How to Have a Mediterranean Wedding in Spain – 7 Insider Tips
Is it your dream to have a Mediterranean wedding in Spain? Well take it from me, that it’s a great option for various reasons and styles of weddings. Yet maybe you’re wondering, “Where do I even start”? My now-husband and I know first hand that it’s possible and even fun, especially when you know what to expect. It certainly was a dream come true for us and I’m excited to share how you can bring about your own Spain wedding bliss in an enjoyable way.
Whether you’re already living on Spain’s Mediterranean or planning to do a destination wedding in Europe, learn from our experience with these seven tips for a Mediterranean wedding in Spain.
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Our Mediterranean Wedding in Spain
Above Image – Yep, that’s us getting married on the Mediterranean in Spain.
To provide some backstory, we chose to have our wedding in Denia, Spain on the Costa Blanca. Our end of summer wedding took place on September 16, 2022. Eric and I had already been living in Spain for eight years and in Denia for six years, so we knew the town well.
Don’t be discouraged though if you’re coming from out of town, or out of the country for that matter. My goal with this article is to connect you with great resources and people who can be of help to you for your wedding in Spain. You can learn from our own experiences about what to do and what not to do.
#1 – Decide What YOU Want for Your Mediterranean Wedding in Spain
Above Image – The view of Denia’s Marina and Castle from our ceremony.
Hopefully you’re hearing this from others, but I’m going to state it here as well… Take time to determine what you and your partner really want for your wedding. It shouldn’t be about what your best friends or your cousins want, or even up to your parents or siblings. It’s great to take them into consideration, but ultimately you will enjoy your special day more if you stay true to your desires.
Make sure that you and your partner get on the same page as well. Do you want a small wedding, a big wedding, or something in between? Eric and I had just over 70 guests at our wedding, which we consider to be medium size. Try to determine your must-haves and as many details as you can at the start of your wedding planning. Otherwise, as is the case for any wedding, it can be easy to get swept up in the frenzy of the planning and what other people think once you get started.
This also leads us to our next tip, the timing of your wedding.
#2 – Best Timing for a Mediterranean Wedding in Spain
Above Image – We had our wedding at sunset on September 16, 2022.
How far out do I start planning to get married in Spain?
The timing of your Mediterranean wedding in Spain is not just about when the big day will be, but also about when you should start planning. I highly recommend that you start planning at least one year out from your wedding date. It’s becoming common for couples to plan even further out, taking anywhere from 18 to 24 months to plan their wedding on Spain’s Mediterranean. Can you plan your wedding in less than one year? Yes, of course you can. It just depends on your style of wedding and how over-top or simple you’re wanting to go.
Eric and I started planning our wedding in Denia only 10 months from the date we chose. The timing worked out well for us because we knew we wanted a simpler, somewhat non-traditional wedding on the medium/smaller size. It also helped that we already knew this area of Spain and had been living there full time for a while.
What are the best times of year to get married on the Mediterranean in Spain?
For the best times of year to have a Mediterranean wedding in Spain, September and October are ideal for the end of summer and fall. The water is still warm from the heat of summer, but it’s not as crazy hot as it gets in August. It also tends to be less crowded and with better pricing from venues and vendors. The same applies for your guests, and possibly you, traveling to Spain. Things like plane tickets and accommodations can get less expensive as you go further into the fall season.
If you’re wanting to get married in the spring in Spain, then April and May are wonderful as well and have similar cost benefits as the fall. Just keep in mind that those months can still have cool weather and rain, even being on the Mediterranean Coast.
Ultimately, if you really want to have a winter or summer wedding in Spain, it can be wonderful. Just keep in mind the factors involved. A winter wedding on the Mediterranean in Spain can be even more affordable and still have nice weather, especially further south on the Costa del Sol.
Above Image – We had two desserts, one chocolate cake and an assortment of miniature lemon cakes.
Should you have your wedding in Spain during a festival or holiday season?
