Like many events in Latin America, weddings amongst Mexican Americans involve the whole family and a wealth of beautiful traditions.
According to Mexican wedding traditions, the couple’s godparents or padrinos serve as their mentors and sponsors before, during, and after the wedding.
The padrinos give advice and support, as well as financial assistance for the wedding ceremony and reception. They also play special roles in the ceremony, holding various symbolic objects until they are needed by the priest, the bride, or the groom.
The wedding ceremony takes place in a Catholic church, so naturally this affects the bride’s attire.
Out of respect to the church, she will often wear a lacy mantilla veil covering her head and a bolero style jacket if her Mexican wedding dress leaves her shoulders bare. This is changing rapidly, especially in weddinggs where the bride and groom are wee-to-do. Traditional attire for the groom is a Mexican shirt, specially made for the wedding, and linen pants.
Wedding Traditions Amongst Mexican Americans
Many religious symbols are woven into the ceremony. For example, the bride and groom kiss a cross to represent their promise to be faithful to one another.
They also receive gifts like a rosary, a Bible, a prayer book, and a special kneeling pillow for use during the wedding mass.
The Lasso Tradition in Hispanic Weddings
One of the most charming traditions is the lasso, this is particularly popular amongs Mexicans. In this tradition, an extra long rosary or cord is placed in a figure eight shape around the bride and groom as soon as they have said their vows.
Sometimes the lasso is even tied to their wrists. This symbolizes the unity of the new couple and the eternal ties of marriage.
This tradition is also common in South American countries like Colombia, although it is not essential. I have seen it in only in a couple of weddings I attended in the past where the bride or groom were not of Mexican heritage, instead, they had Hispanic heritage from a South American country.
13 Gold Coins Tradition Amongst
Another important Mexican tradition is the 13 gold coins. By presenting the bride with these coins, the groom symbolizes that he will care for her for the rest of her life. By accepting the coins, the bride acknowledges that she trusts her husband to do this.
The coins usually come in an elaborate tray or box and will become a family heirloom. These coins are called the arras. Today in many Hispanic countries the bride also presents the groom with coins, symbolizing they both share in the material goods.
On the other hand, some people say that the 13 coins represent Christ and the 12 apostles.
The Wedding Reception in Mexico
After the wedding ceremony, everyone heads to the reception to eat, drink, and dance to mariachi music.
The guests gather around the newlyweds in a heart shape and join hands. Then the couple has their first dance together as husband and wife.
Another fun part of the reception is the piñata, which the kids get to break open. I have never seen piñatas at any other Hispanic wedding receptions other than Mexican.
The centerpiece of the wedding reception is of course the food. Mexicans serve many traditional dishes, and what is “traditional” varies by the part of Mexico that the participants call home.
Typically, the menu includes rice, beans, mole, and sangria. When it comes to desert, the couple may choose Mexican wedding cookies which are similar to shortbread, a modern tiered wedding cake, or a traditional Mexican wedding cake.
The traditional cake is sort of like a fruitcake, made with dried pineapple, coconut, almonds, and pecans, and then soaked in rum. Other popular flavors for Mexican wedding cake include chocolate chile and the famous Hispanic dessert tres leches.