In the Rathaus, there is a large room where they conduct the wedding ceremonies. I was concerned when we first decided to marry in Germany that the room would be sterile and cold. I was also a bit afraid it would be too small. Thankfully on one of our many meetings with Herr Scherer, he allowed us to visit the room so we could get an idea of what it would be like on the day.
They don't have any of the traditional fanfare that goes with a church wedding, so we imposed what we could when we could. We had all of the guests go in and have a seat first and then Jeny walked in by herself. Next Felix escorted Namira, his sister. And finally my dad and I walked in followed by Herr Scherer.
My dad gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek before taking a seat next to my mom.
It's funny, but in most of the photos of the four of us sitting up at the front of the room, 2 or more of us have our eyes closed and look asleep. These are the best photos of the four of us.
Here you can see Herr Scherer and our translator Petra Barclay-Jans beginning the ceremony. We had Nelson video tape the ceremony, but we haven't yet watched it.
He pronounced us man and wife before the ring exchange. This is our first kiss as a married couple.
Herr Scherer interrupted his readings to tell us that someone had a special surprise for us. It was a beautiful Irish song performed by Clemens. He is the husband of Felix's mom's cousin. (Did you follow that?)
He has been incredibly kind, welcoming, and accommodating since the very first time I met him. Every time we see one another and I ask how he is doing, he says "I am always doing well when I see you." He's a sweetheart. Little did we know, this was only the first surprise would have for us that day. I've included the lyrics that he e-mailed me.
Irish wedding song by Ian Betteridge
Here they stand, hand in hand.
They exchanged wedding bands.
Today is the day of all their
dreams and their plans.
And all of their loved ones
are here to say,
God bless this couple who marry today. Chorus
In good times and bad times
In sickness and health,
May they know that riches
Are not needed for wealth.
And help them face problems
they'll meet on their way.
Oh, God bless this couple who marry today.
May they find peace of mind
comes to all who are kind.
May the rough times ahead
become triumphs in time.
May their children
be happy each day.
Oh, God bless the family who started today. (Chorus)
As they go may they know
ev'ry love that has shown
And as life it gets shorter
may their feelings grow.
Wherever they travel,
wherever they stay,
May God bless this couple who marry today. (Chorus)
After the beautiful song, it was time for us to sign our lives away. Even though having witnesses was an optional choice, if you choose to have them, they must sign as well. To add another layer to this, if we decide to divorce (in Germany) sometime down the road, God forbid, we would need both of our witnesses to be present in order to do so. We would also need to be legally separated for a year before the government would even let us divorce. These are things I learned in language school.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Herr Scherer congratulated us again and gifted us with a bottle of wine. We are supposed to drink the wine when we are ridiculously happy or very angry. Either way, we are supposed to drink the wine and think back to our wedding day and the love we share. We haven't enjoyed the wine yet. We were gifted so many bottles of wine that we think we'll save this one for our 1 year anniversary.