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Traditional Spanish Weddings and Dresses

Updated on January 30, 2014

Wedding Collage

Spanish Bridal Gown Designer

Fashion Designer Rosaura Cordoba
Fashion Designer Rosaura Cordoba | Source

The Wedding Dress

  • The traditional, Spanish, Old-World style bridal gown, believe it or not was black. Yes, that's right..., black. If you were from an effluent family, then the dress was usually made of silk. If the brides family could not afford silk, they then substituted crepe fabrics instead. Not only was the wedding dress black, but the cathedral or chapel length veil, was black tulle. Which was then covered in traditionally hand-sewn, Spanish lace. In some remote regions of Spain, these long flowing and dramatically detailed veils, are still a time honored tradition. However, most modern Spanish maidens prefer to wear antique white, blush, or white gowns.

Mantilla Bridal Veil Designer Ellie Saab

Designer Ellie Saab
Designer Ellie Saab

The Veil

  • Mantilla veils are beautiful masterpieces of art. Seamstresses have hand-crafted this style of for over a millennium. Since the veil is cut on the bias, it creates a sweeping over-the-shoulders look, while draping softly around the bride's face. A hair comb is then sewn at the top of the veil, to safeguard the desire look and keep the veil in place. If you like this style, but would prefer a shorter veil; Mantilla veils can be purchased or made in any length. I highly suggest that you try one on for size. Mantilla veils make a stunning entrance, and work great with any face shape.

Dress by Spanish Designer

Designer Pepe Botella
Designer Pepe Botella | Source

The Bridesmaid Dress

  • Traditionally Spanish weddings are a festive affair. They usually begin in the late afternoon hours, and last on into the midnight hours. They are delightful, fun-loving, robust affairs, which often feature traditional accompaniments of Flamenco guitar music.

  • Spanish brides have on average five or more bridesmaids standing beside them, when they say "I do." The Spanish tradition of bridesmaid selection is famous the world over. A Spanish bridesmaid is usually a fair maiden, who also happens to be a close family member of either the groom or bride's family. Just as it is here in the USA.

A Royal Spanish Wedding Picture

Spanish Crown Prince Felipe of Bourbon and his wife Princess of Asturias Letizia Ortiz toast next to Juan Carlos of Spain and Queen Sofia during the wedding reception at the Royal Palace in Madrid.
Spanish Crown Prince Felipe of Bourbon and his wife Princess of Asturias Letizia Ortiz toast next to Juan Carlos of Spain and Queen Sofia during the wedding reception at the Royal Palace in Madrid. | Source

Spanish Wedding Decor

Brides Bouquet
Brides Bouquet
Thirteen Gold Coins
Thirteen Gold Coins
Spanish Lace Wedding Cake
Spanish Lace Wedding Cake | Source

Uniquely Spanish


  • Traditionally Spanish weddings are large gatherings. Men suit up in their Sunday best, and ladies in their best Sunday dress. If you are planning on wearing a cocktail dress to a Spanish wedding, you just might need to bring a shawl. If you wear a strapless dress to the wedding, a Catholic-Spanish custom requires that you cover up your shoulders, in the presence of the Catholic Priest.

  • In areas of Spain like Catalonia for example, follow well-scripted traditions, for the ceremony itself. These richly detailed, religious, ceremonies are deeply rooted in their culture and heritage. Often in these regions, a wedding celebration begins at the groom's home, or at the home of his Godmother's. It is here at this place, where all the groom's family members gather together first. This is also the place where the groomsmen gather together, before going to the church. The bridegroom's family will host an informal meal, for the groom and his attendants to snack on, before arriving at the church. When it is time to leave that location, the entire group of attendants and family members gather outside, and shoot off fireworks just before the departure. From here, the groom and his Godmother travel together to the home of his future bride. The bride is then escorted by her Godfather, to meet the Godmother and groom waiting outside. The two are allowed to greet one another other, and then the groom presents his future wife with a gift of thirteen gold coins. These coins are then carried down the aisle, to be blessed by the Priest for prosperity, after the Groom is walked down the aisle by his mother.

  • Formal Catholic Church weddings can last up to one to two hours. They are usually performed in conjunction with a full, Catholic mass, ceremony. When it comes to the exchanging of rings, Spanish bridal couples place their wedding rings on their mates right-hand, ring, finger. As oppose to placing and wearing their wedding rings on their left-hand, ring, finger as they do in America.

