38 responses

  1. Allison @ A Foodie in Europe
    June 16, 2014

    This is great! I’ve always wanted to go to a Spanish wedding but haven’t had the chance yet. I’ll just live vicariously through you until I get to go to one. Good to know about the fascinators, too!
    Allison @ A Foodie in Europe recently posted..Road to AlmeríaMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      June 17, 2014

      They’re not terribly different from American weddings, but a lot of fun!

      • Allison @ A Foodie in Europe
        June 18, 2014

        I’ve only been to 2 in America and got paid for one! All my friends have been getting married while I’ve been here. So, I’m missing out in 2 countries. haha
        Allison @ A Foodie in Europe recently posted..Road to AlmeríaMy Profile

      • Cat Gaa
        June 19, 2014

        I feel you there! I am missing three this summer, and the year my best friend from college, my old roommate and a childhood friend got married absolutely killed me!

  2. Nancy
    June 16, 2014

    You did not include details about the ceremony….arguably an important part of the whole marriage thing???

    • Cat Gaa
      June 17, 2014

      Every ceremony I’ve been to is different, but most are religious and follow mass! You know I’m more into the party, anyway!

  3. Kim
    June 16, 2014

    This is fitting for me this week as I am heading back to Blighty for two weddings, one straight after the other, this week! I really can’t believe how guests are expected to cough up at Spanish weddings, especially in the current climate!. I have been to my fair share in the UK and most friends plead for you NOT to give them anything!

    Something I love about British weddings that hasn’t caught on here are the speeches. Although they may be quite dated and macho (only men speak) I think it is a lovely way for friends and family to get an insight into the history of the couple’s relationship, with dad’s quips about about his daughter and the best man’s funny tales of his mate.
    Kim recently posted..Musical moments: SilvioMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      June 17, 2014

      Speeches are quite common in the US, as well! It hadn’t even dawned on me that they’re not done here. There was one wedding that I went to several years back where the father gave a eulogy-type speech before the ceremony even began. We were standing room only and it was hot and stuffy, so we went to the bar down the street. The groom even picked up the tab!

  4. Cassandra
    June 16, 2014

    What a timely post, I just got back from my first Spanish wedding!

    The dress code at this one was more relaxed; even though it was a night wedding, the women wore both long and short dresses, and a few even opted for black pants. That isn’t to say that the wedding wasn’t fancy–IT WAS. Madre mia, the views from the Asturian palacio! And the food was incredible. The menu was designed and catered by a Michellin-star chef, need I say more?!

    • Cat Gaa
      June 17, 2014

      I’ve seen a lot of smart pants suits latey, as well, but usually for day weddings.

  5. Pedro
    June 16, 2014

    300 euros…wow!! your Novio is truly a great man, haha!

    i have never heard of paying back the meal you eat, such a thing is new to me…perhaps it happens in Andalucia? don’t know…

    in the last years more people just give a card with their bank account so you can transfer or deposit money, although most people still prefer an envelope with money.

    • Cat Gaa
      June 17, 2014

      That’s what the Novio told me it was for!!

      • Pedro
        June 18, 2014

        wait! your Novio told you it was to pay back the meal? 300 euros is a very expensive meal, i imagine that you had golden octopus and prawns made of diamonds for such a money, haha :-)

        i always give 30 euros because it is enough, remember that those who get married do invite you to the banquet, so i don’t see the money as a way of paying back what you eat, i see it as gift as if i bought a picture or a set of knives, etc

      • Cat Gaa
        June 19, 2014

        Only 30 euros?! I am overpaying…

  6. Kaley
    June 17, 2014

    I think we gave €300 at my first wedding too! I was shocked, because I’m used to just buying a set of towels or something …

    And me? Spanish weddings? Never!
    Kaley recently posted..World Cup 2014: Can Spain Do It Again?My Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      June 17, 2014

      I was hoping you’d comment! I’ve heard all kinds of horror stories from other Americanas who have gotten married here. The Novio was really close with the groom at our first wedding together, but I gave 100 this last weekend. I would have loved to buy the bride and groom something fun for their house, but money is an easier alternative!

