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Marry a Spanish Man? Know Spanish Wedding Traditions

19. November 2009 by Michelle 0 Comments

Wedding traditions vary in different regions of Spain, but here are the ones that are common throughout the country, as well as in Spanish communities worldwide.


Sometime before the wedding day, the groom presents the bride with 13 gold coins, known as arras, which symbolize his commitment and support for their future life together. These 13 coins represent Jesus Christ and the apostles so there is a strong religious meaning, as well as the practical meaning. The bride carries these coins with her until the actual wedding ceremony when the minister blesses them. They are kept in a sacred place and usually passed down to children for use in their weddings.


Another part of the ceremony is called the lasso. After the bride and groom exchange wedding vows, they are wrapped in rosery beads to demonstrate that the vows are a sacred promise of their union and that they will be protected by God.


Once the ceremony is complete, the happy couple is celebrated by guests outside with explosions of firecrackers, and the joyous reception begins. Spanish weddings usually have live music such as a mariachi band and dancing goes all night into the early hours of the next morning. The traditional wedding receiption dance is called Sequidillas Manchegas, where the bride dances with guests who give her gifts of money in exchange for the dance.


Seafood is served as a main course, along with the traditional paella, which is a rice mixture with meat, vegetables, or beans. Local wines and sangria flow freely and the wedding cake is usually a sponge cake filled with almonds and fruit.


If you're planning a Spanish wedding in your future, be prepared for a lovely, symbolic ceremony, followed by a festive, celebratory night!