Hispanic wedding traditions (including Mexican and Latino)

Hispanic, Latino and Mexican wedding traditions for lazos lassos wedding arras coins and the history and meanings

    Wedding Coins / Arras Coins/ Arras Wedding Coins

    History

    The custom of the wedding coins originated in Spain. The madrina de arras holds the thirteen gold coins (arras) are given to the bride by the bridegroom, signifying he will support her. Often presented in ornate boxes or gift trays, this represents the brides dowry and holds good wishes for prosperity. These coins become a part of their family heirloom.

    Grooms pledge to the bride

    The groom gives the bride thirteen gold coins as a symbol of his unqustionable trust and confidence. The symbolism, which may be explained by the officiant, is that the Groom recognizes his responsibility as a provider, and pledges his ability to support and care for her. Acceptance by the bride means taking that trust and confidence unconditionally with total dedication and prudence.

    Why 13 coins?

    The number 13 represents Christ and his 12 apostles.

    How to use the arras coins in the ceremony

    The coins are presented to the priest by a friend or relative (usually the purchaser). The priest then blesses the coins and hands them to the bride who places them in the grooms cupped hands at the beginning of the ceremony. The coins are then placed on a tray and handed to an assistant to be held until later in the ceremony. Near the end of the ceremony the box and coins are given to the priest who places the coins in the box and hands them to the groom.

    The groom will then pour the coins into the brides cupped hands and places the box on top. This represent his giving her control as his mistress of all his worldly goods. (Sometimes their hands are tied with a ribbon for this portion of the ceremony.)

    Wording on the Coins

    These tokens generally have the words "Recurdo Matrimonial" which translates as "Wedding Souvenir" or "Marriage Memory".

    Events

    The use of the arras coins is a Latin American tradition for Hispanic and Filipino weddings, for Cinderella Weddings, Fairytale Weddings, Sweet 16 celebrations, Debutante Balls, Quinceaneras, and Bat Mitzvahs


    Other Hispanic Wedding Traditions

    (including Mexican and Latino)

    Lasso (Lazo Cord)

    The Lasso is associated with a wedding prayer during the ceremony. As part of the ceremony to symbolize unity, a large loop of rosary beads is placed in a figure eight shape around the necks of the couple after they have exchanged their vows. The symbolism of the lasso is to show the union and protection of marriage. Special members of the wedding party may be in charge of lassoing the Bride and Groom together after they kneel for the wedding prayer. They drape what is usually a white satin circle of cord around the shoulders of the kneeling Bride and Groom, groom's shoulder's first. The lasso may also be tied around their wrists.

    The couple wears the lasso throughout the remainder of the service. The loop is symbolic of their love, which should bind the couple together everyday as they equally share the responsibility of marriage for the rest of their lives. A double rosary lasso may also be given by one set of the parents and may be blessed with holy water three times in honor of the trinity.

    At the end of the ceremony, the lasso is removed by the couple who placed the lasso on the couple, or the priest. The lasso is given to the Bride as a memento of her becoming the lady of the grooms heart and home and shows their promise to always be together side-by-side.

    Sponsors:

    In the Hispanic tradition when someone gets married there is padrinos or sponors. The padrinos help the bride and groom pay for their wedding. When you are a padrino you agree to help pay for different things in the wedding such as the lazo. Then they will also take part in the church services and put the lazo around the couple during the ceremony.

    Pre-wedding tradition:

    A party to celebrate the engagement is common. The couple may be blessed at home by their parents before the wedding.

    Wedding attire and jewelry:

    The Spanish mantilla, or veil, completely covers the face and shoulders. Brides in many Latin-American countries wear a light blu slip beneath their dresses. The flower girls and ring bearer may be dressed as miniature versions of the bride and groom.

    Ceremony:

    Godparents or sponsors of the wedding (padrinos and madrinos) place pillows for the couple to kneel, present the couple with a bible and present coins in a treasure box. A cord, el lazo, is placed around the couple to show that they are bound together for life. The groom gives the bride 13 coins, called "Arras", as a sign of sharing his wealth with her. In some Latin American cultures only the couple's parents stand with them at the altar.