  7. Lynnette McCurdy
    June 17, 2014

    Another difference in pre-wedding- here (Spain) there are no bridal showers. When I married the first time round, I lived in Long Island, NY. Money is, BY FAR, THE gift at weddings there, but at your bridal shower close friends and family got you things from your registry, which was very nice because these were people you were really close to and they got gifts you really appreciated and remembered. I missed having a bridal shower here! We did receive some actual gifts, from friends who came from the States and other countries.

  8. amelie88
    June 18, 2014

    I’ve been to a few French weddings (probs going to one next year, the cousins keep getting married) and it does differ from American weddings in several ways. There aren’t usually bridesmaids or groomsmen but there can be a flower girl. Instead you have “witnesses” who witness you sign your marriage license at City Hall from what I remember (in France you must do a civil service at City Hall before doing a religious ceremony. Religious ceremonies are not legally binding). You can read a good description of what French weddings are like here: http://nymag.com/thecut/2014/05/french-weddings-are-more-fun.html. It’s in all weekend affair–the civil/religious ceremony, the cocktail hour, the 4-5 course meal, the dancing until the wee hours of the night, and brunch the following morning on Sunday. I also feel French wedding guests don’t care all that much about what they wear, it’s always been a more relaxed dress code than the weddings I saw when I was standing outside of churches in Spain.
    amelie88 recently posted..Spring Snapshots on the High Line Part 2My Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      June 19, 2014

      Very cool to have insight on French weddings! My friend was at one a few years ago where she was told she had to either wear black or hot pink, as apparently that’s a thing in France: color-coding your weddings!

      Though I could get behind and all-weekend affair!

  9. Katie
    June 26, 2014

    So, what are the songs you hear again and again? I’ll be going to my first Spanish wedding in a little over a week, so I want to be prepared. :)

    • Cat Gaa
      June 27, 2014

      Haha, almost anything that’s easy to sing – Antes que ver el sol, la chica de ayer, Devuelveme la Vida, Camisa Negra, A Quien le Importa… Have a great time!!

      • Cat Gaa
        June 27, 2014

        Oh, and I totally forgot the rumba version of “A Mi Manera.” ALWAYS hear that one!

      • Katie
        June 27, 2014

        Gracias! I’ll add them to my playlist for the plane. :)

  10. Alice
    July 1, 2014

    This is really interesting to me as I just got back from my 4th Spanish wedding in 4 months – in fact I just wrote quite a similar post – a survival guide for Spanish Weddings! Give it a read and see how it compares with your experiences.

    I forgot to mention the gifts – at first the amount of money shocked me but when you think about it, it makes sense… as a couple we gave 200 euros a wedding, making the gift and paying our way. And I suppose you’re not just covering the meal, but drinks, venue, etc.

    The next challenge will be my novio and I having our English/Spanish wedding in England, pitching it so the Spanish half will have fun as well as the English, without alienating either culture, and without it costing all the money ever. A challenge!
    Alice recently posted..Surviving a Spanish weddingMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      July 1, 2014

      Congratulations, Alice!! My Novio and I are also planning for next August in the US, and the only thing we can agree on is where we’ll have it. He says he’s leaving it all up to me, but I can’t make up my mind about anything!! Will be looking forward to reading about it!

      • Alice
        July 1, 2014

        I’ll look forward to reading about your wedding preparations too! My novio isn’t too hot on organisation either so I think it’ll pretty much all be left to me… and maybe la suegra too.. eek!
        Alice recently posted..Surviving a Spanish weddingMy Profile

  11. Alex, Speaking Denglish
    July 4, 2014

    I love the tradition of actually handing out the wedding invitations, very special! It all sounds like such a neat experience. I am dying to go to a German wedding (although they’ll have nothing on the southern weddings I’m used to) but Germans don’t freaking get married anymore, only for tax reasons, or the few religious people left.
    Alex, Speaking Denglish recently posted..THREE YEARS IN GERMANYMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      July 4, 2014

      That’s crazy! I’ve all of the sudden gotten really interested in them…weirdly.

