Our Wedding

 

Surrounded by friends and family, Martin and I celebrated our wedding in Nürnberg, Germany. Under amazingly beautiful blue, sunny skies, it was a complete dream come true for both of us. And while it definitely went by very, very quickly, we have tons of wonderful memories.

However, this one day was a culmination of an entire week spent in celebration. A year’s worth of planning and anticipation paid off as several of our guests, both German and American, experience a week full of traveling, shopping, partying and just being surrounded by friendship, laughter and love. We also spent a fun-filled week in London for our honeymoon. In this website, you will be able to share with us the beautiful memories of what was some of the best weeks in our lives.

It was a time to remember.

All of the men in the bridal party went to Martin’s grandmother’s apartment to get ready for the big event, with the help of Oma, Aunt Mali, Uncle Peter and Aunt Herta. With all that help, no wonder they didn’t take as long as the girls!

While Martin and the boys were getting ready at Oma’s, the girls and I were at his step-sister, Yvonne’s, apartment to get ready ourselves. This included: my mother, Tawana; my step-mother, Linda; my flowergirl, Julia; and my bridesmaids: my sisters, Jill and Jinger; my friend, Pamela; and Martin’s sister, Carola.

Armed with enough cosmetics and waxing tools to start our own salon, we spent just an hour and thirty minutes preparing for the day. Some of us just can’t help, but be naturally beautiful.

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Martin and I agreed to see each other before the wedding ceremony for three main reasons. First, we wanted to get the ‘artsy’ photos done before the ceremony, knowing we’d have limited time afterwards. Second, the whole ‘blushing bride taken to new, strange husband’ tradition didn’t fit us exactly. And third, but most importantly, we wanted to see and react to each other in our own way, on our own time, in front of those very important to us. A wedding day is filled with hundreds of well-wishers always wanting to hug and congratulate you…little time for us to absorb each other. (Sounds kinky, but you know what I mean….) Anyway, it was a moment we could cherish, and we did. We certainly won’t forget the moment we first saw each other.

Martin and I ran into a little problem when we arrived at the chapel. Because my hair needed a little extra attention, we had lost some time from our schedule. Another couple was getting married in the church before us, and were to show up while we would have been doing photos. So, we decided to go to another location. There was a beautiful park right behind our reception site…so we decided to go there. What we found there was absolutely amazing…somebody failed to tell us that the city of Erlangen was holding it’s annual flee market there, and EVERYONE was there with booths and booths of used clothing, broken furniture and rusty coat hangars. I also had to walk through in my dress. But lucky for me, people are SO nice to a bride and I got a lot of free gifts!

To sum up the church ceremony in just one sentence, I would have to say ‘it was cozy.’ Of course, after that sentence, I would also say it was sweet and romantic, European and like a fairy-tale. I would add that I was nervous as hell, only because Germans don’t rehearse ceremonies the day before, so I didn’t know WHAT to expect, and neither did our attendants. But I quickly got over that the minute I began walking down the aisle with my Dad. But the reason I picked the word ‘cozy’ was because that’s how it was for me. The small, old church was quaint and warm, gently lit by the glowing candles and afternoon sun. And being surrounded by our close friends and relatives and reciting our vows of commitment and love for each other…it felt like a spring afternoon spent curled up in a large recliner, reading fairy tales. Small, perfect, warm, romantic and cozy.

 

Martin’s fellow German soldiers of the 3rd Panzeraufklärungsbataillon 12 from the Balthasar-Neumann Kaserne greeted us as we left the church. Standing at attention in their sharp, pressed uniforms, these fine young men saluted us as we passed through.

 

However, once we reached the end of the line-up, their military flag was lowered before us. And at that point, Stabsfeldwebel Klein (the unit’s first sergeant) stepped forward. With a warm smile and firm handshakes, he congratulated us and offered us a gift and flowers on behalf of the bataillon. Next, out came the bubbly and champagne glasses. Within a minute or two, each soldier (including the bride and groom) had a glass and on the count of three, Martin and I were given a hearty, cheerful toast. And on the strictest of orders, we quickly finished our glasses and tossed them over our shoulders. It was a wonderful way to end our ceremony.

After the toast, the group pulled out a bed sheet with a heart colored onto it. Our names were written onto each half, and we were told it was our job to cut our halves out of the sheet (keeping the heart intact, of course.) Whoever finished his or her half first won command of the honeymoon bed! YEA!!!

Even though we loved every aspect of our wedding day, Martin and I would later agree that the reception was definitely the most FUN! After the wedding, everyone tied a ribbon to their cars and paraded through town, honking their horns the whole way there. Once at the site, Martin and I got busy pouring orange juice and champagne for our guests in the hall’s foyer. (As a gift to our guests, we hand-painted more than 100 champange glasses with our names and the date. ) With a glass in hand, our guests headed up a spiral staircase to the main ballroom. There, they found a room filled with candle-lit tables, a dance floor covered with balloons, a live-band set up to jam the night away…there were huge windows, too, overlooking the city park. It was so beautiful.

Once Martin and I greeted everyone, we joined them in the ballroom. Right away, Dad gave his toast, welcoming everyone to the party and giving his blessing to Martin and me. Then, following German tradition, we cut the cake. (No messes!) Martin’s step-sisters and friend made about 15 cakes, each a different flavor, for everyone to enjoy. It wasn’t long before everyone was sipping tea or coffee, eating cake and talking with each other to the sounds of Beethoven coming from the sound system.

After awhile, though, it was time to play some games! For a good hour or so, guests were involved in various German wedding games. And everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves.
And of course, I got kidnapped and Martin had to go to the restaurant where the men took me and sing in front of EVERYONE in order for my release. It was hilarious.

 

But then the food arrived, and it was a fine meal of bratwurst, noodles, sauerkrat, veggies, dumplings, all kinds of breads….there was just so much food. And so many drinks as we had an open bar, too!

After eating, the band played. And we danced the whole night through.