a guide on how to plan a wedding in spain by a destination wedding photographer
Planning a wedding is one of the most exciting and challenging experiences a couple can have. The decision to get married in a foreign country can add an extra layer of complexity, but it can also make the event more memorable and unique. Spain is an ideal location for a destination wedding due to its vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and sunny climate. Whether you dream of a beach wedding on the Costa del Sol or a romantic ceremony in a charming Andalusian village, Spain offers endless possibilities for a truly unforgettable wedding celebration.
Spain is a country that has captured the hearts of visitors for centuries, and it's not hard to see why. From the bustling streets of Madrid to the sun-drenched beaches of the Balearic Islands, Spain offers an incredible range of experiences for travelers. With its warm and friendly people, rich history, and mouth-watering cuisine, Spain is the perfect place to celebrate your special day with family and friends.
In this article, we'll guide you through the process of planning a wedding in Spain, from selecting the perfect venue to organizing accommodation and transportation for your guests. So let's dive into the world of Spanish weddings and discover all that this beautiful country has to offer. As a destination wedding photographer, I am using all of my experience to help with the planning of a wedding in Spain with this extensive guide. So, let's get planning!
How easy it is to make friends in Spain!
My name is Leah and I am a destination wedding photographer who has shot weddings in Spain. I have been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time in Spain, for work and leisure. In fact, Barcelona is arguably one of my husband and I's favourite cities in the world.
I'd love to be a part of your wedding and would love help you plan your wedding in Spain. Get in touch and see if I have your date free...
planning a wedding in spain
WHY PLAN A WEDDING IN SPAIN?
When it comes to planning a wedding, many couples are drawn to the idea of a destination wedding. And what better place to say "I do" than in the beautiful country of Spain?
Firstly, the weather in Spain is nothing short of fabulous. While it may rain cats and dogs in the UK, Spain is known for its sunny skies and warm temperatures. Whether you're dreaming of a beach wedding in the summer or a cozy ceremony in the autumn, Spain has the perfect weather to suit your needs. Plus, with a climate that is mild and temperate all year round, you can plan your wedding without having to worry about extreme weather conditions.
Secondly, Spain is a country that is rich in culture and history. From the stunning architecture of Gaudi in Barcelona to the ancient Roman ruins in Seville, there is no shortage of beautiful and fascinating places to explore. You and your guests can take in the breathtaking sights, try delicious local cuisine, and learn about the unique customs and traditions of Spain. With so much to see and do, a destination wedding in Spain is sure to be an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.
Finally, a wedding in Spain is the perfect excuse for a holiday. Let's face it, planning can be stressful, but if you turn it into a vacation, it can also be a lot of fun! Your guests will be thrilled at the chance to take a break from their daily routine and enjoy a few days in a beautiful location. From sipping sangria on the beach to exploring historic cities, there is something for everyone in Spain.
If you've decided that Spain is the destination for your wedding, then congratulations! Before we start considering all of the aspects of planning, here are some of the first things to consider when planning a wedding in Spain...
Where in Spain should you have your wedding?
It's important to note that Spain is a large country with many distinct regions, each with its own unique culture, cuisine, and landscapes. From the rugged mountains of the Basque Country to the sandy beaches of Andalusia, every part of Spain has something different to offer. When planning, it's crucial to do your research and carefully consider which region best suits your needs and preferences. In your planning process, think about factors such as the climate, the type of venue you're looking for, and the activities and attractions that you and your guests will want to enjoy.
Consider the weather in Spain when planning
The weather and climate are important factors to consider when planning a wedding in Spain, as they can impact everything from the venue and decor to the attire of the bride and groom and their guests.
First, it's important to note that Spain has a varied climate, with different regions experiencing different weather patterns. For example, the south of Spain, including Andalusia and the Balearic Islands, has a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters, while the north of Spain, including Galicia and Asturias, has a cooler, more temperate climate. Depending on the time of year and the region you choose for your wedding, you may need to plan accordingly for heat or cooler temperatures.
Second, it's important to consider the time of year when planning a wedding in Spain. The summer months (June to September) are the hottest and most popular for weddings, but they can also be very busy and crowded, with higher prices and more limited availability for venues and accommodations. Spring and autumn can be lovely times for a wedding in Spain, with mild temperatures and beautiful scenery, but you may need to plan for the possibility of rain or cooler weather.
