I have lived over 20 years outside of Iran now and have been to many weddings in Europe. My friends wedding last weekend in Cadiz, Spain however was the first Catholic wedding I have ever attended. It was very traditional, elegant, and lovely. After a quick breakfast, I had a chance to even sneak in a couple photos of myself and then off to the Church to watch my friends get married!
The wedding ceremony was held in the beautiful Cathedral of Cadiz. The inside is decorated entirely in ornate and very detailed gold, with statutes of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ also made of gold scattered throughout the church. The Cathedral holds about 300-350 people and little children were busy playing rock, paper, scissors at the front of the Cathedral the entire time during the ceremony, blissfully unaware of what was happening.
The hour and one half ceremony began with prayers in Spanish followed by part of the sermon in English. The most interesting part for me was at the end of the ceremony once the bride and groom were pronounced husband and wife, everyone in the Church started kissing each other on the cheek. Since I do not speak Spanish, I had to ask my friends what was going on and why we were all of a sudden kissing one another. They told me it is because the Priest had blessed everyone and wished for peace upon all and so everyone starts kissing each other because it is spreading the peace upon one another. I had never experienced a ceremony like this before and I have no frame of reference of whether these are Spanish customs, Andalucian customs, or what exactly and it was quite funny at first but truly heart warming and beautiful.
After the ceremony finished, we escorted the bride and groom outside and showered them by throwing rice over there heads as a blessing and with wishes of luck and happiness for the future. Everyone then was ready to go the reception to continue the celebrations.
They then took the bride and groom away in this gorgeous classic car to await all of their guests at their vineyard reception.
Stay tuned for photos of the beautiful and extravagant wedding reception to follow in Part II of this post. In the mean time, have you ever been to a Catholic wedding? If yes, what was your favorite part? Write me a comment below and share your experiences with me :)