Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Before D&D came W&W...

A few weeks before heading Down Under for Dad and Diane's wedding, we headed down south to Schwarzwald (the Black Forest) for Wiebke and Wolfgang's church wedding. You may ask yourself why I said "church wedding", and the answer is this: Germans get "officially" married at a standesamtliche Trauung (Civil Registry wedding) - after this they are concidered "married". If the couple are members of a church, then they usually choose to get married in a kirchliche Trauung (Church wedding) either on the same day, or sometime later. In this case it was roughly six months after W&W's wedding at the town hall, and this time Bel got to play Bridesmaid for the day (and was kinda pretty too).

After the service, we all headed off to the reception venue (just up the road) for coffee and cake before the main meal. At this point in time, I took the opportunity to take on a real Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (Black Forest cake) - it beat me down, and it beat me down bad! These guys really don't hold back on the cherry liquor when making black forest cake, as well as not holding back on the thick layers of cream and cake that make up this monstrosity. It was AWESOME!!!

After the cake, and a bit of tummy pain, it was inside to an awesome 4 course dinner in the restaurant run by Wolfgang's auntie. My favourite dish was the "Indian wedding curry soup with lentils". I have never heard of this before - and it could be that they just invented it - but it was so delicious that I would have gladly had a second or even third helping, if it had have been on offer.

After the meal was finished, the evening kicked on to the giving of presents. This is another part of the day that is completely different to Aussie weddings. Here, groups of people organise themselves ahead of time and come up with elaborate group gifts. These are then presented to the couple in the form of challenges, games, or little plays or poems that they have written to go along with the gift.
One example of such a challenge was taking a tree trunk, boaring holes in it, and filling them up with 2€ coins. The holes were then plugged and glued, and the bridal couple had to chisel them open to get all the money back out.
Another example was a group that was sponsoring a massive BBQ for the bridal pair, but in order to win the various components that would make up the BBQ, the bridal pair had to try and guess the answers to questions that they hadn't seen. How does that work? The statements (eg. BMW drivers) were written on cards and carried through the audience. All of those people that matched the statement had to stand up, and the bridal pair had to try and guess what was on the card based on who was standing. This got kinda interesting when the cards progressed towards "Who has a belly button piercing" or "Who is wearing a G-string". :)

Another way that the weddings differentiate themselves from ours is that the bridal pair has to stay at the reception until the last guest has left. There is no bailing early, or no setting an end time like we do (usually midnight in Australia). No, poor W&W walked across to their hotel as the sun was coming up after kicking the last guest out at 5:30am! They asked themselves more than once that day why they had bothered to book an expensive suite at the hotel across the road. :)

Anyway, we had an awesome time, and were really happy that we got to share in this wonderful occasion with Wiebke and Wolfgang. We wish them all the best and that they continue to feel the joy, happiness, and love for one another that was written on their faces on their wedding day for the rest of their lives.

The cake that broke the Brushy


Things that I got in Australia...

Here is a list of things that I got in Australia:
  1. A new camera lens which we used at the wedding (Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 with VR);
  2. A ripper discount on said camera lens (at Croydon Camera House);
  3. 2 step-brothers, 1 step-sister, and 1 step-mother;
  4. A new found respect for low power cars (who needs a V8 when you are limited to 100km/h??);
  5. A dose of homesickness and a desire not to return to Germany;
  6. Pneumonia from my brother (night sweats followed by night shivers - still coughing);
  7. Looked after by pretty much everyone when I was sick (big thanks to Gwenda and my Mum); and finally
  8. Back on the plane to go home (most of which I slept through - Pneumonia isn't so bad after all).
See you all again at Christmas, and let's see if we can find something to top Pneumonia - maybe the Plague?


D&D's Day Down Under

A few weeks ago, Bel and I boarded the first of three flights back to Australia for a wedding - and a very special wedding at that. My Dad was getting married, and we weren't going to miss it for the world.

I don't think that I need to say much about the wedding, other than that it was beautiful and moving, and we were so happy that we were there to share the day with close friends and family.

So here are the photos of the beautiful side of the event:

Son, Daughter, Father, Son

B1 & B2 - such posers

Dad & Daughter do the lapel flower pinning thing

Water restrictions - gotta pay extra for water

What are they waiting for?

Dad & Daughter waiting patiently

THAT's what we've all be waiting for (for a few years)

Making the whole thing legal

The happy couple...

...dancing the night away

A random flower that I found pretty

The bouquet

And now those of the not so beautiful side:

Ah Nelson - such a picture of beauty

Is that Damo or Paul McDermot?

Who is that dashing fellow?

Oopsie forgot to do her face-ups this morning

On behalf of Bel and I, I just want to say thanks to Dad & Diane for inviting us to share in this special occasion. It was great to be a part of it, and I hope that you both find the happiness, joy, and comfort in your lives together that you both deserve.

PS: Nice work on having Fairy Bread at the reception. :)

Bj (on behalf of B2).