Pretty soon I’ll be all done discussing the wedding, sharing photos about the wedding and talking about the wedding. But as this is the only wedding I plan on having ever, I’m going to dwell a bit longer on the topic.
This link will take you to a slideshow of the civil ceremony which took place in the early afternoon on the same day as the ‘real’ wedding and reception. For those wondering why we didn’t consolidate the two, an explanation: Here you can’t have a ceremony of your making and sign papers on the spot and be done with it. The legal ceremony is one thing and the church/theme/destination/beach at sunet/ skydiving ceremony is another. Some will legally marry in winter of one year to take advantage of taxes and then have a religious ceremony and party six months later when the weather is better/kid is weaned/reception location is free or whatever. But regardless of what kind of ‘second’ wedding ceremony you do, the legal date is considered your ‘real’ wedding date.
I found the whole idea of separate wedding days and legal weddings vs ‘other’ completely too practical, mechanical and cold. (Obviously I still have issues about it). It was really important to me that we do everything on one day so that no one could tell me which was more important.
Having seen plenty of couples leaving after civil ceremonies in Munich , I knew how impersonal and awful they could be. Having been to Oliver’s sister’s wedding the year before, I’d also seen how great they could be. Oliver had proposed a few days before his sister’s marriage and we’d kept it a secret until afterwards. When we arrived for her civil ceremony at this cute, fairytale farm in the Bremen countryside, I knew this was where we would get married too. It even worked out that we had the same sentimental old guy to do our ceremony. He was a little doddering in his old age and fudged my name and told everyone I was from Florida, but his fanciful, romantic side came through in just about every word he said.
A few handfuls of guests joined us for the ceremony and champagne toast and cheered us on as we sawed a log together as our first act as a married couple. This was intended to show that marriage was teamwork, with each person pulling their weight and never pushing.
After we successfully fufilled the task, our officiant, Herr Kothe, wrote the date on it and gave it to us as a reminder of the day (and date) with the advice, “never go to bed angry, always talk about everything and keep this somewhere visible so no one has an excuse for forgetting the anniversary. If one of you does, then the other can wack you over the head with it.”