Tag Archive for: Marriage

Spain is a renowned tourist destination for its stunning beaches, delicious food, and vibrant culture. However, Spain is also an excellent place to raise a family. In recent years, the country has made great strides in providing families with access to quality education and child care.

In addition, Spanish families are very close-knit, with extended family members often living close by. This can be a big advantage for working parents who need extra support.

Whether you’re looking for a sunny place to raise your kids or hoping to learn more about Spanish culture, read this blog to learn more about Family life in Spain

What are the family values in Spain?

Family is highly regarded in Spanish culture. It represents security, honesty, respect, and love. Spanish culture is widely known for its passionate and intense approach to life. This is also reflected in Spanish family values, which emphasize close relationships and strong emotional bonds. Family members often stay in close contact with one another, sharing both the good and the bad times.

There is also a strong focus on extended family, with grandparents often playing an important role in the lives of their grandchildren. In Spanish households, children are typically raised with a deep sense of respect for their elders. As a result, families in Spain typically have a close-knit and supportive structure.

Family life in Spain

How important are family relationships?

In Spain, family is important. Families are typically large and extended, with grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles often living close by. Children are considered a blessing, and families go out of their way to spend time together.

It’s not uncommon for families to have big Sunday lunches together or to gather for holidays and special occasions. Spanish families also tend to be very close-knit, with members often lending each other a helping hand. In fact, it’s not unusual for families to have a “home away from home” where they can go if they need help or just want some company. all in all, family is very important in Spain.

What are some Spanish family traditions?

Spanish families have many unique traditions and festivals that are celebrated throughout the year. Some of these traditions are religious in nature, while others are more cultural or family-oriented. Here are 10 of the most popular Spanish family traditions:

  1. 12 grapes

    On New Year’s Eve, it is a tradition to eat 12 grapes at midnight. Each grape represents one month of the upcoming year, and eating all 12 is said to bring good luck. The whole family typically participates in this tradition.

  2. El dia de Reyes

    Epiphany, or Three Kings’ Day, is one of the most important days in the Spanish calendar. Families gather together to celebrate the arrival of the Three Kings in Bethlehem. A traditional meal of roast lamb is often served, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones.

  3. Semana Santa

    Holy Week is a time when Spain comes alive with processions and markets. Families often take part in religious ceremonies and eat traditional dishes such as codfish Stew and torrijas (fried bread soaked in syrup).

  4. Fiesta de Mayo

    Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday that commemorates the victory of the Mexican army over the French at the Battle of Puebla. In Spain, it is also a day to celebrate regional traditions and culture, with folklore dancing and performances taking place across the country.

  5. Día de la Madre

    Mother’s Day is celebrated on May 10th in Spain. Families come together to show their appreciation for mothers and motherhood. Traditionally, children will pick wildflowers to give to their mothers, and special meals are often prepared as a way of showing gratitude.

  6. San Juan Bautista

    Saint John the Baptist’s Day is celebrated on June 24th with bonfires, feasts and balls being held in towns and villages across Spain. It is also customary for people to jump over the flames of bonfires as a way of guaranteeing good luck in the coming year.

  7. La Tomatina

    This quirky festival takes place in August in the town of Bunol near Valencia. Participants pelt each other with tomatoes in a giant food fight that lasts for around an hour! Afterward, everyone cleans up together and enjoys a magnificent paella feast.

  8. La Virgen del Pilar

    This public holiday on October 12th celebrates Spain’s patron saint, The Virgin Mary. Processions and pilgrimages take place across the country, and special foods such as churros con chocolate (fried dough sticks dipped in chocolate) are enjoyed by all.

  9. Halloween

    Although not originally a Spanish tradition, Halloween has become increasingly popular in recent years. Children dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating around their neighborhood, while adults enjoy parties and gatherings with friends.

  10. Navidad

    Christmas is one of the most important holidays in Spain, with family gatherings and festive meals taking center stage. On Christmas Eve, it is traditional for families to attend Midnight Mass before enjoying a huge feast known as “La Cena de Nochebuena.”

