Latino Weddings

Balancing Bilingualism

Hey ladies,

My FI is Spanish, and there's just one person in his extended family who speaks a bit of English. My family is from the States and I'm the only one who speaks Spanish.

How do we do invites, ceremonies, etc? We're doing two weddings due to the fact that there are family members on both sides can't/won't travel. But, there'll be Spaniards at the American wedding, and Americans at the Spanish wedding. Do I just say "oh well" and let those out of their home country enjoy a ceremony in a foreign language? Do I translate my own wedding? Invites are expensive and small - one set for one family, another for his family? This could get messy :) 

Best of luck with all of your planning! 

Re: Balancing Bilingualism

  • edited December 2011
    We are doing the entire event with a mix of Spanish and English.  We are not repeating word for word everything said.  Most of the ceremony will be English, but we have Mexican traditions, a prayer and a reading in Spanish.  Our invites will be printed with some in English and some in Spanish.  However, Our program will have both Spanish and English on it.  You just have to figure out what is important to you.  And, then don't stress about the details. It will all work out in the end if you are aware of the differences and try your best!
  • edited December 2011
    I think it is very nice for your guests if you translate the wedding ceremony at the very least.  When one of my besties got married we did this for the groom's parents (who were the only non-English speakers due to visa issues) and it was really appreciated.  Similarly, cultural traditions may need to be explained to the visiting guests.  (For us, this means explaining the lazo and arras to our U.S.-guests, as well as some of the Catholic traditions to our non-Catholic guests.)

    We are doing our ceremony similar to fam6, but I would like to have bilingual invites and monolingual programs, mostly because I want my guests to understand that this will be a bilingual wedding from the time they get the invites.

    Good luck!
  • edited December 2011
    You have a good point about using a bilingual invitation.  Our stationary is going to have Mexican artwork on it.  And, everyone invited knows that his first language is Spanish and my first language is English.  So, I would think that they would expect a bilingual celebration...but you can never be too sure.  Our programs, are made so that one way they are English and if you flip it over the backs become the fronts and they are in Spanish.  So, everyone will have the ceremony in both languages.
  • edited December 2011
    That is an example, not one of ours, but that is how ours will be.
  • halydiahalydia member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Really good solution for the program! I'll have to make up some sort of cultural guide for OOT bags for both ceremonies. Hey, I don't even understand some of the Spanish traditions! (And no rehearsal - eeeeeep!) 
  • edited December 2011
    Which Spanish traditions do you not understand?? I would make a point to learn about them now!  And, we are choosing to do a rehearsal...because otherwise I would be too nervous!!
  • halydiahalydia member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    My FI and his parents are already laughing that in the US we do rehearsals. He's already informed me he's just going to tune out during the rehearsal! So, there's absolutely no chance of a rehearsal for the ceremony in Spain. 

    I get the feeling my FI and I are going to have to sit down and explain wedding traditions. 

    I'm not Catholic, and I've only been to one wedding in Spain, so I have no idea about the pretty much anything wedding-mass related. My FI has assured me it's easy: "Just do what the priest says!" 
  • edited December 2011
    Well, if you end up with specific questions, I have never been to a wedding in Spain, but I know a lot about Catholic weddings and some of the international traditions, so send them my way...and I will see what I can do.  Is your US wedding before your Spain wedding?  If so, it will be like a little rehearsal.  I can't believe you guys are doing two totally seperate weddings, your plate is full!
  • halydiahalydia member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Both families asked for something to be done, and there was no real choice about having a "proper" wedding in Spain. We dared to utter the words "simple" and "civil ceremony" and I swear my suegra nearly killed me with a look. So, well, put up and shut up time for me! I'd rather do one event, but...

    The US ceremony will be before the Spanish one. Not legally binding (immigration in Spain is a headache, so I'll just do the legal bit there) but still a nice symbol. It'll be at my protestant church, so it'll be quite different in Spain. 

    I guess the biggest concerns for me are: Can my protestant father be our padrino in Spain? Are there any specific dress requirements in the Spanish Catholic church? (Sleeves, neckline)? What on earth do we do with the arras if we have no friends with kids? As a protestant, I do not take communion at my own wedding, correct? 

