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The Ultimate Guide to Dream Weddings in Spain

Updated: Feb 15

Plan your dream Spanish wedding with ease! This comprehensive guide offers savvy tips, cultural insights, and the secret to stress-free planning.



A couple walking hand in hand on a Spanish beach
A couple walking hand in hand on a Spanish beach


Ever dreamt of getting hitched amid sun-soaked beaches, on rooftops overseeing the dazzling city lights at dusk, or in beautiful rustic Spanish fincas?


Of course, for many young couples looking to tie the knot, this can feel like a far-off pipe dream. It's an expensive, far-off pipe dream wedding, but the truth is, a beautiful Spanish wedding could be much more accessible than you may believe.


That's precisely what we're talking about today, so pack your love and passports because destination weddings in Spain are nothing short of magic!


I'm Hazel, your author and wedding celebrant based in Alicante, a lover of love stories and weaver of unforgettable wedding ceremonies, and your guide you through the ins and outs of planning the Spanish wedding of your dreams.


Ready? Let's dive into the adventure!


An Introduction to Spanish Weddings


Okay, let's cut the excess and get into this.


You want to get married in Spain - a beautiful country with so much to offer. You want your dream wedding in the sun, with the sea, the history, and some amazing, beautiful scenery and experiences with the people you love most.


Is this possible?


Well, yes and no.


To begin with, to actually get married in Spain legally, there are a few criteria you need to meet, which are:


  • Both the bride and groom need to be over 18 years old and both consenting

  • One of the spouses need to be a Spanish citizen, or must have resided in Spain for at least two consecutive years

Okay, so what if you're not Spanish and you live in England, Wales, Ireland, France, or somewhere outside the Spanish borders?


Well, it's technically possible, but coming from someone in the industry, I can tell you for nothing that it's incredibly difficult, complicated, and usually not worth your time, energy, or resources. Officially, this would be known as an intricate process.


Even if you're Spanish passport holders that live outside the country, it's a very cumbersome journey from a legal perspective.


So, what can you do about it?


An Introduction to Celebrant Weddings in Spain


More and more couples looking to marry in Spain are turning to celebrant weddings.


This means having a civil law wedding in your country where you actually live and can easily get one, say in a registry office in the UK, and then you have an actual wedding ceremony with all your friends and family in sunny Spain.


This Spanish ceremony would be carried out by a celebrant, someone like me, who would conduct the ceremony in its full glory in the way an actual ceremony would go, except it's already done and you're all legally married - this is just for the actual full Spanish wedding experience.


It's basically separating marriage and wedding into two separate considerations.


The legal marriage part, where you become a genuine couple in the eyes of the law, and the wedding, which celebrates the act of marriage.


And when it comes to marrying in Spain, this is absolutely 100% the best, most effortless, and most streamlined way to go about it.


At least if you want to focus on the good times while saving yourself a major stress headache.


To summarise this:

  • Getting married legally in Spain is hard work from a documentation perspective

  • Instead, get married legally in your own country where everything can be streamlined and easy

  • Then, have a celebrant wedding where you basically go through the wedding journey with wedding venues, and having a wedding planner, and everything else in your dream location, however it is you want it.

As a celebrant myself, I even host the marriage section of the wedding, allowing you share your vows, commit to your love in front of your friends and family, and enjoy the authentic experience.


And having hosted these ceremonies for years, there are plenty of people who don't even know this isn't the real experience.


It's as authentic as possible, and gives you an experience you'll never forget.


Why Choose Spain for Your 'I Do' Destination?



A beautiful aerial shot of the Pensicola, Valencia coastline
A beautiful aerial shot of the Pensicola, Valencia coastline


There's something about Spain that whispers romance like no other place.


Spanish culture, brimming with rich traditions and friendly locals, injects a warmth into your wedding... while that delicious paella adds a bit of zest! Then there are the siestas, history, culture, and all the modern essentials.


The truth is, it really doesn't matter what you're into or what flavour of wedding you're into; Spain can provide.


For example:

  • Mallorca: Found amongst the coastal charm of Mallorca, La Torre de Canyamel is a medieval tower offering a unique and intimate setting. Imagine illuminating your love under the courtyard's flicker of candlelight.

