Last weekend I was lucky enough to see two of my very good friends get married in Spain. The three of us met at university – where they got together – and now after graduating, emigrating and making a life in Madrid it was time for the next important milestone – marriage. The day was absolutely beautiful and the bride looked spectacular. The weather was unseasonably hot for October which only added to the excitement of being abroad in an exotic location. The celebrations took place in Almagro, Castilla-la-Mancha, a place famous for aubergines and theatre.
Spanish weddings are a little different to British ones. First, the ceremony was much later and started around 6.00pm. The groom arrived looking glam and was walked up the aisle by his mother who was equally glam. The church was pretty spectacular with beautiful icons and stained glass windows. I was slightly surprised by the appearance of tourists during the service, who also thought the church was beautiful and decided to walk around and take photos rather than leaving, but my Spanish friends assured me that that’s normal in Spain! In addition to exchanging rings, the groom also offered thirteen coins as a symbol of his commitment to his bride. Rice is also thrown, rather than confetti. After a relaxed apero with delicious tapas and canapés, the wedding breakfast began and it was enormous. Five courses of delicious food which finished around midnight. Then it was time to dance and we partied until dawn. One of the most impressive sights of the day was my gorgeous friend dancing in a grubby nightclub in her immaculate white wedding dress – I wish I’d taken a photo!
While I was in Spain I also visited my former host family who I worked for as an Au Pair in 2009. I say ‘worked’ – essentially my job was to supervise two teenagers during the summer holidays, play games with them, take them swimming and speak to them in English. I was extremely lucky as the family were fantastic, treated me like one of their own and taught me so much about Spain and Spanish culture. Spain is one of my favourite places to visit in Europe and I cannot wait to return next summer.