There are 6,200 weddings in the United States every day.
Culture plays a huge role in weddings, which means there is a lot of variation when it comes to “traditional” ceremonies. If you are planning or attending a Hispanic wedding (the U.S. Census includes ethnicities from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Central, and South America), you will find a rich history of traditions to understand.
Prepare yourself, or just satisfy your curiosity, by learning about 7 Hispanic wedding traditions.
1. Sponsors (Los Padrinos)
Many Hispanic weddings have Los Padrinos (godparents) sponsor different aspects of the wedding. This includes flowers, cake, photography, and even the bride’s dress.
There are also sponsors who offer guidance as a moral compass for the couple. These sponsors tend to be couples who have been successfully married for a long time. They are intended to be a vision of what the couple wishes to become in their marriage.
2. 13 Gold Coins (Las Arras)
Thirteen gold coins or Las Arras, (usually purchased by godparents), are traditionally given to the bride by the groom. This is a symbol of trust and compromise.
Presented in an ornate box the coins symbolize luck and prosperity. The 13 coins symbolize Christ and his 12 Apostles. The tradition dates back to the Roman Empire and the tradition of breaking a piece of gold or silver.
3. Lasso (El Lazo)
The lasso is a jeweled or beaded rope, often a double rosary. This large loop goes over the couple in a figure eight shape.
It is placed by the padrinos of the lasso first over the groom’s shoulder, then intertwined over the bride. The string represents the love binding the couple as they come together in marriage.
4. Money Dance
This is a tradition that is thought to have arrived from Spain. The exact origin of this tradition is unknown.
Guests will have money ready to pay the couple in exchange for a dance. It has taken on the meaning and symbolism of wishing the couple good luck in the marriage.
5. La Tornaboda
La Tornaboda is a second, more intimate, wedding reception. Traditionally, this is hosted the next day at the bride and groom’s house. Most guests would party all night and head straight to the breakfast!
In modern times, it is often held early in the morning while guests are still dancing. Everyone gets a good meal and can rest their feet.
6. Bachelor Shoes
At Colombian weddings, it is a tradition for the single male guests to take their shoes and place them under the bride’s dress.
The groom will then reach under the dress and pick out a random shoe. Superstition dictates that the owner of the shoe will be the next to get married.
7. The Disappearing Act
It is often a tradition that the bride and groom will sneak off in secret from their own reception as it nears its end. It is a symbol of good luck for the couple if they manage to get away without getting caught.
If successful, it is also considered to be good luck for the first guest that notices they are missing.
Hispanic Wedding Traditions
Although there are commonalities, each Hispanic country has their own traditions.
The same can be said for all cultures and countries across the world. Weddings are deeply personal events and provide insight into the values of a culture.
If you are planning your own wedding, check out our blog. We provide tips on having a stress free, beautiful day.
Wedding Details is your comprehensive guide to all aspects of your wedding. From traditional ceremonies to questions regarding the guests, our website offers you one place to do all your research.