The delightful Spanish wedding ceremony traditions enhance the nuptial rites.
One or both partners of many couples I work with are culturally Hispanic.
Traditional nuptial rituals can be performed during a religious mass at church, at non-religious locations outdoors in nature, or at any other venue.
The couples want to include traditions and personalize those traditions to be meaningful to them and their loved ones.
Through personalization of their Spanish wedding ceremony, the couple can include as many family members as they wish.
Other Hispanic couples prefer to update the traditions for a more contemporary nuptial experience.
Compadres, or godparents, are held in high esteem in Hispanic and Latino cultures and are expected to participate in the nuptial rituals.
Please note that I officiate Portuguese nuptials, and am familiar with those traditions as well.
"When we first spoke, I knew you were the Officiate for us. You were so considerate and understood the history and emotions behind the traditions. You were amazing to work with. Our families all loved coming together at our 'sacred space' around the pool and getting to participate. Thank you for everything you did to make our nuptials the talk of the neighborhood!" Jennifer and Juan, West Orange, NJ
Regardless of the venue, you may wish to include the tradition of the white lace mantilla or veil representative of purity in mind and spirit.
The bride and groom or same sex couple kneel next to each other in the nuptial space. This can be the church's altar or the symbolic altar in a non-religious venue.
Two significant female relatives or close friends of the couple place the mantilla. If the bride is wearing the mantilla with a peineta as her veil, they drape one side of the mantilla from the bride across to the groom's, or same sex couple's, shoulders.
If the bride is not wearing the mantilla as her veil, the two women lay a ceremonial mantilla from the bride's head to the groom's, or same sex couple's, shoulders.
In either case, the women stand one to each side of the couple while the Officiate conducts the ritual, explains what is taking place, and speaks about the joining of the bride and groom or same sex couple in the Spanish wedding ceremony.
When the ritual is concluded, the women right the mantilla on the bride if she is wearing it as her veil. Otherwise, they lift the mantilla off the bride and groom or same sex couple, fold it, and return to their seats. It will be returned to the bride as a keepsake or heirloom after the nuptials are concluded.
This tradition has roots thousands of years old. Thirteen gold or silver coins are brought to the nuptials by the bride or brides, and held safely by a close female relative.
The bride(s) may have them in a velvet pouch to be placed on an ornate silver tray. A beautifully decorated treasure chest that may be a family heirloom can be used as well.
At some point during the nuptials, the Officiate holds the tray high and explains the symbolism steeped in abundance and wealth.
The groom pours the coins into the open palms of the bride, who allows them to clatter loudly onto the tray. The bride in turn pours them back into the waiting palms of the groom who in turn allows lots of cha-chinking sounds as they flow onto the tray. Sound is important and significant for this ritual.
The Officiate conducts the the ritual and leads an verbal exchange between the bride and groom or same sex couple as the nuptials continue.
Whether during mass in church, or at another venue, some brides wish to include the singing of the Ave Maria in the Spanish wedding ceremony. During this time everyone in attendance is seated.
The Officiate announces the ritual with a brief explanation.
The bride or same sex couple stands and takes up a bouquet of flowers. She walks to the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, places the bouquet as an offering and kneels in contemplation before the statue.
When the singing is finished, she rises and walks back to take her place at the church's altar, or the symbolic altar space.
The nuptials continue to conclusion.
If the couple has a program prepared for each guest, it functions as an Order of Wedding Ceremony. The couple can relate briefly how and why these rituals are part of creating their nuptial experience.