Finally, it's important to think about how the weather and climate might impact the type of venue you choose for your wedding. For example, if you're planning an outdoor wedding in the height of summer, you'll need to consider options for shade, air conditioning, and plenty of cold drinks. On the other hand, if you're planning a winter wedding in the north of Spain, you may need to look for a venue with indoor heating or a cozy fireplace. By carefully considering the weather and climate in Spain and planning accordingly, you can ensure that your wedding day is a beautiful and memorable experience for you and your guests.
How much does a wedding in Spain cost?
The cost of a wedding in Spain can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the size and style of the wedding, the location and venue, the number of guests, and the specific services and vendors that are needed. As a result, it's difficult to give a definitive answer to the question of how much a wedding in Spain costs, as every wedding is unique and the expenses will vary depending on the couple's preferences and budget.
However, as a general rule, a wedding in Spain is likely to be less expensive than a wedding in many other European countries, such as France or Italy. This is due in part to the lower cost of living in Spain, as well as the fact that there are many beautiful and affordable venues and vendors available for weddings.
To get a better idea of the cost of a wedding in Spain, it's a good idea to research venues, catering options, and other vendors in the region where you plan to get married.
Consider how the need to travel may restrict your guests
Planning a destination wedding in Spain can be an exciting and memorable experience, but it's important to keep in mind that it can also have an impact on the number and type of guests who are able to attend. Because a destination wedding requires guests to travel to a different country, some guests may not be able to attend due to factors such as cost, time off work, or family commitments. This can mean that the guest list for a destination wedding may be smaller than it would be for a wedding in the couple's home country.
Despite these challenges, many couples find that planning a destination wedding in Spain is well worth the effort, as it allows them to celebrate their special day in a unique and unforgettable way. By carefully considering the logistics and cultural factors involved, couples can plan a wedding that is truly magical for themselves and their guests, even if the guest list is smaller than it might be for a wedding in their home country.
WHERE IN SPAIN SHOULD YOU GET MARRIED?
PLANNING A WEDDING IN BARCELONA
Planning a wedding in Barcelona is an excellent idea for several reasons. Firstly, Barcelona is a city with a unique and charming atmosphere, making it a popular destination for couples looking for a memorable wedding experience. The city's combination of historic architecture, beautiful beaches, and vibrant nightlife provides the perfect backdrop for a wedding celebration.
Secondly, Barcelona is known for its world-renowned gastronomy, with an abundance of delicious food and drink options to choose from. From traditional Catalan cuisine to modern fusion dishes, there is something to suit every taste and preference.
Finally, Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage, with numerous museums, art galleries, and historical landmarks to explore. The city's Gaudi architecture, including the famous Park Guell and Sagrada Familia, is a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike. A wedding in Barcelona offers the perfect opportunity to incorporate some of these cultural elements into the celebration.
PLANNING A WEDDING IN VALENCIA
Valencia is a city full of character and charm, making it a perfect wedding destination. Known as the City of Flowers, Valencia is famous for its beautiful gardens and parks, providing a lush and romantic setting for a wedding. Couples can exchange vows surrounded by vibrant flowers, palm trees, and fountains, creating a magical and unforgettable atmosphere.
The city boasts a range of traditional and modern cuisine, from tapas to seafood and paella. The city's Central Market is a foodie's paradise, offering fresh and colorful produce and local delicacies that are perfect for creating a bespoke wedding menu. Valencia's wine culture is equally impressive, with vineyards and bodegas located within the city and its surrounding areas, providing an opportunity to savor local and regional wines.
The city's historic center is home to many stunning landmarks, such as the Silk Exchange and the Cathedral, and its Gothic and Baroque architecture. The City of Arts and Sciences is another unique landmark and the perfect location for a modern and sophisticated wedding. A wedding in Valencia offers a blend of culture, gastronomy, and history, creating an unforgettable experience for all.
PLANNING A WEDDING IN GRANADA
With the iconic Alhambra Palace, couples can exchange vows amidst a stunning backdrop of intricate Arabic designs, ornate courtyards, and lush gardens. Imagine your guests' gasps as they step into this breathtaking palace - it's sure to be an unforgettable experience that will leave everyone talking for years to come!
