A German Wedding

Trip Start Mar 19, 2006
Trip End Apr 16, 2006

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Flag of Germany  ,
Sunday, March 26, 2006

We thoroughly enjoyed the mix of cultures at the marriage of Christina (Nancy's younger sister by four years) and Benni (German husband she met at the torchbearers school in Austria). The day began as any North American wedding: the girls went to the hairdresser and the boys picked up the Jaguar. One thing that is very different in Germany is that the couple doesn't normally dictate the attire of the wedding party. Benni's best man found it odd that he was asked to wear a certain colour of suit. Nancy and her other sister Jennifer (younger by one year) were the bridesmaids, and happened to choose matching dresses. Curtis, as the official wedding photographer, had the opportunity to drive the couple to the church in the Jaguar. At 1:00, the church bells rang, signaling Christina in her gown and Nancy with the umbrella to get inside the church. The ceremony was held in a quaint old stone church (c. 1500s). The ceremony lasted about an hour and a half, including a lengthy, translated sermon and the couple singing a song, etc. Outside the church after the ceremony, Germans usually set up some activities for the couple to do. One group made a big puzzle of the German and Canadian flags for the newlyweds to assemble, and afterwards they had to take a bucksaw and saw a hunk of wood off a log. After the receiving line, we took the bride and groom into Schwabish Hall for their wedding pictures.

The reception was held in a different village at a hotel. We started with cake at about 4:30, a typical German afternoon tradition. Christina's broadcasting brother, Peter (older than Nancy by 3 years) and Benni's journalist sister bilingually hosted the eight-hour program that included entertaining skits, improv, songs, games, and audiovisual presentations. We enjoyed how much effort everyone had put into these activities. The Duck family attempted to contribute a song of our own, but were put to shame with our unrehearsed song next to the Kannenberg family's amateur choir and piano accompaniment (comparable to the Van Trap family singers in the Sound of Music). We ate a huge buffet of delicious food with the best salad bar we've ever seen. Dessert was served around 10:30, and drinks were non-stop.

Near the end of the program, one of Benni's friends played an amazingly-composed arrangement on the piano. Later, the guests all went outside to stand by a candlelit pool to sing a song to the couple, and someone lit some fireworks. You can watch for select pictures of this event on Curtis' website in the coming months.
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