Weddings are weddings and you would think that as long as there was a bride and a groom and a party, there you have a wedding. I will agree to that, but indeed there were many differences of weddings of the past to those of today. I know you will tell me they cost a lot more today. That is true too, but check out the big differences.
The entire village was invited. I mean you knew everyone and because there was a wedding like every two or three years, when they happened, it was a big event.
There were no bridesmaids and flower girls and ring bearer, etc. It was just the couple and their padrinos, meaning the best man and the maid of honor.
Everyone was well dressed. The men wore their black pants, white shirt with long sleeves and tucked in. No shoes, yes, but well dressed. I bet if they had a pair of shoes they would have worn them.
There was no photographer nor video producer. That is why many weddings in the 1950’s and 60’s were not photographed and there is no hard copy of them. When you did manage to get a camera, guess where the photos were taken? Right in the middle of the street, by the beach, or in the back yard, perhaps with the latrine in the background.
The beer was all Mexican. The guys simply went to Chetumal and brought boxes of the good stuff. The police officer was given a little tip and you could serve Corona or Carta Blanca all night long.
The bride’s trousseau was all locally made. The dress came right from the seamstresses of San Pedro. They looked great and cost only a few bucks. All the other memorabilia like lasso and gift items were fabricated right in San Pedro.
Forget that tasteless turkey. Two or three pigs were slaughtered and some good pork tacos, pork pibil or simply roasted pork was the platter of the night.
Honeymoon? What honeymoon? At the end of the party, the couple went straight home and the following day she would be at the kitchen and at the laundry room filling up the clothesline with her husband’s homemade underwear made with bleached flour bags. Some of the requirements before a girl got married were that she be able to cook, wash, iron, do the laundry, mend clothes and even be able to sew. One good thing is that the bride did not have to see her mother-in-law’s face because she, the bride, would be in her own house and not at her mother-in-law’s.
The cost of a wedding? Five or six hundred dollars. Her wedding presents? Several sets of glasses, a lot of plates, frying pans, and some cooking pots. Champaign? No. A wedding toast? No! Sex? Yes, and for the girl it was her first experience.
So were weddings different twenty five years ago?
– by Angel Nuñez, Columnist