No matter what time of year you decide on though, make sure to look out for local festivals. Spain loves its festivals and if you’re getting married in the middle of one, it could really increase the prices and complicate things. A lot of businesses close during festivals and holidays in Spain as well. So try to steer clear of having a wedding during a festival in Spain or holiday season like Christmas or Semana Santa in April (Easter).
If you’re wanting to get married in the Valencia region of Spain, be aware that their annual Fallas Festival every March 1st through 19th is a big deal and can wreak havoc on your wedding plans.
Your Timing Versus Spain Timing
Spanish culture is not known for being prompt, so set your expectations for handling delays and the unexpected. This means starting things as early as possible. Sometimes vendors are not as responsive as we’re used to in the United States, meaning you may be conducting more follow-up than you’d expect.
I know it sounds crazy, but don’t let this worry you either. Things can and do get done, it’s just that some vendors don’t provide updates about this like you would maybe expect. And of course, if you don’t speak Spanish, find someone who does to help you, which leads us to our next point.
#3 – Get a Wedding Planner for Your Mediterranean Wedding in Spain
Above Image – Our fantastic wedding planner, Maria Monllor.
I never thought I would be the kind of bride to get a wedding planner. Yet about three months into our planning, I realized that I’d be silly not to. First, I found that some wedding planning services in Spain are much more affordable than in the US.
There are a variety of foreign and local wedding planners on Spain’s Mediterranean Coast. Many of them speak other languages like English in addition to Spanish, and offer the option of full wedding planning or the day of services.
We are so happy with who we found and hired, Maria Monllor Wedding Planner. Being a local wedding planner on the Costa Blanca, Maria has wonderful resources and contacts for some of the best vendors in the area. She put so much work into the details of our wedding, even coming with me to a dress fitting and to various venue visits. We were especially impressed with how professional everything was handled on the day of the wedding. Maria had two people from her team with her and they had headphones to communicate with each other and keep everything moving smoothly. It went beautifully thanks to her!
Can a Travel Advisor help with a wedding in Spain?
Speaking of planning, your wedding in Spain is the perfect occasion for hiring a travel advisor. Having a travel advisor plan your wedding travels will relieve a lot of stress. We can get a room block for your guests, plan and book other travel details as well as special activities, and plan an incredible honeymoon. Being a Fora Advanced Travel Advisor, I can also get you special perks at the best hotels around the world. What better time to indulge in that than for your wedding and honeymoon!
Let Your Trip Be Your Vacation
Kick back and relax with my Custom Trip Planning Services.
#4 – Wedding Locations & Venues for Marrying in Spain
One of the biggest things to nail down for your wedding is the location and venue. The great thing about marrying in Spain is that you have a variety of styles that fit any kind of wedding theme and budget.
Themes for Weddings in Spain
If you want a historic, Medieval castle for a Game of Thrones style wedding, Spain has so many to choose from. Check out the Castle of Santa Barbara that sits right on the Mediterranean Sea in Alicante, or the castle in Peniscola or Malaga. Chances are, having your wedding in a castle in Spain is more affordable than a castle elsewhere.
On the other hand, if you prefer a modern style wedding on the Mediterranean in Spain, there are also a plethora of choices, like the City of Arts and Sciences in sunny Valencia. And let’s not forget the gorgeous monasteries, convents, and romantic vineyards that are practically around every bend throughout Spain! Many of them are also hotels.
Mediterranean Wedding Venues in Spain
Don’t forget to get creative with picking your venue. Depending on the size of your wedding, you can also look into having it in a nice restaurant or a private villa. Eric and I had our wedding ceremony and banquet on the second floor of an Ibizian-style restaurant in the Marina of Denia. Its large, open terrace right on the Mediterranean was perfect for us with the backdrop of sailboats, the Denia Castle and mountain Montgo right at sunset.
Finally, you want to take into consideration your wedding guests and how the location and venue will accommodate them. Here is a helpful, quick-reference list of what to keep in mind for a wedding location and venue on the Mediterranean in Spain.
