Perspective: Mexican weddings vs. American weddings

Wedding Reception in Mexico
Image by dnudson via Flickr

It was 1991 when Father of the Bride was released, and from that moment on, the idea of what my wedding day should be like began forming in my mind. I pictured a fabulous outdoor wedding in a beautiful tent with an incredible band. I would have ice sculptures, gorgeous flowers, and my very own Franck coordinating all the details.

I quickly began noticing that every wedding I had ever been to in the Valley was very different. Every wedding I went to had padrinos, menudo after the reception, mariachis and Tejano music blasting during the reception.

In a typical Mexican wedding, the bride and groom have padrinos (sponsors) who provide emotional and financial help for the couple. During the ceremony, they are honored and it is typical that they sponsor a specific item ex: arras, lasso, etc.

The padrinos de arras (Wedding Unity Coins) present the couple with 13 coins (gold or silver) in an ornate box during the ceremony. The number 13 signifies Jesus and the 12 apostles. During the ceremony the coins are blessed by the priest and poured in to the hands of the bride by the groom. These coins are meant to represent the grooms commitment to support his wife throughout their lives together. By accepting this the bride is committing to take care of him throughout their lives.

Pardinos de lasso (Lazo Cord) present the couple with a strand of rosary beads that are placed around their necks in a figure eight as they exchange vows. This represents the union and protection of marriage.

During the reception there is typically a baile de dolar (Dollar Dance) where guests “pay” to dance with the bride or groom. The money collected is used on their honeymoon.

Now as I plan my own wedding I find myself torn between having a traditional Mexican wedding or something more like the idea formed in my mind. We’ll see what 2009 holds for me!

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