesus. This is not a tradition that is exclusive to Mexico—the gift of arras can be witnessed in most Latin American Catholic weddings. It usually happens as part of the mass, but if the newlyweds are putting a modern spin on their nuptials, it can be its own event.

To sum up

Mexican wedding ceremony traditions are incredibly important to couples where even only one half is Mexican, but it's also important to remember that they are not set in stone. Mexican newlyweds constantly swap one tradition over the other, skip some of them altogether, or even invent their own, new Mexican wedding traditions. So there isn't a right or wrong way to celebrate a Mexican wedding—the important thing is to respect the cultural heritage and to have fun.


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