Hispanic Wedding Traditions

I’m posting this from Spain today, so I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to write about some of the many rich, historic traditions for weddings that come from Spanish culture.

Wedding parade in Mexico

Most ceremonies in Spain and the wide-ranging Spanish speaking countries of Mexico, Puerto Rico, Central and South America, take place in the Catholic Church. But whether you are to be married in a church or not, you may still be inspired by some of these traditions, or just enjoy learning about them.

One ritual I’ve focused on before is The 13 Coins, or ‘Arras.’ These are coins that are given as a promise to care and support your spouse. There are many ways to interpret this wonderful tradition, and I’ve put a modern twist on it from time to time.

The ‘Lazo’ (or Lasso) is a large rosary, ribbon, rope, or even a rope of flowers, that is wrapped around the necks or shoulders of the bride and groom. It is placed in a figure eight (infinity) shape as the couple kneels at the altar. This affirms their commitment to be side-by-side always. Often a veil is also placed over their heads. In the way many traditions and rituals are similar in differing religions, in the Jewish wedding a tallit (prayer shawl) is also draped over the couple with almost the exact same symbolism of unity.

Another couple in Mexico - how cool is this???

In church the bride will hold a rosary with her bouquet and orange blossoms are the flower of choice for Spanish brides because they symbolize happiness. In the past Spanish brides and grooms would not have groomsmen, ushers, bridesmaids or flower girls. The couple’s grandparents and/or godparents (padrinos) however, will have a role in the wedding! Grandparents and godparents are important Spanish culture. They are ‘sponsors’ which means they get to participate in the ceremony, serve as witnesses for the marriage certificate, and contribute to the financial responsibility of the wedding. On the spiritual side sponsors should help couples through conflicts in their marriage, imparting the wisdom that comes with age.

Today most couples do want bridesmaids and groomsmen. An interesting old tradition had the best man chose the bride’s bouquet, but again, today that won’t fly. However, learning that the bouquet was presented with a poem, some couples want to keep that portion alive and do have the best man deliver a poem. Much like the best man’s speech at the reception, this is simply too fantastic to leave behind.

In 19th Century Spain a bride wore a black gown, symbolizing ‘til death do us part.’  But as the white dress grew in popularity thanks to Queen Victoria’s influence, the black was left behind. But guess what? The black dress is back! It seems that everything comes around. Another popular touch is the mantilla, which is a triangular view trimmed in lace, still popular today.

Grooms in many Latin countries wear the guayabera, a short-sleeved style tropical shirt.

Music can also be a big part of expressing your culture and in some places in Mexico a joyous wedding parade will take place in the streets, complete with mariachi band. I simply adore this tradition!

Out on the street after the ceremony!

In Spain the wedding will usually take much later in the day, around 6 or 7pm, mostly because of the heat, and that makes complete sense, doesn’t it?

Maybe I’ll crash a wedding while I’m here in Spain, and if I do you know I’ll have to write about it.

Thank Jorge for permission use these gorgeous photos! Photo credit: Jorge Santiago Photography

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This entry was posted in Ceremonies and Celebrations, Pocono Weddings, Tips on Weddings, Wedding Ceremonies and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

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