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How to Include the Wedding Lasso Tradition in Your Ceremony

Published: Monday, Jul. 18th, 2022


A simple, beautiful, and deeply symbolic unity ceremony for traditional or contemporary weddings

 

 

The Wedding Lasso Tradition, or lazo de boda, is a popular unity ceremony symbolizing a couple’s infinite love, faith, and new beginning in marriage. The ritual usually follows the wedding vows as a visual symbol of these spoken promises. 

 

During the ceremony, the happy couple faces each other while a long rope is placed around their shoulders, crossing or tied in the middle to form an infinity symbol (or endless loop) and represents the couple’s eternal love and unbreakable bond.



A long rosary used in a Catholic Hispanic or Filipino wedding lasso ceremony

 


The lasso ceremony has been a popular part of Catholic Latino / Latine and Filipino wedding celebrations for many years. In these deeply religious ceremonies, the linked rope or rosary represents the couple’s love for each other as well as their unending faith and love in God as they enter into the sacred covenant of marriage.  

 

Over the years, couples from different cultures and regions have been drawn to the simple yet profound symbolism of the wedding lasso, including many interfaith, non-religious, and non-Hispanic couples. Modern couples have personalized this ritual with unique elements, creating many different variations and styles that are distinct from the original. 

 

In Catholic weddings, a long beaded rosary with a crucifix attached in the center is often used in place of a rope or cord. In non-denominational and non-religious weddings, silk ropes, garlands made of fresh flowers and herbs, and interwoven ribbons in symbolic colors are sometimes used. 

 

Now, let’s take a look at how to include the lasso tradition in your own wedding – whether you prefer the traditional religious approach or an alternative modern variation.

 

Suggestions for how to customize the ceremony to suit your own tastes are included below. 

 

 

 

 

 


The Wedding Lasso Unity Ceremony

 

  • First, you’ll need a lasso

 

In traditional Catholic Hispanic weddings, the rosary or cord is given as a gift by los padrinos de lazo. These padrinos are usually a happily married couple who the soon-to-be-weds have chosen as an example of a successful relationship. According to superstition, los padrinos de lazo don't have to be married, but some people consider it bad luck if they’re single. (So choose wisely!)

 

A couple’s padrinos and madrinas, or godparents, sometimes also provide a symbolic wedding veil and wedding coins, called las arras matrimoniales, which are given to the couple as blessings during the ceremony.

 

 

  • The lasso ceremony usually comes after the wedding vows

 

In a Catholic wedding, the lasso ceremony takes place during the Nuptial Blessing, which follows the vow and ring exchange. If the wedding is part of a Mass, this also comes after the Our Father prayer is recited.

 

A priest, deacon, or ordained minister then prays for the newlyweds, and asks for God to bless their union with health, faithfulness, children, strength, and love as they become “one flesh” in marriage. 

 

Note: Unity ceremonies like this one can be included at any time during a non-denominational or non-religious wedding ceremony. Things often flow best when they follow (or replace) an exchange of wedding vows or rings, but there are no strict rules for when to include a unity ritual. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Two friends place the lasso around your shoulders

 

In traditional Catholic Latino and Filipino weddings, los padrinos de lazo or two wedding sponsors (chosen friends) place the rosary or garland around the couple’s shoulders so that it crosses or loops between them. 

 

Superstition says that when the lasso is placed over a couple's shoulders by happily married friends who supports the new union, it blesses the marriage with stability and longevity. 
 

 

  • Include a prayer, blessing, or special reading 

 

The traditional lasso ritual includes a prayer or Bible reading delivered by the wedding officiant. This will be the Nuptial Prayer (in a Catholic wedding ceremony), or inspirational words on marriage and faith (in nondenominational Christian ceremony). Ministers will share verses from the Bible that speak to the joys and responsibilities of marriage in the eyes of God.

 

Non-denominational Christian, interfaith, and non-religious couples can choose other types of readings that offer meaningful words of love and support. These couples might choose a poem, lyrics from a favorite song, or excerpts from other religious texts or from literature. 

 

 

  • You’re married! 

 

The lasso remains draped around the couple until the officiant’s final pronouncement is given. 

 

It’s removed by the officiant, padrinos, or friends at the end of the ceremony, and can be displayed in the couple’s home as a reminder of the promises they made to each other on their wedding day. 

 

 

A lasso ceremony with strands of garland

 

 

Personalizing the ritual

 

To customize this unity ceremony: 

 

  • Swap out a rosary or cord with floral garlands or braided ribbons

 

  • Ask more than two loved ones to help place the lasso over your shoulders 

 

  • Ask friends to offer their wishes for happiness and health, instead of including a prayer from a priest or minister

 

  • If you’re eloping without guests, ask your officiant to place the cord for you

 

  • Include a secular or alternative reading

 

  • Add music to your ritual

 

  • Include this unity ceremony instead of exchanging wedding rings (no rings!)

 

 

Remember – this is your wedding! It should reflect your personal values, style, tastes, and attitudes, and tell a story about the future you see ahead for you and your partner. Giving this timeless ritual a personal twist is a great way to honor traditional values while celebrating the future ahead. 

 

 

Did you know?  ...'Tying the Knot'

The custom of tying a couple together literally, while they ‘tie the knot’ figuratively in marriage, shows up in many different cultures and places around the world.

For example, Celtic Irish and Pagan couples often tie their wrists and hands together with colorful ribbons or cord during a traditional handfasting ceremony, sometimes forming an infinity knot. Buddhist couples may tie red string around their wrists for luck, or wrap white string around their heads in a symbolically joined head wreath. Couples in Latin cultures use a wedding lasso, as described above. And in Greek Orthodox weddings, couples wear symbolic crowns linked together by ribbon to represent their sacred bond. 

An infinity knot, illustrated

An illustrated Infinity Knot, from How to Tie a Handfasting Cord -- The Infinity Knot

 


 

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About the Author
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves digging into the history and magic of ritual, exploring the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She’s an advocate for marriage equality and individuality. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys easy hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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