Wedding traditions in Spain

Wedding in Quinta de Illescas

One of the reasons why we are so passionate about weddings is that everyone is different, and their uniqueness increases even more depending on the country and culture of the person. This is something we have learnt from organizing destination and multicultural weddings, all of which have enriched us as professionals. So, it seemed an interesting idea to review for you the traditions of a wedding in Spain, for all those who wish to celebrate a destination wedding in this country. Who knows, maybe you will like one and incorporate it into your own wedding! Let’s start!

Wedding at church

In Spain getting married in church is traditional, although you can be certain that every civil wedding is made to measure and to the tastes of the bride and groom. If you are looking to celebrate a church wedding in Spain, you will easily find one that you will like since each town and village has churches, cathedrals and chapels, with a charm that will be perfect for your religious wedding.

Wedding in Madrid
Wedding of Teresa and Ernest in a church in Madrid. PhotographsBuenas Photos / Wedding Planner: Natalia Ortiz
Pre-marital courses

As we talk about church weddings, we can´t forget to mention in this post about the need, of which few are aware, when getting married religiously. You have to do a pre-marital course. It is a fundamental requirement and during which not only religious themes are mentioned but also your future life together which helps you in this commitment. Normally, classes can last several days a week, or if you prefer, all condensed into a weekend.

Wedding in Quinta de Illescas
Photographs: Tanya Vasiliuk / Organisation: Natalia Ortiz
Family name

A fact that might surprise you is that in Spain, unlike other countries, women do not take their husband´s family name but keep their own.


The average number of guests in Spain is between 100 and 200. If you are celebrating an intimate wedding in another country, you may find that it is a lot, but it is that it is not too many, nor too little. And you are still unsure, think of Hindu weddings, usually they have hundreds of guests! Another example of the differences between weddings depending on the country, religion and culture.

Wedding in Quinta de Illescas
Photographs: Tanya Vasiliuk / Organisation: Natalia Ortiz

The eternal question: what to give to the bride and groom? Will they prefer money or something more personal? What is happening more and more in Spain is to include your bank details on the invitations or on a website for your wedding in a nice way with a nice design.

But there are also other options, such as an online wedding list, where the bride and groom can display the items they would like and you can buy them (in a way it’s like giving money but in a more concrete, useful way), or gift them an experience for their honeymoon: a boat trip, a swim with dolphins, a romantic evening in a restaurant, etc.

Wedding in Basque Country
Photographs:Buenas Photos / Wedding Planner: Natalia Ortiz

Weddings in Spain begin with the ceremony, where the bride and groom say their vows, followed by a cocktail and a grand banquet that normally lasts for hours but, unlike other countries such as Russia, there are no shows between the dishes, nor the traditional Russian showman, the guests simply enjoy the food and converse. At most there will be toasts or small speeches from selected guests, the delivery of the cake to the newlyweds, or something similar.

In Spain, it is traditional for the couple, at lunch or dinner time, to get up and walk around the tables to greet their guests and, sometimes, offer them a gift to remember their wedding. In the post gift ideas we give you some tips to choose the right one of your wedding.

Wedding in Quinta de Illescas
Photographs: Tanya Vasiliuk / Organisation: Natalia Ortiz

If you want to know more about the timings of a wedding in Spain, you can read this post. You will find all the details.

What do you think of these traditions of a wedding in Spain? You probably already know some but you may discover others. As always, we advise you to choose the traditions that define you the most and that adapt to your needs and tastes. We are available at to answer all your doubts about the traditions of a wedding in Spain and to give you the best advice to organize one.

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