I was in Barcelona one summer a few years ago and am ashamed to say that I spent most of my few days there in bed with what could have been the worst hangover ever, in the least air-conditioned hostel room ever. And if this doesn’t sound enjoyable, it was only because the preceding few nights had been so very enjoyable! We put together this Barcelona Destination Wedding Guide to help you with all you need to know to get married in this vibrant city. Enthusiastic and cosmopolitan, Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain (after Madrid) with over four million inhabitants in the metro area.
It is a very temperate climate here, ranging from 10°C lows in winter to 27°C highs in summer (50-80°F) with average rainfall of about 80 days a year. The city is an important cultural centre and is architecturally beautiful, famous for its high concentration of Gothic buildings and Gaudi creations. There are so many things to do here, but we’ll talk more about them at the end. First let’s get in to the nitty gritty of getting married here, and look at some excellent places and people to work with in order to do that.
SPANISH WEDDING LEGAL REQUIREMENTS
We’re happy to announce that we’ve updated this info with all you need to know in our FAB Guide ✈ Legal Wedding in Spain.
Only Catholic religious ceremonies are legally recognised here. In this case either one or both of the couple needs to be Catholic and the ceremony will need to be in a church. The couple doesn’t however need to be residents of Spain. English-speaking priests can be found to perform the ceremony.
Although Protestant ceremonies are not recognized legally, it is possible to arrange an English-speaking Protestant priest to give a blessing ceremony. And since legalities will have been previously taken care of, this blessing can be performed anywhere you agree on with the priest.
For Jewish ceremonies, a marriage license will need to be arranged in your country of residence and a kettubah will need to be procured beforehand from your Rabbi. There is an English-speaking Ashkenazi and Sephardi Rabbi in Barcelona if couples do not bring their own Rabbi.
When getting married here, one or both of the couple need to be a resident of Spain. Civil ceremonies also need to take place in a municipal facility allocated for the purpose of conducting marriages, and be officiated by a mayor or councillor. If neither of the couple is a Spanish resident, it would be better to arrange the legal ceremony beforehand in your country of residence. This will leave you free to have an exchange of vows in a range of locations when you reach Barcelona. For more information see the Spanish government link to Marriage Registration.
✈ Santa Maria del Mar
Built in the 14th century, this eminent Gothic church has a light and spacious interior said to have the most slender stone support columns of any building in the world.
✈ Barcelona Cathedral
Begun in the 13th century, the cathedral was updated in the 15th century with a Neo-Gothic façade (below left).
✈ Sant Pau del Camp
The oldest church in the city and one of the rare examples of Romanesque architecture (below right).
(Where site links below have music I have used the “≤” symbol)
We have looked at four types of venues- exclusive use villas, hotels, other unusual venues such as museums, and finally some recommended restaurants. If the legal ceremony has already been performed in your home country, it is usually possible to have your exchange of vows as well as your reception in these.
EXCLUSIVE USE VILLAS
For a couple looking for Old World style, La Baronia is an elegant old castle about 40 minutes from Barcelona city centre. Views stretch from the village nearby of Sant Feliu de Codines to the skyline of Barcelona (see below). La Baronia is an exclusive use wedding venue and can hold up to 400, with custom menus starting at €70 per head. Lovely nocturnal lighting in the outdoor gardens and around the pool.
‘Masia’ means ‘manor house’ in Catalan. About 20 minutes form Barcelona centre, Masia Ribas is a Baroque family home which has been in the same family for eight generations. Surrounded by historic gardens, it is an exclusive use venue and brings in outside caterers for weddings. Here is a wedding at Masia Ribas.
Half an hour from Barcelona, Almiral de la Font is a rental villa built in 1582 that mixes modern comfort with historic charm. The house can accommodate 120 for a wedding ceremony and/or reception and can sleep 24 in the house. Almiral is situated within 300 acres of private grounds and surrounded by Garaf National Park, so there are dramatic views from every room. Heated outdoor pool and BBQ terrace are among the facilities and housekeeping staff can be arranged. This wedding reception was held at Almiral de la Font ≤.
Run by English-speaking owners, Casa Felix is an old Spanish country house that used to be a family residence. It is surrounded by vineyards, with part of the house dating back to the 11th century. A spectacular venue, it’s an all rounder with charm to spare. The house itself can sleep 30 people with 12 bedrooms. It is about 40 minutes from Barcelona airport. Here is a wedding at Casa Felix. ≤
An amazing view from this venue only 15 minutes from the city. Situated in Collserola Nature Park, Sol I Vida has a vast wooden deck terrace with a bar and BBQ area. The deck can be covered and heated in case of inclement weather. Caters for up to 90 and is ecologically friendly. Great fun for the kids with lots of space to roam, plus there’s a little organic farm with animals nearby. Here’s a wedding that took place at Sol I Vida.
Can Ribas is a peaceful villa situated a little under an hour from the city. Two large reception rooms can accommodate 300 or can be divided into smaller rooms for a smaller party. Definitely worth checking out their website as they have some really good photos. If you are having a religious ceremony and like the look of Can Ribas, it might be worth checking out Sant Miquel del Fai, an unusual chapel built into the side of a mountain.
A stately and impressive mansion, Bell Recó is situated half an hour from the city centre of Barcelona and has capacity for a reception of 490 guests. This wedding video shows a couple getting ready in the Miramar Hotel (below) and having their reception in Bell Recó.