  12. Nicole
    August 23, 2014

    Googled “attending a Spanish wedding” and was SO happy this was one of the first links to pop up! My boyfriend asked if I will be attending his uncles wedding with him and have been panicking about what to wear, what the rundown is, etc. You’re a life saver Cat!

    • Cat Gaa
      August 23, 2014

      My pleasure, lady! I’m planning my own wedding, and I referred to it myself when talking with the priest. Spanish weddings are a lot of fun, so enjoy yourself!

  13. Allison
    August 24, 2014

    Spa(ress and no engagement ring or even honeymoon completely planned. We celebrated in Chicago as well and that was a party my mom mostly planned and was way more stressful for me. I can’t imagine dealing with a real American wedding! We haven’t dealt with authenticating our Spanish marriage certificate, (which is really a libreta de familia), for the purposes of US bureaucracy or getting married a 2nd time in the US yet, mostly because we plan to live indefinitely in Spain. But, I agree it’s a good idea to legalize/ validate all those doc just in case.

    De todos modos, I’m sure you will look gorgeous on the day of your wedding and it will be a great, fun day. Make it all about you and Kike amd forget what evwryone else says you should do. Suerte y enhorabuena mujer!
    Allison recently posted..My Love-Hate Relationship with SevillaMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      August 27, 2014

      Thanks, chiki! We were told it’s easier to get married in the US, present everything to the consulate and then have them worry about getting it to Spain! I have my NIE value until February of 2015, so I’m n no rush whatsoever. Now that the big stuff is planned (church, venue, dress, photo/video), I’m looking forward to the decorating/arranging part of the planning, and the party we’re expected to have!

  14. Allison
    August 27, 2014

    That’s awesome you already have so much planned and figured out! That’s got to be a big load off your shoulders. I know it’ll be a fabulous event. I hope your summer can be more relaxing now :) Stay cool in the Sevilla heat. :-*
    Allison recently posted..Summer Update from the Real Housewife of BarcelonaMy Profile

    • Cat Gaa
      August 27, 2014

      …I go back to work Monday waaaah!

  15. Anna
    July 26, 2015

    I’ve been living in Sicily for the last two years and am currently planning my wedding here for next year. Spanish weddings sound a lot like Sicilian weddings :)
    Can I ask about your wedding website? I’m trying to hard to make something that everyone can understand since there’s no common language and a lot of Americans are coming to Sicily for the first time. I’ve been searching but haven’t found anything I love yet. Good luck and I hope you have a lovely wedding – I really like your site.
    Anna

    • Cat Gaa
      July 27, 2015

      Hi Anna, congrats! I would have loved to do something more for the website, but I knew I wouldn’t have time to build p a wordpress site like a blog. I concentrated most of the site (on the knot) on useful information for the Spaniards, so my site is in two languages with no extra frills.

      Another cool thing I found was Bobbypin, where you can create maps with points of interest. I added museums, attractions, shopping and restaurants in addition to the church and reception sites – it’s available for iOS, too!

      • Anna
        July 27, 2015

        Thanks for the tips – I’m definitely not smart at websites but I’m learning fast. I remember the first Sicilian wedding I went to we paid 250€ each! Which seems absolutely insane and I’m still sure we paid too much. Granted it was really an all day extravaganza and we got a beautiful ceramic vase as a wedding favor. But still… That’s the next thing that’s scaring me – wedding favors are over the top here and I really want to give American things to the Sicilians and vice versa…at the end I think everyone will be completely confused. But hey – how often are you going to get so many people together from the two cultures?

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