I just got back from Germany on Sunday after attending my cousin Anthony's, and his new wife Anja, wedding. Ian and I had been to visit them two years ago when we traveling and felt very honored to be invited to their wedding. Ian was not able to make it due to work but I went with the rest of the Wardles (Anthony's parents and brother and sisters, who I am spending most of my time with here in London). Friday morning the wedding took place in a registrar's office, and it was a beautiful building. A few of us got a little lost on the way there, being told to take the tram till you see a red brick building isn't so helpful when there are multiple! Haha. But we still made it there on time, with only a short walk between the three red brick buildings we found in between. The ceremony was really nice, they got to play some music and the room we were in was all white and nicely decorated. However I could not understand anything being said as it was all in German, but I did get the main bits where the said "I do" and exchanged rings and kissed at the end. And I knew all the music so I like that too! After that we all got onto a boat to head to the reception. We went past the building where they got married and then headed onto the reception. It was a really nice way to see the area and it was great to all be together to get to the reception.
We also learned a few German traditions from the wedding. When we got off the boat and walked up to the hotel, there was a log waiting for Anthony and Anja. It is an old tradition that a bride and groom must cut the log together in order to show that they can work together in a tough situation. The second tradition, which came very shortly after the log was that we were to have coffee and cake. We arrived just before 4PM and in German it is a tradition to have coffee and cake at 4PM. So we all sat down and watched them cut their beautiful wedding cakes and then enjoyed our dessert before dinner (I thought it was a pretty awesome idea).
And then after dinner we were back to all the normal wedding things we were used to; speeches and dancing. Thankfully they have quite a few bilingual friends so they were able to interpret Anja's father speech for us, Anthony went back and forth while he was talking, and then he also translated for Derek. It was a really wonderful night. Oh and Matilda and Josie (Anthony and Anja's daughter, seen in Anthony's arms above) were the flower girls and had beautiful matching dresses. And the picture below was my favorite, they gathered up all the sibling to do a photo on the playground. I thought it was a very unique idea.