Sunday, June 10, 2012

A wedding in Minatitlán, Veracruz

In April I went to a wedding in Minatitlán, Veracruz. Minatitlán is in the Southeast part of Veracruz and about an 8 hour bus ride from the DF. 

Let me tell you... it was hot. And humid. And when there's a slight breeze, maybe it'll cool you down, or maybe it'll be hot air coming up from the South. I've gotten used to the relatively mild temperatures in the DF and I thought I might melt. Air conditioning (in the few places we found it) has never been so welcomed. I opted for the mostly-from-the-car-window version tour as opposed to walking around. 

One of the nieces in the family was doing everyone's nails to get ready for the wedding and wanted to do mine as well. I had never (worn? used?) fake nails before and figured, why not. They were blue to match my dress...and resulted in me struggling to do most basic tasks for the rest of the weekend until I got used to them, not to mention having flashy nails for the next two weeks.

my blue nails

On Saturday morning we went to the market and I tried Minatitlán's version of memelas, which are topped with beans, Chinameca meat, hard-boiled egg, cheese, sauce, and fried plantain. 

memela at the market in Minatitlán

The wedding was Saturday evening. 

all dressed up for the wedding

Some of the traditions were similar to those I've seen before in Mexico or the US, but others were new to me. There was a first dance, followed by the bride and groom dancing with the bride's parents and then the groom's parents, followed by the bride and groom dancing with other family and guests. 

dancing with the groom
Later, the women participated in la cola (the tail, or in this case the train of the dress), forming a train and circling around the bride and groom. This was similar to the víbora de la mar tradition I've seen before, though less violent. (In the víbora de la mar, or "the sea snake," women, men, and children each take a turn to form a train and circle around the bride and groom, while bumping into them and trying to make them fall off the chairs in the process).

la cola

la cola
Instead of tossing the bouquet, the bride was blindfolded and she felt her way around the circle of women before deciding who to give the bouquet to.

getting blindfolded 

feeling her way around the circle to decide who to give
the bouquet to 
Next it was the men's turn. The groom was blindfolded and the guys took turns "dancing" with (aka: swinging, spinning) the groom.

note the groom being spun around in the middle of the circle 
After, he was given a bottle Boone's (like a wine cooler but in bottle form? though sometimes hard cider is used instead) to drink until he passes it off to someone else, who has to finish the bottle. The groom is then tossed in the air.
the groom getting tossed in the air 
There's a time for guests to give their gift to the bride and groom (which then pile up on the gift table). This is a chance for the bride and groom to greet the guests (and usually take a photo!). 

the bride and the groom posing at the gift table

There's also a "needle dance," where guests are given needles to pin money wherever they want on the clothes/veil of the bride and groom.

after the "needle dance" 

after the "needle dance" 
On Sunday we went to the groom's family's house for lunch and to watch the bride and groom open their gifts.

I enjoyed my trip to Minatitlán, though my response to "When are you coming back?" was (and is) "When it's not so hot!"

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