    And thank you for all of your input. It sure helps!!
  • edited December 2011
    My fiance said that the padrino's don't have to be Catholic to his knowledge.  But, he may have to agree to support you in being Catholic and agree to support you in raising future children in the Catholic faith.  I am sure they will have specific requirement for your dress, each church is probably different, so you will have to ask the specific church you are using. But, you can use detachable sleeves, or a bolero if you fall in love with something sleeveless, so just remember there are lots of options out there!  No, you will not be able to take communion at the wedding.  You might double check and see if there is a different tradition in Spain, but we are keeping our arras as a keepsake.
  • edited December 2011
    We are having a ring bearer and flower girl.  However, our lasso and arras will be presented by padrino/as during the ceremony.  So, you may have more options there than you think.
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_latino-weddings_balancing-bilingualism?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural Wedding BoardsForum:680Discussion:60af756a-9db9-4efc-af76-386360532fc0Post:3292a835-ce0b-4ccc-9b35-6f0bb32ed0dc">Re: Balancing Bilingualism</a>:
    [QUOTE]What on earth do we do with the arras if we have no friends with kids?
    Posted by halydia[/QUOTE]

    I don't understand this.  I've never been to a wedding in Spain (just Mexico) but the arras have always been presented by a friend or family member of approximately the same age as the couple and I've always understood that the couple kept them as a keepsake.  What is your understanding of how they do it in Spain?
  • halydiahalydia member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In my FSIL's wedding, the 3 year old son of one of her friends carried them. 
  • edited December 2011

    I am sure different families do different things.  The arras will need to be presented.  But, it is not important that they be presented by a child.  I think you could have anyone important to you present them.

  • halydiahalydia member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Good to know, thank you! I had wrongly assumed it was like the American tradition of flower girl/ring bearer. 
  • LadyMadrid08LadyMadrid08 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_latino-weddings_balancing-bilingualism?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:680Discussion:60af756a-9db9-4efc-af76-386360532fc0Post:cc0fad43-2c27-4fee-8f0c-be51b4eb2280">Re: Balancing Bilingualism</a>:
    [QUOTE]My FI and his parents are already laughing that in the US we do rehearsals. He's already informed me he's just going to tune out during the rehearsal! So, there's absolutely no chance of a rehearsal for the ceremony in Spain.  I get the feeling my FI and I are going to have to sit down and explain wedding traditions.  I'm not Catholic, and I've only been to one wedding in Spain, so I have no idea about the pretty much anything wedding-mass related. My FI has assured me it's easy: "Just do what the priest says!" 
    Posted by halydia[/QUOTE]

    <div>I got married in Spain and a rehearsal was expected and done the week before the wedding....I'm really not sure why they're laughing at you...it seemed pretty normal where I got married.  Maybe it's a regional thing?</div><div>
    </div><div>
    </div>
    Lilypie Second Birthday tickers Lilypie First Birthday tickers
  • LadyMadrid08LadyMadrid08 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_latino-weddings_balancing-bilingualism?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:680Discussion:60af756a-9db9-4efc-af76-386360532fc0Post:3292a835-ce0b-4ccc-9b35-6f0bb32ed0dc">Re: Balancing Bilingualism</a>:
    [QUOTE]  I guess the biggest concerns for me are: Can my protestant father be our padrino in Spain? Are there any specific dress requirements in the Spanish Catholic church? (Sleeves, neckline)? What on earth do we do with the arras if we have no friends with kids? As a protestant, I do not take communion at my own wedding, correct?  And thank you for all of your input. It sure helps!!
    Posted by halydia[/QUOTE]

    <div>You're father should be able to be your padrino no problem.  My athiest father was mine here in Spain.  I wore sleeves, but that's something you should ask your priest about to be sure because mine had no problem with sleeveless it turned out.  The priest should also ask you if you believe in communion and if you don't you shouldn't have to take it.  Your FI should have the same choice even if he is Catholic.  
    <div>
    </div></div>
    Lilypie Second Birthday tickers Lilypie First Birthday tickers
  • LadyMadrid08LadyMadrid08 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_latino-weddings_balancing-bilingualism?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:680Discussion:60af756a-9db9-4efc-af76-386360532fc0Post:d8766085-a6f3-4d79-b364-e1af3c4e2cc1">Re: Balancing Bilingualism</a>:
    [QUOTE]Good to know, thank you! I had wrongly assumed it was like the American tradition of flower girl/ring bearer. 
    Posted by halydia[/QUOTE]

    <div>Sorry for yet ANOTHER post, but I wanted to add that here in Spain I'm pretty sure the tradition is for a child to do it.  It may be different in other Spanish-speaking countries.  We had a youngish cousin bring the arras and another young boy cousin bring the rings.  Again, something to ask your FI and suegra...I'm sure she'll know.  :)</div>
    Lilypie Second Birthday tickers Lilypie First Birthday tickers
  • mizzicantwaitmizzicantwait member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    OMG!!! I saw these really cute bilingual invites online a while ago. Idk if you already have your invites done, but it was like a postcard, landscape "format" (I think that's how you say it... the postcard was wider than higher.. idk..lol) and it had the couples name pretty big and the location and address. Then on the left side was the invite wording in Spanish and English on the right.

    This description might not sound as pretty as it actually is.. I will try to find it and post it on here again!
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards