Following in the Latin American tradition, Omar Munoz and Maria Isabel Leon solemnized their wedding vows on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009, at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Salem. The couple were married at a civil ceremony in April of this year.
The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alfredo Leon of Jalisco, Mexico. The groom is the son of the late Mr. Omar Munoz and Mrs. Bertilda Munoz Solis of South Lincoln Avenue, Salem.
The double ring ceremony was officiated by co-celebrants Father Tom Eisweirth and Father Bernie Mlaapah.
The bride's gown, designed by Oleg Cassini, was white satin with beading, lace and a hand-embroidered border, along with a pick-up skirt and imported lace hem. It also featured a corset back and flowing train. The headpiece was also imported and completed the ensemble with a cathedral veil. Her bouquet consisted of white lilies and white roses.
She was escorted by her eldest brother, Arturo and attended by matron of honor Marlene Lang and bridesmaids (madrinas) Karla Leon, Rosa Onate and Juani Onate. They and the other attendants wore a variety of gowns, all with a violet theme.
The groom's best man was Frankly Munoz, and his groomsmen (padrinos) were Alfredo, Jaime and David Leon, Lueso Piendon, Ervin Mongoraz and Roberto Ortiz.
Junior attendants were Aimy, Francisco, Velacian Jesus, Elia Onate, Laney and Jeslyn Pfister, Jamie Santora, Ariella Leon and Isabela Zornicx.
Along with the rings and flowers, they shared the duties of carrying the prayer book, rosary, embroidered kneeling pillows, the El Lazo, food baskets and 13 gold coins.
As part of the ceremony to symbolize unity, the El Lazo (lasso) is a large loop of rosary beads, blessed three times in honor of the Trinity, and is placed in a figure eight shape around the necks of the couple after they have exchanged their vows. It is symbolic of the love that will bind them together as they share the responsibility of marriage.
The food baskets consisting of fruit, rice and beans are to symbolize that together they will never go hungry.
The 13 gold coins (arras), representing Christ and the 12 apostles, are given by the groom to the bride to show his trust and confidence along with a pledge that he will always support her.
Over 300 friends and family joined the couple at their reception held at the Salem Country Club.
Following in the Latino custom, the bride changed gowns for the reception into a taffeta high collar, side drape, trumpet wedding gown complete with beading and button back. A traditional band provided dinner and dance music. Caren Labra performed vocal solos both at the church ceremony and at the reception.
As the evening progressed, lively, late night music followed with a 14-piece Mexican band.
After completion of the extended festivities, the couple left for their honeymoon at the Poconos Resorts in Pennsylvania.
The bride works at her family's business, Jalisco Mexican Restaurant in Salem.
The groom is the employment supervisor at Fresh Mark Inc., also in Salem.