Is a symbolic wedding in Spain a REAL wedding?

Photo David Luque

A symbolic wedding in Spain is not a fake ceremony it is 100% your real wedding day.

Whether you are a newly engaged couple living outside of Spain or a Spanish wedding supplier wanting to connect with destination wedding couples, be reassured that a symbolic wedding in Spain IS your real wedding day!


A marriage and a wedding are different

A marriage is a legal contractual agreement. At its most basic a marriage contract can consist of 40 words plus your names and a signed and witnessed entry to a marriage register.

  • Saying personal vows is not part of the marriage contract
  • Readings are not part of the marriage contract
  • A ring exchange is not part of the marriage contract
  • Rituals and other traditions are not part of the marriage contract

All of the ceremony around contracting your marriage is the wedding.

When you separate your legal marriage from your wedding celebration, then wedding planning can be really fun without the stress!


A destination wedding means no marriage paperwork, no stress

If you are not a Spanish citizen, the easiest way to contract your legal marriage is in your home country or at the register office in Gibraltar

  • You understand the language
  • You don't need to translate any important documents
  • You can easily order more copies of your marriage certificate at a later date

This frees you up to enjoy the ceremonial celebration in the sunshine – your destination wedding in Spain!


The difference between a religious and non-religious wedding

The wedding is the ceremonial celebration.

It is the symbolic element of contracting your legal marriage and allows you to personalise your ceremony and enhance it with other elements that reflect your beliefs or your personalities.

A religious wedding ceremony may be

  • held in a place of worship such as a pretty whitewashed church
  • officiated by a religious minister
  • include ceremonial elements such as prayers, readings, the giving and receiving of rings - and at many Spanish weddings, the exchanging of arras coins

Note that your religious minister may not be authorised to contract your legal marriage and so you may still need to register this with the authorities.


Non-religious wedding blessings in Spain

A non-religious wedding ceremony has lots of benefits:

  • the wedding can be held wherever you like, for example on a private beach, at a luxury villa, hotel or country house
  • the ceremony can be officiated by a celebrant
  • you can include ceremonial elements such as saying personal vows, readings that reflect your personalities, exchanging rings, rituals and symbolic traditions from other cultures eg handfasting to “tie the knot, sand ceremony to unify two families, red thread of destiny (“hilo rojo”) to connect two souls for all time.

Note if your ceremony is officiated by an independent celebrant as opposed to a strictly Humanist celebrant, then you can also include some religious elements or blend elements from your two different religions to represent both families in a bespoke ceremony written especially for you.


A wedding in Spain IS your real wedding day

So once you understand that you can separate your marriage from your wedding, and decide to do them on different days, it is easy to see how your destination wedding in Spain IS your real wedding day!

We can't wait to hear what your vision is of your dream wedding day and translate that into reality in the Spanish sunshine!


Author bio: Debbie Skyrme is "Celebrant Spain".  Award winning bilingual destination wedding celebrant officiating elopements, vow renewals and wedding ceremonies in the Spanish sunshine.

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