Wedding Traditions in Germany
Interesting Wedding Traditions and Customs in Germany
The Germans respect and honor their ancient traditions and rituals, follow them for centuries, and make sure that the details are not forgotten. Therefore, if you are going to have a wedding in Germany, you must know about the most popular customs and be interested in this topic, in general. This kind of curiosity will always help you to show your cultural awareness and prevent any embarrassing situations.
So, what wedding traditions and customs are there in Germany. Of course, it is important to remember that each region of the country differs not only by dialects but also by cultural foundations. There are some general national traditions that familiar to every German.
Bachelor/Hen Party (Junggesellenabschied)
This is an event that takes place a few days before the wedding, where the bride and groom gather with the closest friends and officially say goodbye to their single life separately from each other. Meetings are held in pubs or bars. Sometimes dancers are invited. These parties are fun and noisy, and they last until late at night. Almost all Germans follow this tradition.
Relatives and friends create a nice family collage, which consists of photos and personal stories of the newlyweds, holiday pictures, and quotes. This is a very touching custom as all the most valuable moments are in one place, and at any moment you can refresh your memory only by picking up this beautiful wedding gift.
Often German girls buy their wedding shoes with money that is collected specifically for this reason since their childhood. Some of them pay using coins only. It is considered a symbol of the frugality of the future wife. Besides, it makes a special point when you walk down the aisle in those shoes and realize that you've been preparing for the ceremony your whole life.
Before the wedding, a dinner is held in the bride's house. This is a rehearsal before the main celebration. There are no special invitations, but often colleagues or neighbors that are not invited to the main celebration come to this dinner. Parents of the bride can enjoy a large buffet, and guests bring snacks, pastries, and alcohol, as well as all kinds of porcelain dishes (vases and dishes). This is for the final and most important event of the evening when everyone goes out and breaks it all under the windows of the house. All of these dishes get smashed for happiness, and parents and guests wish the couple a successful married life. Future spouses will have to collect all the pieces to prove that they will cope with all the difficulties together.
In some villages and small towns, there is a tradition for friends of the couple to steal the bride and hide her in a pub. Then the groom with his friends is looking for her in all the pubs in the city. He must drink something in every single pub. This is quite a dangerous tradition, which sometimes does not end well.
Wedding dresses In Germany are often the same as elsewhere. They are white or ivory, mostly long. Sometimes girls choose more unusual outfits and appear in short dresses or even suits.
If the bride covers her hands, there is always a coin inside a glove for the future wealth of the family.
A veil is needed to protect the bride from evil spirits and misfortunes. The same applies to the bouquet.
At the end of the ceremony, the newlyweds are traditionally sprinkled with rice, prophesying a comfortable future for the couple. It is also believed that a bride will give birth to as many children are there are grains of rice in her hair.
According to another custom, on their wedding day, a young couple planta a rose bush together. Thus, they are laying the foundation of their life together. Also, sometimes after the ceremony, the newlyweds saw a log together showing mutual help and support.
After the wedding, the couple is given a glass of wine. The groom passes it to the bride after drinking a little. The bride tastes the drink and pours the rest around the groom to keep him attracted to her forever, and the glass is broken for good fortune.
The wedding cake is usually large and tiered. The couple must cut a large piece together and the one, whose hand will lie on top of the knife, will become the head of the family.
On a wedding day, there is a tradition to give valuable and beautiful gifts. The Germans carefully approach the packaging of the present so some of the gifts may look like pieces of art. Also, sometimes guests receive special notes with the names of different items that the young couple would like to receive.
The newlyweds ride around the entire city. There are white ribbons on the car, and the hood is usually decorated with floral arrangements. Cars honk, and other drivers honk at them in response.
Wedding celebrations in Germany are exciting and fun. This day is considered the most important in the life of the newlyweds so they try to make it as bright and memorable as they can.