HOTEL WEDDING VENUES
A contemporary hotel with a great showcase of Barcelona by night from the terrace.
Classy and elegant, the Miramar has different salons which can accommodate different numbers of guests ranging up to 250 for a reception meal. Exclusive use can be catered to also.
With an impressive glass outer structure, this hotel boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant. Funky and modern in design, it has city and sea views from rooms and the cocktail area. Here’s a wedding reception that took place at the Barcelona W Hotel.
Perched overlooking the city, the Gran Hotel la Florida can accommodate up to 140 for a wedding reception and has beautiful city views from the terrace.
This impressive castle lies just 20 minutes from the city centre. Said to have been started in the 11th century, the same line of descendants still lives here. There are a variety of indoor and outdoor options for your wedding with beautiful gardens surrounding the castle.
At an hour and 40 minutes from Barcelona, Castell d’Empordà is seemingly worth the trip for the stately castle rooms and gorgeous views. Caters for weddings of 50-220 people.
OTHER WEDDING VENUES
This eye catching structure is situated in Montjuïc Park with panoramic views of the city. The venue can hold up to 220 for a reception banquet. Have a look here at a wedding at Esferic.
An iconic Barcelona landmark, this museum is open to the public but also available for events and weddings. If you’re looking for a different kind of ceremony venue this could be your place, although it might be for those with a budget toward the higher end of the scale.
✈ Xalet de Montjuic Awesome views of the city from the terrace (photo below).
✈ Terrace la Isabela Right on the main drag of Las Ramblas, this rooftop terrace also has stunning views.
✈ Weddings in Barcelona Philipa
✈ Barcelona Wedding Clare
✈ Marry Me in Spain Carole
✈ Weddings Via Val Valerie
Check out the La Ribera area and the markets of La Boqueria- great for fun and colorful wedding photos.
✈ Ensu Videography The couple who run Ensu (Guillermo and Marta) have excellent English.
DRESS DESIGNERS (with shops in Barcelona)
✈ Group Limousines Have vintage cars too
✈ Mrs Q Design Studio Based in Barcelona
SIGHTS TO SEE
Guests will be spoiled for sightseeing opportunities here. La Sagrada Família (below) is a fantastically impressive church with a mixture of Gothic and Art Nouveau styles designed by Antoni Gaudi, with capacity for a congregation of 13,000. Tours are available for €4 and lifts can take you up into the towers for a fee of €2.50. It is possibly the most visited architectural site in Barcelona. Be sure to catch at least one of the Gaudí buildings while you’re here.
Stroll down tree-lined Las Ramblas, the lively pedestrianised main street with various merchant stands and street performers (below). The Palau de la Musica Catalana, a concert hall, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The building has amazingly ornate architectural elements and impressive stained glass windows. It has played host to many prestigious musicians and orchestras in concert as well as attracting thousands of tourists.
Visit the chirinquitos (beach bars) while strolling the shore and take in the Barcelona’s own Arc de Triomf (below) in the Old City (Ciutat Vella) district.
Tibidabo Park, perched overlooking the city, is a fun place for the little (and large) kids in your wedding party- see the photo below. It is worth a trip to Figueres, the town where Salvador Dalí was born, if you are an art fan. The Dalí Theatre and Museum there was designed by Dalí himself. At two hours from Barcelona, it’s a bit awkward to get to but might be a good excursion if you have rented a car. For a good list of quirky shops, bars, galleries and restaurants to check out, take a glance at this Barcelona feature.
Check Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona for ways to get to where you want to go. Buses running every few minutes cover most city routes from 5am until 11pm, with reduced service until 3 or 5am after this.
Metro: Seven colour-coded train lines intersect the city. Single tickets cost €1.40 and last for any amount of stops. Metro lines run from 5am-12am Sun till Thursday, until 2am on friday and 24 hours on Saturday. High speed trains run from Madrid to Barcelona and take only 2 hours 40 minutes.
Taxis can usually be flagged down on the street. A good portion of taxi cabs take credit cards as payment. You can book a taxi online also which could come in handy.
“Trixis” or three-wheeled cycle taxis operate March-November along the waterfront. They can take two passengers and cost from €10-18 for half an hour with children under 12 half price.
English ✈ Spanish ✈ Phonetical Pronunciation
Hello ✈ hola ✈ oh-laa
Thank you ✈ gracias ✈ gra-see-us
Excuse me ✈ perdón ✈ pehr-donn
See you tomorrow ✈ hasta mañana ✈ asta mon-yada
See you later ✈ hasta luego ✈ asta loo-egg-o
See you soon ✈ hasta pronto ✈ asta pronto
Goodbye ✈ adiós ✈ ah-dee-ose
Yes ✈ sí ✈ see
No ✈ no
If you have gotten married in Barcelona we’d love to hear from you. As usual any suggestions or comments for this Barcelona Destination Wedding Guide are more than welcome! A big thanks to Gabby from En Route Photography and Cathy from Cathy Loughran Photography for a load of useful recommendations. I was also kindly assisted by Philippa from Weddings in Barcelona, Clare from Barcelona Wedding, and Carole from Marry Me in Spain. Special thanks as well to Guillermo and Marta from Ensu Videography who shared lots of great information on vendors and venues around the city.