German marriage traditions have considerably influenced Western wedding
traditions. Among its many customs, the Heiratsvertrag (prenuptial agreement)
is probably the most recognizable.
The concept of ‘best man’ also has Germanic roots. In olden
times, where the groom is known to kidnap their brides from neighboring
villages, he will request the assistance of his friend (the best man)
to fend off the pursuing villagers.
Another famous aspect of the German wedding is the Junggesellenabschied,
a raucous party held a few days before the wedding which exhibits the
familiar features of music, crockery smashing, food and drinks – a
very likely precursor to bachelor parties that we have come to appreciate
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Your start of the wedding
process by making a heiratsantrag, a marriage proposal to your German
girlfriend. This will lead to a simple engagement party that will lead
to the engagement ring exchange. The engagement rings used are normally
just plain gold ones, minus the diamonds and emeralds. A mutually agreed
period before the actual wedding will be set. In German custom, the birth
of a baby girl into the family will lead to the planting of a tree in
her honor. The tree will be cut down and sold to finance her marriage.
While this is not a typical practice in present time, the hypothetical
gap is observed in determining the wedding date.
Your wedding day starts with a visit to the Standesamt (Civil Registration
Office) which will only be attended by immediate families and close friends.
The trip will be in a convoy of cars accompanied by plenty of honking.
Other cars normally honks back wishing the couple good fortune. This
is sometimes followed with a visit to a local cathedral for a religious
service. A wedding reception follows immediately after.
Arriving at the reception, the best man will promptly kidnap your bride
and take her to a local watering hole. Once you find then, you will have
to pick up the tab before he will release her to you. Upon returning
to the reception, the father of the bride will make a wedding toast and
invite you and your bride to the floor for the compulsory waltz. Both
of your in laws will join in soon after and the rest of the guests not
long after that.
As you and your bride exit the place after the reception concludes, guests
will sprinkle rice on you both, blessing the both of you with an abundance
of prosperity. Once you arrive safely home, do not let down your guard yet.
Germans are famous for their notorious pranks on wedding night. Among the most
popular tricks you should look out for is the bed falling apart and hidden
alarm clocks (set to ring at the oddest hours).