Pearls of Wisdom

Dia de Los Muertos Weddings

Design Idea G408 Necklace and Earring Set
by Leslie McLane, Content Development Group, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Dia de Los Muertos Weddings It's right in the vows, ''Til death do you part.'' Brides and grooms are adding vivid, cultural Dia de Los Muertos aspects to their wedding for a memorable occasion. We gathered some of the top ways to incorporate the sights, sounds and inspirations of this fascinating holiday in your wedding--especially if you or your betrothed are of Latino descent.

First of all, the color palette of a Dia de Los Muertos wedding is a fiesta itself. The main colors tend to be a lot of black and red, but the accent colors are vibrant and bright:
  • Eggplant purple
  • Yellow and orange marigold
  • Blue cauliflower
  • Avocado green
  • Occasional soft bubblegum pink accents
Red roses are incredibly popular as bouquets and flower crowns with inspiration from Frida Kahlo or the famous La Rosa Catrina motif. The original depiction of this grand dame of death was of an elegantly dressed female skeleton with an extravagant hat. The hat can vary from interpretation to interpretation, and for Day of the Dead weddings the hat is often replaced with a long, intricate black veil and a crown of roses. Aside from roses, marigolds are a favorite choice to incorporate in bouquets, hair adornment, boutonnieres and décor.

Flower Beads

Following many of the same motifs as the flowers, Dia de Los Muertos wedding jewelry uses a lot of roses and florals. This is where the holiday's influence really starts to shine though with skeletons and skulls. Skull cuff links or even a bone skull necklace is perfect for the groom and his side of the bridal party, while brides have been seen wearing skeleton cameo earrings, skull beads with aluminum or polymer flowers as eyes, skeleton hands in the shape of a heart and Swarovski crystal skulls if looking for a heightened sense of glamour. The skulls depicted in jewelry can be plain, but some are images of Calaveras de azucar, or sugar skulls. The colorful and sometimes glittery skulls have heart eyes and show up just about anywhere.

Skeleton Heart Hands Focal

Hanging Décor
Speaking of décor, there are lots of opportunities for hanging decorations at a Dia de los Muertos wedding. Oversized paper flowers--typically marigolds--adorn the altar, banquet tables, the bar, back drops of photo booths, etc. The altar is often also covered with streamers or the entire backdrop consists of Mexican papel picado banners. These are a decorative craft considered a Mexican folk art typically cut from tissue paper. Traditional themes include birds, flowers and skeletons. The banners are displayed for a range of occasions including Christmas, the Day of the Dead, weddings, quinceañeras, baptisms and more. These banners are popular motifs in invitations and even painted in icing on the wedding cake. Paper fringe garland livens up the front of banquet tables, the bar or above guest tables. No wedding would be complete without some signs, and the most common words we've spotted are, ''Love Never Dies,'' '''Til Death,'' ''Amor Eterno'' or ''Novio'' and ''Novia'' for the chairs of the groom and bride.
Dia de Los Muertos Weddings

Skull Charms, Drop, and Focals

The Cake
Love is sweet, and so is the cake! Aside from papel picado banner designs, cakes can also be adorned with skull or flower beads. For cake toppers, there are two popular styles. First is a set of two vibrantly painted sugar skulls. The male skull is wearing a top hat and the female skull has a crown of flowers. The other is two calacas (or skeletons) in traditional wedding attire, sometimes beneath a mini paper or pennant banner. Other sweet treats include spun-sugar skeleton mariachi musicians with gleeful expressions and colorful candy coffins or skull-shaped cookies and cake pops. These can double as favors.

Table Settings
Tablescapes are bright and colorful, sometimes covered with serape table runners or sheer spider web table covers showing brightly colored tablecloths beneath. Aside from roses and marigolds, succulents and cacti are common plants to include in centerpieces. Of course, sugar skulls tend to show up on plates or centerpieces as well, sometimes accompanied by maracas. The skull itself can be a favor for guests to take home and remind them of your undying love, or other favor suggestions include Milagros (religious folk charms historically used for healing purposes and as votive offerings) and traditional Mexican tin ornaments in heart shapes.

And, some extra details to consider:
  • Tiny sombrero for ring bearer
  • Half skeleton masks or face painting for reception to transform guest faces into sugar skulls
  • Include a memorial table similar to the ofrendas used in Dia de los Muertos. Set out candles, photos, food, drink and personal mementos to honor deceased friends and family who couldn't be at the wedding. For more memorial ideas, read our Pearls of Wisdom article, ''Remembering Loved Ones on Your Wedding Day''.
Dia de Los Muertos is actually a celebration of life, so it makes sense elements of this holiday can be borrowed for weddings. From hiring a mariachi band to serving guests Mexican food in the form of a taco bar (don't forget the cervezas and margaritas), there are plenty of fun ways to have a Dia de Los Muertos wedding to die for.

Design with ... Additional Resources ... If you have a question or feedback on this Pearls of Wisdom article, or would like to share your own wedding project idea, please contact us here.
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