Pinatas, Mariachis, Torillas, oh my!

May 21, 2008 | weddings

Psst… In case you didn’t already know, Oscar is Mexican. Which means all of his family members (60-something to my 15) are, well, Mexican.

When we started to date, this was kind of daunting for me. It was a game of, “Let’s pick on the white girl” fun. (Seriously though, totally kidding. His immediate family has a great sense of humor, and I can laugh with them about most everything.) First of all, they all knew who I was, (because I didn’t look like them) but I had no idea who they all were. To be honest, I still get some of his aunts and uncles confused. Nonetheless, ALL of them were nothing but kind and inviting toward me. And that’s something I’m looking forward to.

When we got engaged, I immediately started thinking about what traditional Mexican customs to include in the ceremony. Since Oscar has lived here for so long, he wasn’t really pushing to have many (if any) traditional customs included. But I kind of wanted to look anyway, and so here are a few I found:

Mariachi Band – I vetoed. NOT because I don’t love a good mariachi band, I just felt like it would have been out of place, even for us. In case you aren’t familiar, a mariachi group consists of two violins and trumpets, a type of guitar called a vihuela, a Spanish guitar, and a bass.

‘Tossing the groom’ – The groom is covered with the bridal veil and carried in the air by all of the men. There is much teasing and ribbing with the groom. – Not that the groom needs another reason to be teased, but I won’t have a veil, so he gets to skip this one.

Arras – Thirteen gold coins
The groom gives the bride thirteen gold coins blessed by the priest (which is traditional for a Catholic wedding, which is the predominant religion of Mexico). The 13 coins represent the Christ and his 12 apostles. The Arras is given to the bride as a symbol of the unquestionable trust and confidence the groom has in her. By accepting the arras, the bride pronounces her unconditional trust and confidence in her groom. These coins become a part of their family heirloom. – Honestly, I kind of like this tradition, but since Oscar’s family isn’t Catholic, I just included it because I liked it.

The Padrino dance – When all the men in the family take turns dancing with the bride, and as they do, they pin money to her dress. I like the idea of this custom, but the thought of having little pin-marks in my dress makes my nose wrinkle. I would much rather have a specific place for any monetary gifts, like a pretty birdcage on a table.

I did want to infuse something his family could appreciate, however. So, when figuring out our food options, we decided to have a Mexican restaurant we both love, La Parrilla, cater the event – complete with margarita machine. This is definitely our style, and I hope his family will like this option better than say, some hoity-toity caterer that gets paid entirely too much money for some other kind of “masterpiece.” When looking up traditional Mexican weddings, I found this blurb about the menu:

The menu at a Mexican wedding reception includes traditional dishes such as tortillas, chicken, rice, and beans. Sangria is often served as a beverage. (Ok, so we have it halfway right).

I’m still searching for other Mexican-oriented ideas, but thankfully, I can go to Oscar’s parents for such things. 🙂

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