A German Wedding in Two Parts – Part II

After you’ve celebrated a bilingual, double wedding in a bucolic European setting, what do you do? You party!

A big hug for Julia from her Aunty Christine

A big hug for the bride from her Aunty Christine

Following Julia and André and Myrie and Matt’s ceremony, the festivities began in earnest. Guests spilled out of the Church into the afternoon sunshine, where a Bier und Brezel (or beer and pretzel) reception was waiting for them on the grass. It isn’t uncommon for German couples to begin the celebrations as soon as they leave the Church and this is something that guests always appreciate.

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I personally love this idea, as it’s a great way to celebrate with and include guests who, for whatever reason (be it budget, wedding style or other commitments) can’t attend the reception. Dave, attending his first German wedding, was particularly enamoured of the idea of beer and pretzels to celebrate, so much so that he wants to replicate it at our own wedding. (Jury’s still out on that one).

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Once we’d all sipped and supped, it was on to the reception proper. Julia and André and Myrie and Matt had hired a camp in the picturesque village of Legau for the weekend so that guests could stay on site. This was particularly handy for those of us in heels as we could return to our cabins and put on comfortable shoes before beginning the celebrations!

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The reception hall looked out over a green field dotted with fruit trees and guests relaxed on the deck with a drink to enjoy the late afternoon sun. But before we sat down to dinner important work had to be done – namely, the inflating of over a hundred red, heart-shaped balloons with helium. Julia’s family had arranged a balloon release as a surprise for the bridal couples (one of many to come that night) and it was absolutely beautiful.

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Each guest took a balloon and on the count of three, we let them all go. They danced and floated across the bright blue Bavarian sky and I do believe more than one person was humming Nena’s 99 Luftballons. (Ok, one of them was me).

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Much more was to come, however. In addition to some very funny and heartfelt speeches, in which guests were acknowledged with a roll call of attending cities (Melbourne represent!) and a delicious roast dinner, there were games a plenty. Christopher, my host brother, took his duties as brother of the bride (well, one of them at least) very seriously and set up a number of challenges for the couples.

The first was a ‘World Cup’ Kicker (or Fußball for those non-German speakers) tournament between Germany and New Zealand. Julia and André and Myrie and Matt faced off across the table for a best of three challenge, which Germany won convincingly. Following this, it was brides vs grooms before guests took to the table to challenge the newlyweds.

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Christopher then enlisted some help in setting up an obstacle course on the grass. Each couple was given a bobby car, a blindfold and a witch’s hat. André and Matt were blindfolded and sat atop the cars. Julia and Myrie then had to shout directions through upside down witch’s hats as their husbands blindly made their way around the course, with the first one to the end being declared the winner.

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Oh, was this a spectacle. Guests were collapsing in stitches as the girls hollered and the boys collided with just about anything they could – each other, trees and various legs. Poor Matt suffers the same condition I do – that is, being very tall – and when you’re that close to the ground, it’s hard to move those long legs! André crossed the line just ahead of his new brother-in-law and both were rewarded with a beer for their efforts.

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With the majority of the challenges out of the way, Christopher then had both bridal couples sit down, with Julia and Myrie sitting back to back with André and Matt. Each person was given both a hammer and a wooden spoon and the couples were then asked a series of questions. If they thought the answer was best suited to the bride, the wooden spoon went up and for the groom, the hammer. These questions ranged from the sweet to the ridiculous and as the ‘official translator’ I was called on to interpret for the non-German speakers between my giggles. It was a fun and enlightening way to end the formalities.

And then, to the dance floor. There’s so much I could write about the rest of the evening, but I think the photo below of Julia and André says it all perfectly.

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Thank you, Julia and André and Myrie and Matt, for such a beautiful celebration. It meant so much to me to be part of it, to be able to introduce Dave to my German family, to catch up with old friends and to be able to share in such a special time in my beloved Julia’s life. I am so very blessed.

I wish all four of you so much love, adventure and laughter in the years to come. You know there are beds here in Melbourne any time you want them. xx Koren

Julia and André, Myrie and Matt, 7 July 2012
Venue: Umweltstation Legau
Photos: 1, 3-9 by D Batty
Part I of this gorgeous wedding can be found here.

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