Despite the fact that I've lived in Mexico for roughly 6 years (off-and-on), I had never attended a Mexican wedding. I've done a funeral, quinceneras, baptisms, a first communion, a 50th wedding anniversary, and loads of birthday parties. But never a wedding. And if you've been reading this blog with any regularity, you know that I love a wedding. However, I've never been invited to a wedding in Mexico. Stalking doesn't count.
But, this weekend, I was invited to a real Mexican wedding.
OK, OK, it was a half-Mexican wedding, just like mine. However, they choose to hold the wedding in Mexico. And after Danyel's mother visited, they were compelled to add as many Mexican traditions to the ceremony and reception as humanly possible (or so rumor has it!). And, in my opinion, this was a fabulous touch!
Despite the fact that Clara was asked to be the flower girl (and I accepted on her behalf), we arrived late to the ceremony, thanks to the Mexican tradition (better put, chilango tradition) of spending any weekend away from Mexico City--preferably in the state of Morelos, where the wedding was held. We stayed at Mario's parents' house in Jojutla, an hour and a half away from Tepotzlan, where the wedding was held. We had no problem getting to the rehearsal on time on Friday, and planned on getting to the church extremely early on Saturday, so Clara could warm up to the idea of walking down the aisle. We also knew traffic would be heavier, and planned accordingly.
However, we were unprepared for exactly how bad the traffic was. Despite intending to arrive an hour before the ceremony, we arrived after the vows, as the lasso was placed around Danyel and Cesar's shoulders (in Mexico they don't just symbolically unite the couple in a marriage ceremony . . . it's done quite literally). After that, they finished with communion and then processed back down the aisle. I felt terrible about our tardiness, until I found out that the best man was in the same boat. Oh, Mexico City and your terrible traffic--why do you spread this plague to other areas on the weekend? It's the main reason most of the rest of us don't ever want to live there.
Danyel and Cesar clambered into a cute little car to be driven to the reception, while the rest of us walked 5 or 6 blocks on the cobblestones. OK, most walked, but far too many tried to flag down taxis which made for probably the most epic traffic jam in Tepotzlan's history. Not being stuck in traffic, I thought it was fabulous.
The reception was held outdoors at a site just under the mountains--absolutely beautiful! They went all out, having a reggae band play during the cocktail hour, maraichis serenaded Danyel and Cesar during dinner, and dancing was kicked off with a group of chinelo dancers (folkloric from Morelos--waaay more fun than traditional folkloric dancing, as they require audience participation . . . anyone who can bounce along to a beat (and it's a good beat) would have no problems joining in).
It was a beautiful night, and Clara hung in there pretty well through most of it. The fireworks as Danyel and Cesar cut the cake put her over the edge and she fell asleep in my arms as we ate the cake (and it was delicious!).
So congratulations, Danyel and Cesar!
Thanks for inviting me to my very first Mexican wedding (realizing that it was part gringo, with your bridesmaids and flower girl!). It was a beautiful celebration of the both of you!