A Saturday this month, I was honored to be invited to a wedding. I have known the bride, my friend, since August 2011, so her wedding was almost the mark of our 6 years of friendship. She is German and, therefore, the wedding was in Germany with all her family and friends.
Another friend of ours, we all met at the same time in Salamanca, Spain, was there as well. It was a bit comically as, I am a North American, my friend is from Japan, and the bride is German, but yet our language of choice was Spanish and not English. Not that it helped my friend (M) and I since we don’t understand German at all.
It was a beautiful wedding and the bride was absolutely radiant.
I have not been to many weddings as most of my friends have not entered that stage, but from my few, I’ve noticed some differences between American weddings and this German wedding.
Besides the obvious language difference, after the ceremony, they had little finger food snacks inside the church. Which was strange for me as I was raised to not eat in church besides the Eucharist.
It was cool to see the ceremony because the bride is Protestant and the groom is Catholic so they had a minister and a priest conducting the ceremony.
As a fun fact: In Germany, when you get married in a church, it isn’t legal. You still need to go to the government building and get married in front of a judge. The bride told me it takes 15 minutes. My Japanese friend confirmed this also occurs in Japan, though they aren’t very religious so most don’t even have a religious ceremony.
I think I confused a lot of the locals since I was asking for a location that was not a tourist site at all. After some confusion at the bus station I made my way to the small town and entered a hotel that M had made arrangements with to get ready there.
They were super nice, giving me a room free of charge and offering breakfast and coffee. I quickly changed in the room and tried touching as little as possible so they didn’t have to clean too much. This was a splendid arrangement because then I could just walk across the street to the church versus getting ready at the train station and taking the bus in full wedding gear.
The reason I had to get ready like this was because I took a night bus prior and arrived the morning of the wedding. M also had the same problem and I met her at the hotel.
When we entered the church, we felt a bit out of place as we were one of the few people that were dressed elegantly. Many people had jeans, some dressed all in black. We were a bit confused as we looked at several elderly people dressed with everyday house sweaters. But the mother of the bride was dressed formally and that reassured us we weren’t too overdressed.
Actually, as an only child of an only child of an only child, big families intrigue me. The families of both the bride and the groom have similar facial features- it was very interesting. It makes me wonder what the children will look like of two individuals with strong dominant features- which side the child will look more like. It made me wonder about my own family or families of my friends from home, if there were dominant features amongst the members.
After the ceremony, we went to where the party was held and had coffee and cake/cupcakes. All was delicious. As I was just on a night bus and didn’t sleep well the night before, I had a lot of coffee, haha.
The decorations were beautiful and the bride was forethinking in that she seated us with friends she knew spoke English well.
There were no special dances or speeches, but there were some activities and the open bar allowed guests to practice their Mojito making.
The bride told me that in Germany, traditionally, when the couple is engaged, both wear rings on the left ring finger, but then when they get married they switch it to their right. Now, with American Hollywood, some of started giving engagement rings.
It was a great experience and such an honor to be part of my friend’s beautiful day.
Cheers to love!