But that's not all Granada has to offer. Its rich cultural heritage and ancient Moorish architecture make for an unforgettable wedding destination. The Albaicin neighborhood, with its narrow cobbled streets and whitewashed houses, provides the perfect setting for an intimate and romantic wedding. And let's not forget about the Nasrid Palace, where couples can say "I do" in the presence of centuries of history and tradition.
And what's a wedding without delicious food and wine? Granada's Andalusian cuisine is a feast for the senses, with a range of mouth-watering dishes that will leave your guests wanting more. From fresh seafood to succulent meats, there's something for everyone to enjoy. And don't forget to raise a glass of local wine or sherry to toast to the newlyweds! With its unique blend of history, culture, and gastronomy, a wedding in Granada promises to be an experience that will be cherished forever.
PLANNING A WEDDING IN SEVILLA
Sevilla is a city bursting with energy and charm, making it the perfect place for a wedding celebration that is full of life and excitement. The city's unique architecture and vibrant colors create a warm and welcoming atmosphere that will make your guests feel right at home.
But what really sets Sevilla apart is its flamenco culture, which is an integral part of the city's identity. If you're looking for a wedding that is authentic, colorful, and fun, incorporating some flamenco into your celebration is an absolute must. From dancers to live performances, the passionate rhythms of flamenco will make for an unforgettable experience that will have everyone on their feet.
And let's not forget about the food - Sevilla is known for its incredible cuisine, and you'll be spoilt for choice when planning your wedding menu. Whether you're in the mood for delicious tapas, fresh seafood, or succulent meats, there's something to suit every taste. And when planning, don't forget about the famous orange blossom pastries - they're the perfect way to finish off a perfect wedding feast!
PICKING A WEDDING VENUE IN SPAIN
Picking the right wedding when planning your wedding in Spain is one of the most important decisions you will likely make. So be sure to consider the following factors when planning:
The location of a wedding in Spain is a crucial element that sets the tone and style of the celebration. Decisions such as whether to have a beach wedding on the Costa del Sol or a cultural wedding in Madrid will have a significant impact on the overall experience for the couple and their guests. Other location-based decisions to consider include the venue type, whether it be a historical building, a modern hotel or a rustic finca, as well as the local cuisine and culture.
The location also dictates the weather conditions and seasonality, which can be a factor in deciding on the timing and theme of the wedding. Ultimately, selecting the perfect location that suits your style, personality and preferences, can create a magical and unforgettable wedding experience.
SIZE OF WEDDING
When planning a wedding in Spain, the size of the event is an important consideration that will impact various aspects of the celebration. One of the most significant considerations is the venue selection, as the size of the wedding will dictate the size of the venue needed to accommodate the guests. Depending on the number of guests, you may need to consider a larger venue or even multiple venues to accommodate the size of the event.
Another factor to consider when planningis the overall logistics of the wedding, including transportation, catering, and accommodation. For larger weddings, perhaps organise buses or shuttles to transport guests to and from the wedding venue. Similarly, catering for a larger group may require additional staff and resources to ensure the smooth running of the event.
barcelona, spain photo by leah marie photography
Planning a destination wedding in Spain involves making key decisions around the venue to stay within your budget. To make the most of your wedding funds, consider the venue's location, size, and capacity. For instance, lesser-known regions may offer more affordable venues without sacrificing on the wedding's charm or beauty. It's also important to factor in the time of year, as peak seasons can lead to higher costs for venues and vendors. But don't worry, there's always a venue that fits your budget and wedding vision, so don't be afraid to get creative and have some fun with the planning process!
STYLE OF WEDDING
The wedding venue plays a critical role in the overall style of a wedding in Spain, as it sets the tone for the entire celebration. The venue serves as the backdrop for the wedding ceremony, reception, and all the photos, and creates a unique atmosphere that reflects the couple's personality, preferences, and style.
For instance, a rustic finca or a charming villa will offer a romantic and intimate setting for a more traditional or vintage-style wedding. In contrast, a modern or industrial-style venue, such as a rooftop terrace or warehouse, can provide a contemporary and sophisticated backdrop for a more modern wedding theme.
