If you visit Germany during wedding seasons, you will find various wedding traditions that are unique. Usually the wedding in Germany is completed in three days; these three days need not to be consecutive. Following are important features of German weddings.
First Day Wedding Rituals
The first day of wedding ritual takes place in the presence of the justice of peace. It is known as Standesbeamte. The German wedding traditions don’t legalise the marriage when it is held only in church. This ceremony is attended by the couple’s family members and closest friends. The couples intending to get married need to give a six-week notice. If this is not done, the marriage is held in the city hall and attended by two witnesses apart from the couple and their parents. The ceremony is followed by the lavish dinner.
Second Day Wedding Rituals
After one week or one day of the Standesbeamte, an informal party (known as Polterabend) is held by the relatives and friends of the couple. They bring kitchenware and old porcelain and break in front of the couple. It is believed that the broken crockery will bring good luck and happy married life to the couple. After that the couple are cleaning everything. This is to ensure that nothing will be left broken in their lives.
The junggesellenabschied is the custom in which the groom along with his friends goes to local pub.
Third Day Wedding Rituals
The third day wedding ritual takes place in church. The groom and the bride together enter the church and walk down the aisle. You will find the bride in a white gown with fingertip veils. She carries bread and salt to symbolise good harvest. The white ribbon of attached with her bouquet is tied to the car antenna after the ceremony. The groom usually wears black tuxedo and carried grains symbolising wealth and good luck.
The couple while coming out of the church receives the rains of rice thrown by their friends. There is a belief that they will have as much children as much rice is hidden in hairs of the bride. In the return, the couple throws the coins to the children. The wedding car of the couple is decorated with flowers and it carries them to the reception venue. The guests follow the couple and shout slogans for their good luck.
Kidnapping of Bride
There is custom that the bride is kidnapped by the friends and taken to the local pub. The groom ties to find her out and when he succeeds, he pays the bills of drinks taken by friends.
Reception and Dance
Both the fathers make speeches to praise the couple at reception dinner. This followed by the dance of bride and groom together. Then the dance takes place by bride and her father, the groom and his mother, the bride’s mother and the groom’s father respectively. At last all the guests reach the dance floor and participate in the dance. After the dinner, when the couple leave, their path is blocked with ribbons by the friends. The couple is allowed to go only when they promise for another party.