Friday, September 21, 2012

Getting Ready to say "Ja"

Our wedding day was perfect. They say that something will always go wrong, but I think the only thing that was disappointing during the whole day was the fact that my family and our friends from outside of Germany couldn't be there. We had roughly 50 people there, but let me start from the beginning of the day.

My mom, sister and I had an appointment at a hair salon in Nieder-Olm from 8-9:30 am, Felix's dad, Jina, was to pick us up at 10:00 am and our ceremony was set to start at 10:30 am.

I woke up around 7:00 am, took a body shower, and threw my contacts in. Then we hopped in the car and picked up Felix's mom, Manisha. The appointment went a lot quicker than we had scheduled and Manisha was able to get her hair done as well. Originally she had offered to come along just as a translator.


I wasn't really sure what I wanted done to my hair. Since my dress had sleeves and was pretty full coverage, it needed to be up. The hairdresser put it up a little higher and made the overall look a little larger than I wanted, but I didn't hate it. I liked my dress and I liked my hair, but I love Felix and that is what I really cared about. The hair flower I made worked out well, so I was pleased.

I also made Jeny a headband with flowers from the same fabric as mine. Her hair looked great!
Even Mom was happy with her hair!

We dropped Manisha back off at her sister's and headed back to the apartment to get dressed.

Partly for cost-saving reasons and partly because I didn't want to deal with communicating what look I was going for to a German make up artist, I chose to do my own makeup. Actually, I felt a lot of freedom with my choices  because we opted not to hire a professional photographer. I wasn't worried about centerpieces or ceremony decor. I wasn't so concerned about my hair, makeup or having everything coordinate. I wasn't going to pay someone to capture those details, so it was a fee pass for me to focus on what I was really interested in.

Anyway, back to the makeup. I never really wear anything more than basic black mascara and sometimes a brown eye shadow. The morning of the wedding I decided to try eye liner and some purple eye shadow. I also hadn't planned what earrings I would wear till minutes before we needed to leave. I ended up wearing some dangly earrings with some pearls that Felix bought me a few years ago.

I pinned on the boutonnière I made onto Felix's suit and asked Jeny to snap a few pictures on our balcony before Jina arrived.

I'm so glad she took these. So far they are my favorites of the day.
Shortly after this, Jina, his wife Ranva, Namira, her other brother Nicolas, and her boyfriend Hein showed up at our door. It was my first time meeting Nicolas or Hein, so brief introductions were made and we headed out to the cars. Namira offered Nicolas to us as a photographer. It's a passion of his and he would like to turn it into a career. He had never done a wedding before, so I think he was a bit nervous. It was this offer that convinced Felix and I not to pay for a professional.

I am honestly so glad he was there. He started taking pictures almost immediately and kept taking them well into the reception. We didn't get any of those getting ready pictures or detail shots (rings, shoes, dress, etc.) that most brides these days, but I generally don't care about those. If I had wanted them, I could have asked for them.

Ralf pulled up to pick up my parents and sister while Felix and I rode with Nicolas and Jina to pick up my last minute bouquet and head to the Rathaus.

I originally wasn't going to have a bouquet because I didn't see the point. There wasn't really an aisle to walk down for the wedding and we weren't having pro photos. However, Felix felt really strongly that I should have one. I think he felt a little guilty about the things we already weren't having and he thought I might regret not having one. We kept forgetting to order one until 2 days before the wedding! Felix just told them my favorite flowers are yellow roses and they did the rest. It was so sweet of him, and I think it was a nice addition to the day.

We walked from the parking lot towards the Rathaus and as we turned the corner, it was a little overwhelming seeing the sea of people waiting there for us. My nerves had kicked in when I woke up and they didn't recede until after we said "ja."

This post is pretty long, so I'll save the actually ceremony for the next post.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Leading up to the Wedding

Well, the big day has come and gone. And it was perfect. The only thing Felix and I would have changed was being able to have everyone from outside Germany to be there to celebrate with us.

The week before the wedding was filled with trips to the airport and a bit of drama. Two of my close friends from my previous job had bought their plane tickets months ago and then backed out of coming 10 days before the wedding due to personal drama between the two of them. One friend backed out and the other didn't feel comfortable making all of the flights/connections on her own. It was difficult for me because of how the first friend handled things, but in the end, I support their decisions.