  • Ibiza: For the energetic couple, Ibiza's intoxicating party scene gives weddings a festive twist. Picture dancing your first wedded waltz on a beach under the Balearic stars or in one of the island's legendary clubs.

  • Málaga: Málaga, located on the majestic Costa del Sol, offers up perfect beach weddings. Choose from hidden coves, endless sandy vistas, or seafront palaces, feeling the whisper of salt air as you exchange vows.

  • La Rioja: La Rioja, with its aromatic wines and prolific vineyards, provides the ideal backdrop for wine-loving couples. Envisage a rustic matrimony amongst the lush, grape-covered fields of Spanish wine country.

  • Alicante: Alicante's picturesque coastline and historical castles serve as an idyllic matrimonial stage. Visualise a romantic 'I do' amidst an ancient fortress or with the glittering Mediterranean as your backdrop.

  • Murcia: Murcia, laden with sun-kissed citrus groves and rich cultural elements, puts a zesty spin on nuptials. Think of a serene orchard exchanging vows or a grand festivity in a history-steeped hacienda.

  • Valencia: Electrifying Valencia strikes a harmonious balance of rich tradition and modern architecture. Dream of walking down the aisle against the backdrop of a modern marvel or tying the knot amidst lush, verdant gardens.


And this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Spanish wedding destinations - from the striking mountains to the ultimate in sun-drenched beaches, Spain has something for everyone.


That said, the best wedding venues are ones that give you the experience you're looking for.

It doesn't matter if a venue is listed as a top 10 in Spain, if you don't like it. Find what works for and gives you the dream wedding experience you've been looking for. Follow the vibe that resonates with your love story, and choose the perfect destination to exchange your vows based on your partnership.


As the Spanish say, "Donde hay amor, hay vida" — where there is love, there is life.


And don't worry if inclusiveness is a top priority; Spanish weddings are ready.


Be it that tiny destination wedding with just two of you being real and honest, a grand affair amidst multiple nationalities, or those looking for a loving, accepting event of LGBTQ+ community members - every voice is heard, and every wish is considered. Even if English isn't their first language, your guests will feel included.


From food to folklore, from serene beaches to vibrant cities, Spain offers a canvas to paint your dream wedding story. Are you ready to discover more?


The Benefits of a Spanish Wedding


  • Scenic Wedding Locations: Spain's diverse geography offers something for everyone, from sun-kissed beaches enchanting rustic fincas to vibrant city rooftops offering magical views at dusk.

  • Cultural Richness: Every wedding here is laced with Spain's rich traditions, offering a unique cultural experience. Treat your guests with fascinating Spanish folklore and some mouth-watering Paella.

  • Inclusiveness: Whether you plan for an intimate gathering or a grand multinational get-together, Spain is ideal for inclusive ceremonies. You can count on your guests feeling at home, regardless of their first language or nationality.

  • Friendly Locals: Spanish citizens are known for their warmth and hospitality. Your wedding guests will be welcomed with open arms!

  • Perfect Blend of Modern and Traditional: Whether you prefer a conventional church wedding, an urban rooftop ceremony, or a celebration in a rustic country-style finca, Spain offers a perfect blend of both.


A Comprehensive Planning Guide for Your Spanish Wedding



A man lifts his newly married wife onto the sunny sands of a Spanish beach wedding venue
A man lifts his newly married wife onto the sunny sands of a Spanish beach wedding venue


Planning a wedding is both exciting and overwhelming, especially if you're considering a destination wedding in beautiful Spain! Let's break it down step-by-step and make sure you have everything covered for your big day.


Time of Year: Picking the Perfect Season


In the grand scheme of things, the first decision you'll make is when to have your wedding. A date that defines pretty much everything, from when the guests arrive and go, to when the caterer needs to keep their calendar free.


And the beautiful thing is that Spain has a lot to offer.


Famous for its sunny weather, the country actually offers a diverse climate that depends on the region and time of year. Here's a quick overview:


  • Spring (March to May): Mild temperatures, lush landscapes, and fewer tourists. The Great Outdoors can be your perfect wedding venue.

