Destination Weddings in Spain
Getting married in Spain, a land so rich in history and colour, the possibilities for a dream wedding are practically limitless “Quien dice España dice todo” (He who says Spain says everything) is a proud Spanish expression. It’s not hard to see why when you visit this country shaped by many cultures including Roman, Greek, Moorish, Jewish and Celtic. The climate does its part too, varying from near tropical in the south through desert in the interior to cool and temperate in the north.
On Spain’s northern coast the Atlantic crashes onto the rugged shore of three regions of verdant beauty - Galicia, Cantabria and the Basque Country. Each has its own language or dialect but all are places of green hills, towering peaks and pristine beaches. Getting married in the beautiful seaside towns of San Sebastian or La Coruña or in the revived and vigorous city of Bilbao you and your new spouse can enjoy exquisite seafood and sip on Spain’s best wine produced in the neighbouring region of La Rioja.
Holding the Atlantic at bay the majestic Pyrenees sweep eastward to another sea, the relatively benign Mediterranean lapping on the shores of Catalonia. The Catalans, living in Spain’s wealthiest region, are very proud of their language and culture. They can be equally proud of the unique coastline of the Costa Brava, the inspiration of so many Dali masterpieces, and the beauty, grandeur and vigour of Barcelona. In this grand city’s gothic quarter churches like the Santa Maria del Mar open on to charming little squares providing the perfect setting for the colour and drama of a destination wedding in Spain.
Moving southward from Catalonia things start to look more ‘typically’ Spanish. Orange groves and rice paddies finally give way to the dry, sun-baked Costa del Sol. The bride may wear something blue – in Almeria and Marbella the sky wears only blue 320 days each year.
Going west from the Costa del Sol olive groves sweep in endless succession over the rolling plains of Andalusia, the original Flamenco country. Spain’s African past is everywhere evident in Moorish palaces and the white painted settlements. After a wedding ceremony in the vibrant cities of Seville or Cádiz newlyweds can sip sherry fresh from Jerez whilst local flamenco artists pay impassioned tribute to their new marriage.
North from Andalusia the country climbs to the high ground of Spain’s interior. The region of Extremadura, an important centre of both the Spanish and Roman empires, looks like a land that time forgot. Full of medieval and renaissance churches and palaces it provides the perfect backdrop to a day of perfect romance.
Beyond the wooded valleys of Extremadura, travelling toward Spain’s centre we enter Don Quixote country. Everywhere you look in the dry and precipitous regions of new and old Castile (literally the region of castles) fairytale settlements like Segovia and Toledo stand atop ridges, bathed in golden light. The cuisine of today’s Castile would not look out of place at any nobleman’s roundtable – lamb and suckling pig are classics of the region as are game and freshwater fish. To toast your damsel or prince there are the superior wines of the Duero Valley or Valladolid.
In the centre of Spain is the nation’s cultural and political hub, Madrid. A city of neo-classical exuberance, huge parks and narrow medieval streets, it crackles with energy day and night. Days can be spent visiting artistic treasures or relaxing in Parque del Retiro, a huge wooded park near the city centre. At night the friendly people of Madrid and wonderful bars, cafes and nightclubs for every taste will sustain a permanently festive ambience for two people getting married.
Off mainland Spain in the Mediterranean the Balearic Islands offer remote beaches and some of the most explosive nightlife in Europe. Their Atlantic cousins the Canary Isles, a volcanic Archipelago of the coast of Morocco, can promise the white sands of Fuerteventura, the lush tropics of La Palma, the highland pine forests of El Hierro and the vigorous streets of Las Palmas.
Yes, to say Spain is to say everything. Come to everything and get married in Spain!