Oaxaca Destination Wedding | Ethnobotanical Garden

06 October 2019

Oaxaca Destination Wedding. An inspiring colorful, and folkloric celebration with the traditional Mexican Calenda street parade

Tradition and folklore as a backdrop for love

If you are looking for inspirational ideas to have a different, memorable, colorful, full of folklore and traditions kind of wedding, this post is perfect for you.

Indeed, the two most popular beach places for a destination wedding in Mexico are Los Cabos and Riviera Maya. However, to have a stage with magnificent indigenous folklore, and immerse your foreign guests in one of the most original and memorable wedding adventures, you definitely could tie the knot in Oaxaca -as this lovely couple did.

Since Miguel and Nazanin sent me the first email inquiring about their wedding, I was super excited. He is a filmmaker, and she is a production designer for film and television. Both appreciate art and photography, of course, but what was most exciting to me at that point was that they were looking for a photojournalism approach to their wedding photography. They wanted to forget about the photographer during their wedding day, and simply enjoy their celebration, live the moment with their people, and not think about the timeline at all. --It was music for my ears!

Nazanin is Iranian, and Miguel is Mexican-American. They decided together early on that their wedding would follow both Mexican and Persian customs and traditions.

They chose Oaxaca for their destination wedding in Mexico, and they invite a large group of people from literally all over the world to enjoy the celebration

Groom's Getting Ready at La Casona de Tita*
Bride's Getting Ready at: Casa Oaxaca Hotel*

The wedding is one of the most important occasions in the Persian tradition. It is an event in which all are invited, no expenses are spared, and much feast and joy take place. And I must add that the fusion of different cultures and customs worked very well. The wedding was a killer combination of people from different countries.

In Persian, 'aroosi' means 'wedding' while 'aghd' refers to the 'wedding ceremony' itself

Just as in western weddings, the bride ('aroos') and groom ('dāmād') are located before the guests. And this is the point at which wedding vows are exchanged, and the official marriage contract is signed.

There are many customs and rituals observed in the 'aghd' -most of them, very different from Western traditions. But Nazanin managed to incorporate at least some of the most essential and traditional Iranian wedding elements in her ceremony:

The 'sofreyé aghd,' that is a crucial aspect of a Persian wedding, and what makes it unique from all others in the world ('sofré,' is the word for 'tablecloth' in Persian). And the 'ayné va shamdoon' (mirror and candlesticks), which are the most important and most iconic part of the 'sofré.'

It is the custom that the mirror and candlesticks will become a part of the couple's home as a memento of their wedding ceremony. Therefore, they must be chosen wisely and with the personality of the couple in mind.

The mirror symbolizes eternity and the candlesticks reference Zoroastrianism, in which light and fire play an essential part. In this context, the fire and light represent the brightness of the future and eternal passion. The mirror and candlesticks are situated in front of the bride and groom during the 'aghd.' The mirror should be facing the couple and away from the audience.

It is customary for the bride and groom to have photos of them looking into the mirror, representing them looking into the future

The 'nooné sangak' is a particular type of flatbread baked in a coal oven on top of coals and stones. The bread represents prosperity for feasts and the couple's life after that.

A well-designed part of the table is the tray in which several spices of different colors are laid out to represent prosperity and spiciness of life. Each of the spices generally has a specific meaning and significance.

As the bride and groom sit before the guests, a canopy is held above their heads. Traditionally held by several unmarried women of their family, although in modern weddings, it is held by the bride's wedding party

Also, as the ceremony is taking place, happily married members of the family take turns to grind two sugar cones together. So the sugar granules fall into the canopy, symbolically showering the couple in sweetness.

After the ceremony, all the wedding guests made this incredible parade with the bride and groom, among all the local people, citizens, tourists, and those who were present at that precise moment. This street parade is famous in the Mexican traditions, and it is known as 'Calenda.'

The 'Calenda' is an Oaxacan celebration that has its bases in colonization, as the towns that now make up the Mexican territory had a full and complex calendar for their celebrations. Oaxaca is one of the Mexican cities most faithful to its traditions, jealously guarding its fulfillment. Hence, all the festivities in Oaxaca begin with the famous 'Calenda' parade through the streets of the historic center. Since this is how the whole town is symbolically announced and invited to the party.

A crucial part of the 'Calenda' is the giant motley dolls

They are made with a reed frame covered by clothing and crowned with a head formed with paper-mâché. These giants are maneuvered by young people, who make these folk characters simulate a dance to the beat of traditional music. Spinning, maintaining balance, and moving the giant's arms without stopping, such as a swirl of colors. A notable craft of Oaxaca, not only filling the celebration with color but bringing together people from different delegations, creating a lively party.

It was at least about 30-45 minutes of pure madness around the historic center of Oaxaca city. A unique and so inspiring experience to shoot!

Oaxaca Destination Wedding

The ceremony and reception took place in the Ethnobotanical Garden of Oaxaca, an extraordinary venue indeed. There, all the guests enjoyed authentic delicious Mexican food (-no Taco Bell, haha). Original Mexican flavors and courses, with great guacamole and salsas that were prepared instantaneity for each table.

Unforgettable Wedding in Oaxaca

The weather and atmosphere for the party were delightful, within a memorable setting, traditional mariachi music, and grand displays of love for the newlyweds

In conclusion, for those who wish to live a unique and memorable experience on their wedding day, out of all stereotypes and with a high dose of originality, the new recommendation is an Oaxaca Wedding Destination. The possibilities of merging different customs and nationalities in the same celebration are endless. You just have to follow your instincts and think outside the box, with a fearless boldness soul!

Unforgettable Wedding in Oaxaca

Di Lusso

See you soon with my next wedding adventure. Have a great day, folks! D.


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