The venue's size and capacity can also impact the style of the wedding, with larger venues providing more space for grander decor and unique features such as dance floors or stages. The type of venue, such as a hotel, castle, or winery, can also set the tone for the wedding, creating a specific atmosphere that contributes to the overall style and ambiance, so consider this carefully when planning.
LEGAL REQUIREMENTS OF GETTING MARRIED IN SPAIN
I have placed this section near the beginning for a reason. Be sure to have a good understanding of the legal requirements of getting married in Spain before you get too far with the planning. Also, I am a destination wedding photographer, not a lawyer - so please do your own research!
The first thing to do is to contact the civil registry office of where you're planning to get married to find out about their local marriage laws and what documents you may need. After applying, you will be given a marital status certification.
You will likely need to present them with proof of your address in the form of a utility bill or bank statement. You will also need to download and fill in a CNI application package and send it in. You will be able to have a civil or religious wedding.
My advice would be if possible to work with a wedding planner who has experience of destination weddings in Spain. They will be familiar with the customs and legal requirements and can help you through that process. But always do your own research!
DO YOU NEED A WEDDING PLANNER FOR YOUR WEDDING IN SPAIN?
Planning a wedding is a complex and time-consuming process, and a destination wedding in Spain adds an extra layer of difficulty. While hiring a wedding planner is not necessary for every wedding, it can certainly help ease the stress of planning a destination wedding.
A professional wedding planner can help you navigate the local laws and regulations, language barriers, and cultural differences that you may encounter in Spain. They can also recommend trusted vendors and venues, negotiate prices, and create a timeline and budget to ensure that your wedding day is flawless.
If you are on a tight budget, however, hiring a wedding planner may not be feasible. While it may seem like an additional expense, a wedding planner can actually help you save money in the long run by negotiating vendor contracts and avoiding costly mistakes. That being said, if you have the time and resources to research and do the planning yourself, it can be a rewarding experience. The key is to be organised and thorough in your research, and to give yourself plenty of time to plan.
Ultimately, the decision to hire a wedding planner for your destination wedding in Spain comes down to your personal preferences, budget, and time constraints. If you are looking to have a stress-free and memorable wedding day, a wedding planner can certainly help make that happen. However, if you are willing to put in the extra effort and research on your own, you can still have a beautiful and successful wedding in Spain without a planner.
PLANNING YOUR OWN WEDDING IN SPAIN
CREATING A GUEST LIST FOR YOUR SPAIN WEDDING
Creating a guest list for your destination wedding in Spain can seem daunting, but with a little organization, it can be a manageable process. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you create your guest list:
- Start with a rough estimate of the number of guests you want to invite to your wedding. Consider the size of the venue, your budget, and any other factors that may impact the number of guests you can accommodate.
- Begin with your immediate family and closest friends. These are the people who you cannot imagine getting married without, so make sure to include them on your list.
- Consider any additional family members or friends who you would like to invite. Remember to take into account any guests who may be traveling from out of town to attend your wedding in Spain.
- Think about any co-workers, colleagues, or acquaintances who you would like to invite. Be mindful of your budget and venue size when deciding whether to invite them.
- If you are having trouble narrowing down your guest list, consider setting some rules or parameters. For example, you could decide to only invite people who you have seen in the last year or limit the guest list to immediate family and closest friends.
- Once you have created your initial guest list, review it and make any necessary adjustments. Remove anyone who you may have forgotten, and adjust the number of guests based on your budget and venue size.
- Send out save-the-dates to your guests, preferably at least a year before the wedding date. This will give them ample time to plan for travel and accommodations in Spain.
By following these steps, you can create a thoughtful and manageable guest list for your destination wedding in Spain. Remember to be flexible and keep in mind the overall vision and budget for your special day.
Traveling for a destination wedding in Spain is super exciting, but it can be quite daunting, too. But don't worry, I've got your back! Here are some top tips to make your travel planning a breeze:
First things first, check your passports and visas! Make sure all your guests have valid passports and the necessary visas to travel to Spain. Nobody wants to get stuck at the airport, so make sure everyone's documentation is in order well in advance.
