This month, my husband and I celebrate our sixth anniversary. Well, technically it's our 12th anniversary because we dated for six years before getting hitched and we kept the same anniversary date. Even still, I can't believe it's already been six years since we threw the biggest party of our lives and got to celebrate our wedding day with all the people we love. Before Ryan and I got married we had attended 26 weddings in our six years of dating. That's correct, twenty-six!! It's a crazy amount of weddings and to be perfectly honest only a few of them really stood out amongst the others, and it was because those weddings were unique in the way they reflected the identities of the actual individuals getting married. So when it was our turn, we knew the standard traditional two-tone color scheme and steak or chicken wedding wasn't going to cut it.
When we sat down and talked about what really mattered to us the most, it was having all the right people there. Our family, our friends, the people who had mentored us growing up, counseled us in our times of struggle and laughed so hard beside us, we had cried every kind of tear together. Then there was the family and friends we missed. The ones who had passed before our day had come. We miss them, we talk about them and the memories of them are just as alive in our hearts as the people who continue to share life next us. So we had to include them.
Luckily I was raised with an awareness and understanding of El Dia De Los Muertos. We were getting married less than two weeks after the actual holiday and in the small Spanish-settled town of San Juan Capistrano, CA. It was the perfect match for a wedding that felt the same.
So for those of you who may be unfamiliar with the cultural context and spiritual significance of this vibrant holiday, here's a quick summary:
El Dia De Los Muertos is an important religious holiday of Spanish and Mexican tradition that is celebrated November 1 and 2 - coinciding with All Soul's and All Saint's Day. It is an occasion marked by festive celebrations to honor the dead. This is a time of joyous remembrance, not sadness. There is nothing macabre about the meaning or intention behind this tradition. The special artwork, poetry, songs, foods, and decorations created for El Dia De Los Metros reflect this outlook of jovial commemoration. It is a time especially set aside to remember, celebrate and connect with the love we feel for those who have departed this world and await us in the next.
We chose to incorporate the imagery and theme of this tradition in our wedding to pay homage to the loved ones in our lives that have passed. There were many family members and friends that we knew would be in our hearts despite their absence as we celebrated the joyous occasion of our marriage. We wholeheartedly believe they were there beside us that day in spirit; and the imagery we chose to include in our wedding decor still serve as a loving reminder of their presence in our lives.