Unity ceremonies are typically incorporated into most wedding ceremonies as a symbolic visual representation of two people becoming one in marriage. From releasing a wish lantern to Handfasting, unity ceremonies are symbols of love, unity, and commitment. The wedding lasso tradition is one unity ceremony that is highly popular among Catholic Latinx and Filipino cultures. Couples might choose to incorporate this tradition into their ceremony to honor their heritage and signify their commitment to each other in the eyes of their friends, family, and God.
What Is the Wedding Lasso Tradition?
The wedding lasso tradition is a unity ceremony performed after the exchange of vows using a lasso or rope to join the couple. It is placed over the couple’s shoulders by either the officiant or los padrinos (godparents) and symbolizes their everlasting union and status as one in the eyes of the Lord.
“Traditionally found in Catholic weddings, the wedding lasso is a large rosary, placed around the couple as a symbol of unity,” says Claudia G. de Velasco, a wedding planner based in Houston. “The Lasso Ceremony can have a similar meaning as the Lighting of a Unity Candle, also used in many Catholic weddings.”
Meet the Expert
Claudia G. de Velasco is a wedding planner and owner of A Day To Remember, an award-winning event planning firm, and Intimate Celebrations, a wedding planning company. She’s based in Houston, TX, and has planned hundreds of Latinx weddings in both Texas and Mexico.
If you’re considering incorporating the wedding lasso tradition into your ceremony, you may have questions about the history and meaning of this ancient ritual. Keep reading to explore the rich cultural context behind this tradition and find out everything you need to know before incorporating the wedding lasso into your wedding day.
The History and Meaning of the Wedding Lasso
“Rooted in Mexico, the Philippines, and other Latin communities, the wedding lasso continues to be an institution in many ceremonies, Catholic or not,” says de Velasco. The lasso is placed over the couple’s shoulders in a figure eight, which represents new beginnings in the Bible. “The use of rosary beads in this ritual is also significant; using a rosary reflects the couple is forever bound together in unity by God,” says de Velasco.
The wedding lasso was not always part of a Catholic wedding ceremony, but it’s something couples kept requesting, so the church decided to incorporate it. It’s an ancient tradition that continues to be woven into Catholic and non-religious wedding ceremonies today.
Wedding Lasso FAQs
What is a wedding lasso?
The wedding lasso can be anything but is typically an oversized rosary, silk cord, or flower garland. “As long as the lasso is an oversized rosary with two loops to form the eternity symbol, your design options can be endless,” says de Velasco. When placed over the couple, it forms an “8” or infinity symbol and is typically joined in the middle by a crucifix.
Who buys the wedding lasso?
The wedding lasso is typically provided by los padrinos de lazo, or lasso godparents, which are a married couple that the couple see as role models in marriage and have been chosen to take a special part in the wedding ceremony. They purchase the wedding lasso and give it to the couple on their wedding day as a gift.
Occasionally, the wedding lasso can be used as “something borrowed.” “Many lassos have been a family heirloom, passed down from generation to generation, and we love when couples incorporate this heirloom into their wedding,” says de Velasco.
When is the wedding lasso ceremony performed?
In Catholic ceremonies, it’s performed after the couple exchanges their vows and rings, and the lasso is placed over the couple while they’re still kneeling on the altar.
Who performs the wedding lasso ceremony?
Either los padrinos or the priest will place the lasso over the couple to form a figure-eight shape.
What happens after the wedding lasso is placed over the couple?
The wedding lasso is traditionally accompanied by a prayer asking that God bless this union and that the couple may grow in faith and love as one for the rest of their lives.
How long is the lasso over the couple?
The lasso remains over the couple throughout the remainder of the service and is removed at the end of the ceremony by the priest or padrinos.
What happens to the wedding lasso after the ceremony?
The wedding lasso is kept by the couple as a lovely memento and displayed in their house. They might use the lasso to pray the rosary together and remind themselves of their vows to each other and God.
How to Incorporate the Wedding Lasso Into Your Ceremony
“Should any couple decide the lasso ceremony is something they would love to bring into their wedding, we recommend they speak with their officiant, to ensure the lasso ceremony is included properly” says de Velasco.
After you’ve talked to your officiant, the next step is securing your wedding lasso. If you’ve chosen to have padrinos, let them know your preferences in choosing a wedding lasso, whether you want something simple like an oversized rosary or flowers, or if you want something more ornate. You can also use an heirloom lasso, or purchase your own lasso to start your own heirloom keepsake.
Be sure to practice the wedding lasso ceremony during your rehearsal to make sure the lasso doesn’t get caught on your veil or headpiece. Also, don’t forget to include the wedding lasso into your wedding day photography list.
After the ceremony, pass the wedding lasso off to a trusted person or your wedding planner to ensure its kept in a safe place during the rest of your wedding night. After the honeymoon, have your wedding lasso displayed prominently in a special part of your home to remember your wedding day, your commitment to each other, and your relationship with God.