Ministering to you! Know the facts about Wedding Day ministers in Spain

Friday, 16 October 2015 00:00

Photo credit: Bob Long Photography

Before you made the decision to marry you probably didn’t give much thought to the kind of minister you wanted for your wedding ceremony. Once you have set the date and booked your venue however choosing a minister is a decision which can have a huge impact on your Big Day here in Spain.



If you are having a Catholic ceremony then the decision is simplified as you must have a practising Catholic priest. Even here however there is room for maneuver and it is worth knowing your options….

*Use the Catholic priest at the church you have chosen. You need to check if the priest speaks English. If he does then you could use the priest at the church which is usually the cheapest option.

*If the priest at the church you have chosen does not speak English then ask your wedding planner for help finding a translator. The best translators will work alongside you and the priest to create a ceremony with the hymns and Bible readings you have chosen and make sure all is clear before your Wedding Day.

*Bring your own priest! If you, your partner or family know a priest then this can be the option which really adds sparkle to the ceremony as the priest will know you prior to your Wedding Day and be able to work with you to make the ceremony very special. It is usual however to organise (and pay for) flights and accommodation for your priest in this case so is a more expensive option. In addition to this you will need to ensure the priest has a letter of Recommendation from his superior and permission to conduct the service as the local priest at the church will need to see these along with the usual church documentation.




If you are having a symbolic blessing ceremony then you have a great deal of scope when it comes to the person who will conduct your ceremony as they do not need to be specially qualified as a minister to perform a blessing. That said it pays to use someone reliable and confident at public speaking to help relax the two of you and make the ceremony more special for your guests.

*A family friend. If you really (yes really really) have a family member or friend who is suitable to perform a blessing then you can use him or her. Do ensure however that they really are happy to do this, have some experience or confidence in this area and are committed to working with you prior to the day and on it. Using “Uncle Jim” may seem like a cheap option at the start, but if he has no experience of performing weddings, may change his mind or has a sudden attack of nerves then it will be far more stressful than using a professional!

*A professional minister. These ministers fall into various categories depending on the types of ceremony they perform. Secular ministers perform ceremonies with no mention of God or spirituality, and the content focuses on your love and commitment to each other. Interfaith Ministers will perform secular ceremonies or those which incorporate elements from one or more faiths (Christian, Jewish etc) along with your own ideas and vows. Christian ministers (eg Church of England or Evangelical pastors) will do Christian ceremonies but will generally be more willing to incorporate readings or songs which Catholic priests will not permit.

The important thing is to talk to your partner and planner and work out what suits you and is possible given your choice of ceremony venue and budget. In this way you can get the best minister for you, regardless of what suits someone else….


Before you get into your Wedding Dress - the essential checklist!

Friday, 09 October 2015 00:00

On the morning of your Big Day you are likely to be nervous. After long months of planning and organisation THE day has finally arrived. It is all too easy therefore to get a bit flustered or forget the simple things you should do prior getting into your Wedding dress. Never fear however because Spanish Wedding Planner is here with a go-to check list of things you should do BEFORE slipping on THAT dress...!

1) Moisturise - It sounds silly but soft, moisturised skin will give you an additional boost on your wedding day and, if you match the moisturiser to your perfume, make your chosen scent last longer. Just be sure to rub it in well and leave plenty of time before putting on your dress to avoid greasy marks!

2) Don't forget to eat - a fainting bride is not a good look! You may not feel very hungry but there's going to be several hours until you eat again and you don't want to spend the day feeling light-headed and hungry as that can really put a damper on your spirits!

3) Brush your teeth - you are going to spend a lot of time smiling and chatting to people during the day so the last thing you need is dragon-breath! Give your teeth a through clean before your ceremony, floss and use a mouth wash or spray for extra freshness.

4) Go to the loo! In the excitement it is easy to forget the call of nature until you are laced into a complicated dress or even standing at the altar. Before you get dressed make sure you use the bathroom and then go easy on the caffinated drinks and alcohol before the ceremony or concentrating on your vows can be tricky!

5) Take a few deep breaths. It is your day. You've dreamed, planned and organised and now your are here. Take a few moments to appreciate the pre-wedding time, remember the friends and family who have travelled to be with you, and why you are doing this - for love! Then go - have an amazing day!