Jeny arrived Sunday morning and Felix wasn't able to come with me to pick her up due to his bachelor party the night before. I was nervous about making it to the airport on time because it was really my first time driving that long of a distance by myself. (In case anyone didn't know, we bought me a car! It's a 1998 Mercedes A160 and I've named it the Silver Bullet.) Even though the GPS tried to take me on the A60 and it was blocked off, I still made it with plenty of time. I think I waited about 30 minutes for her, but I needed that time to recompose myself after being so nervous.

It was so fantastic to see her. I had really been feeling down in the weeks leading up to her arrival. I was struggling and it was perfect timing for my family to visit. It gave me comfort. Sunday we just hung around the apartment since everything is closed on Sundays. In the evening, we visited the Mainzer Wein Markt (Mainz Wine Market). It was a nice evening, especially because it was the last night  and not too many people were still there.

Monday we took Jeny dining table shopping and into Mainz. While we were in Mainz, Felix got a call from the guys he plays soccer with some Mondays. They were short one player and wanted to know if Felix could come. Jeny wanted to watch, so we all headed to the soccer field that evening. Jeny and I drank a beer while Felix played. It was really nice and relaxing. We went back to the apartment so Felix could change before we headed to the Nieder-Olmer Kerb. Kerb is a summer festival that each town celebrates. Because it was Monday, Kerb was also pretty empty. Jeny offered to buy a round of beers and Felix made her order herself in German. I have to admit, it was pretty adorable watching Felix help Jeny order, so I snapped a picture.

Tuesday morning we all woke up bright and early to head back to the airport. My parents called while we were waiting for them at the gate to say they missed their flight to Frankfurt due to a delay in Atlanta and were re-routed to Paris. They were also late getting to Paris, so they missed their flight to Frankfurt and were arriving in the afternoon. Felix, Jeny and I killed time by trying to get my driver's license translated and grabbing some lunch. They finally arrived around 3pm without one of their suitcases. Go figure. We bought groceries and cooked dinner and that was about all we had time for that day.

Wednesday morning Felix's stepdad, Chitbodhi, arrived, so he picked him up from the airport while the rest of us slept in. We didn't do too much during the day, but that evening we went to my friend Flor's birthday dinner. It was an interesting night with a multicultural crowd. Her husband is German-Persian, Flor is Costa Rican-Dominican. Many of their guests were of the same ethnicities. I'm not even sure what others were there, but it was a rather large group. It was the first time my family had tried Persian food, but it was quite delicious. Flor and her husband, Aria, are both such positive, warm, welcome, loving people and I really am happy to have met them.

Thursday we had lunch with Chitbodhi at Felix's grandma's house. She made a traditional goulash with salad, paradise cream with strawberries, and several types of cheesecake. We were all stuffed. Afterwards, my sister, parents, Felix and I went into the city for some sightseeing.

Friday was the day of my bachelorette party. I worked on some of my DIY projects that I hadn't finished, like the men's flowers and my hair flower, putting the letters on our guestbook canvas, numbering the guestbook cards/envelopes, etc. When Felix's sister, Namira, arrived at our apartment, we went to lunch at a local Italian place that we considered for our reception site followed by some ice cream at a local Italian ice cream shop. Afterwards we came back home and I continued to work on some projects while Jeny and Namira played some games on the Playstation. Felix worked on the few songs I had requested for the reception while I added another layer of Mod Podge to my glitter shoes and painted my nails. I had a hard time deciding between something simple/classy/timeless on my nails and some actual art. I'm not exactly a simple/classy/timeless sort of person, so I went for a blue holographic polish as a happy medium. Because my two friends didn't come and my only female friend in Germany had other plans, it was just my mom, sister, Namira, and myself. I had a wonderful time and it was exactly the type of party I would have wanted. I wish my girls from college soccer could have been there, but these 3 ladies are attached to me for life. :)
We played a banana ring toss game and Pin the Junk on the Hunk and ate some delicious mini-cheesecakes that Namira had made before heading into Mainz to have some drinks at a bar. Jeny decorated some balloons and made me wear a tasteful bachelorette sash. It was great. :)

I think it's also important to note that I had zero nerves about getting married or any of the festivities until the morning of, whereas Felix was nothing but nerves for about 1.5 weeks leading up to the wedding. I wasn't worried about him being nervous, but I felt a little bad. I'm sure me not being nervous wasn't helping him any. The good thing is, as soon as we said "Ja" and exchanged rings, I could feel all of his nerves slip away.

And Saturday was THE BIG DAY!