Traditions help form family life in Spain

Spanish families, traditions are an important part of family life in Spain. They help to connect people to their history and culture, and they provide a sense of community. Traditions also give families a chance to spend time together and create lasting memories. Furthermore, they are important to Spanish families because they help to create a sense of identity and connection.

What is the average family size in Spain and

Spain is a large country with a population of over 46 million people. The average family size (couple) in Spain has 2 children. The high average family size in Spain is due to a number of factors, including the fact that Spain is a Catholic country and the Spanish government offers financial incentives and good social security for families to have more than two children.

In addition, Spain has a relatively young population, with the median age being just over 40 years old. This means that there are more families of childbearing age than in other countries with an older population. As a result, the average family size in Spain is likely to remain high in the future.

What are some common family structures in Spain?

Spain is a country with a diverse range of cultures and traditions. As a result, there is no one type of family structure that is considered “typical.” Instead, families can take a variety of different forms, depending on their unique circumstances.

The most common family structure is the couple, which includes two adults, which may be married or have children or not.

Another common family structure in Spain is the Extended Family. In these families, grandparents, parents, and children all live together under one roof. This arrangement provides support and security for all members of the family and helps to instill strong family values and help with raising children.

Another common family structure in Spain is the Single-Parent Family. In these families, the child or children live with only one parent, typically the mother. This arrangement often arises due to divorce or the death of a spouse. Single-parent families can face challenges, but they also provide opportunities for children to develop close bonds with their parents. No matter what form they take, families in Spain play a vital role in society.

Unique challenges that family life in Spain has

Spanish families face a number of challenges. One of the most significant is the high cost of living. This is especially true in major cities like Madrid and Barcelona, where the cost of housing, food, and other essentials is sky-high. Another challenge is the high unemployment rate, which currently stands at around 17%. This means that many families are struggling to make ends meet.

Additionally, families with young children often find it difficult to juggle work and childcare commitments. And finally, families often have to deal with the pressures of extended family members who may be critical or judgmental.

Family life in Spain

Support of the Spanish government for families

The Spanish government offers a number of programs and services to support families. One important program includes child benefits (Prestación por hijo a cargo) which provides financial assistance to families with children under the age of 18. The amount of benefit is based on the number of children in the family, and it is paid out on a monthly basis.

Families can also receive help with childcare expenses, as well as housing subsidies and grants for home repairs. In addition, the government offers free or reduced-cost health care and education for children. By offering these various forms of support, the government ensures that families are able to provide their children with a good quality of life.

Disclaimer: Information on this page may be incomplete or outdated. Under no circumstances should the information listed be considered professional legal or financial advice. We highly recommend seeking guidance from a legal or financial expert if you lack extensive knowledge or experience dealing with any of the procedures outlined in these articles.

Spain is known for its vibrant and unique Spanish cultural traditions, and nowhere is this more evident than in Spanish wedding traditions. From the elaborate ceremonies to the delicious food, Spanish weddings celebrate love and life. Here we will look at some of the most common wedding traditions in Spain.

1. Wedding ring and Engagement Ring

When Spanish women get engaged, they wear their engagement ring on the left hand’s ring finger. After the ceremony, their wedding ring is worn on the right hand’s ring finger. This is in contrast to many other cultures, where the engagement ring is worn on the right hand, and the wedding ring is moved over to the left hand after the wedding or stacked on the same finger.

2. Cutting of the grooms tie

Another tradition still observed in Spanish weddings is the cutting of the groom’s tie. This custom is said to bring good luck to the newlyweds. The groom’s friend usually performs this task with a pair of scissors.

After the groom’s tie has been cut, the friend will sell the tie to a wedding guest to raise money for the couple.

3. Rose petals or rice throwing

Throwing rice or rose petals is a traditional wedding custom you can find worldwide, and it is also observed in Spanish weddings. It is said to bring good luck to the newlyweds. After the ceremony, guests will throw rice over the couple as they leave the church or reception venue.

4. Cake slicing with sword

Another Spanish wedding tradition comes after the bride and groom say their vows. Now the couple will cut their wedding cake together with a ceremonial sword. This is usually done while the guests are cheering and clapping. After the first slice is cut, the newlyweds will feed each other a piece of cake.