  • Summer (June to August): Expect hot temps and sunny days. Extremely popular for beachside ceremonies but also the busiest tourist season. Therefore, wedding packages here tend to be a little more expensive.

  • Autumn (September to November): Cooler temperatures, beautiful fall colours, and less crowded. Ideal for planning weddings in vineyards.

  • Winter (December to February): If snow is your thing, consider a winter Spanish wedding in the mountains. But remember that coastal regions can experience cold and wet weather. Costs are much cheaper here than the rest of the year.

Think about your ideal weather and scenery while also considering your guests' comfort when selecting your date.


Accommodation: A Home Away From Home


When it comes to arranging accommodation, follow these tips to secure the perfect place for your guests to stay:


  • To get married in Spain, book well in advance, especially during the high season. Spain wedding venues are popular and will get booked out quickly.

  • Balance between budget and comfort – consider hotel blocks with group discounts, villas, or apartments for a homey feel.

  • Research amenities and transportation options.

  • Keep your guests informed about the options available and help them make their bookings if necessary.

Transport: Getting There and Around


Last but not least, let's discuss transportation for your Spanish wedding, both getting to your wedding venues and any related activities:


  • Air Travel: Spain has a wide range of airports servicing international and domestic flights. Book early and compare various airlines to find the best deal.

  • Train Travel: Spain boasts an extensive high-speed train network, which can be a convenient and scenic option.

  • Car Rental: Renting a car or minibus can be a great option for exploring Spain more freely. Be sure to research local driving laws and consider hiring a driver.


Keep the following tips in mind for transportation:


  • Inform guests about the different travel options and help them make arrangements if necessary.

  • Arrange transportation from the airport/train station to the accommodation and wedding venues.

  • If the wedding venue and wedding reception are in different locations, consider hiring a shuttle service for your guests.


By following this comprehensive guide, you're well on your way to planning a magical Spanish wedding that you and your guests will never forget! ¡Felicidades!


A Simple Guide to Planning Your Dream Wedding in Spain



A bride and her father smiling as they arrive at their city wedding venue
A bride and her father smiling as they arrive at their city wedding venue


Plan your mesmerising Spanish wedding with these simple, step-by-step instructions:


  1. Start Early: Begin your planning process as early as possible. This gives you ample time to research, shortlist, and reserve your preferred vendors.

  2. Select Your Dream Destination: Choose the Spanish locale that resonates with your wedding vision, whether it's a beachfront, a vineyard, or a historic castle.

  3. Set a Budget: Keep a realistic budget. This should include venue fees, vendor costs, travel and accommodation expenses, and a little extra for unexpected costs.

  4. Research Legalities: Understand the legal requirements for hosting a wedding in Spain. Enlist professional help if necessary.

  5. Choose Your Vendors: From photographers to caterers, carefully select your team of vendors who align with your vision and budget.

  6. Engage a Celebrant: Consider hiring a local wedding celebrant who can host the ceremony and give you the authentic Spanish wedding experience you've been looking for.

  7. Create an Itinerary: Plan a detailed timeline for your wedding day activities.

  8. Guest Accommodation: Reserve accommodations for your guests. Consider their comfort and proximity to the wedding venues.

  9. Send Invitations: Send out your invitations in advance, giving your guests ample time to make travel arrangements.

  10. Last-Minute Checks: Finalise the details, cross-check with your vendors, and make sure everything is ready for your big day.

Remember to absorb every moment of your special day. After all, a Spanish wedding is more than just an event—it's a grand celebration of your love!


A Note on Intimate and Multinational Weddings

The Charm of Small Weddings


Small-scale weddings are getting increasingly popular, and for good reason! Intimate weddings hold their very own magic - they are heartfelt, personal, and utterly memorable!


There's something breath-taking about a small, beautiful ceremony where you know everyone on a first-name basis. It's like sharing your most cherished moments with your closest set of people. You get to spend more quality time with your loved ones, making everyone feel part of your special day.


Not to mention, the flexibility and the reduced stress that small weddings bring to the table.


Navigating Multinational Weddings


Now, let's flip the coin and talk about multinational weddings. Planning and hosting a wedding where guests represent a rich mix of geographies and cultures can be an exhilarating experience!


