Wedding party at the castle

Photo by  Sarah Natasha Photography

 This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

In  the United States, the average wedding cost nearly $34,000 in 2019. Some families have “wedding funds,” but the majority of couples go into debt planning their wedding, hoping gifts would cover some of the bills to come. If only there was a way to celebrate the big day in an even bigger way you could have ever dreamed.

Castillo de Almodóvar del Río in Córdoba Spain

Castillo de Almodóvar del Río in Córdoba, Spain.  Photo by  Sarah Natasha Photography

Two co-founders of The Manly Man Company did just that. Jacquie and Greg Murray were able to celebrate their love in the most extravagant and memorable way, while still making intelligent financial decisions. Many couples are in debt the first few years of their marriage paying off their wedding. These two were cleared, paving a clear path for them to move onto their next adventure– The Manly Man Company®.

Wed in a Castle – El Castillo Almodóvar del Río – Córdoba

Road to Castillo de Almodóvar

View from unpaved parking lot where buses took the wedding party before transitioning to vans that could travel up the small,l winding road to Castillo de Almodóvar– just one clear indication why this castle was never successfully sieged. Photo by Sarah Natasha Photography

Friends and family joined Jacquie and Greg in celebrating their love in Cordoba, Spain. From that evening to early next morning, El Castillo Almodóvar del Río was theirs. The historical castle was outfitted for a modern wedding, fitting hundreds of guests leaving plenty of room for guests to roam and take unobstructed photographs.

Spain, and Europe in general, are abundant with castles and the histories that go along with them. Thousands of years of dynasties, reigning monarchs, treaties, conquests, and independence raised hundreds of castles all around Europe. Some castles are currently occupied by recent monarchs, others had been abandoned for years before they were restored and refashioned to accommodate tours, overnight guests, and different venues– from business events to weddings of all sizes.

The Murrays rented the castle for the entire night– from sundown to sunset to celebrate their love with their friends and family. The entirety of the venue was under the night sky, with modern decor, dining, and dancing. However, there were many parts of the castle that were left open to explore and take pictures. Guests were free to wander to towers, climb whirling staircases and even explore the dungeons– the incestual (yes… “incestual”) home of Cersei and Jamie Lannister… El Castillo Almodóvar del Río depicted House Tyrell’s home Highgarden in Game of Thrones, season 7 and also parts of Casterly Rock, the ancestral home of House Lannister.

Planning the Wedding Agenda

Jacquie and Greg hoped to share their entire Spain wedding experience with friends and family and created an itinerary of where they will be and when, including hotels and tours– even listing other hotels and things to do nearby. As the couple whisked away on tour, some joined them to other cities, while others went on their own– but ultimately, we all met up together in Ronda.

Sevilla

Nighttime view of Sevilla Cathedral

Nighttime view of Sevilla Cathedral from a rooftop bar.  Photo by Sarah Natasha Photography

Most of our time was spent in southern Spain. We connected in Madrid and immediately went off to Sevilla. While Sevilla isn’t as well-known of a city as Madrid and Barcelona, it has a different kind of charm. Sevilla is known for the perseverance of Spanish history and culture. For those fascinated with European history, Sevilla may just be your city.

Sevilla’s history and art is displayed in its many museums. In fact, you can even visit Christopher Columbus’s remains in Catedral de Sevilla. Catedral de Sevilla was built in the 16th century and remains the largest gothic cathedral in the world! The history of Islamic rule in Spain can be seen through the Moorish and Gothic architecture of many cathedrals, including Catedral de Sevilla. Originally a mosque, Ferdinand III converted into the cathedral that stands there today.

The Plaza de España is a gorgeous landmark right in the middle of Sevilla. The Spanish arches and peaceful pavilions surround the flushing fountains.

Skip the fancy modern hotels. Why travel to such a place of history to stay in a hotel that looks just like the one in your own town?