5. Throwing the bouquet

One of Spain’s more famous Spanish wedding traditions is the bride throwing her bouquet to the unmarried women in attendance. Whoever catches it is said to be next in line to get married.

6. Padrino’s

It is not uncommon for the bride and groom to have one or more padrinos (godparents) at a wedding in Spain. These are typically close family members or friends who act as mentors and support throughout the wedding planning process. They may also play a role in the actual ceremony, such as walking the bride down the aisle or giving a reading.

The padrino’s functions as a substitute to the flower girls, bridesmaids and the best man. There are no specific rules about who can or cannot be a padrino, but typically they are important to the bride and groom.

7. First look of bride and groom

In many Spanish weddings, the first time the bride and groom see each other on the day of the wedding is when they walk down the aisle. However, it is becoming more common for couples to do a “first look” before the ceremony. This is often done in private with just the photographer present. This allows the couple to take some time for themselves and savour the moment before the craziness of the wedding day begins. However, some couples still prefer to stick with tradition and wait until they see each other at the altar.

8. Kids are welcome

Another unique aspect of Spanish weddings is that children are often included in the Spanish festivities. It is not uncommon for a kid’s table at the reception or for the couple to hire a babysitter to watch the children during the ceremony. This helps ensure that everyone can enjoy the wedding and makes it more family-friendly overall.

9. Orange Blossom

Orange blossoms symbolise good luck in Spain and are often used as decorations at weddings. They are in the bride’s bouquet, on the wedding cake, or even scattered around the reception venue. The incredible smell of orange blossoms is also a sign of good luck and happiness.

10. Traditional Spanish wedding flower

Next to the orange blossom, typical flowers you find at Spanish weddings are roses, lilies, orchids and gerberas. Roses symbolise love, passion, and beauty. Lilies represent purity and innocence, while orchids are seen as a symbol of exoticness. Gerberas are often associated with happiness and joy.

11. Gold Coins (Las areas)

Another tradition still observed in Spanish weddings is the giving of las areas (gold coins). These are given to the bride by the groom to symbolise his love and commitment. The coins are often placed in a special bag or box and are typically given to the bride during the ceremony. After the wedding, the bride will usually keep them as a memento. A total of 13 coins representing Jesus and his 12 apostles are typically given, and they are often inscribed with the couple’s names and the wedding date.

12. Wedding favors

Wedding favours are not as common in Spain as in other countries, but they are still given out at some weddings. They are given to thank the guests for attending and can be anything from candies to small gifts. The favors are presented during the meal or at the end of the reception.

13. Black wedding dress

Traditionally, Spanish brides often wear a black wedding dress at their weddings. This is in contrast to the white dresses that are often worn in other countries.

The black gown symbolises lifelong devotion and commitment to one’s spouse for Spanish brides who see it as a physical representation of the phrase “until death do us part.”

While some brides may still choose to wear black, it is becoming more and more common for them to opt for a white dress instead. This is in line with the trend of Westernisation throughout Spain.

14. Libro de familia

The Libro de familia is an essential document in Spain and is considered the official record of the family. It is updated with each new addition to the family and is used as proof of marriage, birth, and death.

The couple will receive the book after the honeymoon at their local register office when they deliver their marriage certificate. The Libro de familiar means family book, and in the case of children, their birth will also be registered in this book.

The book is a treasured item for Spanish families and is often passed down from generation to generation.

15. Last names

It is very common for a woman to keep her surname after getting married in Spain, and this contrasts with the tradition in other countries where the woman takes her husband’s last name.

Typically a Spanish name is made up of 2 last names. The first last name is from the father, and the second is from the mother. After marriage, this remains the same. When the couple has children, they will give each a last name.

16. Sequidillas Manchegas

The Sequidillas Manchegas is a Spanish folk dance that is often seen as a traditional wedding dance. The dance is traditionally done by the bride and groom and their parents and grandparents. To initiate the dance, the wedding guests pay the bride.

A typical variant of the dance originates from the Spanish region of La Mancha. The dance symbolises the couple’s new life together, and it is also seen as a way to wish the couple good luck and happiness.

17. Extravagant partying

At a Spanish wedding reception, it is not uncommon for a big wedding party. This can include drinking, dancing, and even singing. There may also be a band or DJ playing music throughout the night.