When it comes to flights, it's all about convenience and cost. Check the airports closest to where your guests are coming from and recommend flight options accordingly. You'll want to consider flight duration, layovers, and of course, the price tag. Because let's face it, nobody wants to break the bank on flights, right?
Once your guests arrive in Spain, you want to make sure they get to their hotel or the wedding venue without any hassle. That's where airport transfers come in! Hire a local transport company to take care of all the airport transfers, so your guests don't have to worry about getting lost in a foreign country.
Travel insurance is a must! Make sure when planning that you advise your guests to purchase travel insurance that covers flight cancellations, lost luggage, and medical emergencies. It's always better to be safe than sorry, right?
Lastly, it's always a good idea to prepare your guests for the local customs and culture. Give them the lowdown on the dress code, dining habits, and any other specific requirements that they need to know about Spain. The more they know, the easier it will be for them to enjoy their time in the country.
So there you have it, folks! With these top tips in mind, you can travel to Spain for your destination wedding with confidence and ease. Let the fun begin!
planning accommodation for a wedding in SPAIN
The first step is to research available accommodation options. Consider the location of the wedding venue, the number of guests, and their budget. Once you have an idea of what's available, create a shortlist of hotels, resorts, vacation rentals, and any other options that meet your guests' needs.
Next, recommend the accommodation options to your guests. Provide them with a list of options, along with any relevant information, such as prices, amenities, and location. It's also a good idea to include a deadline for booking, so that you can get a sense of how many guests will be staying at each option.
If you have a larger number of guests attending the wedding, you may be able to secure a discount for bulk bookings. Speak with the hotels or rental properties directly to negotiate group rates, which can be a great way to save your guests some money and make your wedding more affordable for everyone.
When it comes to deciding where your guests should stay, it ultimately depends on your preferences and the needs of your guests. Some couples prefer to have their guests stay at the wedding venue itself, while others recommend nearby accommodation options. Consider factors such as proximity to the venue, transportation options, and the overall guest experience when making your decision.
As a luxury wedding photographer who has shot weddings in Spain, let me tell you that hiring a destination wedding photographer early on is crucial. I know I may sound a bit biased, but trust me, it's worth it to have a photographer who speaks your language and understands your vision for your dream wedding in Spain.
Having a photographer who speaks your language is essential because it ensures that you can effectively communicate your vision for your wedding photos. Clear communication is key when it comes to photography, and being able to speak to your photographer in your native language can make all the difference.
Booking a destination wedding photographer from your own country or who speaks your language also brings a level of familiarity to your wedding. You want a photographer who understands your personalities, so they can capture the essence of your wedding day in Spain.
Not to mention, destination wedding photographers like me are often booked years in advance, so when planning, be sure to book early is a must. That way, you can secure the photographer of your dreams and have one less thing to worry about leading up to your special day.
In the end, your wedding photos are the memories you will treasure for a lifetime. By hiring a destination wedding photographer who speaks your language and understands your vision, you can be confident that your photos will be everything you dreamed of and more.
Naturally, this is where I make my case that I might just be the best destination wedding photographer for your wedding in Spain. I have been to Spain more times than I can remember and some of the most beautiful weddings I've shot have been there. I'd love to use my experience and excitement for your special day to help you get the most out of it.
If you'd like to get in touch with me to discuss your wedding in Spain, I would absolutely love to talk to you about it. Being a Spain wedding photographer is always a dream. My experience will allow me to help you with the planning and ensure you get the most out of your wedding in Spain.
finding a celebrant in SPAIN
Finding a celebrant in Spain for your destination wedding can seem daunting, but there are a few ways to go about it. One option is to ask for recommendations from your wedding planner or venue coordinator, as they often have a list of trusted vendors they work with.
You can also search online for celebrants in the region where your wedding is taking place and read reviews from other couples who have used their services. Another option is to reach out to expat communities or forums for recommendations from people who have already gone through the process of planning a wedding in Spain.
Once you have a shortlist of celebrants, schedule a call or video chat to get to know them and ensure that their style and personality align with your vision for your ceremony. By doing your research and reaching out to trusted sources, you can find a celebrant in Spain who will make your wedding ceremony unforgettable..