    Most weddings will use the mariachis at the end of the ceremony as a part of the recessional.

    Wedding Coins and Arras:

    The thirteen coins (arras or monedas) is presented to the bride by the groom to symbolize the grooms commitment to take care of his bride and make his wealth hers. The passing of coins back and forth is a symbol of sharing wordly goods, for richer or for poorer. The number of coins is significant, thirteen. In catholis Spain, the number thirteen represents Christ and his twelve apostles. The treasure box, el cofre, in which the coins are kept is often elaborate and reflects the status of the family.

    Reception and food:

    The reception is always family oriented and festive. A money dance is sometimes performed to collect dollars from guests. Special favors, called capias, are displayed on a doll dressed like the bride.

    For the bridal couples first dance, guests will gather in a heart-shaped ring at the reception around the couple. Salsa, merengu and the flamenco guitar music may add a Latin flare to the reception.

    The capias have the couples names and wedding date inscribed on them, and are given as favors to the guests. Food may include chili, soups, tamales, fajitas, paella, cake, flan and sopapillas. Other favors could be wedding cookies wrapped in tulle, Spanish fans, note cards of Mexican painters, or pieces of pottery could be given.

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    Mantilla:

    Sometimes couples choose to drape a mantilla or shawl over them in a unity ceremony.

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    Las Arras de Matrimonio:


    Las 13 arras representan en el rito mozarabe, los bienes repartidos en los doce meses del ano y una mas para compartir con los pobres. El novio le hace entrega a la novia como simbolo de qu los bienes materiales de ambos seran compartidos y de qu no faltaran en casa. El numero trece -cantidad de monedas- es de buna surte.

    En la antigudad, las arras constituian una garantia de cualquier obligacion aceptada o convenida. No eran una dote del marido, ni siquiera un residuo del antiguo precio de la mujer. Calificadas como garantia del acurdo o promesa de matrimonio (el arra responsalicia), son una institucion de origen oriental recogida por el Derecho Romano para reforzar el cumplimiento del acurdo convenido entre los esposos: si se incumple la promesa de matrimonio, se pierden las arras.

    Significado de anillos y arras de matrimonio:

    En el Derecho Romano furon consideradas como una donacion, sponsalitia lergitati, y el Derecho Germanico-Visigodo establecido en Espana sigu esta linea con el apoyo de la Iglesia.

    No obstante, los textos legales espanoles formulan generalmente limitaciones al valor de las arras, qu en no pocos casos resulta excesivo. Un documento toledano de 1530 senala qu esta establecido qu nadie pude dar arras a su mujer por un valor superior a quinientos suldos.

    Algunos furos municipales adecuan las arras a la condicion de la esposa, segun sea esta villana o aldeana, y estan constituidas generalmente por tierras y ganado. En ese mismo sentido, la recopilacion de furos aragoneses distingu a la infanzona de la villana. La primera pude recibir como arras tres de las mejores heredades del esposo, mientras qu a la villana se le dara un campo de sembradura y un cahiz de semillas. En la formula medieval se ofrecen ya en moneda: "doy en arras a vos estos florines de oro". El Furo de Terul distingu a las esposas y doncellas de las viudas: a las primeras se les pude dar veinte maravedies alfonsies; a las segundas, solo diez. Las arras, no obstante, son motivo de confusion con la donacion qu hace el esposo a la esposa. Varios textos utilizan el termino dotar ("de dotar muller infansona"), como en el caso del Furo de Pamplona, y se distingu tambien entre primeras o segundas nupcias. Asi, al entrar en la Edad Moderna, las arras qudan desfiguradas. Algunos especialistas aseguran qu sustituyen a la donacion por causa de matrimonio (donatio propter nuptias) y las llaman "arras hispanicas", lo cual revela una matizacion qu las diferencia, e incluso adquieren el significado del viejo precio de la virginidad, pus se las considera remuneracion del pudor o la nobleza.

