Weddings are joyous events around the world. Each country will have its own unique customs and traditions. Some of the most festive weddings anywhere take place in Spain.
Like the United States, Spain is a country that has regional differences. This means that although some customs are universal, each area will have its own unique traditions as well. You will see regional specialties reflected in wedding cuisine, flowers, and attire.
It was customary for a Spanish bride to wear a black silk gown with a black lace veil, which represented the "til death do us part" section of the vows. Many brides these days, though, may choose to wear the white gown that Americans are used to seeing. In Andalusia, some brides choose to wear a ruffled Flamenco style dress, in honor of that beloved dance. It is traditional for the bride to embroider a shirt for the groom to wear to the wedding.
If you were to walk into a bridal shop in Spain, one thing that you would notice is that the gowns there are all designed to have special and interesting details. You will not find too many of the plainer gowns that many American brides favor. Spanish brides are not afraid to dress up! That means gowns with ruffles, lace, or beadwork will a full set of bridal jewelry to match. Earrings with pizazz are an especially popular type of bridal jewelry. And no Spanish bridal ensemble would be complete without a gorgeous lace mantilla veil.
Flowers are an important part of any wedding. In Spain, you will tend to find that different types of flowers are used in the different regions of the country. For instance, in Seville, brides favor orange blossoms, which are known both for their wonderful scent and associations with fertility. Brides in Andalusia often carry pink and white roses, and all white bouquets are usually chosen by Castillian brides.
In many European countries, a wedding is a celebration that lasts well into the wee hours of the morning, and Spain is no exception. Ceremonies there often start much later than in the United States; a 7pm ceremony would not be uncommon. This makes sense when you remember that the Spanish are accredited to eating a very late evening meal. Speaking of the wedding dinner, it will tend to feature local specialties, such as paella near the seashore. Red sangria is popular nationwide, as is a rich sponge cake with fruit and almonds for dessert.
One of the more unique wedding customs in Spain involves the exchange of a special box containing thirteen gold coins. These coins, which are blessed by the priest, symbolize Jesus and the twelve Apostles. In addition, the gold coins, which are given to the bride by the groom, represent that he will take care of her financially. The couple will also exchange wedding bands, which are worn on the right hand instead of the left.
Spanish weddings are very fun parties. Guest lists are usually large, and the dancing to the mariachi band will last into the next morning. The bride and groom dance a traditional wedding dance called the sequidillas manchegas . Favors typically include cigars for the gentlemen and something depicted for the ladies. You can also expect firecrackers in celebration of the new marriage.
Whether you are looking for a way to honor your Spanish heritage or are just looking for some ways to make your wedding more fun, the wedding customs of Spain are a great place to start. There are many similarities between weddings in the United States and Spain, but there are also some things that are wonderfully unique to a Spanish marriage celebration. One thing is for sure: the people of Spain know how to throw a great party!