Have you ever wondered how weddings are undertaken in different cultures? This can lead to some fascinating insight. You just never know when you might find yourself being invited to a marriage ceremony featuring people with diverse and interesting ancestral heritage.
Take the example of a German wedding (Germany being Europe’s second most populous country, and German the official language of six countries and widely spoken in parts of the world where Germans have settled, including South America, Africa, Oceania, and so on.) How do Germans get married?
Course of the progress is inevitable
Before exploring the many wonderful traditions associated with German marriage, it might be worth taking a step back and considering the bigger picture. How do German singles connect in the 21st century? Typically, these days, more and more of them are relying on the digital environment.
In recent years there has been an explosion in interest in these convenient and flexible online services, with Romantische-Tipps providing a platform for all sorts of individuals, hosting numerous dating options and ensuring quick and convenient filtering of prospective matches.
Dating websites and apps can provide common ground for people from a variety of backgrounds, introducing algorithms – a type of computer software – that will focus on bringing site members together through compatibility and shared hobbies. Anyone specifically seeking a German single can find their search being fine-tuned to home in on the most suitable candidates.
Influence of globalization and multiculturalism
Why have dating sites been able to tap onto a rich stream of interest? This is down to the fact we are now living in a much more global setting. The digital dimension has ensured national boundaries and cultural barriers are being broken down like never before.
Globalization and multiculturalism run in parallel with opportunities for socializing. If you sign up for a matchmaking platform, you can quickly find yourself interacting with a diverse range of potential candidates for romance. Within minutes of registering, you might well find yourself flirting with an exciting single from Frankfurt or Berlin. With software that can translate any language in real-time, conversations can flow.
Wedding customs and traditions in Germany
Now let’s have a look at some interesting and sometimes unusual wedding traditions from German culture. Some of them are similar to the ones of other European cultures, while others are quite unique.
Polter night or Polterabend
This is a custom that predates Christianity. The day before the wedding ceremony, things can get quite violent! Objects such as porcelain or stoneware get smashed up by the bride and groom’s friend and family. The origins of this weird display go back to the times when people believed evil spirits were needing to be chased away.
An important modern variation to this trend is that glass is never destroyed because of the obvious potential to inflict wounds. In some parts of Germany, Porter night concludes with the groom’s trousers or bride’s underwear being burned at midnight, symbolizing the end of their single lives. The ashes are then buried by a bottle of schnapps and a year later this becomes an excuse for the drink to be unearthed to toast the Polter night.
Sleeping apart the night before
The betrothed must not share a bed the night before the ceremony, otherwise bad luck will ensue. They usually stay in different places with bride spending her night before wedding at her parents’ house even if a couple has been living together for some time.
“Kidnapping” the bride
This unusual tradition was once widespread in Germany. Here, the best man of the groom is given the task of taking the bride away and treating her to a pub crawl. The whereabouts of this outing is kept secret, but hints and clues are left behind to enable the prospective groom to keep tabs on the kidnapped woman. The best man and the bride would continue drinking until the groom’s appearance, who would then ‘free’ his impending bride by paying the outstanding bill.
Black and white dress code
Since the late 19th century, German brides have opted for neutral colours, although the most crucial aspect of the dress code is that the partner must never catch sight of the wedding dress before the big day – doing so is said to inspire misfortune. Typical choice is a white dress for a bride and black (dark) suite for a groom.
The veil dance or Schleiertanz
By tradition, the German bride wears her white bridal veil until midnight, at which point she will undertake the bridal veil dance. Sometimes her girlfriends will try to tear off strips of the veil – whoever tears the largest is destined to become the next bride!
Sawing the tree trunk or Baumstamm sägen
Popular in rustic areas, the bride and groom would saw a log in tandem, symbolizing their ability to pool their strength and work as a team.
To make the most of your German wedding, you should make the most of all the opportunities listed above. What other skills can you bring to the table? You might not have considered being a good writer as necessary, but it can make quite a difference. You could plan wedding speeches that your guests will always remember with fondness, as well as ensuring all your admin tasks pass without any hitches!