    Tambien se denominaron (y se sigun denominando) arras a las monedas qu se entregan en la ceremonia religiosa: doce monedas de oro o plata y una de metal, qu han de bendecirse antes de la velacion. Con esa entrega de arras el matrimonio quda perfeccionado en cuanto a su base contractual. Qu los esponsales tenian valor de matrimonio lo demustra un suceso famoso protagonizado por Dona Maria de Fonseca, quien tuvo qu ser depositada en el propio palacio de los Reyes Catolicos al verse disputada por dos maridos: uno sostenia haber celebrado nupcias con ella, y el otro afirmaba ser su marido por palabras de presente, ya qu habia intercambiado con ella los verba ante un grupo de amigos. Gano este ultimo el pleito, al probarse qu habia sido asi. Don Rodrigo de Mendoza logro de esta forma a Dona Maria frente a Don Pedro Ruiz de Fonseca. Despus, abandono el palacio para ser virrey de Valencia. En ese periodo en el qu los novios son esposos pero todavia no constituyen matrimonio, a la esposa le corresponde preparar el ajuar. Se trata de bienes mubles, no solamente vestidos o lenceria.

    En el Poema del Mio Cid, el ajuar se cifra en dinero: tres mil maravedies de plata. En otros casos domina la indumentaria: sayas, haldas o calzas, asi como lienzos y cuanto cubre la cama. Los textos historicos mustran una cierta ambiguedad al designar las distintas aportaciones patrimoniales a la sociedad conyugal. Las arras estan ligadas de forma especifica al acto esponsalicio, mientras qu el ajuar se relaciona con la preparacion de las nupcias. El valenciano consistia en ropas no lujosas qu no debian ocupar mas de cuatro cofres. En la comarca leonesa de Maragateria, el dia de la boda se realizaba un solemne traslado del ajuar de la novia a su nuva casa, utilizando para ello carros engalanados.


    Anillos o Argollas de Matrimonio:

    La tradicion dice qu la argolla sera la qu protegera a la novia de los malos espiritus. Los egipcios lo usaban antes del nacimiento de Cristo, y su forma circular simbolizaba la eternidad ya qu no tiene principio ni fin. En el siglo III A.C., los griegos comenzaron a colocarse estos anillos en el tercer dedo sin contar el pulgar, ya qu se creia qu la vena del dedo anular llega directo al corazon lo qu significaba estar en contacto con los sentimientos, porqu se pensaba qu nacian en ese lugar.

    Anillo de compromiso:

    En la epoca medieval, el hombre qu deseaba casarse con alguna mujer debia ofrecer una dote a la familia de la novia. Las joyas y las piedras preciosas se incluian a menudo en este tipo de pago, porqu ademas simbolizaban el compromiso. Entonces, se creia qu si el novio le obsequiaba un anillo de diamante en senal de su amor y deseo de contraer matrimonio y el hecho de qu la novia lo usara, eran actos qu indicaban la intencion de la pareja de casarse en un ano maximo. En la actualidad, los enamorados se inclinan por unas argollas de compromiso de oro qu es un par de milimetros mas delgado qu el anillo de matrimonio.

    Aros de matrimonio:

    Antiguamente, el esposo ataba los tobillos y las munecas de la novia con curdas hechas de yerbas, porqu la tradicion decia qu con este ritual el alma de la mujer no lo abandonaria rapidamente. Al paso de los anos y con los cambios en las creencias, el sentido y el material de las curdas evolucionaron. Hoy, los esposos intercambian los anillos y se los colocan en el dedo anular en senal de alianza. Los anillos de yerba pasaron a ser de curo, pero como se deterioraban por el uso se opto por la piedra pulida. esta, aunqu era resistente, era poco o nada estetica, asi qu se opto por los metales hasta llegar a los preciosos como la plata y el oro.

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