Finally, be sure to ask about fees and paperwork upfront, so there are no surprises on your wedding day. By following these tips, you can be sure to find the perfect celebrant for your special day.
picking a dress and suit for a wedding in SPAIN
Picking the perfect suit and dress for your wedding day in Spain is an exciting process, but it can also feel overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you pick the perfect attire for your Spanish wedding!
Firstly, consider the climate. Spain is known for its sunny and warm weather, so you'll want to choose fabrics that are lightweight and breathable. Think about linen, cotton, or silk for a comfortable and stylish look. Also, consider the style of the dress and suit to ensure that they are suitable for the climate and your personal preferences.
Another thing to consider is the location and setting of your wedding. If you're getting married on a beach in Spain, you may want to opt for a more relaxed and informal look. A boho-style dress or a linen suit can look amazing in this setting. If you're getting married in a grand church or historic building, a more formal and traditional look may be more appropriate.
It's also important to consider your personal style and the overall theme of your wedding. Do you want a classic and elegant look, or something more modern and trendy? Make sure that your dress and suit reflect your personal style and complement each other to create a cohesive look. You may also want to consider the color scheme of your wedding to ensure that your attire matches the overall aesthetic.
Finally, make sure you feel comfortable and confident in your attire. This is your special day, and you want to feel amazing in what you're wearing. Take the time to try on different styles and fabrics, and don't be afraid to ask for advice from your friends, family, or a professional stylist.
By considering the climate, location, personal style, and comfort, you can pick the perfect dress and suit for your wedding day in Spain. Remember to choose attire that makes you feel confident and comfortable, so you can enjoy every moment of your special day.
Preparing your wedding guests for a destination wedding in Spain is a thoughtful way to ensure they have a great time and feel comfortable during their stay. One way to do this is by providing an information sheet along with the wedding invitations. Here are some tips on what to include:
Firstly, consider providing information about the currency and any financial matters. Let your guests know the best way to access local currency and how to avoid unnecessary charges when using their debit or credit cards. Also, provide information on the typical cost of meals, drinks, and other expenses so your guests can budget accordingly.
Secondly, provide information about the weather and climate in the region where your wedding is taking place. This can help guests pack appropriately and be prepared for any weather conditions. Consider including the average temperature, rainfall, and any other weather-related details that may impact their travel plans.
Thirdly, provide information on local customs and culture. Spain is rich in culture and traditions, and your guests may appreciate some insights on how to navigate cultural differences. This can include advice on what to wear, dining habits, and social etiquette.
Lastly, provide some suggestions for activities and things to do in the area surrounding your wedding venue. This can help your guests plan their time and enjoy their stay in Spain. Consider including recommendations for local restaurants, sightseeing spots, and activities such as beaches, museums, and nightlife.
By providing an information sheet to your guests, you can help them prepare for their trip to Spain and ensure that they have a comfortable and enjoyable stay during your destination wedding.
Oh boy, it's time to send out those invites for your epic destination wedding in Spain! Let's make it fun, shall we?
Firstly, choose a theme or color scheme that represents your wedding vision and personality. Whether it's boho chic, Mediterranean vibes, or classic Spanish elegance, let your invitations reflect your style. Your guests will be impressed and excited to receive such unique and fun invites.
Secondly, consider sending out "save the date" cards before the actual invitations. This gives your guests plenty of notice to make travel arrangements and ensure they don't miss your big day. And don't be afraid to make these cards fun and playful, too. They can be a great way to showcase your personalities and build excitement for your wedding.
Lastly, consider including a little something extra in your invitations. This can be anything from a small gift or a personal note to a custom map of the area or a list of things to do during their stay in Spain. The extra touch will make your guests feel special and appreciated, and it will add an element of fun and excitement to the invitation process.
So, there you have it, folks! Sending out your invites for your destination wedding in Spain can be a blast, and with a little creativity and personal touch, you can make it even more memorable for you and your guests. Now, let's get those invites in the mail and start counting down the days until the big day in Spain!
book your destination wedding photographer now
I can get booked up as much as two or three years in advance, so if you're interested in discussing me being a part of your special day, reach out now and we can discuss your special day.
I'd love to be a part of your special day and would love help you plan your wedding in Spain. Get in touch and see if I have your date free...