Hispanic Wedding Traditions
Hispanic wedding traditions combine the importance of the Catholic Church with the passion for vibrant music and dance so emblematic of Latin culture.
Hispanic wedding traditions: Ceremony
Spirituality is vital in Hispanic wedding traditions, and involves a full Roman Catholic mass. The bride, groom, and all guests kneel towards to alter in prayer throughout the ceremony, but certain aspects of the ceremony vary within different Hispanic divisions.
- Argentina: there are no bridesmaids or groomsmen. Instead the mother of the groom and the father of the bride walk down the aisle with their child.
- Mexican: sponsors, called Madrinas y Padrinos, take part in the church service but also guide the couple spiritually and emotionally.
In Colombia, a candle ceremony is conducted where both bride and groom light a candle then use their two candles to light a third one, symbolizing their union.
In Hispanic wedding traditions, the bride and groom are loosely bound by an extra long rosary or lazo in a figure eight, or infinity sign, around their necks as they exchange vows. This symbolizes their eternal bond in marriage.
The groom must give the bride 13 gold coins according to some Hispanic wedding traditions. The number 13 represents Christ and his twelve apostles, and the gift is given to symbolize the man`s commitment to his wife.
Hispanic wedding traditions: Reception
Signature Latin dishes should be served at any authentic Hispanic reception. Good appetiser ideas include Spanish tapas, gambas, tortillas, and aceitunas. As for the main service, paella or arooz con pollo are good choices to keep with Hispanic wedding traditions.
Hispanic wedding traditions revolve around family and festivity, so dance is an important feature of the evening. The couple, along with their guests, can perform salsa, meringue, mambo, flamenco and samba dances to signature Latin songs. The guests can also gather around the couple in a heart shape while they perform their first dance as husband and wife. In some Hispanic wedding traditions there is also a money dance, where guests pin money to the bride and groom`s clothes while slow dancing with them.
Hispanic wedding traditions: Attire
The gown worn by the bride may vary in different regions, but one popular option is to have a flamenco inspired dress. This gown is long with ruffles and flounces at the bottom, and is usually made from black silk. Black gowns can be worn according to Hispanic wedding traditions to symbolize the bride`s devotion until death. The dress can be also be brightly colored or a traditional white.
The key feature for a Hispanic wedding look is the mantilla, or the veil, worn by the bride. This is a triangular lace veil held up by two large black combs to cover the bride`s face at the ceremony.
Though brides may prefer a more traditional wedding, many of the Hispanic wedding traditions carry over into more contemporary weddings as a nice way for new generations to embrace old cultural customs.