Help! What kind of wedding ceremony do I want?

Friday, 05 June 2015 00:00

Photo credit: Bob Long


You want to get married in the sun and you love the idea of a relaxed, fun day in Spain soaking up the sun, marrying the one you love and giving your friends and family a holiday into the bargain. You know the kind of venue you like - be it hotel, villa, restaurant or beach bar - but then get stuck on the ceremony. This is not unusual as there is often confusion about the types of ceremony possible for couples marrying here in Spain. In this week's blog therefore we are looking at all the possibilities for your Big Day.

Traditional Catholic ceremony
Possible if one or both of you are Catholic.* Catholic weddings have the advantage of being legally binding providing you do the paperwork required as we can then register them civilly. They are less flexible than blessings however as they must take place in a consecrated Catholic church and the ceremony is the set marriage ceremony for Catholic weddings.

*NB: This applies if you are from Europe. US and Canadian residents and citizens need a civil ceremony in their home country even if they are both Catholic.

Wedding blessing
The blessing ceremony can take place in any location of your choosing and is usually followed by the celebration at the same venue with family and friends. Blessing ceremonies look and sound the same as a "normal" ceremony so your guests will not know it is not legally binding unless you wish to tell them. Many couples actually feel this is the real ceremony in that it is the personal and meaningful commitment to each other while the registry office ceremony was a formality which does not have the same emotional power.

The ceremony can take any of the following forms:

  • Humanist/Secular - no mention of God or religion, simply about your personal commitment to each other.
  • Interfaith - a ceremony combining elements of a religious faith with secular and personal traditions and readings.
  • Christian - the ceremony can follow a traditional Christian format eg: Church of England or be more broadly Christian and incorporate prayers and readings of your choosing.

Other faith ceremonies such as Jewish and Muslim can also be celebrated but are not legally binding so a civil ceremony in your home country or country of residence is also needed to legalise your marriage.

Civil ceremony
If one or both of you are resident in Spain and have been resident for two or more years then it should be possible for you to have a legally binding civil ceremony. This type of civil ceremony is usually conducted at the town hall (Ayuntamiento) in the area in which you are resident. As the legal civil ceremony is usually fairly short (10 - 15 minutes) and quite impersonal most couples also choose to have a Wedding Blessing and celebration.

Remember it’s your day and the ceremony is a vital part of this so it is worth considering the options carefully so you and your loved one can really enjoy every moment!


Five ways to make YOUR wedding day incredible!

Friday, 29 May 2015 00:00

As hard as you try it is impossible to predict or control all aspects of your wedding day. Guests will cancel at the last minute or get impossibly drunk at the reception. An road accident can delay traffic and the arrival of your guests, or a cold can leave you feeling less than awesome. Strange as it sounds however, very few things can detract from your wedding day happiness unless you decide to let them. In this week’s blog we look at five ways you can make the most of your day regardless of others.

  1. Be in the moment. So much of our life passes without us fully being aware of it. Make sure your wedding day isn’t one of those days. Stop at odd moments during the day to simply enjoy being the bride and having friends and family around you to share the day.
  2. Don’t rush conversations. It’s easy to end up playing the role of party hostess at your wedding and rushing round trying to fit in a chat with everyone. Instead of flitting from one thing to the next take time to engage fully in conversations and go with the flow until a natural break.
  3. Remember to eat breakfast! With pre-ceremony nerves and hair and beauty to do it’s tempting to skip breakfast entirely or trade it for glass of champagne. Feeling dizzy and light-headed through your ceremony however can distract you from the actual “I do” and leave you craving food just as the photos get started. If you can’t manage a big breakfast try a small bowl of porridge, some yoghurt and fruit or a protein bar.
  4. Leave the organising to your wedding planner! Your planner is there to make the day less stressful for you. Relax and let her do the running and the organising. She has the experience and the contacts to be able to do this and is at your day as a professional.
  5. Remember perfection is over-rated! Life is rarely perfect and the chances are something will not go entirely to plan on your Big Day. Don’t see a minor hiccup as a disaster but instead turn it into a funny story or reminder that despite all the ups and downs you and your fiance have made it this far and will continue to defeat life’s challenges together!

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