June Brides, Weddings German Style
It’s June and everyone talks about a June bride. Hell, even the venues seem to charge more for this “high season” of the bridal year.
So I got to thinking (which could possibly never be a good thing) about weddings in Germany. Sure, every culture has its wedding rituals and traditions, and Germany is no different.
Getting married in Deutschland can be a three day affair. Day one usually includes a civil ceremony since a totally religious ceremony isn’t valid. The civil ceremony isn’t the big day in the life of the bride & groom; it’s usually just attended by family and a handful of close friends.
Brides and grooms wishing to get married in a medieval church or elegant cathedral will have to do it on day two of the festivities. Here’s where the big party comes in — right after the religious ceremony.
Never attended a German wedding before? You might notice the lucky couple carrying bread and salt, which is symbolic for a “good harvest.” They might also be carrying some coins to throw at any kids nearby, as guests throw rice.
Careful, someone might lose an eye! ;-)
All the dishes being broken (on Day 1) isn’t a lover’s quarrel between the lovebirds. It’s traditional to break old dishes. Scaring away any evil spirits, I gather.
There might not be new modern music or sappy love songs as their first dance as a married couple, traditionally it’s the Waltzer. But, hey, every couple’s different — so it’s a gamble. Still, I like tradition.
Want a proper wedding gift for the German couple? You can never go wrong with a ceramic pig that signifies good fortune, or a Black Forest Cuckoo Clock (yes, I’m serious). ;-)
OK, so the cuckoo clock might be out — get the newlyweds a “bridal cup,” which should be given BEFORE the actual nuptials because (again) tradition says it’s for the first toast.
I hope that cup’s filled with a great German wine. I’ll drink to that — I’ll drink to love — and I’ll drink to the lucky couples, whoever they are!
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