My BIG FAT Spanish Wedding
By Ali Berlinski on October 03, 2013
Last Saturday I attended my first Spanish wedding, and not just any Spanish wedding, a Galician wedding, which I’ve been told is quite different. While I can’t speak for all Galician weddings, here’s a quick overview of how it went.
As with many American weddings, the reception started with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Not long after the newly weds arrived, and we were ushered into the dinning hall. Then, in what seemed like the blink of a false eyelash the cake was cut. Sadly, there was no cute moment where they feed one another, just a quick photo opp. I tried to take a picture but the damn photographer was in my way.
Similar to the U.S, dinner was served in various courses, the first being seafood. It was, exactly what I imagine heaven is like, Spanish men placing trays upon trays of crawfish, prawns, and scallops in front of me to my delight. What’s more, the seafood was served family style, which I love. The only thing about family style is, you have to eat quick if you want to eat at all. Lucky for me I swallow my food whole. The second course was Hake, a super delicious fish. This was followed by an intermezzo, a lemon slushie of sorts, and finally the piéce de résistance-the meat course. Forget checking off a box months in advance. You had your choice of beef, lamb, or BOTH if you wanted. That’s right, three courses of entirely protein. Here, vegetables are considered a garnish not a food group.
Bridesmaids and groomsmen aren’t common in Spain. Consequently, there were no sappy speeches, just lots and lots of singing, Galician folk songs mostly. You’d think the songs would be about love, but no. They were about really random things like the months of the year. During this particular song, you had to stand up and chug your drink when it came to your birth month. God bless the Spanish.
Friend-”Don’t you have typical American wedding songs?”
Me-”We’re more about dancing. Ever heard of the electric slide?”
Rather than cling your fork against your glass to illicit a kiss, you chanted, “Que se besen!” literally “KISS KISS!” At one point, the bride’s friends even chanted for the bride’s and groom’s parents to kiss.
Nevertheless, there were many aspects typical of a modern American wedding e.g. ironic facial hair.
Like most American weddings, there was lots of drinking and dancing. Naturally, debauchery ensued and oh, then this happened…
Certainly not usual of Spanish weddings but awesome nonetheless.
In true Spanish style, the wedding went on well after the restaurant closed until the wee hours of the morning, at it’s second venue, a bar downtown. I however, wimped out and cabbed it home. Ten hours in stilettos was enough for me. No matter how long I live here, I’m convinced I’ll never be able to stay out until 8am like they can.
To be sure, my first Spanish wedding was a new cultural experience. Going in, I had hoped to discover something bizarre or wildly striking about Spanish culture. Personally, I find cultural differences to be much more interesting than similarities. While I tend to believe that those who search for something generally find it, with regard to Spanish weddings what I found was that we are not as different as we are alike.
VIVA LOS NOVIOS!
a beautiful mess, available at amazon.com
say yes to your mess
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