Mexican Wedding Ceremony: Descriptive Essay
Although most of the Mexican Americans choose to have a modern celebration, the majority also like to include some of the traditional ideas for their special day. The Mexican culture mostly the marriage ceremonies are usually based on religious beliefs and also focuses on family, and their customs. This best explains the understanding traditions in a better way surrounding the culture, mostly for the Mexican Americans in Texas as well as their significance. I gathered a lot of information about activities, procedures, knowledge as well as other aspects about the Mexican marriages. The wedding events provides mandatory information about tradition in Mexican weddings and their moral significance.
Various rituals and activities are carried out in such weddings. Majorly, the ceremonies are meant to enhance intimate bonds (Ammerman et al.,298). The event starts with an opening prayer from a Catholic priest. This prayer presents God’s presence in the marriage. A full mass also follows with both the bride and the groom receiving the Holy sacrament. Since, it is a religious function, the marriage is regarded as a Matrimonial. Young adults with religious thoughts and high observance of religious behaviors are found to have a high likelihood of marrying in the early years (Uecker, and Charles 837). Prayer is offered to the bride and groom as they are on their knees. This is a blessing at the marriage as it is considered a beginning of a new journey; the bride and groom are also meant to say their vows as the congregation listens to them. The bride and groom also exchange rings with the bride wearing it on the left hand and the groom on the right, as a sign of the sexual union between the two (Burch, 385). The words are spoken by the groom, bride, and the priest mark the marriage legally. Moreover, the two are required to consent in loving and respecting each other by accepting 11 obligations and responding to each statement by saying ‘Si accepto’ known as “I accept this.’ Taking into account, these vows are a sign of commitment to the marriage as before God as well as to the rest of the people over there. These vows guide and direct them in their new life.
Mexican weddings are also patriarchal, which means, it is essentially the father who gives the final approval of the marriage. Father’s actions are referred to as ‘la pedida’ meaning father’s approval. It is usually a tradition that the groom to be and his family members are invited to visit the bride’s family. It is this specific moment that he proposes to the woman of his life. (Torre, and Silva, 723). However, this cannot proceed without the father’s approval. The approval leads to the next stage, which usually is the wedding. This is always a sign of the blessing of their matrimony from the parents. This also goes hand in hand with the custom of the presence of Padrinos and Madrinas. Padrinos are majorly godfathers while Madrinas are the Godmothers. Both hold a special place in every Mexican wedding. They usually act as witnesses at the wedding ceremony. They offer numerous gifts to the bride and groom. They are the sources of financial and also act as their spiritual advisors in their marriage life. The presents include prayer books, rosaries, and pillows. All these symbols imply the roles of the godmothers and fathers towards implying to the groom and bride towards sticking to Godly presence throughout their journey. Also, the padrinos and madrinas are a form of financial support and play a significant role in setting some of the wedding costs down. However, traditionally it is the bride’s father who do most of the expenses. Further, the godfather and mother act as role models to the married couple as they are amongst the most admired people within the society. They also act as a sign of social support for the couple.
Additional traditions involve El Lazo or wedding lassos. The wedding lasso usually is a set of flowers decorated with rosary beads surrounded around the shoulders of the couple. It is first placed on the bride and then goes to the groom. This is mainly carried out afterward at the end of the wedding vows as the priest declares the wedding officially. The tying of the wedding lassos signifies an everlasting bond of love and unity between the two. Tying them together shows the aspect of unity and togetherness that the two are about to practice in their daily life. Research also shows that ‘Mexican-born husbands and wives have more positive marital relations compared with their U.S.-born” (Cruz, Rick A., et al. 845). Further, these lassos are also worn as a reminder of the mass until the priest removes it. The couple is also given with the Las arras Matrimoniales or the wedding coins. This is a set of thirteen gilded monies that are generally offered to the bride to prove the groom’s trust in her bride. For the Catholic couples, the ritual is involved into the wedding mass and presented in a golden box that the priest sanctifies at the initiation of the wedding ceremony. Religiously, thirteen significantly denotes Jesus and his twelve disciples. On the other side, the coins represent the grooms’ financial treasures and prosperity. Through offering the gifts to the bride, he reveals his trust in her and that they mutually share their wealth. It represents their commitment to sharing goods they have in the future together.
Furthermore, in Mexican wedding, money dances are very popular. Also known as the dollar dance in the United States, the guests attending the wedding reception stick bills to the newlyweds in exchange for dances. The couple and the families engage creativity in collecting the notes, an aspect that fills the atmosphere with intense joy. Some of the guests choose to throw the cash on the dance area. All these are meant to wish the couple good luck for their future life. Also, a La Tornaboda or wedding after-party is held. It includes the gathering of family, closer relatives and friends that usually takes place after the main wedding event (Torre, and Silva, 724). Plenty of dishes are served on the wedding as well as on the after-wedding party. It allows the couple to celebrate with the people dearest and closest to them. Moreover, the bride chose a brightly colored flamenco-style dress with a ruffled hem and carried with her some flowers, which symbolize happiness and fulfillment.
Mexican weddings are encultured with various traditions, all of which describes symbolism. However, all the preparations are done by the family members and close relatives and friends. Since it is mainly a religious ceremony, prayers are crucial aspects as they offer guidance to the couple. The vows acknowledged through the response “I accept this” is a symbol of allegiance to the marriage. Additionally, the Padrinos and Madrinas act as an immense source of financial and spiritual support to the couple. Tying the couple with the lassos implies an unending unity and togetherness between the two. It also mainstays on the point of mutual understanding of sharing of wealth ownership between the two. To conclude, Mexican American weddings present the epitome of marriage ceremonies characterized by traditions that deeply engage meanings behind them.
- Ammerman, Nancy Tatom, and Wade Clark Roof, eds. Work, family, and religion in contemporary society: Remaking our lives. Routledge, 2014.
- Burch, Rebecca L. ‘The Wedding as a Reproductive Ritual.’ Review of General Psychology 23.3 (2019): 382-398.
- Cruz, Rick A., et al. ‘Cultural dynamics and marital relationship quality in Mexican-origin families.’ Journal of Family Psychology 28.6 (2014): 844.
- Torre, Consuelo G., and Azucena V. Silva. ‘My Perfect Wedding: How Mexican Consumers’ Decisions Are Influenced by Consumerism and Traditions.’ Marketing Challenges in a Turbulent Business Environment: Proceedings of the 2014 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) World Marketing Congress, Springer, Cham, 2016, pp. 717-729.
- Uecker, Jeremy E., and Charles E. Stokes. ‘Early marriage in the United States.’ Journal of Marriage and Family 70.4 (2008): 835-846.