The second in our Luxe wedding traditions of the world series, this article takes a look at the typical wedding customs of Mexico.
If you are planning on tying the knot in Mexico, you might like to take some of these traditions on board; likewise, if you have Mexican heritage.
Explore Mexican rituals with us in this article that take place before, during and after a wedding ceremony.
Before a Mexican wedding
When in the planning stages of a wedding, most Mexican couples select los padrinos y madrinas, which means the wedding sponsors. Translated precisely, it means the godfathers and godmothers.
While it’s an honour to be selected as the happy couple’s padrinos and madrinas, it is a role that comes with much responsibility.
The sponsors pay for parts of the wedding and are often involved in specific duties on the day, too. Sometimes, the padrinos and madrinas might host the bridal shower (los primeros madrina) beforehand, also.
The padrinos and madrinas might be parents, grandparents, godparents, other relatives, or friends. Sometimes there will be one of each, but often there are more.
The padrinos and madrinas don’t have to be in a relationship or even know each other.
During a Mexican wedding
Many fascinating traditions take place during Mexican weddings — you can explore some of them below.
Honouring all parents
In Britain, it has long been a tradition for the bride’s father to walk her down the aisle. In Mexico, both the bride and groom are accompanied by both of their parents on their walk to the front of the church.
This ensures the parents are all involved in the ceremony and also symbolises their consent to the marriage.
Las arras matrimoniales
During a Mexican wedding ceremony, the bride is presented with las arras matrimoniales; a set of 13 gold coins that are gifted by the groom. These wedding coins symbolise the groom’s trust in his bride. There are 13 coins as this represents Jesus and the 12 apostles.
In Catholic ceremonies, the priest blesses las arras at the beginning of the wedding mass. They are later presented to the bride in an ornate gold box or tray.
A much-loved wedding ritual in Mexico, el lazo is placed on the bride and groom straight after the wedding vows.
El lazo is a lasso created from strings of flowers and rosary beads. It is placed first on the bride’s shoulders and then on the grooms, in a figure of eight.
In the bible, the figure of eight symbolises new beginnings.
The couple then has their marriage blessed, and the lasso is worn until the priest removes it at the end of the wedding mass.
Much like in the UK, as Mexican couples exit the church, their guests shower them in confetti. However, in Mexico, the confetti is always white. Sometimes rice or bird feed are used instead.
This popular ritual represents good luck, health and wealth for the newlyweds.
The money dance
With its origins in Spain, the Mexican money dance takes place at the wedding reception and involves wedding guests buying dances with the bride and groom by throwing money at them or tucking it upon their person.
Some carefree newlyweds leave the banknotes on the dancefloor until much later in the evening, but others (who are tidier or less trusting, perhaps) nominate a guest to collect them all as they are dropped.
The gifted money is to be used by the couple to set up home together or for their honeymoon.
After a Mexican wedding
After the wedding reception, la tornaboda takes place, which is essentially a wedding after-party.
In the UK, we only invite a select number of people to our wedding receptions, but often in Mexico, the whole community gets involved.
Therefore, la tornaboda afterwards is a chance for Mexican couples to celebrate their wedding with just their loved ones.