Ronda

Roman Bridge across the El Tajo gorge

The ”Roman Bridge” across the El Tajo gorge separates Moorish era old town from the 5th-century new town in Rhonda, Spain.  Photo by Sarah Natasha Photography

If you are planning on traveling to southern Spain, remember to schedule Ronda in your agenda. Ronda is one of the most gorgeous cities in Andalusia, Spain with its mountains, valleys, and rivers nearly untouched by man. Its most visited spot is Puento Nuevo (translates to “new bridge”) where the Guadalevin River has carved El Tajo Canyon– nearly 100 meters deep.

The view of the breathtaking bridge that runs across El Tajo Canyon can be viewed from many different angles. From the Plaza de Toros, you can travel on the Paseo Blas Infante to the edge of the cliff and creep along the edge of the cliff where you will be able to gaze down at the beautiful depth of the valley. Taking 42 years to complete, this bridge connects the old and new town separated by the long river and deep valley.

Ronda is also the birthplace of bullfighting. Your beliefs and ethics aside, there’s no denying the history of bullfighting is one to explore in Ronda– which still has ancient bullrings– the most famous being Plaza de Toros de Ronda, which has been standing since 1785. The bullring has since housed a museum dedicated to the history and influence of bullfighting to the Spanish culture. There is a catch! If your wedding guests would like to visit this museum, it’ll cost 2.50€ each. You don’t need to be filthy rich to enjoy the city. History surrounds it and just walking through the city is an experience in itself. The quick train ride (Renfe) from Sevilla to Ronda will average you 50€ /adult, which is not bad for a quick travel back in time.

Traveling in Style

Metro transit in Seville. Photo from Wikimedia

Before the days of Uber, there was a lot more planning involved in getting around. While staying in large cities, taxis were everywhere, and there was no need to schedule rides beforehand. However, the history of the country is so abundant in Sevilla, Cordoba, and Ronda, that you wouldn’t want to be trapped in a car if you could help it.

However, it’s tough walking from city to city, so the best way to travel was to ride the bullet train Renfe. A ride from Sevilla to Cordoba was about 25€/adult. The Renfe train takes its passengers all over Spain at nearly 195 mph! Don’t worry! It won’t feel like it at all! The train is quiet and rides smoothly. The best part about this was, it took just 40 minutes to travel 87 miles! If you’re spending time and money to vacation halfway around the world, every minute you spend there counts.

Neighboring Countries

While you’re in the area, if you have a country-count bucket list, you can also zipline into Portugal for a day or just for lunch. If you are a bit more adventurous, consider hopping on a ferry for a quick tour of Morocco. Be advised that you should do just as much research for quick side trips as you do for your main trip during your visit.

Wedding, Honeymoon in Spain for History, Romance and Adventure 

 Wedding couple on castle balcony

Southern Spain is one of the best places to travel with the love of your life. A fantastic way to begin your future with your partner for life is to explore history. Europe as a whole has so much history of victories, conquests, innovations, and innovations, no matter what country you are in, you will definitely experience a whole lot of everything. Everyone has different ideas of romance, and Spain has everything to cater to that. You may be in love with history, castles and all the battles won. Your first love may be renaissance art and the history that accompanies that in the museums that house it. You may be one who connects with nature and being away from man-made artifacts. Forests, valleys, rivers, and canyons speak more to you. Anyone can lose themselves and find themselves in Spain.

 

bacon rose groomsman

 Manly Man Co.® Bacon Roses dipped in dark chocolate given as groomsmen gifts for the wedding of Alison & Joey Roderigues. Photo by Lomonico Photography

Let Honeyfund make your wedding or honeymoon in Spain a reality!

Author Bio:  Ben Wynkoop is Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of The Manly Man Company®, which he joined during the first week of operation when high school classmate Greg Murray whom he enlisted in the Marine Corps with, called him to efficiently place their unique and intriguing creations in front of as many people as possible, online.

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