German weddings

P1010651 Well, it seems only natural, after two posts on German love, that I run the full gamut of the experience and attend what some would believe is the natural outcome of the silver birch and padlock shenanigans, that being marriage.

The wedding we attended this weekend was held in Dusseldorf, just under an hour away on the still scarily fast autobahn. We were driving in Vera’s brothers Audi, which is more than capable of hitting speeds in excess of that which would normally catapult you through time itself, but in this case merely transported us in comfort and speed to the wedding venue. This took place in a Church near the centre of the city, and there was, before the service even began, oodles of champagne to be had. A great start.

The wedding service was overseen by two (two!) priests, one from the Catholic side, one from the Protestant side of the Christian faith. I’m not entirely au fait with the differences in these particular sects, but I was slightly disappointed that they didn’t battle it out on the altar to see who would get to do the actual wedding. As it was they rather politely took it in turns to read bits from their books. Most congenial.

After the actual service, and my rather poor attempts to sing along to the German hymns, we all stood outside the church and drank some more champagne. At this point the main difference between English and German weddings became apparent. It seems that the bride and groom are set a number of tasks throughout the course of the day. Some of these are common to most German weddings, like cutting out a heart shape from a giant piece of cloth, and then the groom carrying the bride through it. Others are specific to the couple, like throwing darts at heart shaped balloons. It certainly gave us all something to laugh at anyway. These tasks and games went on throughout the entire wedding, and included a full on pantomime performance. Impressive stuff.

After the church the whole wedding party assembled into their cars and formed a rather raucous convoy through Dusseldorf to the actual hotel where the evening party was being held, which was a bit like a cross between a farmhouse and a castle. Here serving people wandered around with giant platters of beer, balloons were released, and then we were let into the dining room where food was almost upon us. Some speeches in German later, and we were unleashed upon the buffet.

I am aware that there are various schools of thought as to wedding dining, such as whether or not a full on table service system is preferable to the buffet system. Personally I prefer a decent buffet as trying to serve 100 people with hot food all at the same time can be a bit of a challenge, whereas a buffet is self heating. Plus you can eat as much as you want. The food was entirely excellent. Of course, the downside to eating my own body weight in duck breast and crayfish was that I wasn’t really capable of moving in any great manner on the dance floor, but given that wedding dance music seems to be even worse in Germany than the fare you get in the UK, (and my inability to dance with any form of co-ordination) this wasn’t a bad thing. I quietly slumped in the corner and drank more beer. Waiters wandered around with trays of Grappe. After a few refreshing shots, I finally made it to the dance floor to er, bust out some moves, before we called it a night and headed back to our hotel. A wonderful wedding experience. The following day I restored myself to my natural health with a giant pile of fried food. Bliss.

So that was weddings in Germany. Tremendous fun all around, with the added bonus that I may never need to eat again.

In other, completed unrelated news, in a bid to reduce his worldly possessions before his move to tropical destinations, my brother currently has a number of items of his life for sale on ebay. If you are interested in snapping up some relative technological bargains (there’s a PSP for a mind boggling £20 at the moment), head on over to his page on ebay to check them out. Enjoy your day folks!

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