There is no doubt that the Riviera Maya is one of the hottest destination wedding venues for people visiting from all over the world. It is a truly magical location whether you have a beachfront or island wedding, a small ceremony at a cenote surrounded by the jungle, or simply have a breathtaking view from the rooftop hotel.
But what is most unique about tying the knot in the Riviera Maya is that you have the option to partake in a non –traditional, extremely beautiful, Mayan ceremony. I attended my first Mayan ceremony as a guest a couple of weeks ago and was completely taken back by how seamlessly lovely the entire process was.
The Mayan ceremony is not a religious one, rather a spiritual one performed by a Shaman. The whole ceremony is focused around peace, love and harmony from the universe.
The ceremony I attended was held on a beach on secluded island just 15 minutes by boat from Cozumel. As the ceremony began, all attendees were asked to gather round in a circle on the beach to participate in the universal blessing of the marriage. We were handed maracas and given instructions on when to use them. The groom was centered in the middle of all of us surrounded by rose petals, as he patiently awaited his beautiful bride. The bride then made her stunning entrance as the Shaman blew the horn through a rather large and pretty seashell. We all greeted her by shaking our maracas and inviting her to the middle of the circle with her soon to be husband.
It was a beautiful day and all seemed right in the world! The Shaman then started the ceremony with kind words and inspiration. Under the light of the day the Shaman guided the couple in a circle stopping at each directional point – North, South East and West – to ask for the blessing of the universe to unite this couple in marriage. Each direction had its own meaning as the shaman asked the universe for love, stability, commitment, strength, fertility, compassion, understanding and all the precious things that we wish for to maintain love and faith throughout the life of a marriage. Before heading on to the next point in the circle the bride and groom were showered with flower petals by participating guests.
After making way around the circle the Shaman gathers the bride and groom back to the center to complete the ceremony where the couple exchanges their vows and accepts their rings as a symbol of their love and commitment to one another. Finally the shaman pronounces the couple as husband and wife and the famous, well awaited, kiss takes place, as the guests shake their maracas in harmony with one another.
Guests are then invited to the center one by one to give their best wishes and congratulations. Everything is so personal and meaningful during this part of the ceremony.
The entire ceremony lasted around one hour. My favorite part of the Mayan ceremony is that it is a moment that is kindly and truly shared with family and friends. The words of the Shaman reminded everyone about the solitude of marriage and how love is the most precious thing we can hold. There was a certain peacefulness that I wasn’t expecting and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to be a part of this special day.
It’s important to mention that the Mayan Ceremony is simply spiritual. Many who partake in this kind of ceremony will have already arranged their legal marriage with the civil registry and will have already received your marriage certificate. If you do wish to have your marriage legalized make sure you have obtained the proper steps prior to your ceremony. You may also choose to hire a judge to conduct a legal portion of the ceremony and combine the two together.
If you are thinking of getting married in the Riviera Maya I highly recommend this lovely and unique experience.