Many countries throughout the world have entirely different customs and traditions for weddings that are specifically unique to their country. Mexico is a country inside Latin America that holds with it a large number of wedding customs and traditions that were born from the history of the country itself. These traditions span everything from who pays for the wedding to the type of attire. The following will provide an in-depth look at all of the Latin and Mexican wedding customs and traditions and what makes them so unique.
Paying For the Wedding
A Latin wedding and a Mexican one are both extremely lively affairs and are similar in most every way. One of the first things that is decided about a wedding is who is paying for it. Within Latin America and Mexico, families of both the groom and the bride decide to help pay for any expense that comes up. The bridesmaids and groomsmen that are a part of the wedding also contribute to the wedding costs. Bridesmaids and groomsmen are paired together and given a task to accomplish. The first pair takes care of the bouquet, while the second pair supplies the Lazo and the third the Arras portion of the wedding, both of which will be discussed in detail in the following.
La Pedida is a Spanish phrase for "Father's Approval" and involves the groom getting permission from the bride's father to marry her. Though this tradition is followed more closely within rural areas than in large cities, it basically involves both the fiance and their extended family traveling to the potential bride's house as a means of showing respect to the family. This also helps both families to meet for the first time if they never had before, which can then turn into a discussion about the date on which the wedding is to be held if the father grants permission.
Usage of a Lazo and Arras
Two of the most unique customs for weddings in Latin America and Mexico are the usage of both the Lazo and Arras. Lazo, or Lasso, is basically a very large rosary that is hung around the necks of both the groom and the bride, in that order, during the ceremony. This happens as they are kneeling at the alter and making their vows to one another. These are then worn throughout the rest of the ceremony. The bride keeps the Lazo upon the conclusion of the ceremony. In regards to the Arras, these gold coins, numbering at thirteen, are presented to the bride from the groom. They stand for Jesus Christ and his 12 apostles. The groom provides the bride with these coins as a display of unbreakable trust between the two. Following the wedding, all 13 coins will belong to the bride's heirloom.
Sending Out Wedding Invitations
The wedding invitations for a Mexican wedding are written in both English and Spanish and contain the names of the parents of both parties as those that are sending the invitations out to guests. Each attendant will be listed on the invitation, which will also include information for the dance and reception. To gain admittance to the wedding, the guests must bring their invitation with them or they will not be allowed entry.
The Wedding Ceremony
Given the fact that the history of Mexico and Latin America is steeped in religious history, weddings almost always take place in Roman Catholic churches. During the ceremony, the godparents of both the bride and the groom will present them with one of three possible gifts, a kneeling pillow, a prayer book or a rosary.
Music and Dancing
Music at a Mexican wedding is always lively. The music will last until the very end of the reception and will often take the form of Mariachi, though some other types of music may be used in its place. The dances tend to match the music as well, with the traditional dance being the "money dance". The money dance calls for the groom to pay to dance with the bride. Afterwards, the guests will also pay to have a dance with the bride. The money from this goes to the honeymoon for the new married couple.
Colors and Specific Attire
The colors that are to represent the theme of the wedding are chosen entirely by the bride. These colors will then cover the wedding cake, as well as all vehicles. The location of the ceremony is also adorned with these colors, whatever they may be. Around Mexico and other Latin-American countries, the traditional attire for the bride includes a blue slip beneath the dress, while the ties that the groomsmen wear are made to specifically match the dresses of the bridesmaids.