Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Speeches at the Reception

As I think I mentioned previously, the Eulenmühle is a small local winery. We knew we would be eating in the wine cellar-esque dining room and, depending on the weather, we could move outside to the large patio. 

Since we didn't have wedding colors per se, the Eulenmühle went with what they wanted. From this photo, you can't see the table where the immediate family/wedding couple sat, but you can see how much beauty and character the room has.

Our piggy made it over to the reception and found a home with my bouquet, a yellow rose candle (no idea where it came from) and a "Just Married" balloon that someone brought from the wedding after us at the Rathaus. Silly wedding guests. :)

The obvious highlight of my day was the fact that Felix and I became man and wife. However, the moment captured below has a special warm place in my heart. The couple in the photo are Helmut and Marie-Luise. Marie-Luise is the sister of Felix's grandma. I had met her probably 10 times or so before our wedding day and every time she came off as steely and unfriendly, cold and grumpy. We have a really strong language barrier between us and had really never had a conversation since she doesn't speak English. It was more of a vibe I got from her than anything her actions told me. Anyway, at the start of our reception, she stood up to make a speech about how much she appreciated the line on our invites that said, "Come and celebrate love, friendship, happiness, and family with us." She said most people forget about the roll of the overall family and how a wedding is the joining of two families. That single sentiment really struck a chord with her, warmed her heart, and made her so excited to celebrate with us. Hearing such warm and loving sentiments from her brought tears to my eyes and I was so thrilled that she was so happy about the occasion. Since our wedding, she has really warmed to me and I no longer get that cold, stand offish vibe from her. It's wonderful.

As nervous as I was earlier that morning, my nerves came back ten-fold as soon as Marie-Luise's speech was over and I realized I had committed to giving a speech in both German and English. I had forgotten about it in all of the excitement of the day. At this moment, I wanted to throw up.

It was really important for me to give my speech in German for several reasons. We see Manisha's side of the family at least once a week. Jina's side, however, we only see a few times a year. Most of Jina's side at our wedding are people I hadn't seen since January, before I even began language school. They hadn't really even heard me talk or had a conversation with me. Despite this fact, both sides of Felix's family have ALWAYS been kind and welcoming towards me. They've made me feel loved and like I was a part of the family from day 1. You don't always find that when you meet your significant's family and it's even more difficult when there's a communication barrier. It was important to me to take this opportunity to express my love and gratitude. I will put the speech at the bottom of this post for anyone who wants to read it.

One of my other favorite parts of the day was this overwhelming, heart warming applause I received at the conclusion of my speech. This was the most anyone had ever heard me speak in German and I think I impressed them. I'm not including it, but we have another photo where Iris, Felix's aunt, literally climbed over Manisha and Felix in her cocktail dress just to give me a hug because she was so proud of me. You can see her sitting next to me in the picture of Felix giving his speech.

Of course I sat down immediately relieved that I got through my speech without stumbling over my words only to pop back up because I remembered I needed to give my speech in English as well for my family. I talk fast on a normal day, but I guess I must have been super speedy because as soon as I finished, everyone cracked up. Manisha still teases me about it.

Of course Felix decided to freely speak instead of writing anything down. It was not eloquent and poorly worded, but it was cute and sweet. His mom even corrected him during it because of a grammatical error. It was funny. :) He had the pleasure of explaining our guest books to everyone and instructing them that cards were to go in the big, blue pig.

Jewli's speech:

Welcome and thanks for coming.
I just wanted to take this opportunity, while we have you all in one room, to thank you all for the support you have given us over the years. It is always nerve-wracking when you meet your significant other’s family and I was even more nervous because I couldn’t speak a word of German. But you have always made me feel welcome, loved, and supported. I am truly lucky to be marrying into such a wonderful family. As my German gets better, I hope we can get to know one another better.
Please eat and drink as much as you like and thank you for celebrating this day with us.

Willkommen und Danke für euer Kommen.
Ich möchte die Gelegenheit nutzen, während wir euch alle in einem Raum haben, um allen für die Unterstützung, die ihr uns über die Jahre gegeben habt, zu danken. Es ist immer nervenaufreibend, wenn man die Familie seines Zukünftigen trifft und ich war sogar noch nervöser, weil ich nicht Deutsch sprechen konnte. Aber ihr habt mir immer das Gefühl gegeben willkommen, geliebt und unterstützt zu werden. Ich bin wirklich glücklich, in solch eine wunderbare Familie zu heiraten. Jetzt als mein Deutsch besser wird, hoffe ich wir können einander noch besser kennenlernen.
Bitte esst und trinkt so viel ihr möchtet und wir danken euch, dass diesen Tag mit uns feiert.

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