We are finishing up the planning of our wedding day. The 30th of October is the big day and from around 5 in the afternoon the photographers will be at the Parador hotel in Alcala de Henares, Madrid. We are planning to start making some pictures with family and friends at this time. We would like to request that our guests are at the Parador in Alcala around 5. About a half an hour later at 5:30 we plan to slowly walk towards the city hall. My parents, Bert, Sally and Annabel should be a bit earlier so they can help me get dressed (also subject to lots of pictures)
At 6 we have the reception at the Alcala city hall. This will take about an hour. During the ceremony there will be a civil servant reading a few lines and we will give each other a shiny ring (that if all goes well will be given to us by little Lucas, the son of our moth faithful visitors from Holland, Rogier and Barbara) and there will be a few people reading a little text. These people are an uncle of Ana, a nephew of Ana, our mutual friend Miguel and my brother Bert. Bert will be reading something in Dutch and hopefully there will be a translation of the rest of the texts. After this hour we´ll finally be married and the party will start.
After leaving the city hall Ana and I will go and make some pictures. Afterwards will head over to the Parador (close to all the festivities). In the Parador we arranged for a cocktail start will start at 8. While our guests enjoy the cocktail Ana and I will be getting some more pictures taken, and afterwards we will join the festivities.
Around 9/9:30 the diner will start and will last until midnight. Afterwards there will be a party until around 3 in the morning. At the end of the evening we will say goodbye to our guests and maybe we will visit some nearby bar, if there are still people interested in more partying, but that all depends on the situation.
In Spain a wedding seen as a perfect occasion to really dress up. Of course everybody is welcome in whatever they find comfortable, but the Spanish like to dress up fancy, suits, ball dresses, lots of jewelry and lots of shiny pretty things. It is nice to experience some time. Expect most Spanish to speak very little English. Some will speak English quite well, but this will generally be the younger generation. The number of visitors will be around 110 persons.
Before starting the diner there will be a table arrangement make public. The bride and groom will be at the main table together with their parents (sometimes ever on top of a little stage), and the rest of the visitors will be located around the main table. We have chosen for quite a normal diner. Normally during a Spanish wedding an outrageous amount of food will be served, but we prefer to keep things ‘normal’. Before diner a lot of appetizers will be available and then the diner will have a main dish with fish and white wine, a cocktail, a main dish with meat and red wine and a desert. I understand the timetables are very different to Dutch customs, but for once if should not pose a problem.
During diner it is not strange (and should be expected) that a random guest from a random table starts the shout. This person will probably shout something like ‘Que se besen!’, which implies ‘Kiss!’. Afterwards the recently married will kiss each other and afterwards the people will relax and quiet down.
After diner we dance, and the bride and groom will start the dance. Seeing I have two left feet the dance will probably not be something to remember for a long time, but still, I will try my best.