The tradition of marriage has undergone many changes over the years but it’s still going strong in the Spanish speaking world, especially Latin America. Christianity continues to be a major part of the culture, and with two of my best friends from Argentina soon to tie the knot, now is a good moment to share a few helpful Spanish words and phrases concerning weddings.
Just like English, there’s a nice little tease in Spanish used when plans to marry are revealed:
¡Vas a cometer el error más grande en tu vida! – You’re going to make the biggest mistake of your life!
Sometimes, if someone has concerns about the couple, they may say a common Spanish idiom:
Antes te cases, mira lo que haces – Before you get married, watch what you’re doing
Not exactly one of the most romantic Spanish phrases!
The Spanish phrase for a wedding is: una boda, and there are two phrases commonly used for marriage: el matrimonio and el casamiento.
The bride and groom are los novios, el novio and la novia respectively. A bridesmaid is: una dama de honor, el padrino is the best man, two more simple Spanish phrases to add to your ever growing vocab.
Of course, the perfect couple – la pareja perfecta – will need to exchange rings – los anillos de la boda – as a symbol of their unending love. One tradition you’ll probably come across at weddings throughout the Hispanic world is the groom handing over thirteen gold coins – los trece monedas de oro – to the bride.
The gold coins are referred to as: arras and are a sign of the grooms complete confidence in his bride, signifying his support for her. Furthermore, the thirteen golden coins represent Christ and his 12 apostles. After los novios have completed los votos – the vows – the gold coins will be passed to the bride.
When the happy couple come out of the church, be prepared for a quite a different scenario than usual. They are not showered with confetti but greeted with petardos – firecrackers, which makes the exit from the church a tad more lively!
One slight difference to English is that in Spanish, you are married with someone and not to them. For example:
Estoy casada con Ricardo – I’m married to Ricardo – Esteban está casado con Montse – Esteban is married to Montse.
To simply state “I’m married” can be a tad confusing, as both the Spanish words for I am – estoy and soy – are used in this context as it is dependent on how a particular person regards marriage as a temporary stage or a permanent one.
That’s a small selection of common Spanish phrases about marriage that are nice and easy to learn. They’ll give your vocabulary more depth and give you a useful insight into Hispanic culture too!
About the Author
Barcelona-based Peter Christian is the author of Streetwise Spanish – How To Confidently Plug-In To The Language and Culture Of The Hispanic World. He possesses an enthusiasm for colorful Spanish language and Hispanic culture and enjoys sharing his knowledge to help like-minded people add an authentic, polished edge to their Spanish vocabulary.