24 Oct Mexican Weddings
I’m at that age where it seems all my friends are getting married. Of course, since I live in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico it’s a bit different than if I was still in Baton Rouge. A Mexican wedding is based on many traditions. It’s quite possibly one of the most festive events that exist, probably because Mexican folk really know how to party and weddings are extremely culturally significant. So what sets Mexican weddings apart from a wedding anywhere else?
Whatever you’ve chosen to wear to this quintessential social event, you’re under-dressed. Now that you’ve come to terms with that, we can move forward. Just how dressy is dressy? For an evening wedding, think opera. If you have white gloves and a tiara, perfect. And don’t even think about a messy homemade up-do. This is often a backless, rhinestone, I spent hours in the salon and you better notice kind of event.
Luckily, for the first wedding I went to a friend stopped me halfway out the door and gently suggested I change my flip flops and canvas bag. I embarrassed myself anyway, but significantly less thanks to her.
In America, a 5 pm wedding might get you home around midnight. Not so in Mexico. Mexican wedding receptions tend to be long, and by long I mean they serve you breakfast the next morning. No joke. Many weddings even serve more than one: a 3 a.m. hang-in-there plate of Chilaquiles and then a 7 a.m. sober-up-before-you-go-home breakfast.
Due to the importance of weddings in Mexican culture, they are nearly almost always large affairs. Rich or poor, a wedding is the culmination of the family’s wishes for the future of their legacy. While the father of the bride generally picks up the tab, in smaller villages with low-income communities, everyone pitches in and subsequently everyone is
4. Street procession
After the wedding itself, which is almost always a Catholic Mass, the wedding procession walks with their guests (and a tequila carrying donkey) to the location of the reception. If the reception is held too far away they may just hang outside the church instead, live music jamming and near-constant refills of the ceramic cup on a string that all guests are given upon leaving the church. (This is my favorite part.)
In Guanajuato, the tequila burro is accompanied by another interesting tradition – Mojigangas. They are giant paper-mache dolls made in the likeness of the bride and groom. They move in and out of the crowd, dancing
with the guests. The most interesting Mojiganaga I’ve seen was one made to look like an African American friend who married in San Miguel.
5. Some other unique elements: El Lazo, the Money Dance, Mantilla
El Lazo is a cord, ribbon or rosary tied around the necks of the bride and groom, either in a loop or a figure eight to represent their lifelong commitment.
The Money Dance is an opportunity to greet and pin money on the clothing of the bride and groom. The quantity isn’t important; it’s the gesture that counts.
The Mantilla is a type of veil from Spain that has detailed lace edges and frames the face.