A Spanish Parador Wedding
I was recently presented with opportunity to travel to Spain with a good friend and wow, I am so glad that I did. My one-week adventure in Madrid and later Barcelona was one that I will never forget. I couldn’t help but fall in love with the people, culture and architecture. Not to mention the amazing tapas and wine!
I arrived in Madrid on a brisk but sunny Sunday morning, hoping that I might get a glimpse of a Bride and Groom departing a church. I meandered through small plaza’s ringing with church bells, but to my disappointment, no weddings. However, during the trip I did get to see some beautiful wedding dresses at a international leading bridal group, as well speak to some locals about a few Spanish wedding traditions.
So what exactly is a wedding in Spain like? I decided to do a little research and put together a dream destination wedding in Granada.
In the past, Brides traditionally wore black silk gowns along with black veils. Although, most brides today have accepted the white wedding gown. This beautiful one shoulder gown is from Pronovias Barcelona, a international bridal group that I was fortunate enough to visit while in Barcelona.
One Catholic tradition that has gained popularity not only in Spain but the US is the Mantilla Veil. The lace veils were made popular in the 16th century and typically worn when in presence of the Pope. These beautifully detailed head coverings are perfect for more formal ceremonies. While some are floor length, using a more modern shoulder length can be appropriate for almost any wedding.
In a traditional Roman Catholic wedding ceremony, the bride and groom are married in a church in the evening. A box of gold unity coins called “arras” are brought to the church by the couple and blessed by the residing priest. During the ceremony these coins are exchanged between the couple to symbolize their devotion and commitment to each other.
Parador’s are historic buildings such as convents, castles and palaces that the Spanish government owns and uses as hotels. These amazingly beautiful and culturally rich sites are perfect for small wedding receptions. Said to be one of the most beautiful is the Parador De Granada. This former convent is actually one of the buildings within The Alhambra, a historic set of palaces, fortresses and small buildings. With a chapel on site, guests can stroll about the numerous gardens after the ceremony before making their way into the enclosed courtyard for a seated dinner.
Photo courtesy of Style Me Pretty
Party the night away under a sea of lights. Guests join the bride and groom to dance the “seguidillas manchegas”, the traditional wedding dance.
For desert, almond sponge cakes are a absolute must. Granada is famous for these pastries that were originally made by nuns who brought them to their convents. A few convents still make these treats today.
Photo Courtesy of Style Me Pretty
What is more appropriate than to have guests take home a mini bottle of Andalusian sherry. This sweet desert wine is only grown in select regions of Spain, most famously, Jerez.
Guests don’t have far to go once the festivities come to a end, they simple can walk to their rooms in one of the main buildings of the Parador.
Whether in Spain or right here in Philadelphia, the cHill team loves to plan weddings that incorporate different cultural traditions. Hopefully well get to plan a Spanish soiree soon!