Spain may have wedding day timings that differ from your home country, as, of course, each country has its own traditions and climate that affect how the wedding day timing works. In this blog, we will explain in further detail the likely timings for a Spanish Destination wedding, allowing you to fully understand how your special day will run during each significant part. In addition, it allows you to have a clearer understanding of what the vendors are offering and give you a greater insight into their pricing.
Timing for your wedding ceremony
In general, Spanish wedding destination ceremonies start-times will depend on the time of the year when the ceremony will be held. If you are hosting a glorious spring wedding, then we would recommend starting the ceremony anytime from 1200-1700 so you can enjoy the most of the spring sun. For stunning summer weddings, it is ideal to wait until 1730-1830 to start the ceremony as it is often very hot during the today and of course you want your guests to enjoy all of the beautiful ceremony! For breathtaking autumn weddings, the timings will be similar to spring, with the ceremony starting mid-afternoon, while cozy winter weddings, should start around 12:00-1400 to fully enjoy the winter sun!
Couples who choose to have a destination wedding in Spain, in general, have two options for the ceremony:
- Symbolic Ceremony: A symbolic ceremony normally lasts 20 to 30 minutes.
- Religious ceremonies: A religious ceremony will last approximately at least one hour. This can, of course, vary with the type of ceremony you wish to have, with some religious ceremonies lasting up to 2 hours.
It is important to note that the duration of the ceremony, both symbolic and religious, is dependent on what you wish to incorporate into them. These may include but are not limited to, readings, traditions, etc. which may cause your ceremony to be longer than the times mentioned above.
Timing for your Cocktail Hour
The Cocktail is normally 1.5-2 hours long and is truly one of the most enjoyable parts of the day! The cocktail hour allows you and your new husband/wife to take time out and enjoy your couple´s photos together! Make sure you build in around 30 minutes to your wedding schedule to fully enjoy your photoshoot. If possible, try not to go over 30 minutes so you can mingle and spend time with your guests and, of course, enjoy the delicious food and drink that you have specially chosen for your Spanish Destination wedding!
Timing for your Reception
The reception, in general, lasts 2.5-3 hours and in most cases is a seated affair. Spaniards are very passionate about the food for their wedding day and want to enjoy every course! Talking about courses, a typical reception has four/five courses. A starter/main course/ palette cleanser (optional)/ followed by dessert and coffee/tea and petit fours. It is truly a gastronomic experience that your guests will never forget! Just something to keep in mind is that, in general, the guests will have the dishes that you have chosen during your menu tasting, but, of course, for any guests that have special dietary requirements, this is of course no problem. Just make sure your caterers are aware beforehand.
In general, most couples choose to give their speeches during the dinner. We would recommend not having speeches between the starter and main course as sometimes speeches run over the time expected and your guests may get hungry! So discuss this with your wedding planner and vendors to ensure that all the speeches take place without a hitch ad there are no delays affecting the food and drink service!
Unlike some cultures, there is not normally dancing during the reception at a wedding held in Spain. However, this can of course be included as part of it and should be mentioned at the start of discussions with your wedding planner and catering vendor.
Surely one of the most important parts of the wedding day – the party! After the reception, guests move into the space where the party will take place! The party normally lasts a minimum of three hours, however, in most venues, you can extend the end time of the wedding day until 0400-0500am!
Finally, we hope this breakdown of the timing for a Spanish Wedding Day is useful for you in planning your destination wedding here in Spain. Of course, if you wish to adapt any rituals or traditions from your home country, vendors will be excited to make this happen! One important thing to note is that you should make sure you explain in advance to your wedding planner and/ or vendors your specific requests to ensure they know exactly what you want!
For more wedding inspiration, check out our blog post 6 Tips to Choosing a Wedding Venue.
Do you have any questions on how we can help you plan your destination wedding – Contact us anytime! We will be happy to schedule an initial consultation and your wedding in further detail!