- How far away from home will most guests have to travel, especially those who are older and closest to you, like parents and grandparents?
- Is the location/venue conveniently accessible from an international airport?
- Does the location have a good variety of options for accommodations or does the resort you want to use for a variety of room and price options?
- Do you have guests who have accessibility needs that need to be met, such as wheelchair access and enough seating for those who can’t stand for long periods of time?
- Can the venue/caterer accommodate any guests who are vegan or vegetarian, or have dietary restrictions due to allergies?
- What can the weather and temperatures be like in the location for the date you want to have the wedding?
- Can the venue accommodate a good plan B if the weather turns ugly.
- Are any festivals or major holidays going on that could complicate the location and venue?
- Does the location fit your style and have things to enjoy for other wedding-related activities you might want to have?
#5 Groom’s Suit & Wedding Dress for a Mediterranean Wedding in Spain
Above Image – The long skirt of my dress was removal, which I took off for the reception.
Throughout Spain, you can find all ranges of prices for the bridal dress and groom’s outfit. I feel like along the Mediterranean it can be more affordable than in areas like Madrid and the north of Spain. Of course, major cities in general can be more expensive, for example in traditional bridal dress shops in Barcelona.
In Spanish, the bridal dress is called the vestido de novia.
Wedding Dresses in Spain
What is really exciting is the affordability of having your wedding dress tailor made in Spain, which in Spanish is called ‘hecho a medida’. Of course, this is not really an option if you are not living in Spain already but for those of you who may be, it is worth considering.
After visiting three bridal stores, one in Valencia, one in Gandia, and one in Denia, I decided on the one in Gandia because they could custom make it for me from scratch. It even turned out to be one of the least expensive options from the many dresses that I tried on. The price was incredible for the great value that it was. And I truly loved it! They went off a picture of the front and back that I found online and made it just as I wanted. It was a wonderful experience.
Above Image – We didn’t have wedding parties, but Eric is seen here with my two younger brothers and best friend who officiated the wedding for us in English.
Groom’s Suits in Spain
For the groom’s suit for Eric, we tried several stores and found that it could get pretty expensive, almost right up there with the wedding dress. Eventually, we found a great company online out of Barcelona that makes suits to measure. We particularly wanted a linen suit which they do, and even my brothers got their suits from them as well.
I highly suggest making sure to order with plenty of time. We cut it very close because when the suit first came, the pants didn’t fit. We had to send them back but the customer support were so great that it was covered under their 100% satisfaction guarantee and they got started on the new pants before the original ones even got to them. It didn’t cost us anything extra and the new, perfectly fit pants got to us the day before the wedding! Like I said, we cut it too close. See our list of vendors at the end of this article for the company we used.
#6 Wedding Registries and Gifts for a Mediterranean Wedding in Spain
Above Image – Along with the other Sea Mandala decorations, Eric also made this large Sea Mandala as the welcome sign.
There are tons of options online for registries and gifts. If you’re living in Spain, they have them here as well. Many people nowadays are asking for money towards their honeymoon instead, which is what we did. We just don’t need more ‘stuff’ and prefer travel experiences instead.
If you’re having your Mediterranean wedding in Spain as a destination wedding, then asking for monetary gifts is easier as well. This way you aren’t trying to haul back actual physical gifts with you when the wedding is over.
Wedding Gift Traditions in Spain
Keep in mind that in Spain it’s very traditional to give money to the bride and groom for their wedding. Typically, it is provided as cash in an envelope at your reception/dinner banquet. So make sure that you have someone helping you to keep track of that as you’re enjoying yourself at your banquet.
If you live in Spain, it’s also customary to include your Spanish bank account IBAN number on your wedding invitations for Spaniards who want to transfer you their monetary gift. We did not use one of the many online wedding services for collecting monetary gifts since I build websites as well and set it up myself on our site.
