In tastes, genres are broken, and each couple imagines their wedding day in their own way. The possibilities are endless when it comes to wedding flowers, locations, decoration, and of course, the type of ceremony they want to have a dream wedding. Some prefer to give luxurious engagement rings, while others prefer a more spiritual union. Some choose the most sophisticated wedding invitation designs, while others pay attention to surrounding themselves with the most significant people in their love story.
An alternative to having a different celebration is to have a Maya wedding. These ancestral rituals have been preserved over the years through the narratives of Maya descendants, archaeological finds, and the preservation of culture in Mexico and Latin America. They are full of symbolism that connects with the universe, the elements of the earth, and the Mayan gods to create a spiritual union.
If your desire is to perform this ritual to join in marriage, there are some points that you must consider so that it is an authentic Mayan ceremony, just as the pre-Hispanic ancestors did.
The space for your Maya Wedding Ceremony
The ceremony can be adapted to a variety of locations, providing ample options according to your locale and style. Nevertheless, it is customary for it to be held in Yucatan or Quintana Roo, the birthplaces of the Mayan culture.
There are numerous mystical and iconic places within this culture, such as archaeological sites, sacred cenotes, lagoons, and fine-sand beaches of the Caribbean Sea. Many hotels in the region offer the planning of Mayan weddings, along with comprehensive services. If this type of ceremony holds significant meaning for both parties, then this is an ideal option for a destination wedding.
In the event that you are in a different state and wish to avoid a distant wedding, a natural setting may still be compatible with a Mayan ritual. You could select any nearby beach, or even a Pueblo Mágico. Alternatively, seek out nearby archaeological sites, even if they belong to other civilizations and indigenous peoples; they will provide an ancestral atmosphere that is equally suitable. If it proves somewhat challenging to locate such structures, you could opt for open spaces such as a forest or nearby field.
Where to celebrate an authentic Mayan wedding?
You are planning the most important day of your life; therefore, you have already decided on the date, proudly showing the engagement ring to all your acquaintances, and have started looking at pictures of wedding dresses. One of the first things to decide is the location for the wedding ceremony. If Mayan rituals particularly resonate with you, we have some recommendations for finding the best location to exchange your thoughts of love.
Within the Mayan worldview, nature plays an important role as it connects humans with the gods, thus making it sacred. Although the tradition is not limited to any specific location, it is important to consider having an adequate space to set up the altar, which must have very special characteristics. If you are looking to recreate ancestral times during the ceremony, we recommend the best places to feel like you are in the pre-Hispanic era.
A beach wedding
One of the most popular locations for Mayan weddings is the beach, as you will find several elements of nature there. You will be in direct contact with the water, earth, air, and even a colorful fiery sunset. If you want a more authentic Mayan cultural experience, the beaches of Yucatan and Quintana Roo are the perfect places to immerse yourself in a world full of traditions. There you will have an unforgettable destination wedding in the magical lands where this civilization flourished.
To plan a beach destination wedding, you should organize in advance, consider transportation and accommodations, and notify guests ahead of time by sending them unique wedding invitations, so they are aware that your event will be different and unique.
For the most adventurous, caves are a perfect place to connect with nature and to comprehend the mother earth while learning about the millennia-old process of the formation of these enigmatic sites, where the passage of time has created tunnels, caves, and rocky sculptures due to the water filtration. Consult with the local authorities to determine if you may celebrate your wedding ceremony, what procedures and permits you must complete, the timeframe to manage them, and the fees you will need to cover.
Cenotes are considered sacred by the Mayans and were a significant part of their worldview. As a result, they constructed their temples near these magical wells and, in return for the freshwater taken from these enigmatic formations, made their offerings to the gods. These beautiful places also offer a wide variety of flora and fauna and will provide an experience very close to the day-to-day life of this civilization.
Many cenotes offer event services for Mayan weddings and even offer comprehensive packages. Imagine having your trash the dress photoshoot in such a mystical location, dressed in a light suit and a mermaid-cut wedding dress with this incredible landscape in the background or submerged in its crystal-clear sacred waters.
What could be better than selecting a location situated in the cradle of pre-Hispanic civilizations, surrounded by pre-Columbian architecture? These constructions boast a theory of connection with the universe and the stars. Their positioning is aligned with the stars, demonstrating the advanced astrological and natural knowledge possessed by our predecessors. Do you require some ideas in different regions of the republic? The principal ceremonial centers of Mexico include:
- Teotihuacán, located in the state of Mexico
- Tajín, located in Veracruz
- Monte Albán, located in Oaxaca
- Chichén Itzá, located in Yucatán
- Palenque, located in Chiapas
- Cholula, located in Puebla
- Tulum, located in Quintana Roo
- Xochicalco, located in Morelos
- Mitla, located in Oaxaca
- Tula, located in Hidalgo
It is important to obtain special permission to carry out the ceremony, as many of these locations are declared World Heritage sites. Please consult the restrictions and requirements. Without a doubt, this will be an experience that will endure in the memory of your guests for a long time, as they will greatly appreciate participating in such a unique wedding and will stand out in their daytime party dresses. And what can be said about the newlyweds? You will be spending the most romantic moment of your lives. But be careful: heels and pyramids are not good friends.
