Weddings in Spain
Here in Spain we‟ve got different ways to celebrate a
wedding. For example: religious, civil or vaqueiras
weddings. Religious and civil are the most celebrated
ones all around Spain, but Vaqueiras weddings only
take place in Asturias, a province located in the
north of Spain.
Religious weddings are the most common kind of
celebration in Spain. They take place in a church
and they are officed by a priest. It consists of the
engagement party, the wedding day, and finally the
The engagement party
It‟s a very common tradition in our country.
Families of the engaged meet in this ceremony. The
groom's family goes to the bride's house and he gives
her an engagement ring. It's the formal celebration
after the engagement. The bride gives to her fiancé a
watch or something similar, it used to be a jewel.
Although it's just protocol, it's a very important part
in the marriage.
The wedding day
The wedding day is the most important day for both
bride and groom. The bride wears a long white
dress, and she should wear something blue, something
new, something old, and something borrowed. And the
groom wears a dark suit. They can't see each other
since the night before the wedding. They should sleep
separated and the man can't see his girlfriend dressed
up with the white dress till the ceremony, when she
comes through the door of the church, because that
means bad luck.
The wedding day
The bride arrives to the church 5 minutes after the
beginning of the ceremony and the groom is already waiting
for her in the altar. She comes into the church with her
father. There are no bridesmaids, instead of this, there are
witnesses. They only have to sign the registry. Witnesses
are often friends of the couple or family of the bride and
groom. Another important figures in a Christian wedding
are the godfather and the godmother. The godfather tends to
be the bride's father, and the godmother the groom's mother.
The weeding day
The ceremony starts when the bride comes in the
godfather‟s arm, and then children with the arras.
The arras are 13 coins symbolizing the sharing of
goods between the bride and the groom. At the end of
the ceremony the new wife and husband go out of the
church. The family throw rice to them symbolizing
luck, prosperity and fertility. Then they celebrate a
feast where they eat and it ends with the
dessert, which is a cake cut by the married couple.
Bride‟s white dress
The white color
symbolize de pure of
The exchange of
The groom spends 13 coins to
the bride and the girl does the
The wedding day
Finally they dance the waltz, that is started only by
the new couple and then the father dances with his
When the ceremony is finished they come back
home, and the next day the couple go on a travel
called “Luna de miel” in English “honeymoon”, to
celebrate their wedding.
And this is all about the Christian weddings
And they lived happily ever after!
• Civil weddings can take place in the halls of City
Halls, at the headquarters of the municipal districts or in
the Civil Registry. It lasts about 15 minutes and
concludes with the signing of the marriage and the giving
of the family book.
• The procedures of these weddings are performed in the
court, which delivers the required certificate to present at
the City Hall. This certificate usually takes a few
At the civil ceremony in the city hall, you can go dressed as
The bride may be dressed in the traditional white
dress, religious style. There are no rules about this. Another
option is to go with a smart short dress or a dress and jacket.
Normally, these weddings take place in the City
Hall but sometimes the couple wants to celebrate it
in different places lsuch as gardens or beaches.
Catholic and civil weddings take place all
around Spain but here, in Asturias, they are
celebrated a kind of weddings a litle bit
different and they are called „Vaqueira‟
Asturias is a place situated in the north of
Spain with a lot of
animals, mountains, lakes and is
communicated with the sea.
Who are the Vaqueiros?
The Vaqueiros d'alzada were a
northern Spanish nomadic
people in the mountains of
León and Asturias, who
seasonally with cattle.
The „ vaqueiros‟ are one of the
most important cultures of
Asturias for their unalterable
change over the
centuries, despite of the
discrimination suffered by the
Vaqueira wedding is possibly the most authentic nuptials of
those held in Spain. A very anthropological event that
gathers many people the last Sunday in July every year at
the height of Aristébano, between the municipalities of
Valdes and Tineo. On this site, family and relatives
practice the Asturian summer pilgrimages around the
Chapel of La Divina Pastora.
Declared of National Tourist Interest, the ceremony
follows the ritual largely of former appellate vaqueiros.
A married couple wishing to marry by this rite must request
Vaqueiro Council, who will give, or not, their consent for the
dream to come true. Only one couple will be the lucky one.
From here the preparations begin.
The wedding starts at noon, when the bridal caravan reaches
the high part of the mountain and there is a pilgrimage with
guests going riding or on foot.
It is the best time of year to
wear traditional costumes
The Godmother basket is adorned with ribbons and includes
bread, butter, eggs and sweets. The couple remains the
undisputed protagonists and they are received with bagpipes
and folk groups. Before the altar improvised outdoors, they
exchange arras and give the kiss that seals the commitment.
Afterwards, there is a banquet, a picnic with ham in the
eveningn, cider and
Generally, the attire of the bride is made of yarn and felt.
Stockings, skirt and shirt in white thread, dengue and skirt
in black felt, a satin or felt apron and vest in different
colors or prints.
About the head handkerchief used for the ceremony by the
bride it is made of black felt and red velvet. The groom
wears trousers and vest in black and red felt; brown or green
stockings and white linen shirt, and, as the bride, he wears a
black cape lined in red, and the typical vaqueiro hat of
The only disadvantage of these suits is that they are
hot and heavy but they are very nice.
These weddings are only celebrated on our
community, the Principado of Asturias.