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Wedding thoughts.

  • Jul. 9th, 2011 at 8:59 PM
Marry Me
I wrote this up last month and forgot to post until I had a recent chat with a friend who asked me about Mexican wedding traditions. It was clearly a sign. XD

So, the wedding I attended a couple weeks ago had me thinking. There is nerd in me, so I can't really help but get all off-the-wall analytical. Mostly, I love it when my brain starts to think critically about stuff I take for granted as "normal". Because I try not to be so egocentric and I have a lot of friends that have the same culture as I do so they understand a lot of the stuff that seems weird to my other friends. And my other friends open my eyes to other ways of "living." (I suppose one could call it since I can't think of a better word right now.)

Anyway. Weddings. The thing is, I'm always curious about American weddings. I've never actually been to one. Yes, I am American, but my family is Mexican. We have traditions that American weddings don't and vice-versa. So, the music, the food, the rituals are waaaay different. I know I shouldn't base my ideas on what the media feeds us, but I can't help but think that if they were to be compared, our weddings would be much more laid-back. (And that's mostly what I'm thinking about, because ceremony-wise gets into religious differences which is just not the point.)

Anyway, one of our consistent traditions, that I've seen performed in every family/friend wedding I've been to, is La Vibora. It translates to: The Snake. Basically, you get the bride and groom up on chairs in the middle of a dance-floor or open space, they hold the bride's veil and create a sort of space that people can walk under/through. All the bridesmaids/single women/any female who's game are called up, they join hands or grab each other's waists to form a long line (the snake). The music starts and the head of the snake leads the women under the veil, through the tables, around and around, twisting and turning like a snake. Every time they get close, they must try and unseat the groom by crashing into him. (Both the bride and groom have a pair of people steadying them so there won't be any crazy tumbles). That Saturday was a small affair and there were about six of us. When I was little, I'd join up with my cousins and aunts and there'd be at least a dozen. Once the music cuts or the women call exhaustion it's the mens' turn. They /really/ have to take the groom down. (No one really ever touches the bride.) It can get pretty brutal, which is why the groom has his best guys flanking him. :D Once they take the groom's chair and the groom's guys can no longer keep him aloft, the groom is taken from his new bride's side. He's carried securely. This next part is optional. I've seen it done and not done. His shoes and sock are taken, he's heckled. (Asked why he would get married, doesn't he know she's going to nag him for eternity? Etc.) Then the guys toss him up and catch him repeatedly. (Sadly, not enough strong guys that Saturday. They barely got him out of their arms and he was not a big guy.)

The second thing is the Waltz. Which I know is not exclusive! The couple starting out, then dancing with the parents, etc. THE THING: Every dance partner pins cash on the bride or groom. Whomever they're dancing with. There's no set "price" but this is considered the cash that the bride and groom will use on their honeymoon or towards the things they need for their home (home, in the sense of "hogar" which is the sentiment of the household that's being created, not a house or building). The bride's veil is what will usually be pinned with cash so she can take it off and stash it easily. But, of course, it's also a way for us to have a sense of humor. I know one of my friend's aunt's tucked a bill into her cleavage. XD It's much more funny with the groom. Usually, money is at least folded and pinned in his hair as either "bows" or "horns". Also, a tail is made starting from his blazer to as long as it will reach. Sometimes, people will use the pins to hitch the groom's pantleg up. And I don't know about other Mexican/Mexican-American weddings, but despite the Latin "machismo," in this case, here's a time where guys, for example, if they are close friends or family to the groom will dance with him (shuffle :D) which is fun. I mean, each person only has until the next person is muscling in for their turn, which at most is 10 seconds. And they play at twirls and dips anyway. Luckily, I'm a girl so I dance with whomever the hell I please (i.e. the person I actually know.) I'd only met the groom that day (high school friend's wedding), so I got to sway with the bride and ask about her 'something blue'.

She was radiant with happiness guys. She's always been a happy, optimistic person, but she's the first bride I've seen that's just been happy and smiling and not going crazy about the details. Glowing.

So, basically, I wrote this because I'm interested in some of your wedding traditions. For example, when I told the money-Waltz thing to a friend of mine whose family is from Vietnam and Buddhist she immediately said that it was sort of like her tradition of the guests giving the bride and groom red envelopes filled with cash in lieu of gifts. (And that she was thankful no dancing was involved.)

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