Traditional Mexican Wedding Reception

Walking into a venue where a Mexican wedding is taking place can seem normal and no different from any other wedding. Of course the grand announcement, family chatter as everyone is excited to be reunited with loved ones, the exquisite decor and the smell of love in the air. However, don't be fooled! If you pay close attention you may hear the distinctive mariachi playing during dinner or perhaps the Banda setting up and warming up with their instruments. YES! You can see now this is a different scene from your average American wedding. You must be thinking to yourself, "great, what should I expect now?" Don't be alarmed if anything you should look forward to a night of excitement and perhaps a VERY different and INTERACTIVE night! Yes, you read it right...INTERACTIVE! There are many events at most traditional weddings that many people don't know about (aside from your traditional first dance, father/daughter, mother/son, bouquet/garter), allow me to break it down for you...

*these descriptions are not in any specific order*

The Money Dance

This is just a traditional time where guest are invited to "pay" for an special dance with either the bride or groom. Whoever chooses to participate MUST pin any amount of monetary bill(s) on bride/groom. I have to say at this point people get super creative by making crowns, ties, necklaces, event vests out of bills as a sort of goofy outfit. No more than 30 seconds per guest is allotted and they are typically dancing to well known ballads.

La Vibora De La Mar (The Sea Snake):

This is a dance where everyone sings along and dances around the bride and groom holding hands, until the snake starts making its way through a bridge (created by the bride/groom) ducking under them as they stand tall on chairs. The best man and typically the strongest of the groomsmen hold both of them so they aren't tossed from their position. The snake gets larger by weaving through the crowd pulling.

El Baile del Mandilon (The domesticated husband dance):

This is a dance where the roles are switched. Understanding older Mexican practices the father/husband has always been the head of family. This dance essentially is making fun of how the "dominant husband" is now the domesticated partner in the relationship. The dance is started by giving the bride a belt and tejana (cowboy hat) and the groom an apron and broom. They dance around the floor as the bride gestures at "whipping" the groom and the groom dances around sweeping the floor. At this time the crowd is asked to come forth with funny props adding to the stereotype. I have seen beer bottles, liquor bottles, and cigars given to the bride to use as props. Where diapers, babies, shower caps, wooden spoons and sponges be given to the groom. This is just a way of reminding them that now they are equal and have to work together while BOTH having a say in the relationship.

I hope this has given you a little look inside customs and traditions of Mexican weddings.

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Thanks for reading!

Brandon Portillo

Bilingual DJ/MC, Latin Music Specialist

Adrian Cavlan