If you find it complex to travel to such destinations, you can opt for a nearby forest or garden. There are beautiful forests in which you can also have direct contact with nature, with water, wind, earth… Complete the decoration with some torches to cover the four elements of nature, so important to the Mayans.
These locations offer a great variety of possibilities for the style of the event: from something simple to very sophisticated receptions according to what you have planned to seal the commitment of your love. Here, you will have more control over all the variables, from the arrival of the guests, the ceremony, the dance, to details such as table arrangements for the wedding. Everything will turn out as you dreamed.
It is important that, when choosing, you take into account the budget: the cost of renting the place, transportation, and what you will need for the exchange and offerings ritual. Avoid setbacks or unexpected expenses. And if you are looking for specialized suppliers, why not take a look at the wedding planner directory? You are sure to find true experts who will get you the ideal officiant in the location of your wedding.
Whatever your decision may be, what is important is that you enjoy the spirituality of your union, make a pact with the universe, and enjoy this great event to the fullest. Don’t stop dancing with all your family and friends, thank them for their presence with a special wedding favor, and take time to savor your delicious wedding cake.
The officiant: ah men or ajq’ij
That is what Mayan wedding officiants are called: they are Mayan priests who can perform the wedding ceremony. As spiritual guides, they are responsible for guiding the Mayan community in spiritual, social, and cultural matters.
They preserve Mayan knowledge and protect the legacy of this civilization through time, which gives them great mastery of Mayan cults and the Mayan calendar.
Like in other religions, priests are people who dedicate their lives to perform these rituals, which are in total connection with the universe and pre-Hispanic worldview and seek the well-being of the community around them.
They have particular characteristics that fully identify them: they have society’s recognition for their experience, wisdom, and moral authority. Generally, they wear cloth clothes, use a cloth to cover their head, and a red sash wraps their waist. They carry a staff called tzite and a Mayan cross.
Find the ceremony’s officiant in advance so that they can give you all the recommendations and instructions. Clarify all doubts and take advantage of their help with thoughts for Mayan language wedding invitations; it will be a very special detail for your guests.
The altar for your Maya wedding
As a ceremony full of magic and mysticism, the Mayan altar is composed of several elements that carry special symbolism to refer to the divine blessings. The altar is placed within a circle that can be marked on the sand or earth; if it is on firm ground, it is drawn with sugar.
To represent the four cardinal points, candles and cloths of different colors are placed: white to the north, yellow to the south, red to the east, and black to the west. In the center of the circumference, incense and a green cross representing Humanity are placed.
It is believed that burning copal purifies the environment of evil spirits. Additionally, they can decorate with fabrics and flowers that match the wedding table arrangements they chose for the reception.
The priest will begin by invoking the four elements and seeking permission from the heart of the sky and the earth, as well as the center of the galaxy, to carry out the union. He will recite prayers in Mayan, after which the groom will present the bride with maize and cocoa. In return, she will give him tortillas and chocolate.
The offerings may be interpreted differently, but it should be understood that this exchange symbolizes receiving the fruit of the earth and transforming it into nourishment, representing the union and prosperity that will come in the future.
Next, the marriage vows will be read, which may include as many loving thoughts for the bride as the groom can compose, as well as the rings or any object they choose to seal their commitment. The couple will offer flowers, seeds, fruits, and incense that allude to the four elements of nature.
It is recommended to accompany the moment with typical Mayan music: drums, rattles, flutes, and conch shells. This will create an extraordinarily magical environment that will evoke the best wishes for their new life together in themselves and all present.
The attire for your Mayan wedding
The attire for your Mayan wedding should consist of white clothing. Women should wear huipiles, while men should wear a white linen suit. However, if you have a more conventional dress in mind, that is also acceptable. There are many simple wedding dresses that will fulfill your dream and still remain coherent with the Mayan ritual.
Keep in mind that you will be barefoot throughout the entire ceremony. Therefore, it is recommended to choose comfortable and easy-to-remove footwear. If your wedding destination is at the beach, a braided hairstyle would complement your look while also allowing you to deal with the wind. Don’t forget to complete your look with a natural bridal bouquet.
It is also recommended that close relatives, family, and members of the wedding party wear light or white clothing. Let them know in your original wedding invitations that your ceremony will be different so they have time to choose the appropriate attire. Ideally, beach party dresses with light and loose fabrics for women, and light day suits for men would be suitable.
It is important to note that this ceremony is symbolic and holds no legal validity. Therefore, if you wish to legalize your marriage, you must go to the Civil Registry either in the days leading up to or shortly after the ritual.
After the wedding ceremony, it is time to enjoy the reception. Mexican native motifs will complement the atmosphere wonderfully. Offer a banquet based on typical dishes such as roast pork (pok chuk), cochinita pibil or Mexican appetizers.
For dessert, a colorful wedding candy table with candied fruits, chocolate, and other traditional delicacies will satisfy all palates, especially those of your foreign guests. Delight them with Mexican culture and customs, and end the celebration on a high note by giving them artisanal souvenirs to remember your unique and original day.