Exploring Wedding Traditions: Hispanic Wedding

Hispanic weddings bring together the dignity of Catholic mass with Latin traditions of music and celebration! While we know there are many different Hispanic wedding traditions depending on the  culture, these are some of the most wide-spread traditions. 

Consider incorporating a few of the traditions into your wedding for an experience you and your guests will cherish forever!

Madrina and Padrino

Early in the engagement, Hispanic couples will choose a sponsor couple known as the Madrina and Padrino. This couple will help pay for the wedding and guide the newlyweds through their first years of marriage! The Madrina and Padrino often have special roles in the wedding ceremony, which can include walking the bride down the aisle or providing a pillow on which the bride and groom can kneel.  Generally, the sponsor couple has been important in the life of the bride and the groom.

Hispanic Cake Toppers

{left photo from bridal elements; right photo by benzado}

Traditional Gown

When shopping for a traditional gown, you should look for a slim dress over which you can wear a jacket and a mantilla veil. This traditional veil is triangular in shape and features lace edging. Ideally, you would wear a gown that has been passed down through your family for generations.  Under the dress, brides often wear yellow, blue and red undergarments to symbolize the abundance of money, food and passion in your new life!

When you chose your bridal jewelry, remember that Hispanic brides do not wear pearls – as these signify tears and grief in marriage. In Spain, brides often wear black on their wedding day to signify devotion to their future husband until death.

Las Arras

A long-standing tradition in both Spain and Mexico, Las Arras are thirteen gold coins that the groom gives his bride during the wedding ceremony. When the bride accepts the coins, she signifies she will be faithful to her future husband and will use their provision wisely.  The number of coins is said to represent Christ and his 12 disciples.  

 {photos by christian f. bernal}

El Lazo

Another important part of the ceremony is El Lazo.  Members of the wedding party - often the Madrina and Padrino - are responsible for tying a rosary, long rope or piece of satin around the couple.  The rope is wrapped in a figure eight around the couple’s neck or waist to symbolize the love that the bride and groom share.  It also shows how the couple equally shares responsibility for the success of the marriage. 

Traditional Reception

At a Hispanic reception, there are many fun traditions and of course, lively music - like salsa or flamenco dancing! The family and guests can participate in the money dance, which is a unique way to give the bride and groom a healthy start to their new lives together. During the dance, guests pin money on the bride and groom for a chance to dance with them. 

Most Hispanic weddings feature traditional foods, like empanadas, rice, paella and arroz con pollo, at the reception. There are many caterers who can adapt a menu to accommodate a few traditional dishes for your wedding. Often a traditional wedding cake is a fruitcake soaked in rum, but you can also have a white tiered cake!


rum cake {left photo from dalboz17; right photo from 3liz4}

One of the most important ways to share your traditions with guests is to explain them! For some of your guest, this could be their first Hispanic wedding ceremony. A brief explanation of what is happening during the ceremony and reception either as the events or happening, or in the form of a program insert, will ensure your guests fully appreciate the rich history of traditions they are witnessing!

Here’s another great resource on Hispanic Traditions: Paratinovia 

By Megan_Gutierrez 02/05/2017 11:06:00

Right Now In Wedding Ceremony