Mayor Victor Hugo Sosa of the small Mexican town of San Pedro Huamelula ceremonially married an alligator on Thursday. The mayor happily obliged repeated requests from the crowd to kiss his blushing bride.
San Pedro Huamelula has been practicing the alligator wedding ritual for centuries, tracing the tradition back to the indigenous Chontal and Huave peoples.
The village is located in Oaxaca state on the Pacific coast, a poor region of southern Mexico with a large population of indigenous residents. Wedding celebrants sing, dance, and implore the “little princess” alligator chosen as a ceremonial bride to bless them with good fishing and weather.
“We ask nature for enough rain, for enough food, that we have fish in the river,” Mayor Sosa explained.
The “godmother” of this year’s wedding, Elia Edith Aguilar, said the ceremony gives her “so much happiness and makes me proud of my roots.”
“It is a privilege to be the godmother. Very few people can do it,” she said, noting that one of her most important responsibilities is arranging a gown for the literal bridezilla.
The bride wore white, if anyone was wondering, although she was also outfitted with a perky tropical print dress. She made time to dance with just about everyone in the village, but on the other hand, alligators are notoriously poor at tossing their garters.
Aguilar explained that part of the ceremony’s prestige comes from the commitment of the village to feed the little princess, who eats “chicken, meat, fish, whatever we have.”
“It’s a very beautiful tradition,” she said, secure in the knowledge that the relationship will probably work out better than Johnny Depp’s marriage.