This week, we are celebrating LOVE by bringing you a full week of weddings and love stories. Five New Latina readers share their beautiful photographs, stories and wedding tips!
We begin our wedding series with a beautiful, lovely and fun Latina, residing in Mexico, Sue Valencia!
Married October 9th, 2010
Antonio and I, already in our thirties had been living together for a couple of years when we decided to get married. We both come from traditional Mexican families, and even they had come to terms with the fact that we moved in together just 6 months after we started dating. And I must say, we were an easy fit right from the get go. It was so easy to move in together! So the question was, if everything was so perfect, why get married at all?
The answer was easy: the power of ritual, the power of blessings, the power of having the people you love send you off into a new stage in your life.
Where/how did you and your husband meet?
Antonio and I met at our meditation center, so right from the get go that was the heart and soul of our relationship. We knew that the most important part of our lives was already there: we wanted the same things, we had the same goals in terms of personal development and growth, we shared what was most sacred for the both of us.
How/where did your husband proposed?
He proposed on November 2nd 2009.
(It was a long weekend and he had wanted us to go away to a cabin in the mountains so he could pop the question in such a romantic setting. Unfortunately everything was booked! So we ended up staying home and just enjoying being there, cuddling all weekend, relaxing. Finally, early morning of November 2nd he couldn’t help it anymore, got up and tied the ring around our cat’s neck with a red ribbon. When I opened my eyes because of all the noise he made (we try to be very quiet when either one of us is still sleeping) I saw BenThomas, our cat – because he only answers to Ven! Toma! – walking towards me in perfect rhythm, it’s as if he had rehearsed it! Because I was still sleepy I couldn’t figure out what was the sparkly thing dangling from his neck, or furthermore, why did he have a ribbon tied around his neck?!
So Antonio had to clue me in, asked me to take a good closer look. That’s when I saw IT and just started crying. He helped me untie it, got down to his knee and popped the question. BEAUTIFUL!
We had already talked many times about getting married, we were absolutely sure about wanting to spend the rest of our lives together, but neither one of us felt rushed to do it soon. We knew the perfect time would come eventually.
So once we got engaged the first thing we did (after calling every single relative and friend of course!) was set our intention for getting married. We wanted to be absolutely clear about what we wanted, how we wanted it to happen and why. Every single element in our wedding had to be meaningful, not just done because “everybody else does it.”
We believe in the power of ritual. We believe that when you create that space to honor the new journey you are about to embark on, something special happens.
We believe in the power of blessings. We believe that having our parents, our siblings, our families and friends give us their blessings would absolutely make this beginning an auspicious one.
I am forever grateful that Antonio was an active part in planning our wedding. We did everything together, it had to be special for the both of us, not just me. He was the most engaged groom I’ve ever seen!
Where was your wedding and did you have a theme?
We planned everything to be casual, intimate and meaningful. The venue was at his parents’ country house 2 hrs away from Mexico City. It has a beautiful and huge garden, so that was already perfect.
My Sister basically helped me design my dress. She has always been my fashion master and styler! My dear cousin Joe was our DJ (he does this as a hobby, and he’s the best!). My sweet friend Paola and my Sister were the official photographers, along with other friends who decided to jump in with their own cameras and expertise. My other dear friend Nora did my makeup and hair, as well as my mom’s and sister’s. And my mother in law baked us my favorite cake in the world: her secret recipe chocolate cake.
Also, our dearest friends from our meditation path helped with the setting up of the altar for the ceremony and the live chanting. It was all done by the people we love!
The most memorable/wonderful part of your wedding day?
We came up with our own ceremony “format.” There was no Minister or Priest or anyone like that; we had our best friend, Ray, be the MC, and his role was to offer some context for the guests to relate to everything that was going to happen during the ceremony. We wanted to have every single person feel included so it was important to give them elements to relate to.
Objectively speaking, it was the most beautiful and powerful wedding ceremony I’ve ever been to. Seriously! Haha!
- Guests were handed a “prayer stick” on their way in to the ceremony area
- Ray invited them to write a blessing or a good wish for us on the prayer stick. That would “feed” the fire we had started earlier, in order to make it sacred.
Fire symbolizes the Divine Light within, so it was a way to have every guest nurture that fire within us.
- Guests lined up to offer their blessings to the fire and a few read them out loud
- Each of our parents gave us a blessing out loud. We had asked them to be ready ahead of time!
- After we received our parents’ blessings Antonio and I honored them by offering each of them a garland made of flowers as a symbol of our gratitude for having brought us this far
- By now everyone is crying!
- Then came the time to make some offerings to the fire: ghee, milk, yogurt, honey, rice, lentils and some grains. Our siblings took turns giving us the plates with each offering while Antonio and I poured them into the fire
- Then came our vows. We had 8 of them. Antonio would say the first one, then we walked around the sacred fire holding hands. Then I would say the next one, and we walked again and so on.
- We exchanged our rings.
- My sister read a beautiful paragraph that talked about Love and how natural it is for us humans to seek it and want to experience it.
- We chanted for a few minutes and then let it rest in silence for a couple more.
It was so powerful, every single person was moved one way or another.
After this blessed event we had the Civil Ceremony which was a quick and to the point affair. The judge came over and in a matter of 10 minutes we were done.
And then it was party time! Manu, one of Antonio’s dearest friends, gifted us with boxes of champagne so we had the official toast with him offering some beautiful words to us. And cheers to all!
We had a Mexican buffet that was so good everyone licked their fingers afterwards. Tinga de pollo, frijoles, red rice, nopales, chicharrón, hand made tortillas made of blue corn… you name it! And a Mexican dessert buffet table as well, everything from cocadas to chilitos and chamoy. Oh! And Don Chencho, the ice cream man who was been coming to my in law’s house since Antonio was little, came over with his little motorbike all adorned with white ribbons and our names on it. So cute! And ice cream was delicious as well!
We ate, we danced, we sang, we jumped to our heart’s desire. It was the most fun and special party!
Your best advice to someone preparing their wedding day?
And in the end, I understood one more thing about the power of ritual: having the people you love there with you gives you powerful memories – every embrace, every smile, every word, every laughter, every picture taken, every dance, every taste, every smell – it all stays with you, engraved forever in your heart. So the blessings are there, to walk with us through this journey, to support us through the rough times and make the lighter times even more special. All we have to do is close our eyes or look at our wedding pictures and every single blessing comes right back.
That’s what ritual is for. To create these powerful moments that stay with you forever.
Sue and Antonio live in the beautiful and historic Puerto de Veracruz, right at the Gulf of México. She is a psychologist, and works mainly with astrology as her main tool. She is also a blogger. She co-writes her blog, NiceThingsInSmallPackages, with her little “Sisterna,” Denise. They blog about the nice things they enjoy: Denise is all about music, style and cuteness while Sue shares her astrology insights with a very down to earth attitude.