The Hispanic wedding has beautiful customs and symbolism.
Padrinos have an extremely important role in the Spanish wedding. They are the sponsors and bring very important items to the wedding ceremony. Typically a couple, Padrinos have special seats and their main task is to present items during the wedding ceremony. It is an honor to be asked to serve as Padrinos.
Hispanic wedding ceremonies are typically held in the Catholic Church.
The outline of the ceremony and traditions is as follows…
1. Lighting of the Candles
2. Padrinos who will present the Bible enter and take seat
3. Padrinos who will present coins enter and take seat
4. Padrinos who will present lazo (spelled as Lasso or Laso) enter and take seat
5. Padrinos who will present pillows – a very important part of the wedding ceremony – enter and take seat. Typically, there are two pillows – which the Bride and Groom kneels for a blessing from the priest or minister. They are usually elaborately decorated with lace and pearls, and contain the name of the couple the wedding date and some sort of quotation or scripture reading. Roses are placed on the pillows at the beginning of the ceremony.
6. The Mother of the Bride enters on the Usher’s left arm – The women are always on the left arm of the gentleman, because they feel the women are closer to their hearts. The Mother of the Bride always enters first because she is seen as more important (as compared to the Mother of the Groom).
7. The Mother of the Groom enters on the Usher’s left arm
8. Pastor, Groom and Best Man enter from the side (sacristy).
9. Bridesmaids enter escorted by Ushers
10. Maid of Honor enters
11. Bride enters on Father’s left arm
12 Traditional words from Clergy
13 Traditional giving away of Bride
14. Padrino’s present the Bible – elaborately covered in lase and pearl-trimmed satin. It usually has the couple’s names and wedding date stamped into the cover.
15. The Padrinos presents coins – The Arras comes from Middle Eastern Influence, where money was presented to the Father of the Bride to reimburse him for the costs of raising his daughter. The Arras is now symbolized in 13 coins, which may be gold, or gold dipped – American, Spanish or Mexican coins. They are enclosed in a treasure box and are placed, one by one, presented to the Bride (by the Groom). This action symbolizes his promise to take care of her. The treasure box (containing the coins) are then handed to the Maid of Honor. The treasure boxes are often handed down through the generations and can be elaborately decorated.
16. Bride gives treasure box of coins to the Maid of Honor
17. Exchange of Rings
18. Presentation of Lazo – The coupe kneels on the wedding pillows. The Padrinos place the Lazo around both the Bride and Groom with the cross hanging between them. The Lazo is similar to a rosary, with the exception that it’s two loops with a cross. The Lazo could be anything, really. It could be expensive or inexpensive, made of beads, or hand painted. After ensuring that the cross is placed between the couple, the Padrinos remain beside the Bride and Groom. The Clergy servers the bread and wine to the Groom, who in turn serves the cup and bread to his Bride. The Padrinos then life the Mantilla and remove the Lazo before seating themselves. The roses are removed from the pillows.
19. Lighting of the Unity Candle
20. The Groom Kisses his Bride
21. The Bride and Groom recess (Bride on Groom’s left arm)
22. The attendants recess.