Today is Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, a Mexican celebration honoring loved ones and family members who have passed away. Families gather to remember their relatives who have passed away and build altars, or ofrendas, to their loved ones featuring photos, Calaveras (skulls or skeletons with painted floral designs), marigolds, candles, and the favorite foods of their loved ones and traditional foods such as pan de muerto, tamales, candies, and tequila or mezcal.
Though popular culture has adopted many of the elements of this holiday, particularly the calavera or sugar skull designs, these elements are often used out of context or with a lack of respect for their true meaning.
There are many elements of Dia de los Muertos that could be incorporated into your wedding if you are interested in celebrating your ancestors.
Often we celebrate and honor our loved ones at our weddings through the use of memory tables, which in a way are similar to the tradition of the ofrenda. Incorporating photos, trinkets, candles, and items that remind you of your relatives, you can share a little of your heritage and show respect to your loved ones who have passed on.
Traditionally, families visit cemeteries to clean and decorate their loved one's graves as part of the celebration. If possible, and you live close enough to where your relatives are buried, you could incorporate this tradition into your wedding day, as a way of showing care and giving homage to your loved ones on your special day.
Another element of significance is the Marigold, considered in Mexican tradition to be the flower of the dead, said to invite the souls of your loved ones to the ofrendas and the offerings made to them. By incorporating marigolds into your floral decor, you can pay tribute to this tradition and welcome the souls of your ancestors to your wedding.
It is important to understand the significance of these cultural traditions, and only use them as inspiration in a way that is respectful and true to the original context of the celebration. Dia de los Muertos is an important celebration for people of Mexican descent all over the world and the traditions associated should be treated with reverence.
The couple featured here, Louise & Andrew Esparza, modeled for Jade Min Photography in this Dia de los Muertos wedding inspiration photoshoot at the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch in Gilbert, Arizona. The team wanted to showcase ways to incorporate the traditions and decorations of the Dia de los Muertos celebration in to a wedding while paying homage to the cultural significance of the holiday.
We hope that this post and these photos inspire you to learn more about Dia de los Muertos and the history and traditions of the celebration!
Planning & Photography: Jade Min Photography LLC
Florist: Arizona Florations
Stationery Suite: Lauren Yvonne Design
Cake & Cookies: Amour de Sucre
Skull Macarons: Decadent Macaron
Bride’s Rose Crown Headpiece: Batcakes Couture
Models: Louise & Andrew Esparza