The goal is for the guests to have a good time and celebrate the new marriage. Often, the reception will go on until the early hours of the morning.

18. Head table of six

The last Spanish wedding tradition we discuss is the head table at a Spanish wedding reserved for the bride, groom, and their parents.

The head table of six is a way to symbolise the union of the two families, and it is seen as a way to show respect to the elders.

A word on Spanish Wedding traditions

We hope you enjoyed reading the unique Spanish wedding traditions that exist. While some of these traditions are slowly changing, they still provide a glimpse into the culture and customs of Spain.

If you plan on marrying in Spain, maybe due to the Spanish climate, adding one of these traditions to your dream wedding will surely make it even more special.

If you are looking to get married in Spain, there are a few things you need to know. This article aims to describe everything you might need to know about marriage in Spain; next to this, we answer some frequently asked questions at the end.

History of marriage in Spain

In the past, marriages were an arrangement by parents or other relatives. They used marriage markets to find potential spouses for their children. These markets were places where people could go to look for a spouse. The bride and groom did not have a lot of say in who they married. Next, demographic, economic, and religious factors also influenced marriage.

Marriage used to be primarily a way to consolidate property and create alliances between families, and getting married was often a way to increase one’s social status.

In the painting “The Spanish Wedding” by Fortuny, you can witness a typical Spanish wedding. You can see the marriage license or registry signing that is done after the ceremony in this painting by Fortuny.

Because Spain used to be a religious country, people married in a church. The Catholic Church was the most important institution in Spain, and it controlled many aspects of society, including marriage.

The Catholic Church believed that marriage was a sacrament, which meant that it was a holy union between a man and woman. The church also believed that marriage was for life, so divorce was nearly impossible.

Marriage in present days

Nowadays, more and more couples (especially in the major cities) choose to have a civil ceremony rather than a religious one. Since Franco died in 1975, the Spanish government and the people have moved away from Franco’s push for Catholic values.

Now Spain is a secular country, and the government does not recognize any religion as being official. Around 1 in 5 marriages are still catholic marriages. In this way, attitudes to marriage are changing in Spain, much as they have in other European countries. As we know it, traditional marriage is gradually being phased out of existence in Spain because of this shift away from old ways of living toward more contemporary ones.

The country’s declining marriage rate and the rising age at first marriage among men and women illustrate how marriage is becoming less important to Spaniards. While depending on the year, the average age for marriage in Spain is around 37 for men and 33 for women, which is slightly higher than the average age in other European countries. Next to this, it has been somewhat rising over the years.

Couples nowadays face less social pressure to marry quickly, allowing them to spend more time looking for a partner, work, and enjoy themselves. Young people are also waiting longer to have children, which might also result from the changing attitudes toward marriage.

How to get married in Spain?

Below are the steps you need to go through to get married in Spain.

1. Choose what type of marriage you want

There are two types of marriage ceremonies in Spain: religious and civil. Spain recognizes both civil and religious marriages. Most marriage ceremonies in Spain are civil marriages, but you can also choose to have a religious marriage of course. Religious marriages can be Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Jewish, etc.

You must have all of the required documents for civil marriage and the consent of your church to have a religious marriage. Couples may marry in a religious ceremony following the civil wedding ceremony, and a religious ceremony recognizes marriage as a spiritual commitment.

2. Choose the location

Weddings that are both formal and full, including bridal gowns and the presence of family and friends, are often held in the town hall’s unique ceremonial rooms. These rooms have a beautiful view over the city or are located in historical buildings. You can also choose to marry in a religious place, such as a churcge.

It is best to start looking for one as soon as possible because they tend to be booked up well in advance. There are also many wedding planners available who can help you with all the details of your wedding.

3. Set a date and time for the marriage

The wedding date you will probably remember for the rest of your life. You will want to choose a date that is convenient for everyone involved, including your guests. Most people marry on a Saturday, but you can marry on any day of the week except for Sunday. Marrying often happens in the morning, but it is also possible to have an evening wedding. Season also matters when it comes to choosing a date for your wedding. The most popular months to get married in Spain are May, June, September, and October. People usually marry a year after proposing.