#7 Marriage Registration When Marrying in Spain
Above Image – My custom made hair piece (tocado) was reversible so for the reception, I turned it around for the larger part to be at the front and I let my hair down.
If you’re living in Spain, then you need to register your marriage here, which you do with the Registro Civil in your town. Each area and region is going to differ some regarding their process for this. The key thing is to give plenty of time to the process and start it as early as you can. It can be a pain and may take longer than expected, especially since any documents that are not in Spanish have to be officially translated and certain ones apostiled. You may want to consider hiring a notary to help you with the process, especially depending on how well you speak Spanish.
Whether you live in Spain or not, we also recommend doing a simple civil marriage ceremony in your country of origin. In most states in the US, it’s so easy and inexpensive to get married at the local courthouse. While I used to think this as not so romantic, it’s way easier than dealing with the Registro Civil and will alleviate a lot of stress so you can enjoy your special day.
Vendors for a Mediterranean Wedding on the Costa Blanca in Spain
I hope that you’re excited and inspired to have a Mediterranean wedding in Spain! Whether your special day is a destination wedding in Spain or you’re living here, the Mediterranean Coast is an ideal area with plenty of locations and possibilities for your momentous day.
To further help you along, here are the wonderful Costa Blanca wedding vendors we had the joy of working with for our wedding in Denia, Spain. We highly recommend them!
- Costa Blanca Wedding Planner, Maria Monllor
- Lilian Segre in Gandia for Wedding Dresses on Spain’s Costa Blanca, in addition has tailor-made options.
- La Perfecta Julieta for Wedding Jewelry and Accessories in Valencia and Spain’s Costa Blanca – In Spanish, these are called ‘tocados’. I loved working with Edgar and Lola who custom made mine and did the perfect job! They’re based in the center of Valencia.
- Linen Groom’s Suit in Spain, made to measure by Hockerty
- Venue – Unfortunately, the restaurant Zahara where we had our wedding is no longer in operation! I know, it’s so sad. They had also provided the music and DJ.
- PhotoPlus for a Costa Blanca Wedding Photographer – They were spectacular! We are so pleased with their team of three photographers and the wonderful pictures they took for us. Very professional and fantastic to work with!
- La Posada del Mar for a Wedding Night Hotel in Denia, Spain – We stayed here the night of our wedding and night after, in their Suite Carabela. It was beautiful with a delicious breakfast each morning and a hot tub on the scenic terrace. As a Fora Travel Advisor, I can book this hotel for you at no extra cost.
- Yoanka Gallardo for wedding hair and makeup in Denia – they did a wonderful job on my hair and makeup and they use all organic products, even for the makeup.
- Flowers – this was arranged by our wonderful wedding planner, Maria, along with most of the decorations which she did herself. She also incorporated the Sea Mandalas that my husband Eric makes.
- Ana of Uh Que Bo for Wedding Cakes on the Costa Blanca of Spain – We’re still using her for birthday cakes now, they’re so delicious! And her cakes made with organic and natural ingredients to be as healthy as possible, yet beautiful and yummy!
- Tesla Love & Events for the Wedding Vehicle on the Costa Blanca, Spain – the driver was so kind, professional and prompt, and the car was amazing. Even before the wedding and when reserving, they were responsive and professional with communication. We highly recommend them!
- Bodas.net is a fantastic online resource for staying organized and sourcing countless great vendors for a wedding in Spain. It’s free to use and is where I found some of our vendors, like the wedding vehicle and photographer.
Written by Amalia Maloney Del Riego
Fora Advanced Travel Advisor & Content Creator
I love living in Denia, Spain and traveling worldwide. My idea of a great time is ‘eating and drinking’ my way around a new place and meeting the people. As a Fora Advanced Travel Advisor, I specialize in custom travel planning for trips throughout Europe, as well as scouting trips for moving to Spain. Here on MoveToTraveling.com you can enjoy our Europe travel resources to experience Europe and live in Spain.