Experiencing a Spanish Wedding with My Host Family

Experiencing a Spanish Wedding with My Host Family

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a wedding with my host family in Lleida, Cataluña during my study abroad program in Spain. It is the capital and largest city in Barcelona, approximately a 7 hour car ride from Badajoz. We traveled in a progression with all of the aunts and uncles. We broke up the long car ride with bathroom and food breaks. It was fun to experience the interaction between the family members. Remembering stories, laughing and telling jokes, they really enjoyed each other’s company. One of the jokes was so good, I almost spit out the soda I was drinking from laughing so hard!

The hotel we stayed in was very nice. It had hardwood floors, a small plasma television and two twin beds, for me and Tato. I was a little nervous because we were going out to dinner to meet the families of the bride and the groom, lots of new people. However, when we arrived I was greeted by everyone as if they already knew me and I had been a part of this family for my entire life. It was very easy to relax and enjoy the night. I spent the evening eating great food and talking with Tato and his cousins about movies and Tato’s trips to America.

The next morning Tato and I met up with rest of our family at the church. While waiting, I took some pictures of the church and my family. The architecture of the church amazed me. The craftsmanship to build it and the history it seemed to contain, I couldn’t possibly do it justice trying to describe it. I had never seen anything like it. As I walked in, the inside was more beautiful than the outside. It was simply breath taking. Everyone gathered in the church and sat down as the wedding began. The bride and groom made their way to the front of the church, exchanged their rings, and gave their vows in front of the alter. It was a very beautiful moment for both families; many of the women began to cry.

The ceremony ended, it was time to eat. The reception was at a county club located in the middle of the countryside of Cataluña. Shrimp, steak, sushi, and many other foods were served as appetizers. It was my first time trying sushi since I was a kid. I hated it then, but trying it again for the first time in years I thought it was delicious, go figure. Later we gathered in the dining area for a large dinner, followed by the wedding cake for dessert. As dusk turned into night, the party really began! People began to drink more, wedding games were played, and the music began. In one of the games the bride and groom were blindfolded and took turns eating different foods, and then had to guess what the food was; it was very entertaining to watch. After the games, the dancing kicked into high gear and lasted late into the night. I had a great time and was surprised at how many American songs were played. All in all, it was one of the most fun experiences I have had in Spain!


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