Spanish Wedding Traditions

For a Spanish twist, have a vibrant wedding with old world elegance.

Passionate, colourful, rich in culture, Spain has it all and their weddings are no exception. Incorporate a few, or all of these traditions to create your own Latin wedding day fiesta.  

Marrying in Spain
- Under Spanish Law, two foreigners may only marry in Spain if one of the parties is a legal resident.  

Before the Wedding
- Traditionally, the groom gives the bride’s father a watch after his proposal is accepted.
- The groom gives the bride a gift of 13 coins (las arras), which symbolizes his commitment to support her.The bride carries the coins to the wedding ceremony to be blessed by the priest.  

Wedding Attire
- Traditionally, the bride wears a black silk wedding dress with a black lace veil, but today most brides wear white. The groom wears an embroidered shirt, handmade by his future wife.
- The veil is part of the wedding dress and symbolizes God’s protection.
- The flowers are usually Orange Blossom’s (azahares) – they represent happiness and fulfillment.  

Wedding Ceremony
- Traditionally, the ceremony is held in the evening.
- Godparent-sponsors (padrinos) are chosen to guide the couple through their married life.
- There is no best man, groomsmen, ushers, bridesmaids, flower girls, etc.
- A cord (el lazo) ceremony symbolizes that marriage is for life. The couple is wrapped with a cord into the shape of a rosary. This is done after the vows or at the reception.
- As the couple leave church they are greeted with firecrackers.  

- Spanish people don’t have speeches at all at the reception.
- The head table is for six people – the bride, groom and both sets of parents.
- Traditionally, music of Spanish and Latin origin along with folk dance is played by a “Mariachis band”.
- Guests dance a “seguidillas manchegas” or money dance with the bride or groom. The dance is to symbolize prosperity and financial security for the newlyweds.

- A fiesta of seafood’s including Paella, a delicious seafood rice stew; Sangria, red wine punch; Bizcochitos, rich spicy cut-out cookies and sponge cake with fruit and almonds.
- The wedding cake is cut by the couple, who must give each other a piece to eat, symbolizing their shared future.  

- Cigars for men, a scented gift for women.
- The bride also hands out a pin to unmarried ladies who wear them upside down. The hope is the pin is lost during the reception, which indicates the lady will soon marry.

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