You’re getting married? Well, felicidades! A wedding is one of the most joyful occasions for any family, but especially a Latinx family. Let’s get everyone ecstatic about your upcoming nuptials. I am going to show you how to plan the perfect Latinx wedding. In this guide, I’ll take you step-by-step to plan the happiest day of your life!
Latinx weddings draw on a rich and vibrant culture filled with beautiful traditions. You will be surrounded by generations of family who will love the efforts made to represent your culture on your most important day.
Ready? So am I! LET’S GO!
Step 1: Decide What To Incorporate in Your Latinx Wedding
The first step is to build the foundation of your wedding. You’ll start by figuring out what kind of tone you’re looking to set. You and your partner will have many discussions as you understand what you both view as traditions and a connection to your cultural roots. This will be even more important if you’re in a multicultural relationship.
If that’s the case, you should both get some of the things you want out of a ceremony. This is why discussing it is so important! However, in this guide, we’re going to focus on a Latinx wedding.
When figuring out your theme and decor, you’ll want to draw on your heritage's rich tapestry. Think colors, foods, photo nuances, lighting, clothing, even aromas!
Step 2: Engagement Photoshoot
The tone of your wedding begins with the engagement photoshoot. You might be wondering how on earth you’ll be able to set the tone of your Latinx wedding in engagement photos, but no worries - the possibilities are endless! Finding a way to incorporate your color scheme into the photos can be done with the clothes you wear, the location you shoot at, natural elements, and just about anything. You can even incorporate authentic traditional clothing to make it as true to your heritage as possible.
Take a look at some of my amazing locations in California for an engagement photo session!
Step 3: Location, Location, Location!
Location is one of the most important factors in setting the tone for any wedding. In many Latinx cultures, tradition dictates that you get married in a Catholic church. The best part about this is that Catholic churches are often some of the most stunning churches in existence!
However, if you’re not the religious type, I recommend some worthy alternatives, such as these:
● Historical sites
It’s important to note that if you want to have a Catholic priest presiding over the wedding but don’t want it in a Catholic church, you’ll have to find someone willing to perform the ceremony. This is because most Catholic priests don’t perform weddings outside the church, as they don’t consider marriages conducted outside the church valid.
Even if you don’t book an actual hacienda or rancho, you can still incorporate elements of that atmosphere into your decor.
Step 4: Setting the Guest List
Latinx culture is all about FAMILIA! We’re big lovers of big families. When it comes Latinx weddings, we tend to think the more the merrier – and if that’s what you want for your big day, great!
But whether you go for a big wedding or something more intimate, actually getting your guest list down in writing is important, because it will determine everything about booking the vendors and the venues. Make sure you run the finished version by your future spouse and both sets of parents so that everyone’s on the same page.
In this case, I’m focusing on los padrinos. Our godparents are usually heavily involved in the ceremony and are a part of the Latinx wedding party. They’re chosen by the bride and groom to be mentors in their married life, so the los padrinos are usually married themselves. You need to decide if you are going to incorporate them into your wedding traditions, and how you want to do that.
Step 5: Get Some Amazing Authentic Latinx Food Vendors
What’s a Latinx wedding without some incredible Latinx food? One of the best parts of Latinx culture is its varied cuisine, and the day of your nuptials is the time to celebrate the glorious flavors of your proud lineage! We’d even argue that the food is the highlight of the affair - except for the bride, of course!
This also applies to the drinks. You’ll want to serve alcoholic beverages unique to your culture, such as sangria, tequila, Cuban rum and coke, Mexican sodas, or Brazilian caipirinha. The best way to keep guests happy is to provide them with good food and amazing drinks. Thankfully, the Latinx culture is full of both!
Step 6: Latinx Wedding Traditions
Latinx weddings are filled with interesting and wonderful traditions that are perfect for your wedding day. Let’s explore a few:
Las Aras or Marriage Coins
Marriage coins, or Las Aras, are 13 gold coins given to the couple by the godparents as a gift. These coins are then blessed by the priest before the groom presents them to the bride. The meaning behind Las Aras is to signify the groom's promise to provide for his bride and their future family. The 13 coins represent Jesus and his 12 apostles. However, its deeper meaning is the importance of God’s role in a successful marriage.
El Lazo or Wedding Lasso
Once the vows have been spoken, the couple will be joined in holy matrimony by using a lasso. This lasso is usually a silver rope, rosary, or silk cord. The lasso is wrapped around the couple by los padrinos or other people who are important to the couple. This wrapping of the lasso signifies the unity of the two lovers.
Step 7: Music!
As rich and beautiful as the culture, food, and drinks are, so is the music! A Latinx wedding isn’t complete without some well-chosen tunes that will get your guests moving! The bride and groom must choose a DJ or a live band that understands the audience they’re playing for. So do your research and ensure you’ve got the right person or band for the job. You might want to ask the musicians whether they are familiar with Latin music. What are some of their favorite songs to play? You want people out of their seats and blazing the dance floor with their moves!
Step 8: Fiesta: The Reception … and More Traditions!
The reception is a time for a roaring fiesta, but there are other traditions as well. Like any wedding, there’s a father-daughter dance. It’s a touching moment as a father lets go of his little girl once and for all.
Then there’s the El Baile Del Billete, also known as the Money Dance. This is specifically for people from Cuba, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Mexico. During this dance, the guests pin money to the bride + groom!
A Latinx wedding has the potential to be an amazing experience for all involved. While your families will make up the bulk of the guest list, you’ll also have outsiders who join the celebrations. I’m talking about those who are not a part of the Latinx culture. Part of the joy of being Latinx is that we’re happy to share it with anyone willing to participate in our merrymaking! At the end of the day, that includes our culture, family, love, and fiesta.
What’s better than a Latinx wedding? A Latinx photographer! Hi there, my name is Melina, and I own and operate CORAZON PHOTOGRAPHY out here in beautiful SoCal. If you’re looking for an amazing photographer who can capture the heck out of your wedding and become friends with the entire familia, I’m your girl. Take a look at my portfolio and get in touch. Let’s make sure this special day is captured in the best possible way. I can’t wait to meet you and immortalize your personalized Latinx wedding in stunning photos!
And if you’re planning a destination wedding? Awesome - I’m ready to go!