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Spanish Wedding Customs

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If you attend a wedding where the culture has been influenced by Spain, Spanish wedding customs may be very much in play.

When looking at wedding customs, Spain has some of the more traditional and colorful customs in the world. They are practiced widely in South and Central America.

As the population of North America becomes more Latino, the Spanish wedding customs have become more visible.

The Dress and Shirt

In true Spanish wedding tradition the bride will wear a traditional silk, black dress with an accompanying black lace veil held in place by combs. A bride from the Andalusia region may wear a flamingo style dress to honor the old Spanish wedding customs of that region.

The bride is expected to embroider a groom's wedding shirt to wear at the wedding ceremony.

The Flowers

In Seville, brides carry orange blossom bouquets or wear wreaths or tiaras decorated with orange blossoms. This is to symbolize a life of happiness and fulfillment for the couple.

In the Andalusia region, brides prefer pink and white garlands whereas Castillian brides wear white flowers.

The Escorts

The bride's father has the job of making sure the groom does not see her until the beginning of the wedding ceremony. He then escorts her to the church for the ceremony.

The groom walks his mother down the aisle to her seat in a pew at the front of the church.

The Ceremony

In accordance with Spanish wedding customs, the wedding ceremony is held in the early evening.

As part of the ceremony, the groom presents the bride with 13 coins in a bag or a box. This is said to represent Jesus and his apostles that gives it a religious connotation. It also is a pledge by the groom that he will always support his wife. The coins are blessed by the priest during the ceremony.

In some ceremonies, the bride and groom are wrapped with a Lasso in the shape of a rosary. This is done after the vows have been taken and insures the protection of the union. Some couples are wrapped by the Lasso at the reception.

The bride and groom will exchange rings and the priest will bless them. The rings are placed on the ring finger of the right hand.

The Reception

When the newlyweds exit the church, they are greeted by fireworks and applause by family and friends. The festivities have begun.

You can usually hear a Mariachi band filling the hall with Latin and Spanish music. Dancing is expected. Spanish wedding customs will always include the bride and groom dancing to the Sequidillas Manchegas, the traditional wedding dance.

The Food

One thing you are bound to see at the reception are wedding cookies flavored with almonds and different spices.

A seafood dish is usually the main course but you may see a more native dish called Paella being served.

Local wines and Sangria are served in abundance.

The wedding cake more than likely is filled with fresh fruit and almonds.

The Wedding Favors and Fun

The bride and groom will give their guests small wedding favors. The Groom will also give the men cigars at some time during the reception.

The bride will give the women who are single small pins that are worn upside down. A Spanish wedding custom says that if a woman looses the pin during the reception she is believed to be the next to get married.

The bride will also toss her bouquet to the women who are single; whoever catches it is believed to be next to get married.


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