The Mayan Wedding Ritual includes: A ritual of commitment to unite each other, as long as the commitment remains. The Mayan Wedding Ritual is based in the Maya's connection with the universe and their gods, which is described in their sacred book the Popol Vuh. The ceremony brings the couple to the four cardinal points (north, south, east and west) to unite them to the feminine Mother Earth and the masculine Cosmic Energy, symbolized by a central sacred candle. An altar is created to represent these four cardinal points with flowers marking these four points. The altar hold the traditional offerings to the Gods (corn, beans, rice, fruit); to represent the gifts of prosperity and fertility. North is represented by red flowers, East with yellow, South with purple, and West with white flowers. Candles are located on the altar on the four cardinal points, north, south, east and west, to symbolize the presence of the four Mayan cosmos gods. The center candle unites the feminine and masculine, Mother Earth and Cosmic Energy, the fifth flame - which is lit by the Shaman or by the one he designates. Prior to the ceremony, the area is cleansed at the four cardinal points by the Shaman with the sacred smoke from the Copal tree and the blowing of the ritual conch shell horn.
Family and friends circle around the altar to celebrate the union of the bride and groom by presenting gifts of flowers, music, food and drink. Mayan music with pre-Hispanic instruments and the sacred conch shell is performed before and during the ceremony. Traditional Mexican music, such as Mariachis, can continue the celebration after the wedding. For a traditional Mayan wedding feast, turkey tamales, beans, potatoes and tortillas with plentiful toasts by families and friends with Xtabentun, (an anise and honey flavored Mayan liqueur) is served as well as Champagne.
For authentic Mayan, weddings, the sacred drink Balche (from the Mayan balche, hidden tree) is prepared especially for the couple and is a month long process. This ceremonial drink is "fermented" in alcohol with the sacred Balche tree bark, flowers, anise and wild fresh bee honey. The bride and groom wear simple natural clothing of white or off white without shoes in order to absorb the energy of the ceremony. Traditional dress, which can be purchased or rented, is available for the bride and groom for authentic Maya ceremonies. A Mayan bride traditionally wore a natural cloth skirt and wedding huipil (an elaborate brocaded blouse) and the groom an embroidered loin cloth decorated with parrot feathers, semiprecious stones and shells. It is suggested that family and guests wear natural cloth clothing in white or cream, preferably barefoot, so they can share in the spiritual energy created by the ceremony. It is truly an event remembered by all.
A traditional Mayan ceremony is spiritual and interactive, taking place in front of the sea, in balance with Nature, the four basic elements (Fire, Earth, Water and Air) and the Universe. The Shaman will bless the union setting an altar for the Mayan gods with flowers, fruits, seeds and fire. Guests will stand in a circle around the altar to await the entrance of the Bride and Groom. The Shaman will welcome them with a purification ritual using Copal, a native plant burned by the Mayas as incense. Then, the couple will walk into the Altar and with everyone together (including guests) he will ask permission to the four cardinal points, and the Mayan Gods, to guide the couple through light and unconditional love in a spiritual union. Once they accept each other as a caring couple, they will share the fruit and vows, and will receive a flower crown. Rings can also be exchanged at this time. Then, the couple will take their hands and kiss, symbolizing respect, tenderness, comprehension and love. The Shaman will ask each of the guests to pronounce one word with his/her wishes for the new couple. The ceremony is closed with guests showering the newly married couple with flower petals. It is suggested the guests wear white, to represent a pure integration with Mother Earth.
The Mayan Wedding K'aam Nikte' is filled with ancient symbolism to unite the couple spiritually with the Cosmos and Mother Nature's life giving energies. The sacred energies of love and life are placed upon the couples' love vows to protect their marriage from the negative forces that daily living bring into a home, the couple undergoes a purification ritual, then they are welcomed by the Wise Elder Priests inside the sacred ceremonial altar, where the J'Men welcome the love energy of their Maya Gods: Noj Yuum k'uj (greater God), Yuum K'aax and all yuumtsilo'ob (godly earthelements), The Aluxes,Yuum Chaak (rain, godly water element) and Junab K'uj, (deities in charge of nature and the elemental energies of life) are then invited to embrace the couples hearts and bring protection to their spirit so that love grows within them as one; then the couple greets the guests.