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Mexican Wedding Traditions You Need to Know

A photo of newlyweds.
Traditional Mexican weddings are full of rituals that are still practiced and observed today.

Family life begins with marriage.

The word is described as a long-term commitment where you prioritize your wife and (future) child over yourself.

This commitment is symbolized by taking vows at a wedding ceremony. In the presence of friends and family, you promise to love your spouse, till death do you part.

But weddings are a lot more than just vows and saying “I do,” especially if it’s a Mexican one. Culture also plays a role in these occasions.

That being said, we’re here to tell you some Mexican wedding traditions you need to know.

La pedida de mano, asking for approval from her father.

The father is typically considered the head of the family in the traditional Mexican household. The decision on whether his daughter will be permitted to marry is ultimately up to him.

As such, the groom and his family will have to schedule a visitation to the bride’s home. The purpose of this is to formally ask the father for his daughter’s hand in marriage, after which wedding preparations are addressed and planned out by the two families.

Once the father approves of the arrangement, both the bride and groom’s family can use the rest of the time to get to know each other better, especially since they will become one family after the union.

Los padrinos y madrinas, the appointment of wedding sponsors.

The soon-to-be bride and groom must decide on their padrinos y madrinas, also known as the wedding sponsors.

Like godparents to the wedding, the appointed sponsors will help guide the soon to wed couple and give them valuable advice to help them get through their engagement as well as their marriage.

They are the people whom the couple will run to in the event any relationship issues ensues between them.

On certain occasions, when the sponsors are feeling generous, they will help pay for wedding expenses, as an advance wedding gift to the couple.

Normally, wedding sponsors are those who the bride and groom trust and know are full of wisdom when it comes to married life. In their respective families, they are called compadres and comadres.

Because of their special roles, they are seated next to the soon-to-be-married couple, to signify that they are guests of honors.

A photo of newlyweds kissing their sponsor.
Los padrinos y madrinas are the special people in the lives of the couple that ensure the success of the wedding.

Boda processional, the wedding procession.

Traditional Mexican wedding ceremonies are usually held in a Catholic Church. A priest conducts a mass and communion takes place. After that, the wedding procession follows.

In a choreographed order, the groom, bride, and entourage enter the church building.

Firstly, the groom and his best man station themselves by the altar, followed by the bridesmaids and groomsmen. They are to parade down the aisle in pairs, making their way up-front. Finally, the bride makes her grandiose entrance. It’s customary that her father escorts her, but it’s not mandatory.

When everyone is seated, the priest will then officially start the wedding ceremony. This is when we hear the famous line: “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today…” Then they proceed to the marriage rites. Followed by vows.

Las arras matrimoniales, wedding coins.

After exchanging vows, the wedded pair then move on to the next tradition, the handing of 13 gold coins. This wedding paraphernalia is kept in an ornate treasure box that has been pre-blessed by the church.

It represents the wealth of the groom, wherein 13 represents the Lord’s son, Jesus, and his twelve disciples. The giving of the coins from the groom to the bride is considered symbolic.

Basically, this means that the man puts all his trust in his woman to guard his treasures and wealth. It can also be interpreted as the man’s willingness to support the woman financially and care for her throughout the union.

El lazo matrimoniales, the wedding rope.

Next on the agenda is the placement of the wedding rope. It’s typically made from silk or rosary beads. The rope is carefully placed around the newlyweds’ upper body. It forms the symbol of infinity or the number eight.

It symbolizes the couple’s unity through marriage. From that point on, they are considered intertwined. On the other hand, the number eight signifies a new beginning, as stated in the bible.

Lastly, it’s the los padrinos and madrinas that must place the lasso over the wedded pair. The rope is worn throughout the ceremony. Only the priest can remove it, which is done at the end of the mass.

Ofrenda de flores, offering flowers to the altar of the Virgin Mary.

As a wedding-ender, the bride must visit the shrine of the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe to ask her for her blessing and protection. As a thank you, the bride offers her wedding bouquet to the Blessed Mother Mary.

Though not necessary, the groom may accompany his bride to the shrine.

La fiesta en una boda, wedding reception.

A photo of a bride lifted by guests.
Once the wedding ceremony is done, everyone moves to the reception area to party.

Afterward, all of the attendees celebrate the success of the nuptial ceremony.

A special area or place is reserved for the reception party. Depending on the arrangement, everyone will have to make their way and join the rest of the festivities there.

Once they’ve arrived, they will be greeted with mountains of Mexican food, lively music, and the sound of mariachi bands.

That’s not all. The best part of a Mexican wedding reception is the special dances:


  • La vibora de la mar (sea snake dance) — a traditional Mexican wedding dance where all the guests are required to participate.
    First off, the wedded pair are placed on top of two adjacent facing chairs. Then they must form an arch using their arms. Music is played and all the guests must pass through the arch while holding hands. The goal is not to break the human chain. The faster the music gets, the more difficult it is for the guests to stay in formation.
  • The money dance — the money is exchanged for a dance with either of the couple. Peso bills are pinned to the attire of the newlyweds, whereas coins are tossed on the dance floor.

The party becomes more lively and fun because of these traditional dances.

La tornaboda, the after party.

If the reception is the afterparty, then la tornaboda is the after-after party (or the party “after” the after-party).

It’s normally reserved for the couple’s family and close friends. The purpose of the gathering is so the newlyweds could personally thank these people for their help and their presence during their special day.

Come to Mexico and Search for Your Ideal Bride

Hopefully, you’ve learned some facts about Mexican wedding traditions. The next step is finding an ideal bride in Mexico City. Sign up and register on our website to meet thousands of beautiful and single Mexican women.

Newest, beautiful, single women now added for week of Wednesday, 17 July, 2024 - Tuesday, 23 July, 2024
Your opportunities here are truly worldwide. Explore our site deeply to see how you can realize that!