Monday, January 15, 2007

My Big Fat German Wedding

Yes, Grandpa, I am feeling much better, even if I did spend the entire first week of January in bed. It took a few days for my antibiotics to kick in, but once they did . . . so long cough.

There has not been much to report (hence no new posts) over the past week. I worked some and packed some, but I have not been to the house and we STILL have not moved. This past weekend, I did get to participate in my first German wedding.

The German's good buddy, B, got married on Saturday and the German was the Best Man. I was very excited to see how different German weddings are. Some of my students scared me a bit by telling me about the German tradition of kidnapping the bride and drink shots to free her (I think something got lost in translation there). I must report, however, that German weddings are not that different from American weddings. But they are much LONGER!

In Germany you have to get married at the "Standesamt," which is a branch of City Hall. Usually only the closest friends and family go inside and watch the actual ceremony, which is surprisingly short. On Saturday the officiant went on and on about marriage being a harbor before she got down to business. "Do you B take this woman to be your wife?" "Yes." "Do you S take this man to be your husband?" "Yes." "Okay, you're married."

I was a little confused. That was it. I looked at my husband. "There was no mention of richer or poorer or being faithful and death do us part." He explained to me that those vows are only used in a church service, which is normally held a few hours after the City Hall service. Our friends, though, are not religious and therefore skipped that part. I think our friend B got out of things a bit too easy. No wonder he was not nervous. "Nope, honey, I didn't actually promise to be faithful."

We were at City Hall from 11:15 to 1:00. Then we went back to rented room at the university for soup, coffee, and cake. Because we were in the wedding, the German had to work the bar and I washed dishes. By 4:00 I was getting tired. The Groom let us go to our hotel so that we could freshen up and then at 6:00pm we met at a house/restaurant/country club type place for the reception.

It was your typical reception. Dancing. Buffet. Alcohol. Pictures. However, there were no toasts by the wedding party and no chicken dance, but I am not complaining. On the other hand, there was also no wedding cake with buttercream frosting, which kind of bummed me out.

I was intrigued at how well Germans could dance. Waltz, foxtrot, rumba; they could do it all. Turns out that many people in this area take dancing lessons when they are in high school. Unfortunately, when the band played a normal 80s rock / dance / pop tune, suddenly not a single person in the room could find the beat. I guess Germans really do like rules and regulations. Freestyle dancing is not in the program.

By 4:00am I was a little grumpy. It was time to go home. We helped the new couple take their gifts to their apartment and got to the hotel at 5:00am. By 5:15 the German was snoring and for the first time I ever I did not care and fell right asleep.


hexe said...

Sounds like a good way to conclude a cold!

Carrie said...

What???? No jumping in the ocean?!?!

christina said...

Oh yeah, EVERYONE ('cept me) has been to dancing school here. They learn something called Disco Fox that I'll never understand.

At one wedding I was at I had to dance with a broomstick. Weird.