When Angel Tello and Rosa Escobedo were married Aug. 11, it was the type of wedding Rosa would have had in her native Mexico.
Angel’s restaurant, Tello’s Grille & Cafe in Port Washington, was closed for three days as relatives and friends from as far away as Mexico arrived for the wedding.
Rosa didn’t have a traditional quinceanera for her 15th birthday, a lavish affair that each of Angel’s five sisters had in Mexico, so he wanted to make sure she had a traditional wedding — one that their Mexican and Anglo friends could both enjoy.
“It was always my dream when I married I wanted to do something that our friends and families could enjoy. That was a big dream for me,” Angel said.
“We have been together for 15 years and always wanted to get married in the church. Time flies by, and I decided we had to do it soon if we were going to get married.”
The wedding party included their sons Jose, 7, and Angel, 13, and Rosa’s daughter Stephanie, 17, and son Adrian, 20, plus brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews — more than 20 people in all.
The girls wore lavender and purple gowns. As couples came down the church aisle they brought symbolic gifts to the couple.
A mariachi band played and children’s choir sang during the Spanish Mass at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Milwaukee. The band was also featured at the reception for more than 270 guests at the Five Pillars Supper Club in Random Lake.
The wedding ceremony was filled with Mexican traditions that had to be explained to those who didn’t understand Spanish.
At one point, a white braided cord was placed over Angel’s and Rosa’s shoulders, signifying they are two people who are now one.
Angel gave coins to Rosa, which she then gave them back to him, a sign that they will share what they have.
Rosa’s mother and sister, who came from Mexico, gave the couple necklaces they made, along with a Bible and a rosary.
Rosa had two wedding gowns — one for studio pictures that were taken several days before the ceremony and one for the ceremony.
It’s bad luck for the groom to see her in her wedding dress prior to the ceremony, Rosa explained. Both her gowns were white strapless dresses with lace on the bodice. The wedding gown was spectacular with a long train that flowed in the church.
The couple put their personal touch on the reception menu by providing an array of traditional Mexican appetizers prior to the meal that was prepared by the Five Pillars staff.
Rosa made enough favors for each guest to take three or four. Bride and groom figurines were arranged in champagne glasses, under trellises and surrounded by flowers, beads and ribbons, all in lavender and purple, Rosa’s favorite colors.
“We had to make two trips to the reception to get them there,” Angel said.
Their elaborate wedding cake — comprised of a dozen cakes connected by bridges and fountains — included not only figurines depicting the bride and groom, but also one for each bridesmaid and groomsman.
The traditional first dance for the bride and groom had the couple dancing with guests, who paid $1 for the privilege.
The men then danced around Tello and tossed him in the air.
The women danced around Rosa before she threw her bouquet.
Their photographer was kept busy since the couple had photos taken with every guest at the reception.
In addition to pictures at the church, the wedding party went to Rotary Park in Port Washington to have photos taken at the lakefront.
On Sunday, a huge picnic was held in Upper Lake Park with music and plenty of Mexican food.
It was a three-day affair that left the couple glowing for days and people talking.
The couple said they’re a little surprised at how the ceremony has made a change in their long relationship.
“I feel more secure, happy,” Rosa said.
“I feel like I have more responsibility now,” said Angel, even though he had taken responsibility for his family before. “It’s different. I think sometimes we need that. It also makes it simpler with the children.”
Image Information: AMONG THE MANY places Rosa and Angel Tello posed for wedding photos was Port Washington’s Rotary Park, where the city’s lakefront made a perfect backdrop. Joining the couple in this photo were Rosa’s sister and brother-in-law Maria and Jose Camilo. Photo by Angelica Martinez, Martinezproduction.com