The Ultimate Guide to the Lasso Wedding Ceremony
The lasso ceremony is a unity ritual traditionally included as part of Latino wedding ceremonies. In addition to exchanging vows, many couples partake in unity rituals during their wedding ceremonies to signify the bond of their partnership. From simple sand or unity-candle-lighting traditions to sacraments steeped in religious heritage, there are countless ways couples can incorporate a unifying act in their ceremony. One such unity ceremony is the lasso wedding ceremony which is practiced by many Hispanic and Latine to-be-weds, predominantly those marrying in the Catholic church, across much of Spain and Latin America.
So, what is the lasso tradition at a wedding? During the ceremony and shortly after the couple recites their wedding vows, the couple's los padrinos y madrinas (wedding sponsors or godparents) place the lasso around their shoulders. This symbolizes their joining together as one unit. Read on for more details about the lasso wedding tradition.
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Wedding Lasso History
Within the Catholic Church, the wedding lasso tradition is a unity ceremony in which the couple is joined together by a lasso, rope, rosary or cord. While the lasso tradition is steeped in ancient Catholic faith, Christian and even nonreligious couples in Spain and Latin America also choose to incorporate it into their wedding because of its symbolism.
Many other cultures have similar ceremonies where to-be-weds are draped in a rope of some kind. For example, in many Hawaiian wedding ceremonies, couples will don leis that symbolize the strength and longevity of their shared commitment to each other. Similarly, some Irish couples partake in handfasting where a length of rope or fabric is tied around their hands as a symbol of their unity. A nearly identical ceremony, typically known as the lace and cord ceremony, is often included in Catholic Filipino weddings and takes place in much the same manner that the lasso ceremony in Spain and Latin America does.
Wedding Lasso Meaning
"The lasso ceremony represents the union of two people," explains expert wedding planner Angelina Cardenas, owner of Angelina Cardenas Events in Mexico. "It also signifies divine protection in the face of life's difficulties. Not only are the couple's sponsors (godparents) usually involved, but they're generally also the people responsible for providing the lasso. They will present it to the nearly- newlyweds as a wedding present."
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Lasso in Wedding Ceremony Ideas
While the practice of having a lasso in wedding ceremony proceeding has been passed down from generations, there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to the wedding lasso ceremony. Here are some ideas for the wedding lasso ceremony.
Lasso Wedding Script
It's a smart idea to connect with your wedding officiant early in the wedding planning process to let them know you want to include the lasso ritual. You can work together to craft a lasso ceremony script, using the template below as a guide.
Officiant: "[name] and [name] have chosen to incorporate the lasso ritual into their wedding ceremony today. The lasso ceremony is a wedding ritual in which the couple is bound together with a ceremonial cord. The loop is a symbol of their love which binds them together daily as they share the responsibilities of marriage from henceforth. At this time I would like to invite [name] and [name] to participate in the lasso ceremony."
Lasso Ceremony Prayer
As part of the lasso ceremony script, Catholic couples may include the rosary prayer in the lasso ceremony. However, you can also ask your officiant to share a personalized blessing during the ritual. Here is some inspiration to consider.
Officiant Prayer: "Heavenly Father, we ask that you bless the marriage of [name] and [name] as they begin their journey of marriage. We don't know what lies ahead, but we're grateful for your guidance and help whatever may come. Thank you for helping them learn from each other. Thank you for the love they share and for helping them respect each other's hopes and dreams. Thank you for helping them build and nurture their relationship now and forevermore."
Wedding Lasso Rosary Prayer: "Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Hail Mary, full of grace."
Wedding Lasso and Arras Combination
Arras, the gold coin custom, is a unity ritual that is often included in weddings where the lasso tradition is taking place. Speak with your officiant about the best way to include both if you're interested in integrating them into the nuptials.
Personalize Lasso Ceremony
While the tips in this wedding lasso guide are a good starting point, you and your partner can customize the ritual to fit your wedding as you see fit. Here are some ideas for personalization.
- Add music to the ceremony
- Include a personalized reading
- Ask more than one loved one to place the lasso over your shoulders
- Replace the rosary with another meaningful cord, love a braided ribbon or floral garland
Wedding Lasso Frequently Asked Questions
Although by now you have a fairly clear understanding of the lasso wedding tradition, you may still have a few lingering questions.
What happens during the wedding lasso ceremony?
During a Catholic wedding, the lasso ceremony takes place after the couple exchanges wedding vows and after the ritual, the couple will wear the lasso for the remainder of the service. During the lasso ritual, the godparents, family members or whoever is facilitating the ceremony will place the rosary or rope around the couple in a figure-eight formation. Placing the cord around the bride and groom's shoulders to resemble the infinity symbol is a nod to the infinite nature of their bond before the eyes of God. Following the lasso ritual, there may be a wedding prayer at the end of the ceremony to further ask for God's blessing on the couple and their new marriage.
What happens to the lasso after the wedding?
Many couples will keep the wedding lasso rosary beads or wedding cord from their wedding as a reminder of the everlasting union it symbolizes. Many couples who partake in the wedding lasso ritual usually also include las arras, or the wedding coin exchange, in their ceremony as well and will keep both the gold coins and the lasso as keepsakes or mementos from their wedding day in their home as a married couple.
What do los padrinos y madrinas pay for in a wedding?
The couple's godparents generally buy rosary wedding lasso that is used during the ritual.
How long is a wedding lasso?
A standard wedding lasso measures 54 inches in length, with each loop measuring approximately 24 inches. Most wedding lassos are handmade so it is possible to look into longer or shorter lengths as needed.
Where can you buy a wedding lasso?
Typically the couple isn't responsible for buying the wedding lasso. Instead, the couple's godparents may purchase this to provide as a gift to the couple.