Tracking Down Traditions: The Lasso and Arras

Let me just start by saying, I am so excited to be joining the Hitched Events team as a blog contributor! I look forward to sharing some insight and information from my perspective as a recent bride, and event professional.

One of my favorite parts of a wedding is seeing how couples incorporate traditions and rituals that tie into their cultural and religious heritage. In this new series, Tracking Down Traditions, we will take a look at some of those rituals and the symbolism behind them.

When I was getting married, I really wanted to incorporate some nods to my husband’s Hispanic roots, and several times we had people suggest we do the Lasso (or lazo) and Arras ceremony. At the time, I didn’t really understand what they meant, and I so wish I had taken the time to learn more about them.  Our friends January and Micky Vazquez (pictured below) DID do just that and it really was such a special moment in their ceremony. I asked January to share a couple of words on why they chose to incorporate these traditions.

“We chose to include these traditions in our ceremony because they are simply beautiful and full of meaning. The lasso symbolizes infinity and the eternal bond of a couple. The arras symbolize a man’s commitment to provide for his family and her trust in him to do so. While this may sound a bit old fashioned, it was a way to embrace our love and commitment to each other while paying tribute to our roots.”

Lovely, right? Let’s take a closer look…

Vazquez Lasso Ceremony 1

photo by Brandi Sutherland

The Lasso (or Lazo)

In the lasso ceremony, a rosary or cord is placed around the couple’s shoulders in a figure eight. As the couple is “lassoed” together, the cord’s placement is symbolic of eternity and an everlasting union. It is also meant to symbolize marital protection. After the wedding, the cord or rosary is usually kept by the bride as a memento.

The Arras

The lasso ceremony is often accompanied by the Arras, or Coin, ceremony. During the ceremony, thirteen gold coins are presented to the groom, often by a family member or sometimes the officiant. The groom then pours the coins into the bride’s hands. This represents his commitment to provide for his wife and family. The bride then pours the coins back into the groom’s hands to represent her commitment to trust her husband and her dedication to him. The back and forth of the coins is also symbolic of the give and take necessary in a successful marriage.

There are several explanations for the number of coins used. Since the ceremony has deep roots in the Catholic church it is most commonly said to represent Christ and the Twelve Apostles. According to about.com, the coins can also represent wishes of wealth, with a coin for each month, plus a little more. The number thirteen also cannot be divided, so it is thought to represent an unbreakable bond. The coins are often a family heirloom that is passed on from generation to generation.

January and Mickey Lasso Ceremony 1

photo by Brandi Sutherland

Aren’t those beautiful symbols for love and commitment? Have any of you incorporated these ceremonies in your own, or are planning to?

I already love this series, and we are just getting starting. There are so many more to look into! Are there any ceremonies or traditions you are hoping to learn more about? What are some that you have incorporated into your own wedding ceremony?

blog post signature-Katherine

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