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The saga of a Mexican wedding… plus Zamora’s big secret

Santuario Diocesano de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, or the Santuario Guadalupano, was finally finished in 2008, 110 years after construction began.

pg10aIt is the tenth largest church in the Americas, the ninth largest neogothic church in the world and the tallest cathedral in Mexico at 107.5 meters high.

Our niece Marisita Ibarra was about to be married. “Do you want to go to the boda?” asked my wife Susy. “It will be held in Zamora.”

As I have acquired a reputation for avoiding all weddings, baptisms and quinceañeras (the coming-of-age of 15-year-old girls), Susy nearly fell over when I replied, “Yes, I want to go.”

Actually, I had a plan. I wanted to document some of the curious goings-on at Mexican weddings for readers of the Guadalajara Reporter and see what Zamora, Susy’s hometown in Michoacán, looked like since my last visit there ages ago. I also suspected this wedding might have all the drama, excitement and unexpected turns of just about all my adopted Mexican family’s undertakings. Whatever project the Ibarras come up with, there always seem to be plenty of surprises!

Zamora lies southeast of Guadalajara, less than a two-hour drive away. “What time will we leave?” I asked Susy.

“My sister Bety will pick us up at 8:30 a.m.”

This meant Mexican time, so they arrived at 9:15. Then, no sooner had we entered the autopista to Mexico City than all the ladies in the car suddenly remembered what they had forgotten:

¡Que caray! I didn’t bring the camera!”

¡Dios mio! I forgot my dress shoes!”

“My cream! Where’s my cream?”

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