This weekend we attended our first Mexico City wedding, held at a fancy casa/museum in Mexico City. It was definitely a big, fantastic, fabulous, glamorous, riotous party.
But, mysteriously, it also involved:
– Incredible amounts of non-stop dancing, as in most of Mexico. And many of the female dancers were at least 4 decades older than me but in far better shape than me. And wearing much tighter dresses.
– Cigarette fumes. I was wondering, “is something on fire?” when I turned around and spotted a man smoking immediately behind me. Then I noticed two tables away, three very beautiful women (the kind you see on Mexican TV – the weathergirls and the sort) lighting up. They looked incredibly relaxed, I thought, while also wondering what shade of black their lungs had become. Smoking and dancing were two pervasive themes of the night — and they often occurred together. Smoking? Dancing? It’s not mutually exclusive in Mexico.
– Typically head-scratchingly bad wedding music (along with amazing Spanish music). A full band plus several shapely back-up dancers played and gyrated to everything from “Como la flor” by Selena (which is a lovely song, and was requested by our friend Andres) to “YMCA” by The Village People (do people really like this song???). I will never escape bad wedding music, will I?
– No hip-hop. I know that’s good news to some of you, but have you ever experienced the thrill of dancing to The Chronic at a wedding? I didn’t think so.
– Props, which are apparently essential for the crowd at a Mexico City wedding. Along with shit-tons of balloons, there were two giant clowns (one in black face makeup; one in white face makeup) on stilts dancing amid all the balloons. It suddenly felt like New Year’s Eve. With slightly racist looking clowns. Not long after the clowns took a break, the band handed out sombreros and fake mustaches for the Latin music. Then, during the 80s music, plastic visors and weird gel-light thingies (the kind you’d get as a kid at the carnival or the circus and would last maybe 4 hours after your mom finally bought you one).
SORTA THE SAME BUT NOT REALLY
– They do the bouquet-and-garter-toss thing here, too. Except that during the garter hoopla, some of the single men don chefs’ uniforms and hats, and smash into each other, as if in a mosh pit. (I watched this, stupified, from the sidelines, mingling with beautiful Mexican women laughing and of course, smoking.)
– There was a full bar…and, as if that wasn’t enough boooze, after the props and silly antics were exhausted, a giant cart was wheeled onto the dance floor, containing, omg: shots of tequila and Red Bull, or for the weak-hearted, Bailey’s Irish Cream (yes, I had the latter).
– The wedding lasted until at least 5 a.m. (breakfast is served around then). We made it until 3 a.m. — as did many of the older members of the crowd, who left around the same time as us.
AFTER A YEAR IN MEXICO, THE WEDDING TAUGHT ME THAT:
– My husband can dance a mighty fine cumbia at weddings (or in plazas in small Mexican towns). As long as he’s got a few drinks in him – he’s amazing!
– I am an aspiring salsa dancer. One day, one day. While I dance, I dream of being in Veracruz, and a la the last scene in Dirty Dancing, amazing everyone within 2 miles of my dancing: “Mira! La gringa puede bailar!”
– Mexicans love to party, and I’m so in agreement with this general attitude.