Spanish Theme Wedding

Plan the perfect Spanish Theme Wedding that will honor your heritage's traditions.

wedding couple on balcony at sunset
For a bride or groom of Spanish descent, the perfect wedding may be a Spanish theme wedding. You will have a beautiful wedding that will both honor your heritage and provide an unforgettable experience for yourselves, your families, and your friends.

The first thing to decide when planning your Spanish theme wedding is where to hold the ceremony and reception. If your religion is very important to you, getting married in church may be appropriate; an older church with lovely stained-glass windows and rich woodwork would make a wonderful setting.

For those looking for an outdoor ceremony, consider beautiful gardens at a Spanish-style home. A ballroom with elegant wrought-iron chandeliers and Spanish-tiled floors will also create the feel of an old-world Spanish wedding. You may even want to get married at a traditional Spanish restaurant.

Once the location has been decided, it's time to choose your colors. Red, black, and white are colors traditionally used in Spanish weddings. Imagine your reception tables laid with crisp white linens with a rich red overlay. Beautiful vases filled with ruby-red roses can grace each table. Black wrought-iron candelabras and candle holders can be placed around the reception area and at the altar during the ceremony. If red and black are not what you had in mind, consider rich purple, bold orange, and sunny yellow for a fun, colorful wedding day.

While in years past a Spanish bride wore a black silk dress, today'’s brides often wear white or ivory gowns. If you would like to incorporate the more traditional black into your bridal ensemble, you may want to drape a beautiful black lace shawl over your shoulders. A mantilla veil that gently frames your face with its intricately detailed lace is a perfect accompaniment.

For your bridesmaids, consider flamenco dresses. These low-waisted, colorful dresses with lace and three flouncy ruffles are the perfect touch. And what should your groom wear? Traditionally, Spanish grooms wore shirts embroidered by their wives-to-be. He can wear an embroidered shirt, or maybe your groom and groomsmen could dress as matadors in black pants, black coats with tails, crisp white shirts, and red ties.

Spanish weddings were traditionally large affairs to which the entire village was invited. For your wedding, the more the merrier! Let this be a "fiesta" to remember, with much eating, drinking, and dancing. Weddings in the past would often start late in the evening and would even have firecrackers to celebrate the couple's union. You may want an evening wedding, but if you prefer a morning or afternoon ceremony, this would be appropriate too, especially if your dream wedding will be outdoors surrounded by lush, colorful flowers.

When planning your Spanish theme wedding, you may want to include a few traditional Spanish customs. Before the ceremony begins, a Spanish groom often gives his bride thirteen coins (arras) which represent Jesus and his disciples. During the ceremony, the priest lassos the couple together to signify their unity and eternal love. A rosary is wrapped around the couple in a figure-eight design; after the ceremony the couple keeps the rosary to remind them of their promises to each other. Spanish receptions are all about having fun and enjoying the wonderfully upbeat music. Consider hiring a Mariachi band, or including Salsa or Flamenco guitar music. Then get ready to dance the night away! During the reception, the traditional "“seguidillas manchegas" dance takes place, during which guests give gifts of money to the bride. The Spanish bride and groom should also offer gifts to their guests. During the reception, the male guests are given cigars, and the female guests are given small gifts such as soaps or colorful Spanish fans. These tokens are a way for the couple to show their love and appreciation to their family and friends for sharing in this special day. Afterward, everyone will raise their glasses to the bride and groom and toast them with a hearty round of "Salud!"

Written by: Leslie Fazio