Cultural Wedding Customs: Mexican Wedding Traditions?
Q: Many members of my fiance's family will be making the trip north from Mexico for our wedding. I'm incredibly excited for our families to meet, but I'm concerned about the language barrier (many of them speak Spanish only). Is there any way we'll be able to bridge the gap?
A: Short of putting your relations through a crash-course in Spanish, you probably won't be able to do too much about everyone's ability to converse fluently (we wouldn't suggest mixing up your seating too much). Instead, see what Mexican or Spanish-influenced details you can add to the wedding. If you are still choosing your attire, you might want to consider a mantilla-style veil, or a dress with Latin-influenced ruffles. You could include readings in both English and Spanish in your ceremony, and offer translations for each in the programs. In Mexico, many ceremonies also include a symbolic binding ceremony, where a white rope or a rosary is wound around the bride and groom in a figure eight. During Catholic ceremonies, the groom hands the bride thirteen gold coins (known as arras) to represent his ability to support her -- why not update that tradition by each handing coins to the other? For your reception, look into hiring a mariachi band to serenade your guests. There are also plenty of fabulous foods you could include -- a traditional Mexican cake with nuts, dried fruit, and rum would make an ideal groom's cake, and Mexican wedding cookies or flan will make a sweet ending to your night. Incorporating traditions from both cultures will help everyone feel more included, and no one's fun will get lost in translation.