Mexican weddings are spectacular events focused on family, faith, and fun. With over 72% of the population identifying as Catholic, the faith is the basis for many Mexican wedding traditions.
Whether you are planning a wedding with Mexican elements or have been invited to one, having a good understanding of Mexican traditions can help you know the proper wedding etiquette and help you appreciate the symbolism and meanings behind each tradition.We will explore 10 of the most common Mexican wedding traditions.
- Most Mexican weddings include a Catholic mass and a traditional marriage ceremony.
- The padrinos and madrinas are special friends or family members chosen by the couple to help them prepare for marriage. They are examples of love, faith, and commitment that the couple wants to emulate.
- Mexican wedding receptions typically serve traditional Mexican foods like tacos, enchiladas, and Mexican wedding cookies.
10 of the Most Common Mexican Wedding TraditionsYou may see many traditions while attending a Mexican wedding or wedding reception. Here are 10 of the most common.
1. Church Ceremony
Most Mexican wedding ceremonies are in a Catholic church. Marriage is one of the seven sacraments in the Catholic faith, along with sacred rituals like confirmation, reconciliation, and baptism. As the church is the house of God, Catholics want to perform the sacred marriage sacrament in a holy place.
Before the ceremony starts, many Mexican couples follow the tradition of having both their parents walk their respective children down the aisle. Having both parents present their child at the wedding symbolizes consent to the marriage.
2. Catholic Mass
Many Mexican couples still have a deep connection to their Catholic faith. Many Mexican weddings include a full Catholic mass and marriage rituals. The ceremony usually lasts over an hour and includes many sacred elements, including communion. The ceremony may be spoken entirely in Spanish and include some uniquely Mexican traditions.
3. Los Padrinos y Madrinas
Instead of focusing solely on the bride and groom, many Mexican weddings also include significant family members. A couple planning a Mexican wedding will choose a padrino and madrina. These people are like godparents and play a significant role in the wedding. They often represent what the wedding couple sees as the ideal example of love, commitment, and faith.
The padrino and madrina usually participate in the ceremony by doing special readings. However, there are no defined roles they must play. They also pay for ceremony elements like a kneeling pillow, lazos, or wedding Bible. A couple can choose as many padrinos and madrinas as they want.
4. El Lazo
A significant Mexican wedding tradition is el lazo, which translates to "the lasso." It is part of a unity ceremony representing the newlywed couple's union. The lazo is typically a decorative silk cord, or a large rosary draped around the couple during the ceremony. In most cases, the padrino and madrina present the lazo as a gift to the wedding couple. The couple keeps the lazo in their home as a symbol of unity, faith, and love.
5. Kneeling Pillows
If the couple chooses a traditional Catholic mass for their wedding ceremony, there will be points during the mass when the couple (and the guests) will kneel. Catholic churches include padded kneelers or hassocks for the guests in the pews. For the couple, the padrino and madrina typically give them a set of white pillows decorated with lace and embroidery to kneel on during the ceremony. The couple will keep these pillows as mementos of their wedding day.
6. Las Arras Matrimoniales
One unique Mexican wedding tradition typically included in a Catholic wedding ceremony is las arras matrimoniales (the marriage coins), an ornate box filled with 13 gold coins. The coins represent Jesus and his 12 disciples. The box and the coins are another gift usually given to the couple by the padrino and madrina.
The priest will bless the coins during the ceremony before the groom presents the box to the bride. The coins represent the groom's commitment to supporting his bride financially and otherwise. It also symbolizes the couples' relationship with God and dedication to each other.
7. Presentation of the Bouquet
When the ceremony is over, many Mexican couples present an offering of the bridal bouquet, or other bouquets, to the Virgin of Guadalupe . The bride usually kneels before the Virgin's icon, prays, and leaves the flowers. This offering usually happens before the couple processes out of the church. If the bride uses her bouquet as the offering, a second bouquet is usually available for pictures.
8. Wedding Parade
An exciting Mexican wedding tradition is La Callejoneada or the wedding parade, an upbeat, music-filled parade from the church to the reception. Many people dance and sing along the parade route. This celebration sets the mood for the rest of the festivities.
Mariachi bands are a rich musical tradition in Mexico. Many couples hire a mariachi band to play hymns or other special music during the wedding and play more festive music for the parade and reception.
10. Wedding Food
Mexican wedding receptions typically include traditional Mexican foods like:
- Chiles rellenos
- Pork carnitas
- Enchiladas mole
- Roast pig
- Variety of Mexican sauces
In addition to savory dishes, the couple delights their guests with a wide variety of sweet treats. Along with a traditional wedding cake, you may see:
- Tres leches cake
- Buñuelos (fried fritters)
- Pan dulce (sweet bread)
- Polvorones (Mexican wedding cookies)
Most Mexican weddings will also offer alcoholic beverages like wine and Mexican tequila.
Shine Wedding Invitations Can Complement Your Mexican Wedding Traditions
If you are planning a wedding that focuses on the Mexican heritage of your family or your fiancé's family, you need wedding invitations and other stationery that complements your theme. At Shine Wedding Invitations, we have an extensive collection of timeless designs that will add grace and sophistication to your wedding and reception.
Want to know more about our wedding invitation design process? Contact us today to get started.
Vazquez Wedding (top): Brady Puryear
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