La propuesta de boda “El novio” has to ask the “padre” of the “la novia” first! Usually this is done at a dinner. Traditionally, the “novio” gives a watch to the bride's “padre” when his proposal is accepted and a ring to his future bride. ¿Quieres casarte conmigo?
El vestido Though some brides still uphold custom by embroidering their groom's wedding shirt, today's Spanish brides generally choose white wedding dresses for themselves rather than the black lace or silk gowns that were once popular. No matter what color the dress, lacey mantillas secured with combs often complete the ensemble. In Andalucía a few brides wear a frilled, flamenco style dress in homage to the distinctive regional dance.
Las flores Flower selections vary from region to region. Sevilla, where richly-scented orange trees abound, brides wear orange blossom wreaths or carry generous bouquets to represent the promise and fulfillment of the orange tree. Brides in Andalusia prefer pink and white rose garlands, while Castillian brides wear white flowers.
La ceremonia Usually always in a Catholic church. According to tradition, the bride's father escorts his daughter to the church after having ensured that the groom has not seen her the night before the ceremony. The groom's mother walks down the aisle with her son.
La ceremonia Spanish wedding ceremonies are marked by an exchange of 13 gold coins or “arras” in a special purse or box. Whether gold or imitation, these coins are blessed by the officiating priest. They are said to represent Jesus Christ and his apostles, so they not only have a religious connotation but also a practical one since they represent a dowry, a pledge of the new groom's willingness to support his wife. The bride and bridegroom exchange wedding rings as well. These are worn on the ring fingers of their right hands.
La ceremonia Usually, 200 to 300 guests are expected in a Spanish wedding. Once the couple exchanges their wedding vows, they are wrapped with a rosary. This ceremony is known as Lasso. It is a mark of protection and is sacred for the union. As they emerge from the church, the newlyweds are often greeted with firecrackers.
Banquete de boda Because dining late is a Mediterranean custom, wedding ceremonies often aren't scheduled until evening. The wedding dance is called "sequidillas manchegas." Guests who dance with the bride, traditionally give her money, but pieces of the groom's tie and/or the bride's garter may also be auctioned off for good luck.
Banquete de boda Area delicacies are always on the reception menu. Paella, a delicious seafood and rice stew, is popular along the coast while sangria, a red wine punch, is found at most Spanish gatherings. The wedding sponge “pastel” is rich with fruit and almonds. Another custom in Spanish wedding traditions is known as banquete de bodas where the couples move to each table, distributing personally to each guest, a basket with small wedding favors. The men are offered a cigar or a mini-bottle of wine and the women are usually offered something that smells good.
Banquete de boda Though the Spanish bride throws her bouquet to whomever will be next to marry, she also hands out pins with a flower motif to unmarried ladies who attach them to their clothing upside down. The hope is the pins will be lost during the dancing, and therefore indicate the lady will soon marry. According to Spanish wedding customs, it is believed that if the pin is lost during the reception, the lady is to get married soon. And later, it is the turn of guests to hand over the wedding gift to the newly wedded couples that is money in envelopes known as sobres.
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