  • Orange Blossoms are the traditional choice of flowers used in floral arrangements for the church, and actually continuously used throughout the festive affair. In fact, Orange blossoms have been a longstanding, Spanish-wedding, favorite because they represent fulfillment, wealth, and happiness. Spanish couples celebrating their big day in Spain, still throw rice at the end of a ceremony, followed by more loud blasts of firecrackers and rockets.

At the Reception

  • At the reception, young Spanish maidens used their time-honored and richly detailed Spanish fans to hide behind and flirt with their male friends. Amongst the crowd of happy-go-lucky guests, live music and lots of laughter usually fills the room. Spanish wedding receptions are notoriously fiesta, lavish gatherings. It usually takes the bride and groom awhile, before getting to the reception to sit down and eat. Therefore, guest are served a variety of different appetizers such as: Tapas or Artichoke Flowers. Dishes made with great care, are served as soon as the newlyweds are announced, and seated. Seafood, is generally the best choice to select as a main dish. The cake is served for dessert, and in staying true to Spanish folklore, Spanish wedding cakes are cut by the newlyweds with a sword.

A Spanish Wedding Reception Favorite

Stuffed Artichoke Photo courtesy of the New York Times
Stuffed Artichoke Photo courtesy of the New York Times | Source

Artichoke Flower Stuffed with Ibérico Ham in Clam Sauce RecipeRecipe courtesy of Spain GourmeTour magazine.

  • 4 oz Ibérico ham, wafer thin slices
  • 2lb Artichokes
  • Olive oil, for frying

Ingredients for Clam Sauce Portion:

  • 1 lb Clams
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Parsley, broad leafed
  • The tip of a bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp hot paprika
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 level tbsp flour
  • 1 cup water
  • Sea Salt


  1. Preparation: (Artichokes) Wash the artichokes, remove the hard outside leaves and cut off the tips. Deep fry in oil that is not too hot so that they cook inside and open up into a flower shape. Fill the inside with the wafers of iberico ham and serve with the clams and the sauce.
  2. Preparation: (Clam sauce) Heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the chopped onion and parsley. When the onion is beginning to turn brown, add the flour and stir without letting it darken. Remove from the heat, add the sweet paprika and bay leaf. Sprinkle with the wine and water, season and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Wash and drain the clams, add to the sauce, cover the pan and leave over the heat for the clams to open. Check the seasoning and adjust accordingly.

Seguidillas Manchegas Dance

Another fun traditional activity is when the unwed, single, maidens are given corsage pins to wear somewhere on their dress, upside down. If the pin falls out of her attire sometime during the night, she is believed to be the next one called to the alter. After dessert is served, and the bride has tossed her bouquet, is when all the traditional dance sets take place. One of these truly unique ritual dances is between the bride and groom and their guests. Known as the traditional "seguidillas manchegas" dance, here in America, this is what we call the money-dance. After the last guest has left, some bridal couples head off of their honeymoon. What I found interesting about Spanish couples is that they tend to stay, right there in Spain. Many Spanish couple chose to begin celebrating their new lives together as husband and wife, there on the Canary Islands, Barcelona, or somewhere else romantically secluded.

Honeymoon in Spain

"Spain is a country of romance and great natural beauty as well as variety. From beautiful island resorts such as Mallorca to hip cities such as of Barcelona, the variety of options is staggering. Wine country, beaches, museums and shopping all can be woven into a marvelous honeymoon to Spain. The towns and villages that have developed over the centuries on the volcanic archipelago are as diverse as its geography. Large towns like Las Palmas on Gran Canaria are full of architectural and historical treasures. Maspalomas on the same island is a vibrant beach resort blessed with golden sands. Santa Cruz de Tenerife, a huge urban sprawl, throbs with life and can boast the second most energetic Carnival after that of Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro. A short distance away is Laguna, a university town that retains many of the old colonial buildings. Remote seaside villages like Puerta de Nieves on Gran Canarias northern coast gather around tiny harbours. Agricultural centres like Icod de los Vinas on Tenerife sit quietly amongst fertile vineyards"— for your free honeymoon inquiry.

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  • IntimatEvolution profile image

    Julie Grimes 5 years ago from Columbia, MO USA

    Ahhhhhhh, Laaaaaaaa, Taaaaaaaa, Faaaaaaa!

  • profile image

    Spongebob S. 5 years ago

    Hi Gary, let's sing!

  • profile image

    foram 5 years ago

    !me...gusta la red dress!

  • IntimatEvolution profile image

    Julie Grimes 5 years ago from Columbia, MO USA

    Ellie Saab.

  • profile image

    Susie 5 years ago

    What is the name if the dress worn by the bride in the pic with the mantilla

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