Monday, June 10, 2013

One Couple, Two Wedding Celebrations

Several weeks ago we celebrated our daughter's wedding in Massachusetts.  And then a week later we celebrated again in Madrid, Spain.  Two wedding feasts, two cultures, two weeks of fun!

The first wedding took place at the historic Pierce House in Lincoln, Massachusetts.  The Spanish side of our family considered this to be "very American" since we held the reception in a tent.  They had seen this in many American films and television programs, so I guess they are correct!  There were many American traditions such as dancing (including the Father-Bride dance), the tossing of the bouquet and garter, bridesmaids and flower girls.  It was a wonderful day despite deluges of rain and bitter cold.  Thanks goodness for tent heaters!

The second wedding feast took place a week later in the Plaza Mayor in Madrid, and was attended by grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles from Spain.  The groom's family also traveled to Madrid to be there for the festivities.  They learned about lots of new Spanish culture including food, music, and wedding traditions such as cutting the cake with a sword, the exchange of arras (coins given by the bride and groom to each other in a sort of "what's mine is now yours" ceremony), and music by medieval style troubadors.  We had another wonderful day! 

Here are some of the photos shot by guests at the weddings.  We don't have any of the professional photos yet.  Enjoy!

In Lincoln, Massachusetts the house was decorated with family photos,
including photographs of both deceased grandfathers on the mantel. 

The bride's father took this photograph of the bride and her attendants relaxing with a champagne toast,  just a few minutes before the wedding ceremony.  She is wearing a dress bought in New Hampshire, but after the purchase we found out it was made in Spain.  This dress traveled from Spain, to New Hampshire, to Massachusetts and then back to Spain again so the bride could wear it a second time for the relatives in Madrid.  Perhaps this is the most traveled wedding dress?  It is now safely back in New Hampshire, and who knows where it will go next after being cleaned and returned to the bride in Massachusetts.

The groom tied the wedding garter around a football,
and the unmarried men had to catch it!

And then in Spain....

In Madrid the bride wore a traditonal peineta (a tall hair comb) and carried a Spanish fan.

Javier Garcia, the bride's cousin, took this photo of La Tuna (a group of troubadours from the university) serenading the wedding feast in the wine cellar dining room under the Plaza Mayor of Madrid. 

The arras ceremony (exchange of coins) in Madrid, photographed by Travis Ianetta, the groom's brother.  The coins are poured into the groom's hands, and then dropped into the bride's hands, and she then drops them back into the groom's hands.  This symbolized their wealth being shared between each other, but the tradition goes back to ancient Spain when there was a "bride price", or before that when the Romans in the Iberian pennisula would break gold coins into equal pieces signifying the promise to marry.  

Our daughter and her husband chose to use the coins we had at our wedding in 1983 (a set of Bicentennial coins from the USA 1976 and a set of 1982 World Cup Soccer Spanish pesetas) mixed with coins from the groom which included USA coins and Euros representing the year they met, the year of the wedding, coins from each brother, and a Morrocan coin representing their honeymoon. 
Click here to read more about the Pierce House in Lincoln, Massachusetts:
Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. A wonderful post about two lovely celebrations!

  2. Wonderful!! What beautiful memories you created! Best wishes to the bride and groom for many, many happy, healthy years together!

  3. I love the story about the dress and the coins from you and all over for the ceremony. What a wonderful wedding on both sides of the ocean. Thanks for sharing, Heather. All best wishes to the newlyweds!

  4. This is so wonderful! I love all the traditions. I had to smile when I saw where the ceremony was in Madrid because I've actually been in that wine cellar dining room under the Plaza Mayor when we traveled with students in 2000. It was one of our dinner spots. I thought it was beautiful and unique. Best wishes to the newlyweds!

    1. This was the restaurant "Los Galayos", which is very similar to "Cuevas de Luis Candelas", and there are other restaurants under Plaza Mayor, including many tiny bars. Did you go to "Los Galayos"?

    2. I don't remember the name but it wasn't tiny. It was a described as a wine cellar and the pictures look like the same restaurant we were in. Whether it was the same place or one very similar, your pictures brought back memories of a wonderful time spent in Madrid.

  5. What a wonderful week of celebration. I have enjoyed sharing in your festivities from afar. Thanks for the stories.

  6. What great memories you've all made here with these weddings, Heather. I wish them all the best that life can offer. And, thank you for sharing your family with us all.

  7. Felicitaciones Heather, la novia debe recibir saludos pero los padres también, que seguramente estaréis orgullosos y felices. Preciosas fotos, precioso momento y precioso post. Un abrazo enorme!!!

  8. What beautiful pictures! May the bride and groom have a long and happy life!