Bilingual Dia de Muertos & Star Wars Wedding

Oak & Iron Photo

July 6, 2020

When Iris and Zack started planning their wedding, it was of the utmost importance that they played homage to the bride’s Mexican heritage, so they chose November 2nd (Dia de Muertos/ Day of the Dead) as their wedding date. It’s something they celebrate every year anyway so having their wedding on that date seemed entirely fitting.

“I’m Mexican-American and I set up an altar to honour our grandparents and we welcomed our loved one’s souls during our bilingual ceremony”, Iris explained. “We also had traditional papel picado (decorative paper) with our initials hanging in our cocktail area, which my cousin had made for us in Mexico. Our signature cocktail was a Paloma, a traditional Mexican drink.”

“The other thing that was a big part of our wedding was music. My husband is a musician by trade and we own a small agency that books live music for bars, restaurants and events. We actually met at one of his gigs and later worked together at a venue before we started dating. There’s nothing we enjoy more than discovering new music and attending live shows – well, that and Star Wars! So we knew we wanted to have as much music as possible on our big day. We had three acts, who happen to be couples perform, at our wedding. These three couples embody everything we wanted our wedding to represent: genuine love, fun, and badassery! We had a vinyl DJ close out the night, too.”

They chose Cielo Blu Barn in Florida as their venue as they loved the laid back farm setting, and it allowed them to do pretty much what they wanted with the space. Iris continued, “The farm setting reminded me of the places I used to spend my summer and winter breaks in Mexico. My husband was obsessed with all the wood details in the barn, and we both fell in love with the goats and animals on the property. Getting married in a barn venue seems to make people think you want burlap and mason jars which was the last thing we wanted! I knew warmer colours and velvet touches would be more our style.”

Inspired by the Bridechilla Podcast they threw plenty of wedding traditions in the ‘Fuck it bucket’ including having large wedding parties, the garter and bouquet toss, and the rehearsal dinner. Replacing them with things that actually cared about – like being escorted to their reception by Storm Troopers and having three kick ass musical duos performing!

From the moment they got engaged, Iris knew that she wanted a bilingual ceremony. Their officiant wrote it in English and her brother led the parts in Spanish. “The ceremony started off by welcoming everyone, including the souls of our deceased loved ones since it was Day of the Dead. We didn’t translate the whole ceremony, and there were parts that were only in Spanish rather than both languages. We had our friend Katherine read A Love Letter by Victor Hugo in Spanish, and my friend Jen read it in English. We wrote our own vows – he had his ready weeks before while I wrote mine the morning-of as I got ready!”

“My favourite part during our vows is when I snuck in the line, ‘Zack, you and I are soup snakes’, a reference from one of our favourite shows, The Office. Zack’s grin couldn’t be any wider and many giggled when I said it; my mother later asked me to explain ‘So what was that about you being snakes?'”

Although Iris felt a lot of pressure to do their wedding in a certain way (“I was inundated with wedding-related ads wherever I looked! Sometimes it was a struggle to tune-out what the industry kept trying to sell me.”) in the end she was so glad they stuck to their guns and planned the wedding THEY wanted. “I remember being stressed as fuck about not having time to clean my engagement ring because it was part of every damn ‘wedding checklist’ I’d see online. I never did get my ring cleaned and guess what? It still looked gorgeous in photos. There’s so many dumb things I wish I would’ve let roll off my shoulders but I have anxiety and tend to overthink things so wedding planning was no different. My advice to other couples would be find things you love and if it’s within budget, get it and stick with it! ! The more things you look at, and the more ‘advice’ you read, the more you start to second guess yourself.”