Traditional weddings customs and celebrations are an essential part of weddings around the world. You will find diverse variety of cultures in the entire globe and each has their distinctive customs and traditions which help make weddings enjoyable and meaningful. Germany has a variety of wedding traditions and customs that can go over 3 days and usually organized on a weekend. This is because State and Church are completely separated and a civil ceremony is required to legalize a German marriage. That day is typically considered the actual wedding day in Germany.
Planning to love a German Girl??? Better look this photo, before going ahead
Numerous Customs Take Place Long Before the Wedding Day:
Some of the beautiful customs begin long before the actual wedding day. The most old and heartrending custom is when a baby girl is born, her family starts planting several trees. At the time of her engagement, all those trees are cut down to arrange her dowry. However, this old tradition is probably not so popular in modern times.
Another important tradition is that before a young woman is engaged, she starts saving pennies. At the time of her wedding, those pennies will be utilized to purchase her wedding shoes. That’s something very touchy! The purpose of this custom is to ensure that the ceremony will begin off on “the right foot”. This famous tradition is commonly known as “Hochzelt-Schuhe”.
An Awe-inspiring Bavarian Custom- Hochzelt-Slader:
In this wonderful custom, a man is sent around to invite each guest personally to the wedding, rather than mail out invitations. He usually dresses up in fancy attire festooned with flowers and ribbons. Being the official inviter, he goes around the town from door to door, enlarging a personal rhyming invitation to all the people on the guest list. On the other hand, guests accept the formal invitation by pinning one of the ribbons from his attire onto his hat.
Junggesellenabschied- a Well-Organized Bachelor’s Party:
Another amazing and most enjoyable tradition of German weddings is organizing a Bachelor’s Party. On this occasion, groom and his close friends hit the coolest pubs for a last bash and fun before he gets married. This tradition is highly appreciated and followed by most young men.
First Day- A Formal Civil Ceremony
German weddings are highly rich in overflowing customs which would make a wedding more fun and purposeful. These traditions bring a beautiful addition to the wedding ceremony of any bride or groom with wonderful German heritage. As we have discussed above that wedding lasts for at least 3 days, but not necessarily consecutive days. What’s the most peaceful part of the entire ceremony is the couple gets married by the justice of peace on the very first day. As in Germany, this ceremony is usually referred to as “Standesbeamte”. This is all because in Germany, it is not considered legal to precede wedding ceremony ‘only’ in the Church. The Civil ceremony actually takes place one week or one day before the Church ceremony and only close relatives and friends are invited to join in the celebrations.
Informal Event on the Second Day of Wedding:
There are so many customs and traditions that take place before or during the wedding days. One of the most cheerful and exciting customs is “Polterbend”, which normally takes place on the second day of wedding ceremony.
The Polterbend Meant to Bring Good Luck:We can say that Civil marriage ceremony is just the starting of the fun and celebrations. The second day of German Weddings is usually followed by Polterbend- an unforgettable evening with hundreds of broken porcelain. Friends and relatives from both the parties bring tons of old and broken porcelain and kitchenware to smash the stuff in front of the bride and groom. These broken pieces are meant to wish them a prosperous and happy married life. According to a German proverb- ‘Broken crockery brings you luck’. After smashing all the stuff, bride and groom have to clean up the entire mess, symbolizing that nothing will ever be broken in their homes. This is the most unique and thought-provoking tradition of a German wedding.
Third Day- A religious Ceremony and a Formal Reception:
Since bride and groom are already married on the third day, they usually host a big and formal reception ceremony. On this occasion, the couple enters the Church and walk down the aisle together. On this day, both families share the cost of entire wedding ceremony, rather than depending only on the father of bride. This beautiful custom symbolizes the extreme brotherhood and humanity and helps promote peace and prosperity in their societies.
As the bride and groom leave the Church, friends and family members throw rice on them. This custom ensures that the bride will have as many children as the grains of rice that stick to her hair and stay for some time. That’s something very adorable!
Another Intersting old Bavarian tradition occurs immediately after the church ceremony. As the couple is coming out of the church, there will be a wood log on a sawhorse. The couple has to cut the log in half with the saw. This is considered as the couple can cut any tough task that they may have to face in future. Any way if you planning to love a German girl, Be prepared to do this.I suggest you to go work as an assistent to a carpenter :).
German Couples can live happily afterwards as most of them will never face such a hard day in rest of their life.
Kidnapping the Bride:
It is the most popular and exciting custom to follow and takes place at the wedding reception. It is custom for friends of groom, or more often the ‘Best Man’ to kidnap the bride and bring her to a local club until the groom discovers the exact place. Once the groom finds his bride, then he has to pay the bill for all the beverages they drank.
Traditional Attire in a German Wedding:
A German bride usually wears a beautifully-stitched heirloom gown or one from her mother or older sister. The dress is adorned with a glamorous wedding crown, which is constructed of tinsel, wire, pearls, ribbons, artificial flowers and pins. Young girls used to wear wreaths that are made of flowers. The veil of a bride is typically a fingertip long and is rarely worn over the bride’s face. This is a custom for bride to hold salt and bread as a symbol of good harvest. On the other hand, groom usually wears a black tuxedo and carries grain as an omen of prosperity and good luck. Well, it’s not customary to have groomsmen, bridesmaid and flower girls in a German wedding.
Roping the Couple:
This tradition is followed by tying red ribbons and garlands of flowers that are placed across their exit; the bridegroom has to buy their ransom with the promise of a party or with some cash.
Finally the Newlyweds First Night:
Friends and cousins often play some hilarious pranks and tricks with the couple- like slackening the head board of their bed, thrashing the room with tons of alarm clocks, hiding in wardrobes and filling the entire room with lots of balloons and so on.
All these customs and traditions are really a fun and make your wedding ceremony the most memorable day of your life if you get go attend one German Wedding! All these traditions have been followed since the existence of Germany or even before that. If you love knowing about the world and its diverse norms in different corners of the universe then German’s traditions would fascinate you the most. You can search on Youtube to watch these traditions and enjoy every bit of a German Wedding. Do let us know your views about this article. Cheers!