What fun to travel, and to see what traditions other cultures observe surrounding weddings! Last year (December 2012) I was delighted to write about weddings in Cambodia as we drove thru the small villages near Siem Reap.
This year finds us in Germany; driving through the Black Forest and visiting many smaller towns and hamlets. In Germany, the couple must go to the city hall, or “Rathaus” to obtain their license and have the civil ceremony. They are accompanied by family and friends, and may have a small celebration after the ceremony in the office.
Or: they may leave the town hall and move to another venue for a full-on wedding celebration. On our drive between Rothenburg and Heidelberg, we stopped in the small town of Schwabisch Hall (yes, that’s the name of the town!). The Saturday morning market set up in the square (marktplatz). And , there alongside the square on the steps of the Rathaus was a family group having photos. The bride and groom and their families looked very happy, and our guess is that they had just finished with the local registrar.
Sitting outside having lunch in Heidelberg, a young couple came walking down the cobblestone street on their way to ?? – who knows! All dressed up, and he was schlepping the suitcase.
In the town of Freiburg, where we have been for the last couple of days, we found that Friday is THE DAY for weddings at the town hall. Below: the photos of two brides… about 45 minutes apart, when they came out of the Rathaus and were celebrating.
Also in Freiburg, we saw a lovely bridal salon – so much like the ones we have in L.A. … beautiful gowns on the mannequins, lots of gowns on the racks, and a good seating/viewing area for the try-ons. Things seem to be fairly similar in both locales!
Along with brides, we always seem to find wedding cakes and other wedding-related items that are fun to note. Everything from silly toasting flutes to an old (17th Century) wedding vase in the glass museum, to a fun wedding cake look.
So: today in Munich we attended Oktoberfest. This is NOT a small event! 6 milliion international people pour into Munich for this event every year. It’s a combination of the State Fair (Midway + food+games) and then, of course, the drinking halls. The drinking halls are huge tents set up just for this event every year. They hold up to 6000 people each! We were in the Hofbrau House Tent at lunch time … the photo from the balcony shows you the place was packed, and rocking, at 1:00 p.m.
Then… in came a group of guys, all dressed in green outfits. We asked our guide “what’s the deal?”. He said – oh, it’s a stag party. So… I made my way over to their section and introduced myself. I started with “does anyone speak English?” …. (seemed the right way to start). Turned out they were from England!! So, a destination stag party from London …here in Munich. How fun!
The groom is the guy in the “girl” get-up. We had fun with photos and a short chat.