Wedding Wish List – Some German Traditions, Please!

I know that we have only been engaged for five and a half weeks. And still we are already in the middle of our wedding preparations. We both didn’t feel like we wanted to wait a long time to get married and therefore we are planning a little party (just with our closest families and two friends as our witnesses) for April. We have learned that a lot of steps in the process of organizing our wedding take time. But I am happy to say that I believe we are about halfway done as we have got the groom’s suit, my dress, the rings, the honeymoon; we sent out wedding invitations and know who is coming when. Yet, there are many details that I never really thought about before.

The more I deal with our wedding preparations, I realize that I also would like to have a few German elements in it. By that I mean more than wearing my wedding band on the right hand and my engagement ring on the left. I would like to have a few German traditions on that day. Now this might not be as easy as it sounds. First of all, traditions are different in all German regions. Brides are never kidnapped in Northern Germany for instance. The other issue is that, while I am German, my boyfriend is American. He knows some German and he has also heard of some German wedding traditions from me. But his family has not. Neither do they speak any German. My parents on the other hand don’t know any English. It might be tough to explain to some very perplexed Americans why we have to saw through a tree trunk*. Besides, I don’t think Manhattan is necessarily the right place to find this game amusing. But I would actually love to saw the wood. I just guess I can’t be Sex and the City and rural Northern Germany at the same time.

After some research I have come up with a few ideas that everybody can most likely live with. Instead of throwing rice, I think it would be pretty for all the guests to blow soap bubbles*. This would be a great alternative for me because rice is bad for city birds, and balloons usually end up in the ocean.

There are even bedsheets with hearts on them* to order – the couple then has to cut out the heart together and the groom carries the bride through the hole. This is actually the one thing I really wish to happen. I hope my parents bring a sheet from Germany when they come over.

The other game I have always enjoyed at German weddings is when a person tests how well the bride and groom know each other. Usually the two sit with their backs touching and either lift a little sign with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or their hands or their shoes. By asking yes-no questions, everybody thus sees if the couple answers questions in the same way. There are even books to give more ideas what to ask*. Unfortunately, this game might fail because of the language issues. Maybe my witness (my best friend, who is also a German living in the U.S.) is able to ask questions in both languages.

What will be much easier is to have all guests involved. I want to distribute disposable cameras* because I believe that “real” photos provide a very different perspective on the event. Just in case some guests don’t feel creative on the day, there are cards* we could provide, i.e. assign a few easy(!) photography tasks to everyone.

I also love to hand out “date night idea” cards* to all guests. Over the course of the first year in our marriage we will pick one hopefully interesting idea after another and realize it. I think a guestbook* is a must-have as it creates a wonderful memory of our wedding day.

And in case everything else fails, we’ll just provide a lot of candies* to keep everyone happy. Which reminds me that we should soon decide where we actually want to celebrate after the town hall wedding itself …

ยฉ janavar

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1 thought on “Wedding Wish List – Some German Traditions, Please!”

  1. Bei der Hochzeit meines Bruders in New Mexico war die Familie der Braut etwas irritiert von der 'German tradition of smashing the dishes' - wir hatten einen Mini-Polterabend improvisiert :-)

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