Mexican Theme Wedding

Mexican wedding traditions, decorations and customs for your wedding 'fiesta'!

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If you love color and excitement, celebrate your vows in fiesta style with a Mexican theme wedding and Mexican wedding traditions. Let age-old Mexican wedding customs add tasty "spice" to your wedding day bliss.

A good setting for a Mexican theme wedding would be an old mission-style church or a Spanish-style home. Traditionally, Mexican weddings are held in the bride's home, either indoors or, weather permitting, in the yard. But you can create a south-of-the-border ambiance anywhere.

The most important decorative element for your Mexican theme wedding is color. Go for striking hues and vivid contrast. Remember the "in between" colors, such as turquoise, magenta, and orange.

Include bright confetti in your invitations. Use the word "fiesta" instead of "reception," and "Senora," "Senorita," and "Senor" for "Mrs.," "Miss," and "Mr." Write with colored ink instead of the customary black. Stamp "Hola!" (Greetings!) on the envelopes.

Terra cotta pots and patterned tiles paired with bunches of fresh or faux flowers, or even cactuses, make a lovely and economical basic decor. For a lighter feel, consider pale green cactuses arranged with white daisies and yellow or orange zinnias.

Colorful serapes, sombreros, fans, or traditionally patterned hand-woven rugs will impart a Mexican flair to your Mexican theme wedding. Outdoors, these items could adorn trees, fences, or the outer wall of the house or other building.

After dark, light your festivities with strings of paper lanterns in your chosen color scheme. For table lighting, you could use Mexican terra-cotta candle holders placed on patterned tiles, or heavy silver candlesticks holding tapers.

Consider using either white table coverings or some pastel shade to show off bright-colored plates and napkins. Fun table decorations might include paired maracas, ceramic owls, or red, green and orange chili peppers.

For favors, you could give authentic Mexican seasonings in cute bottles. Or wrap traditional Mexican wedding cookies in tulle and tie with colored raffia or ribbons. Small pieces of hand-painted terra-cotta pottery filled with wrapped Mexican candies would make nice favors, too. These candies and spices are now available in the specialty aisles of many grocery stores. Or look in the phone book or online for a Mexican specialty shop.

Why not give your vows a Mexican flavor by saying "si" instead of "I do"? You might also consider incorporating one of the following Mexican wedding traditions into your wedding.
  • Near the end of the ceremony, the groom presents the bride with thirteen gold coins, symbolizing the trust he places in her. These are carried by an attendant, then poured lovingly into the bride's hands by the groom.
  • A specially chosen person places a white lasso (cord or ribbon) lightly around the shoulders or wrists of the bride and groom, binding them together. Once they're man and wife, the lasso is removed and given to the bride as a memento.
  • For the married couple's first dance together, guests sometimes gather round them in a heart-shaped formation. Afterward, the guests dance too, and pin money on the couple's clothing.

  • Mexican wedding traditions, including wedding attire for the bride and groom, vary greatly by region. You can't go wrong with ruffles, though. For something different, the bride might carry a fan instead of a bouquet, or include a chili pepper in with the flowers.

    Mexican wedding cake is traditionally a fruitcake soaked in rum, or a "tres leches" cake. You could cover either of these with white icing and decorate with chili peppers made from marzipan.

    When it comes to good eating, a Mexican theme wedding provides wonderful opportunities to incorporate Mexican wedding traditions into yet another aspect of day. Your menu might include tacos, enchiladas or tamales, or you could go for something more gourmet. For snacking, provide bowls of tortilla chips and salsa. Your guests will thank you for either holding down the spicy heat or placing a warning next to the hotter dishes. Mexican pottery makes pretty serving dishes, but you'll want to make sure the glaze is free of lead.

    If alcohol will be served, consider sangria, a traditional drink made from sweetened wine mixed with brandy, fruit juice, and soda water. And be sure to have someone propose a Mexican toast!

    If you want live music at your Mexican theme wedding, how about hiring a crowd-pleasing Mariachi band? Their vivid costumes and unique combinations of instruments (trumpets, guitars, drums, and sometimes harps or violins) will add charm and style to your wedding fiesta. As an alternative, you could have strolling guitarists serenade you and your guests.

    Traditional Mexican weddings are family affairs, and children are welcomed and even indulged. You might consider hanging a heart-shaped pinata and letting your younger guests take turns swatting it with a stick while wearing a colorful blindfold.

    Just as your "amor" captured your heart, your Mexican theme wedding will capture your imagination. And if you can top it off with a Mexican honeymoon, so much the better!

    Written by: Jim Williams