Often overlooked in the wedding planning process, the transportation from the wedding ceremony to the reception provides a unique opportunity to continue the festivities. And in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, couples take advantage of this travel time with la callejoneada: a wedding parade that combines music, drinks and celebration as it takes guests from the ceremony location to the after party. We spoke with Rosewood San Miguel de Allende’s Wedding Specialist Manager, Bertha Santiago, to find out how this tradition is done.
How did the wedding parade tradition begin?
The callejoneada is a parade that began in Guanajuato City many years ago, when the students at the University of Guanajuato began to gather together to make music and play it along the streets. There isn’t a university in San Miguel de Allende, but the tradition evolved into a way to transport the wedding party from the church to the reception, with the people of San Miguel incorporating new elements into the parade such as the burro, a donkey carrying drinks, and the mariachi band. The parade is truly one of the most authentic forms of theater!
What goes into planning a wedding parade?
Music, large puppets called mojigangas, and the burro are distinctive features of the parade. The mojigangas are meant to depict the bride and groom, who can design the mojigangas according to their preferences. For example, if the groom has a beard, his mojiganga can have a beard or if the bride loves flowers, her mojiganga can have flowers in its hair! The couple also is able to pick which kind of band they want to lead the parade—traditional mariachi, banda or estudiantina. Lastly, the burro is there to ensure that the couple always has a drink available to toast with!
How does a wedding parade enhance the wedding day?
Wedding parades are vibrant and exciting, and serve to enhance the festive atmosphere of an already very special day! They also allow couples to engage in the local culture of San Miguel de Allende by taking part in a time-honored tradition. The parade is a way for the couple to share their love and joy not only with their wedding guests, but also with the local people of San Miguel. The mojigangas and the burro also provide for great photo opportunities!
How do wedding parades work at Rosewood San Miguel de Allende?
We understand that weddings are stressful so as the wedding specialist coordinator, I handle all of the organizational aspects of the parade from booking the band to making sure we have the correct permits. Should they choose to, the couple can make the fun decisions, like letting us know if they want their mojigangas to look a certain way or if they want a specific type of music.