Mexican Traditions: The Day-After Party

This is more a local tradition. I’m not sure it’s done all over Mexico, but bear with me.

I remember when I heard about the rehearsal dinner tradition; I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. Having a party the day before the party? But then I realized it’s like the day-after party tradition here.

It’s custom here in Mexico to have a party the day after a wedding or a quinceañera. It’s call a “Pastelada.” I can’t think of a translation to that word, but it involves cake. Why does it involve cake? Well, because it’s about the cake—or at least, the cake is an excuse for it.

Let me tell you something about weddings around here: even if there’s a cake, chances are you’re not getting any. I can’t remember having cake at any wedding I’ve ever attended. The cake sits there at the reception, looking pretty, watching everyone have fun, doing nothing.

So, the custom is to serve the cake at a party the day after the actual reception. Usually it’s a casual affair, kind of like a barbecue. Sometimes it’s a small affair; an opportunity to share some time with the close family after the big reception. And sometimes it’s an opportunity to have all those people you couldn’t accommodate at the actual reception at the wedding event.

A coworker jokeed that he and his wife avoided having a post-wedding party because it would have lead to awkward “so, you did it last night, right?” looks from everyone. Holly cow, who thinks about that?!

But back to the cake. Not serving the cake the night of the wedding means no actual cake cutting, but rather, just acting it out for the cameras.

It’s done so much around here that a lot of bakeries offer you a fake cake with real frosting for the reception, and they just give you a non-decorated cake for the day after.


Niece B fake cutting her fake cake on her quinceañera. That baby’s all cardboard and colored cream./ Personal photo

At the end of the day it’s another party: a party with food and beer (everyone expects beer here), so it costs money (quite a bit of money), so we’re skipping it.

And what’s the best way to skip it? Serving the cake at the wedding. Our venue has an extra fee per person for cake plate-settings, but all in all it’ll be way cheaper than having a party the day after.

Points up for this option? We won’t be just acting the cake cutting for the pictures, and the cake would be actually served afterwards.

Have you ever been to a wedding with cake…but without cake? Are you having a post-wedding party?


Mrs. Toadstool

Obregon, Mexico
Wedding Date:
December 2012
Gallery of the Day
Gettin' My Picture Made, Part I
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  1. Member
    mspiggy14 39 posts, Newbee @ 4:20 pm

    @Elm tree:

    I come from a Mexican family so I know all about the recalentados and left over cake. That’s the party after the party.

    Something that I experienced for the first time that American brides have is, a gift opening the next day. I’ve never heard of them until my friend got married a month ago. I was a bridesmaid for her wedding so she invited us to that. I was like “huh?”

    It was fun though.

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