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Latin and Mexican Wedding Customs and Traditions. An article by Nily Glaser

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    Latin and Mexican Wedding
    Customs and Traditions

    By Nily Glaser
    ŠAll rights reserved, 2007

    Marriage is the strongest bond the world has ever known. It is a pledge meant to last a lifetime.
    A wedding ceremony occurs when a bride and a groom solemnly pledge themselves to one another for a lifetime, some say for eternity, in the presence of friends and family.
    Celebrated today, as it has been throughout history, even to Biblical days, marriage and a wedding have been considered a sacred and solemn yet happiest event. Every culture considers a wedding, when the bride and groom enter their marriage as two individuals and becoming inextricably a part of each other, creating a new family, as the highest of all celebrations.
    As the saying goes, Love makes the world go around.
    Most cultures celebrate the love, devotion and commitment called wedding, with unique customs and traditions. Because the wedding is a wonderful and touching event, brides and grooms want both ceremony and reception to be personalized and unique to them. Thus, they look for meaningful experiences and often adopt customs and traditions of cultures other than their own.
    The USA and recently to many other countries have become homes to people from all over the world. These people enrich the cultures with their Old Country customs, traditions and cuisine. It is not a surprise then, that many of the wedding traditions and wedding customs that are so beautiful, have been adopted by brides and grooms of all backgrounds who found them meaningful. In fact some traditions have become an integral pare of the modern wedding ceremony and reception.

    If you are interested in the customs and traditions of a specific ethnic group click on it.

    Latin and Mexican Customs and Traditions

    Latin and Mexican wedding customs and traditions are very symbolic and many are being integrated into other than Mexican weddings. Brides and grooms asking to learn about Mexican and Latin wedding customs and traditions prompted the writing of this article. If you can add, please send us the me any information you have.

    Who Pays for Wedding
    Both families are involved in planning the wedding and help with all the expenses.
    Sponsors of the wedding, such as parents, grandparents, godparents other relatives and friends as well as the bridesmaids and groomsmen, provide money for the wedding costs, or pay for something specific for the ceremony or the party which follows. In the Mexican tradition the wedding bridesmaids and groomsmen are paired and each pair is considered for a different role in the wedding ceremony.
    One pair provide the bouquet for the bride. Another furnishes the Lazo which is a special symbolic rosary used to show the unification of the couple during the ceremony. Yet another pair brings the 13 silver or gold coins - Arras - in a special basket or box for the ceremony and if there are only 3 pairs, they also provide the kneeling pillows for the bride and groom to kneel upon during the wedding mass.

    Wedding Invitations
    In the Mexican tradition, the wedding invitaions that are in usually in Spanish and English, list the parents of both the bride and groom as those inviting the guests to the wedding. All of the wedding attendants and contributors are listed on the wedding invitation and their special contributions noted. Information about the reception and dance are either printed on the invitation or included separately. The guests must remember to bring the entire invitation to gain admittance to the festivities.

    Lazo - Lasso
    A lazo (lasso), is a large rosary, a ribbon or a decorated cord that is symbolically draped around the neckss or shoulders of the bride and the groom, groom first. It is placed in a horizontal figure eight (infinity) while they are kneeling at the altar, to affirm their union and their committment to always be together side-by-side. The lazo is associated with a wedding prayer and takes place during the ceremony, after the bride and groom have exchanged their vows. Optionally, the lazo may be tied around their wrists.
    The couple wears the lasso throughout the remainder of the service.
    At the end of the ceremony, the lasso is removed and is given to the Bride as a keepsake.
    Though not a Latin country, a wedding ceremony in New Zealand features the Infinity Loops (Lasso) placed around the necks of the bride and the groom, to symbolize their never-ending love.

    Arras - Thirteen gold coins
    The groom gives the bride thirteen gold coins blessed by the priest. The 13 coins represent the Christ and his 12 apostles. The Arras is given to the bride as a symbol of the unquestionable trust and confidence the groom has in her.
    Most often, he presents them in an ornate box, a silver or gold jewelry box, or on a siver or gold gift tray.
    Doing so, he also pledges to be a good provider and to support and care for his bride as she becomes his wife.
    By accepting thes arras, the bride pronounces her unconditional trust and confidence in her groom.
    These coins become a part of their family heirloom.

    Wedding Music Dance and Celebration
    Aztec love of music, dance and celebrations was incorporated into the festivities which follow the religious ceremony.

    Money Dance
    Originating from most European countries, the money dance has become so popular accross all weddings that a special Purse - Money Bag is one of the items present with the wedding accessories collection. Called in the USA the dollar dance, is where male guests "pay" to dance with the bride. Various methods are used by differnt cultures. In some, the bride carries a Purse and the dancers place monitary bills in it, in others the dancers pin the bills on the wedding gown, yet in others, the maid of honor wears an apron and collects the money given by the guests to dance with the bride. In all traditions, the guests are expected to be generous when "paying" for a dance with the bride. since the money collected is to be used by the newly weds on their honeymoon and for setting a household. The money dance is so widely accepted as an integral part of a wedding, that most guests anticipate that it will be included in the celebration providing a way for brides and grooms to generate cash without requesting or even suggesting money as wedding gifts.

    Brides in many Latin-American countries wear a light blue slip beneath their dresses. Ties and cummerbunds of the groomsmen match the colors of the bridesmaids' dresses. The flower girls and ring bearer may be dressed as miniature versions of the bride and groom.

    Wedding Colors
    The bride chooses the wedding colors and they dominate. The wedding cake is decorated in her wedding colors. The cars used by, or for the attendants are also decorated with matching colored ribbon and paper flowers. The ceremony site and the pew bows are decorated with flowers and bows in the wedding colors as are the flowers or petals on the bridal path. The reception site also reflects use of the colors chosen by the bride .

    Piniata Mexican wedding often feature a heart shaped piniata.

    For African American wedding traditions CLICK HERE

    For Jewish wedding traditions CLICK HERE

    For Latin wedding traditions and Mexican wedding traditions CLICK HERE

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