Two weekends ago we were invited to our very first German wedding. I had no idea what to expect, and that always makes me a bundle of nerves. I hate to do the wrong thing. I worry about inadvertently insulting or upsetting people.  I needn’t have worried! We had a blast!

An unconventional blast, but a blast! The first words out of the priests words were my my first clue this was not going to be an average, run-of-the-mill wedding. He spoke directly to the children and told them it would be long & boring.  The children were all welcome to leave and play until the ceremony was over.  Despite my determination to do this the German way, my jaw dropped and I felt my Oma roll over in her grave.  I could almost feel Monsignor’s piercing blue eyes staring at me across the ocean.  This was very not-Catholic.  Then again, it was a not-Catholic wedding.

I took my cues from the rest of the guests and followed along with the singing, praying, standing (no kneeling!) and chatting during the entire mass.  The bride and groom sat in beautiful chairs at the front of the congregation and I secretly wished I’d had a chair during my own wedding. The sermon was read from the same bible I read.  Yet entirely different passages than the traditional passages read during “our” weddings.  And, the priest gave his sermon during the reading after every few sentences.

Bible German is a little more difficult than everyday German, but the gist of his sermon was to place less importance on optics, how things look, what brands you wear, what car you drive but more on the people around you and the people you love. This, for me, is my mantra.  People are so much more important than a perfect house, hair, dress or car. Or clean house (I swear he included that in his sermon, I know he did).

At the end Colin, their son, Dane’s friend, lit the unity candle, rings were exchanged and the bride & groom led us all outside for group pictures and…. banner cutting!

Ha! You think you know what I mean. Nope. They worked together to cut a big heart out of a big banner before we could all leave the church and head to the festhall. Bride & groom left in an old truck, sitting on a fest bench covered with a picnic blanket.  The traditional “carriage” modernized and customized to reflect their marriage and personalities. The rest of us followed behind the truck, whooping, hollering, cheering and honking horns (for those traveling by car).


Not my photo! But it showcase the bridal party, me, the guests & the “heart’ banner!



After the wedding, the bridespair hopped into their “carriage” and rode down to the festhall


The rest of us followed on foot, to our hidden festhall, in the middle of the black forest, in the middle of nowhere


Inside the tables were set with beautiful attention to detail and stunning centerpieces


Their wedding candle, lit during the ceremony, proudly stood at the head of the table. They will light it on each anniversary, slowly burning it down over the years.


I love the old-fashioned German wine glasses. It took everything I had not to slip one in the camera bag. I’m a bad, bad, person.


“my” individual centerpiece. I love the creativity in these.


The bridal bouquet.


The bridal pair thanking us for being a part of their big day.


The kids playing outside on the bridal truck. The boys out of suits, in shorts & tees, the girls still in their beautiful dresses.


Turns out, those were not mocktails. They had rum galore in them! Luckily we figured this out right quick.


The girls kicked off the dancing early.


We all sent up good wishes for the bridal pair on balloons.


Getting ready to go in 3-2——


ONE! Balloons over the Schwarzwald!


And then, it was dinner, drinks & dancing. Time to have fun & put the camera away!