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"Paul’s extensive knowledge of Spanish has been an invaluable asset to me recently. When my husband passed away suddenly, Paul made himself available at all times to guide me through the difficult process of Spanish protocol. I could not have wished for a more helpful and sensitive friend during this tragic time.”
Jill La Pêche, Montejaque, January 2010

Four weddings ... PDF
Sunday, 08 May 2011 23:00

I attended a wedding yesterday, bringing my tally of bodas in Spain to four in 40 years. On this occasion, friends of ours, an Englishman and a Pole, ‘jumped the broom’ in Montejaque, where they are residents.

Tony, a retired lecturer turned walking guide, and Eva, a photographer and naturalist, met in Andalucía several years ago, fell in love and set up home together in the Serranía de Ronda . And yesterday Eva finally made  a decent man of Tony!

The civil ceremony, performed in the open air against a backdrop of mountain scenery, was led by the retiring mayor of Montejaque, Miguel Alza Hiraldo, with friends from Spain, England, Scotland, Columbia, Germany and Finland in attendance.

The reception was held in the delightful Hotel Molino del Santo in nearby Benaoján Estación.

As for the other weddings, the first was in 1970 in a village church near San Sebastián in the Spanish Basque Country. On that occasion, Santi, a banker friend, married his sweetheart Lourdes. We arrived two hours late for the ceremony because of horrendous traffic, only to find that the bride and groom had had the same problem and had only managed to get there moments before. All went well after that and the last I heard the couple are still together with two grown-up children.

My second boda took place on Tenerife in the Canary Islands in 1991. We met Candy and Carlos at a picnic site on the island one Sunday in February of that year and instantly became good friends. We were surprised when we were invited to their wedding a few months later, but delighted. The ceremony took place in the in the magnificent cathedral in La Orotava and was very ostentatious, which is often the Spanish way. There were hundreds of guests, all of whom seemed to be at the wedding meal afterwards. We thought we'd be tucked away in a corner somewhere, but no, we were astonished to find ourselves seated at the top table alongside the couple!

Unfortunately, despite quickly having a little daughter, the couple split up fairly soon afterwards.

Wedding number three was in Ronda in 2006. Becky, the Welsh-born daughter of my then girlfriend, married Graham, her Scottish boyfriend, in a civil ceremony in the beautiful surroundings of the Palacio de Mondragón. Dressed in his traditional tartan kilt, and with three ushers in similar attire, they created quite a stir in town that day in May. To this day a picture of the bride and groom still graces the photographer's shop on Calle Espinel in Ronda. The couple now live in the North West of England and had their first child last year.

It’s unlikely that Tony and Eva will start a family – he’s even older than I am – but their marriage looks set to last a long time!

¡Vivan los novios!

© Paul Whitelock

See also:

One thing leads to another ... 2 - Wedding in Tenerife

Two weddings and a funeral ...

Wedding in Ronda 2006

Tags: wedding, boda, Montejaque, Ronda, Andalucíá, Serranía de Ronda, getting married in Spain, getting married in Ronda, Hotel Molino del Santo, San Sebastián, wedding in Tenerife, Canary Islands, La Orotava, Palacio de Mondragón, paul whitelock,



0 #4 2011-05-21 07:12
Sorry, Eva. You're absolutely right. That's the trouble when one wallows around in clichés!
+1 #3 2011-05-20 18:59
Hi, Paul, got to get the facts straight, it was actually the Pole who made an honest man out of Tony
0 #2 2011-05-10 08:19
Yep - it was the same at the first wedding in San Sebastián, although I was young enough to cope back in those days. Thankfully, last Saturday's festivities ended at a more sensible time, in keeping with the age of most of us!
0 #1 2011-05-09 13:58
I went to my friends wedding in Cataluña many years ago, whenthe priest found out that I as witness was fromthe Uk insisted on stopping the ceremony to introduce me to the organ player who was American. The embarassing thing was that I arrived with a canteen of Sheffield cutlery as a wedding gift not realizing that you dont give presents in Spain. The fuss that was made by everyone was a bit OTT. Otherwise great day but I couuldn't keep up when they all decided to go dancing at 2 am.

Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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