Wedding Traditions From Around the World: Mexico

A Mexican couple stand at the altar

Mexican wedding traditions are a beautiful heritage passed down from generation to generation. Following many old customs and beliefs, Mexican weddings continue to be one of the most lavish and well-thought-out events in the wedding world. Throughout the country of Mexico, traditions can be interpreted differently and even modified to best fit the occasion of a couple’s wedding. Most traditional Mexican weddings will take place in a Roman Catholic church with many symbolic events planned throughout the ceremony.

In order to plan a Mexican wedding, lots of work has to be put into planning the event. Help from all family and friends is needed in order to help with the planning tasks that the traditional wedding requires. Out of all the rituals and traditions Mexicans tend to have within weddings, here are just a few of the most common ones for planning a perfect traditional wedding.

The Lasso (El Lazo)

A long loop of lasso made into a rosary is placed around the groom’s and bride’s necks during the wedding mass. This lasso is a representation of the couples’ unity and responsibility in marriage. The loop holds the couple together while they are kneeling in front of the cross in a Roman Catholic church. Within different cultures of Mexican heritage, some couples choose between having one of two lassos around them: a silk rope or a long lei of orange flowers.

These different lasso ideas all represent the same symbolization that the marriage represents. The lazo is a beautiful long rosary that is usually placed upon the couple by the Lazo Padrinos, meaning the Godparents of the Lasso. Usually, the Lasso Godparents places the rosary, flowers, or silk rope on the couple after the couple recites their wedding vows. Following the placement of El Lazo, the priest will then give the sign for the couple to share a kiss, ending the ceremony.

A couple is joined by a Mexican wedding lasso

Image courtesy of MexicanWeddingTradition.com

The Arras (Las Arras)

In some Mexican traditions, the groom gives the bride 13 gold coins to symbolize prosperity and financial trust. The arras in other parts of Mexico can be given out in different forms and manners. First, the priest blesses the 13 coins and gives the approval to use them. In some parts of Mexico, such as Zacatecas or Guadalajara, the coins are broken in half after being blessed. One piece stays with the groom and the other with the bride, symbolizing their union when putting both pieces are put together. The arras are delivered by the Padrinos, the Godparents of the groom and bride, who are witnesses of their holy matrimony. The coins are usually either gold or silver.

According to Mexican tradition, the arras symbolizes their new wealth, given by the guests and family members to help the couple’s finances during the first year of marriage. As time went by and the tradition was passed down from generation to generation, the 13 coins of wealth became more of a symbol of unity and trust regarding the couple’s finances.

The Money Dance (Baile de Dinero)

Not only do Mexican weddings have rituals during the wedding ceremony, but they also have traditions for the reception, as well.

A couple with money taped to their clothes at a wedding

Image courtesy of Hema2325 Blog

Following the traditional ceremony at a Roman Catholic church, the reception is also filled with symbolic events. One way the guests and family members are able to show their love, affection, and support toward the couple’s union in matrimony is with the money dance. Each man pays to dance with the bride, while each woman pays to dance with the groom. All the money that is collected at the end of the night is the money the newlywed couple uses to start their new life together. During the money dance, the guests give dollar bills of every amount. Most Mexican weddings have lots of guests because of large families, so the money dance is always a huge contribution for the bride and groom’s future together.

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