4. Check the requirements for marriage at the civil registry office

To get officially married in Spain, you need to get a marriage licence (matrimonio) from the civil registry office (oficina del registro civil). To get this licence, you must meet certain requirements, which defer depending on the municipality. For example, foreigners usually need to provide a certificate of no impediment (certificado de no impediment) from their home country.

Inquire about how old you must be, the cost, what forms of identification are required, and how long it will take before your license is valid (some have an application deadline of one or more days from when you submit).

5. Get the marriage licence

Once you have all the paperwork in order, you can apply for the marriage licence at your municipality. You will need to go in person and present all the required documents. The process usually takes about a week but during peak wedding season.

Typically, the officiator who joins you together will have a marriage certificate. On this certificate, they will sign, you will sign, and two witnesses will sign. The official will then file it with the court, and you should receive a duplicate.

6. Have the marriage ceremony

Once you have the marriage licence, you can have the marriage ceremony. This can be done at the civil registry office or at a church. If you choose to have the ceremony at a church, make sure to check with the church to see what their requirements are.

Spanish wedding ceremonies are typically very formal and traditional. A Spanish wedding tradition during the ceremony includes that the groom’s close friends cut the groom’s tie and sell the pieces to the guests to help raise money for the couple, and the bride’s pals would do the same with her wedding garter. A few different ceremonies may take place during your wedding, depending on the location and type of ceremony.

Frequently asked questions

Below are frequently asked questions about Marriage in Spain.

What is a marriage licence?

The marriage certificate is a verifiable, official copy of the wedding provided to the married couple after the ceremony.

What is a civil marriage?

Civil marriage is a marriage performed by the state, and it is not religious and therefore does not involve any religious ceremonies or rituals.

What is a religious marriage?

A religious marriage is a type of marriage that is performed by a religious authority, such as a priest or rabbi. It is typically more formal than civil marriage and may involve specific rituals or ceremonies.

What is the civil registry office?

The civil registry is a department of the local government. A copy of the marriage certificate can be obtained from the civil registry office. Foreigners married in Spain will be issued a civil marriage certificate, which is generally valid worldwide. You may need to have this certificate translated and/or legalized for use in your home country.

What are the differences between a marriage and a wedding?

A wedding is a type of ceremony that marks the official union of two people. A marriage, on the other hand, is a legal contract or agreement that is made between two people.

What is the difference between civil marriage and religious marriage?

Civil marriage is performed by the state and does not involve religious ceremonies or rituals. A religious official performs a religious marriage and does involve religious ceremonies and rituals.

Is same-sex marriage legal in Spain?

Spain was one of the first countries in Europe to legalize same-sex marriage back in 2005. Through a marriage, the pair can obtain various rights that are also open to couples who marry through a civil ceremony or religious marriage. As a result, they can adopt a kid, gain property and inheritance rights, as well as other rights.

How do I get married in Spain?

The first step is to apply for a marriage license from the civil registry. Once you have the license, you can have a civil ceremony or a religious ceremony. If you choose to have a religious ceremony, you will also need to have your marriage approved by the church.

Can foreigners get married in Spain?

Yes, foreigners can get married in Spain if they meet the eligibility requirements.

What are the benefits of marrying a Spanish national?

There are many benefits to marrying a Spanish national, including automatic residency for the spouse, access to social security and healthcare, and the ability to work in Spain.

Where are some popular locations to get married in Spain?

Some popular locations to get married in Spain include Barcelona, Granada, Madrid, and Seville.

What is a civil partnership?

A civil partnership is a type of relationship similar to marriage, and it offers many of the same rights as marriage. The main difference between marriage and civil partnership is that civil partnerships are not considered actual marriages.

  • For legal purposes, civil partnerships are not considered to be married.
  • Marriages are solemnized by saying a prescribed form of words.
  • Divorce is the termination of a marriage.
  • A dissolution order ends civil partnerships.
  • Marriages may be solemnized in a civil or religious ceremony.
  • A civil partnership is formed in an entirely civil manner. Civil partners can choose to have a ceremony (religious or civil) after their civil partnership is formed.

Civil partnerships are typically less formal than marriages and do not involve any religious ceremonies or rituals.