My Spain Story: Wedding Day

Writing about the preparations for my Spanish wedding has been fun and easy, but how could I possibly capture the magic of my wedding day in a simple blog post? Well, luckily, I have María Benitez’s amazing wedding photography to help. Here are some highlights of my special day that I would like to share with the world– all credit goes to María for the amazing pictures.

We left off with me stepping out of the car, and being quite surprised to see my guests on the front lawn of the golf club, instead of in the backyard garden. The change was made due to the day’s strong winds, and, luckily, I was too excited to really notice anyway! Here, my father walks me down the aisle.

Down the aisle

The flower girls were Ale’s niece, Elisa, and my niece, Isabella. Elisa did her job like a pro, while Bella decided to throw a fit when she realized that she had to leave the pretty flower petals on the ground (she wanted to pick them back up). She was whisked away where she sobbed and sobbed!

We had asked Ale’s friend Enrique to do the ceremony, which was quite a strange request in Spain! But since the Spanish wedding wasn’t actually our legal wedding (we were legally married at the US wedding in July) we preferred to have a friend do the ceremony as opposed to a stranger provided by the venue. It was a great choice and Enrique gave a lovely speech and ceremony. Ale and I listened carefully, laughing and (nearly) crying throughout.

Although Alejandro and I managed to keep our eyes dry, our parents were seen shedding a few tears!

I preferred laughing to crying– but I can’t remember what made me smile here. Don’t you just love the reflection of the lace?

Now, it was time for our vows. Ale had insisted that we write our own– I wasn’t so sure at first. But in the end it really made things extra special, and I’m glad we did it. Another thing I wasn’t expecting, however, was to say my vows from behind the podium! I figured we would stay standing where we were. It was a little surreal in the moment, but I had to quickly get over my stage fright. Ale read his vows first, in Spanish and then in English. I read mine next, mixing parts in Spanish and other parts in English.

After the vows came the rings and, finally, the kiss! It wasn’t our legal wedding day, but emotionally, we were married! The next few minutes are a blur, as we walked down the aisle, pelted by rice and shouts of “Qué vivan los novios!”. It was beautiful.

As we were off taking some pictures, our guests we enjoying hors d’oeuvres outside and the patio was all set up for dinner.

After we had sampled some appetizers and had a glass of wine, Ale completely surprised me by playing the piano. He is a classically trained pianist, but after giving it up years ago he barely ever plays, and I’d only heard him once or twice before. It was the best surprise!

Now, it was time for the night to begin. Ale and I made our way to our sweetheart table (a great solution for cross cultural weddings where communication between families could be difficult). Champagne was popped and dinner was served.

As people were finishing their dessert, we passed out the detalles, our wedding favors. In Spain it is customary to pass them out personally during the dinner.

Next, I surprised my father with a birthday cake, as it was his birthday that day! I couldn’t forget about him. Jaque’s Cakes made us an adorable cake, with Ale, my Dad, and I on top!

It was around 12:30 a.m. already, but the party couldn’t officially start until we had our first dance. The weather had turned chilly (atypical for June) so we made the last minute decision to move the party inside. Despite it being different than what we had planned, the small inside dining room made everything feel even more intimate and fun.

Then, it was time for some fun. The DJ started playing some dance tunes and the bar opened– many cubatas (mixed drinks) were poured! María captured some of the craziness before leaving us to dance until early morning, but I’m just going to say one last thing– I changed shoes!

And before I knew it, the sun was about to rise and our big day had come and gone. It was truly bittersweet. One year later I’m happy to be able to share these special moments and beautiful pictures with anyone reading here. I hope you’ve enjoyed my wedding story!

 

Lauren Aloise
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Lauren Aloise

Professional eater, writer, cook, food tour operator. Fascinated by food and its history. Loves: a gooey slice of tortilla, fish markets, homemade cocktails, train travel. Hates: Overhyped restaurants, wine snobs, long menus, mediocrity. Check out my food tours at www.devourspain.com.
Lauren Aloise
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Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for sharing your day with us, Lauren! We are all going to sit at the same table, but Mario and I are used to being translators, as we did it for my parents’ and grandparents’ trip back in 2011. It was actually sort of fun. Plus, Mario’s dad is learning English, and my mom is learning Spanish. Should be an interesting mix!

    I was just out looking for el ramo de la novia yesterday. I seem to want spring flowers (I say “I seem” because I know nothing about flowers/their seasons), and so many times they say I cannot get what I had in mind. But they are so inconsistent! Some shops say they have ranunculus, others say no. Some shops say they can get peonies, others no. Also, one lady was flipping through her catalogue with me and told me, “No te veo con este.” Ummm excuse me? I thought I was the one to decide. Sigh … sorry for the tostón de comentario. I just knew you’d understand.

    • says

      Hey Kaley! That sounds great, we had been planning to do the same, but it meant breaking up the little family that my side had coming, and just didn’t make sense in the end. Your flower story is funny– reminds me of some of the crazy vendors I met while planning. I have no idea about flowers, so I’m not sure what is really in season. How funny that she basically told you not to go for what you wanted– bad sales tactic!

  2. says

    GORGEOUS photos!!! I love your wedding story – and everyone looks incredibly sweet and happy in all your photos. Congratulations, and happy anniversary!! 🙂

  3. says

    Again, these photos are stunning! It’s so interesting to see photos of the big day after learning about all of the planning that took place.

    What a terrific surprise for Ale to play the piano! Also, that cake for your dad’s birthday is adorable, I can’t help but grin when I see how happy he looks.

    I have never been to a Spanish wedding so the mix of traditions is fun to read about. Can I ask what your wedding favors were?

    • says

      Thanks Cassandra! The piano surprise was amazing and my Dad’s was truly surprised too! My favors for the girls were personal pocket mirrors and a nip of flavored vodka (not so common in Spain!). My suegra also insisted on the traditional decorative pins that you pin onto the women’s dresses (kind of strange). You face them down if they are married or up if single. If they fall off by the end of the night you are supposed to be getting married soon!

  4. Abby Moore says

    Lauren,

    This nearly made me cry and gave me chills the whole time reading. You look absolutely stunning, and everything that day looked perfect! I am so incredibly happy for you!

    Miss you!

    -Abby

  5. says

    Absolutely beautiful. I thought that was very cool that he surprised you by playing the piano for you, that was such a nice touch.

    I had a thought while reading this, just an idea that occurred in the form of “you know, if I marry a girl from a non-English-speaking country and her family doesn’t speak English, I’ll hire translators for the wedding so that everyone can communicate with everyone else because wouldn’t it be terrible if most of the groom’s family and friends couldn’t even talk to most of the bride’s family and friends because they speak two different languages?”. What do you think? Do you think that might work? I know good translators wouldn’t be cheap, but it’s only for one day. I’d estimate that you’d need between 5 and 20 depending on how many people are attending.

    Cheers,
    Andrew

    • says

      Translators are a great idea! Although you would be surprised how far body language and gestures really gets you! Also, there are usually various people in any given group who speak English, which always helps.

  6. Jessica Alcorn says

    Lovely post Lauren! Your wedding looks amazing and the photos are beautiful! I love Spanish weddings!

  7. says

    Your wedding day which falls on your dad’s birthday makes the event extra special!;) The only thing missing in this lovely wedding are the cheap wedding favors as a token of your appreciation for the fun-loving guests. 😉

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