Wedding…¡a la española!

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This was not my first wedding. No, that already happened (actually, about a year ago). This was one, as deemed by one of Mario’s relatives, “de mucha etiqueta,” meaning fancy. Fancy as in top of the line food, with the reception in a beautiful country winery, lots of drinks, food, and dancing. Good stuff.

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Oh yeah, and they rented a Rolls Royce to take them to and from the wedding/reception. No big deal.

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Here’s where we were: Bodegas Monte la Reina, a relatively new winery located in Toro, Zamora, Spain. In case you didn’t know, Spain has turned me into a bit of a wine snob (at least when it comes to red wine), and Toro wine, while relatively unknown due to the immensity or Rioja and Ribera wines, is amazing. Do not miss it, especially a little wine that is one of my favorites for quality and bang for you buck: Elias Mora.

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After the wedding, held – of course – in a Catholic church, comes the cocktail party, wherein everyone dutifully waits for the bride and groom to arrive. Luckily, food and drink is always involved, and where there’s food in Spain there’s probably ham. This wedding just happened to involve top-of-the-line jamón ibérico, so moutherwateringly good that you can’t eat just one (slice).


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Say hello to Mario’s parents, Pepita (Josefa) and Jesús. They’re probably two of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, always willing to lend a hand or cook for you until your stomach threatens to burst the seam of your pants, not that I would know anything about that sort of thing. Pepita works for the government of Castilla Leon and Jesús is a schoolteacher (geography and history). When I say schoolteacher, I mean it. I don’t think anything makes him happier than teaching, even if he has to settle for teaching an American girl how to properly speak Spanish.

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This is Mario’s mother and me after we were given our parasols (sombrilla in Spanish) to block the sun. It was such a nice detalle (detail) as they say here. Isn’t it nice how they match our outfits rather well?

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After the cocktail party with lots and lots of delicious food comes more food. Are your surprised? First, we ate a refreshing salad of crab-stuffed monkfish, accompanied by fresh lettuce, tartar sauce, and shrimp. Next came a lemon mint sorbet, followed by the main plate, a huge tenderloin ox steak, cooked to perfection with a mushroom foie sauce. Last but not least, a hazelnut cream dessert accompanied by chocolate ice cream. Lest you think we were thirsty, no worries. There was lots and lots of water, wine (white and red), and Moet Chandon to finish off. Mmmm.

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As I’ve heard my American (girl) friends say, we weren’t mad. No siree.

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What’s that, friends? Open bar. I’ll say nothing except – gin and tonic. Classy, delicious, and a hint of lemon. No objections here.

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Then, after imbibing a bit, comes the dancing. Spaniards young and old know how to get down on the dance floor. No shame here, and I love it. Mario’s parents also love a good dance, and I love them for it.

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(L-R: Me, Mario, Víctor (brother), Manu (groom), Gema (bride), Pepita, Jesús)

Spanish weddings are quite different from the American weddings I’ve attended. They have theirs ups and downs, goods and bads, but who can say no to good friends, good food, and unlimited beverages? Not I. Not I.

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11 comments

    1. I think you may have me beat, Eric. Mine lasted 12+. I’m soooo glad my marido and I decided to have our wedding in Spain! I’m pretty sure none of our American guests have, or ever will, party like that again (me included).

      1. Ditto that. And I think that if we’d chosen to marry stateside, any Spaniards in attendance would’ve thought, “You call this a wedding?”

        Mmm… now I want some jamón…

      2. I can’t seem to reply to your second comment, so I’m replying to mine.

        That is totally what I thought too – my husband was trying to make the case for having the wedding in the States and I was like – are you serious? The Spaniards are going to fly all the way to SF to have the wedding end at 11pm! Do you know how disappointed they’ll be? That shut him up real quick ;).

        I just ate some empanada and manchego cheese. Not jamon, but close enough.

  1. For my Spanish/American wedding, I tried to take the “ups” and “goods” from both cultures :). I think it worked out pretty well – particularly the mass quantities of jamon, an empanada “recena” at 3am, and dancing until past 7:30 am! Olé! If you ever need tips on such a matter, you know who to talk to ;). Here’s my blog post about my boda: http://www.latortugaviajera.com/2010/08/one-upon-a-time/

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