Puerto Vallarta to Philadelphia: A Tale of Two Weddings

Cathedrals of Puerto Vallarta (left) and Philadelphia (right)

Cathedrals of Puerto Vallarta (left) and Philadelphia (right)

It’s been a busy start to the Holiday Season for my girlfriend and I as we were invited to back-to-back weddings – one in Puerto Vallarta, where we live, and the other in Philadelphia, where I’m from. Both were absolutely beautiful events, alike in many ways yet unique in traditions and customs. Reflecting back on the ceremonies (through the haze of champagne and tequila) offers some interesting insights into a tradition both Mexicans and Americans hold as holy.

It’s important to note that both weddings were Catholic, a faith to which I do not belong, so each ceremony was both foreign and intriguing to someone who has not spent much time in a cathedral. And what cathedrals they were! Our Mexican friends were married in Puerto Vallarta’s beloved Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe – one of the cities most prominent symbols, and our American friends were married in The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul – one of the oldest and most architecturally impressive buildings in Philadelphia. Both cathedrals were breathtaking and, in truth, distracting as I couldn’t help but allow my eyes to wander during the ceremonies.

The Mexican ceremony was, naturally, in Spanish; however, the American ceremony was just as foreign as both included many call-and-response verses, which most attendees knew by heart. Both traditions also included Communion, which I found interesting as it broke up the flow of the wedding. The Spanish Priest seemed much more traditional and stern; however, only at the American wedding did we actually have to kneel.

Unique to the Mexican wedding, I found the tradition of El Lazo (The Lasso) to be quite interesting and beautiful. The Lasso is a double-looped Rosary, in this case made of clear crystals and adorned with a dangling cross, which is placed around the heads of the bride and groom during the ceremony. I’m told that el lazo symbolizes unity and “should bind the couple together everyday as they equally share the responsibility of marriage for the rest of their lives.” It was a powerful and beautiful image to see our two friends kneel before the priest, bound literally by a crystal lasso as they spiritually bound their love.

The best man and the maid of honor placing the lasso

Although much different in style, music played a significant part in both ceremonies. Throughout the American wedding, a single female soloist sang several songs, which were lovely; however, it was the music of the Mexican wedding that stands out in memory. A full-piece mariachi band, brilliantly dressed in traditional garb, assembled to the side of the altar where they brought the ceremony to life through various songs of faith and love. I’m told that not all Mexican weddings have a mariachi band but that it is common in weddings of the higher Mexican society, which makes sense – between the grandeur of the cathedral, the austerity of the old priest, the resounding music of the mariachis, and the gorgeous appearance of both the bride and groom, the occasion was certainly fit for royalty.

Having not been to many weddings in general, it was a pleasure to attend two weddings in two countries in the same week. Witnessing four friends commit their love to each other in such impressive settings was unforgettable, however, now being able to juxtapose the most sacred event of these two cultures, I must say that if you ever have a chance to attend a wedding at Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in Puerto Vallarta, don’t pass it up!

Mexico Today (Marca País – Imagen de México), is a joint public and private sector initiative designed to help promote Mexico as a global business partner and an unrivaled tourist destination. This program is designed to shine a light on the Mexico that its people experience every day. Disclosure: I am being compensated for my work in creating content as an Ambassador for the México Today Program. All stories, opinions and passion for all things México shared here are completely my own. Visit Mexico Today on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn

Category : Blog &Only in Mexico &PV Livin

Wrecked Sailboat Turned Rope-Swing

Photo via Boca Jack

Boca Jack originally posted a photo of this boat a few days ago after it wrecked ashore. We told him he should commandeer it, but it seems it’s been put to better use.

Category : Blog &Only in Mexico

Overhead Jackhammer

This made me chuckle although I’m sure I would not have been laughing had I have gotten nailed by a chunk of falling concrete. See the guy up on the balcony? He’s jackhammering away with just a little wooden stool to suggest that pedestrians walk a little wider than they normally would. Only in Mexico.

Category : Blog &Only in Mexico

Chili Beer

Good friend and partner at White Bulldog Media Graham Mattock went a little crazy the other night in Red Pub and started ordering these chili beers (which come with an actual chili inside). I thought he’d just ordered one for laughs but later found out he’d been drinking them all night, which was mind blowing as I tried one sip and had immediate heart-burn. Cheers to Graham and his Mexican stomach!

Category : Blog &Only in Mexico

Ingenuity

Ever seen a kitchen fan like this? This is so awesome, I bet you could market it as “hip” and it’d sell like cray in Brooklyn.

Category : Blog &Only in Mexico

Warrior

Bandaged motocycler in Puerto Vallarta

I passed an accident this morning where this guy was all bloody talking with a police officer. Here he is a few hours later bandaged up and back on the road. Que hardcore.

Category : Blog &Only in Mexico

Who Turned Out the Lights?

Mexican Electrician

After weeks of delay, we were finally supposed to be able to move into our new White Bulldog Media office today. We got into the office and everything was painted and a new wifi router had been hooked up but, alas, there was no electricity. In a fit of frustration, I stormed out on the balcony only to find the image shown above. Couldn’t help but smile and laugh when I saw that hombre walking the wires. Apparently, they are re-wiring the whole block.

Category : Blog &Only in Mexico

Hop On

Family on a scooter in Mexico

This is something you see so often, I’m thinking I should make a whole section dedicated to packed scooters. I’ve seriously seen two parents, two kids, and an infant on the handlebars of one of these before. It’s really remarkable what these little scooters can handle.

Category : Blog &Only in Mexico

Pet Scorpions

20110804-080313.jpg

Only 20 bucks for your own disgusting scorpion

Category : Blog &Only in Mexico

Get Er Done

20110719-010052.jpg

I’ve come to conclude that Mexicans are fearless when it comes to just getting it done. I guess this guy needed a little more height out of his ladder.

Category : Blog &Only in Mexico

About Us

Simply Vallarta was created to give you a glimpse of the life you can expect to live in Puerto Vallarta... This is PV Livin! more..

Connect