I vividly recall an event where we had over 120 guests from 15 different nationalities grace the occasion. Imagine the blend of cultures, the fusion of traditions, and the sparkle in conversations that night!


Everyone brought their stories, recipes, and favourite dances from their corners of the world. The result? A melting pot of cultural richness, a symphony of diverse languages, laughs, and shared memories.


But remember, it's key to establish common ground and ensure everyone feels included. Hiring bilingual or multicultural vendors can be of great help. Be mindful to include translation services if necessary and consider incorporating elements of various cultures as a tribute to the diversity of your guests.


In the end, whether it's an intimate wedding or a grand multinational party, it's all about love, sharing, and unity. And trust me, Spain is the perfect location to witness and celebrate these unique blends of wedding magic!


Top Tips to Streamline Your Wedding Planning Process



A beautifully laid wedding table with flowers in the wedding venue
A beautifully laid wedding table with flowers in the wedding venue


Planning a wedding can seem daunting, but with the right tips and a positive mindset, you can make it a gratifying journey. Here are some simple suggestions:


  • Kickstart Early: Start planning your wedding well in advance to avoid last-minute panic and gather the best deals.

  • Budget Wisely: Set a realistic budget based on your priorities. Remember, you don't need to break the bank to have a memorable day!

  • Stay Organised: Use a wedding planning app or good old-fashioned pen and paper. Keep tabs on everything from guest lists to payments.

  • Delegate Tasks: Don't take everything on your shoulders - delegate tasks among your friends, family, or get wedding planners on your side to help.

  • Take Breaks: Don't get consumed by wedding planning. Remember to take time out for yourself, relax and enjoy the journey to your big day!

  • Accept Help: Embrace offers of help from friends and family. It can make your to-do list shorter and your wedding feel even more personal.

  • Stay Flexible: Remember, it's okay if everything doesn't go exactly as planned. Stay flexible and enjoy the ride!

With these key tips at your fingertips, you're all set to embark upon a well-managed and stress-free wedding planning journey. Happy planning!


How a Wedding Celebrant Can Ease Your Planning Process


A wedding celebrant is like a fairy godparent who can ease your planning process and officiate a heartfelt ceremony rich with emotion and love. Let's see how engaging a celebrant wedding planner based in Spain can assure a smooth wedding process:


  • Navigating Legalities: Spanish wedding laws and customs can be overwhelming, but a local celebrant can guide you through these complexities with first-hand knowledge and experience!

  • Embracing Multiculturalism: A Spanish celebrant well-versed in multinational weddings can gracefully blend cultural rituals and even assist with translations, ensuring everyone feels welcome and involved in your special day.

  • Personalised Ceremonies: Celebrants excel at crafting meaningful, bespoke ceremonies tailored to your unique love story and cultural background.

  • Professional Expertise: Beyond the ceremony, your celebrant can be your best ally, working closely with the wedding venue staff and your wedding planner to ensure seamless coordination and problem-solving.

  • A Touching Celebration: Above all, your celebrant will keep the focus on you, your partner, and the beautiful union you create together. When all's said and done, a wedding day is made up of the emotions experienced and memories created.


All this in a simple, affordable package that covers everything, allowing you to focus on what truly matters during this beautiful time. Consider engaging a Spanish wedding celebrant to guide you through the process, curate a heartwarming ceremony, and ensure unforgettable memories of your special day.


Conclusion


In summary, planning a Spanish wedding is an adventurous journey filled with love, excitement, and a touch of wanderlust. From streamlined planning tips to creating multicultural connections at your wedding, I hope this guide has been helpful.


Remember, whether it's an intimate or multinational ceremony, it's your special day.

Stay true to your vision and enjoy every moment of this unique journey ahead.


Ready to embark on your wedding planning journey with a trusted partner by your side? Connect with Celebrant Costa Blanca for personalised, joy-filled wedding ceremonies tailored to your story and desires. Start weaving the golden threads of your memorable Spanish wedding with a professional celebrant today!


Good luck with creating the Spanish wedding of your dreams! ¡Buena suerte!





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