Wedding in Spain

This is the contribution of the Spanish group at the meeting in Malta.

The day of my wedding

Today was the best day of my life. My boyfriend took me to the best restaurant of Cádiz. After a perfect evening, when we were having dessert, he rose from his seat and with a smile on his face knelt before me and took a red box and opened it while looking into my eyes, said me the words that every women would love to hear from her boyfriend:

- Will you marry me?

A tear slid down my cheek by the emotion of the moment and I said getting up and hugging him tightly.

-Yes, and a thousand times yes.

Then he brought me home, like a gentleman and we parted with a sweet kiss at the door of my house.

Now I'm preparing everything. I never thought that it was so much work: a church, a venue for a banquet dinner, the guest list, invitations, wedding list, gifts for the guests, the photographer, the honeymoon, the bouquet, something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue and most importantly the dress! That dress that we've all dreamed of when we were small in our perfect wedding...

I called my mother on the phone and she explained many things about weddings that I didn’t know:

- In the Middle Ages, superstitions say that it bring you luck to use:

  • Something old, to symbolize the connection of the bride with her past and represented the continuity of their marriage (a jewel of the family)
  • Something Borrowed, referring to the belief that happiness could bring a friend using something to be happy. That symbolized friendship, for happiness loan (a gem or just a handkerchief);
  • Something new, because it produced best hope for there future;
  • Something blue, color that represented the fidelity of the parties (the garter on the leg of the bride);

 The groom

  • He mustn’t see the bride or her dress before the ceremony.
  • The groom should wear his tie properly because if it is twisted means that it would be unfaithful to his girlfriend.
  • The custom is cutting the groom's tie into pieces and then auctioning it off for good luck. It is still actively practiced today by the groom’s closest friends.

Wedding dress

The color of the wedding dress is a tradition:

White is the popular pick but originally,  the white bride's dress was a symbol of economic power and social status. It was hard to get a white dress.

The veil

Originally, the bride wore the veil as a symbol of youth. Catholic brides use it as a symbol of purity. Because of this, the bride sometimes selects a veil to reach the altar and then, the groom unveils the bride when she is brought by her father or a family member (such as a grandparent) if the father has died.

Bouquet

 Flowers represent emotions and merit carry a message of fertility, flowering and generosity. Superstition says that whoever catches the lucky bride's bouquet will have luck and be the next to get married.

Red Carpet

The red carpet is placed at the entrance of the church, representing honor and respect.

Most Spanish weddings start late (often the ceremony won't start until 7 p.m.) and finish very, very late (or early, depending on how you look at it).

The Wedding March

It is an anthem that is traditionally played when the bride enters the church or place of the ceremony. Its use is widely spread massively in western countries.

Coins

A traditional wedding custom consists of the groom presenting the bride with 13 coins known as arras (unity coins), which represent his commitment to her. However, times have changed and today’s brides and grooms exchange the coins as a symbol of the wealth and finances they will evenly share. This is a symbol of sharing everything with each other. Sometimes these coins will have been in the family for many, many years. Nowdays it is common to purchase a cheap set of imitation gold coins.

Wedding Ring

Normally the wedding ring is worn on the ring finger of the right hand, but in Cataluña it is worn on the left hand.

Rice

The throwing of rice after the church ceremony represents the seed, the offspring.

Wedding Godparents

They are usually the bride´s father and the groom's mother are who accompany them arm in arm to the altar.

The Banquet

During the wedding reception or banquet, the bride and groom go from table to table carrying a basket with small presents that they give each guest personally. The men are offered a cigar or a small bottle of wine and women a small gift. At this time the guests give the couple's favorite gift: money. Some couples send a bank account number with the invitation.

Marriage book, Family Book

Days after the wedding, the newlyweds present their Marriage certificate for a civil wedding or their Marriage book, for a religious church wedding in order to receive their Family Book, where their children’s birth will be recorded, hence the name, “Family Book”.”

Civil and religious (Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim) marriages can be celebrated in Spain for people over 18.

While Spanish law appears to permit foreigners to marry in Spain, in practice it will usually be necessary for one of the couple to have been legally resident in Spain for at least two years.

In 2005 Spain began to recognise the need to allow same-sex marriages and legalised civil law partnerships- said my mother.

My mum knew everything about weddings!

                                                     *           *            *

Several months later ...

Oh my god, I’m so nervous!  I'm in the car on the way of the church, fingers crossed praying that everything goes well... I look in the mirror touch up my make up, my hair is perfectly lovely in a bun, leaving my face exposed.

Finally we came to the door, my father opened the car door, I picked up the dress and came out of the car.

He takes my arm and we walk together to the altar on the red carpet while the orchestra played the wedding march, I smiled at the guests are all watching.

Finally I arrived with the man that was going to be my husband.
The ceremony was very beautiful, next thing I knew they were already throwing rice and rose petals. A carriage was waiting for us at the entrance with a sign placed just married in the back. The carriage brought us to the banquet, which was really cool, my husband and I (that sounds weird to call him that) we ate, talked, laughed, and finally introduced the dance. It was all like a movie, no doubt, that day I discovered that there are fairy tales and Prince Charming.

Last modified: Wednesday, 5 October 2011, 07:34 PM
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