Two hearts, two traditions, two weddings… One life together
Combining our two cultures, we were legally married in Germany on June 9th, 2011 and are having an additional celebration ceremony on October 15th, 2011 in the Mayan Riviera, Mexico. I had the most amazing day at our first wedding and feel like the luckiest girl in the world because I get to do it all over again in a few months 🙂
Two weddings are very common in Germany, as they separate church and state. Every couple must marry in the Standesamt – town hall. If the couple decides to have an additional celebration ceremony then their legal ceremony is small and intimate, but many modern day couples do not celebrate in a church, therefore their legal ceremony is much bigger. We got a little of both…
Norman and I said “see you later” around 9:00 in the morning as I left to get my hair done. My mom and Ethan sat with me as my hairdresser spent 90 minutes creating my hair style that somewhat resembled the picture I brought in. We used my translator app (very helpful!) to better understand one another and I was very happy with the final result. The boys spent the day getting ready at Tolga’s flat and by getting ready I mean spending hours in the garden drinking beers and then minutes actually getting dressed, haha. I was very relaxed as my mom, Lisa, and I drank champagne and snacked, while I slowly got ready. I hadn’t tried on my ‘June dress’ as I call it in a few months and became a bit nervous when we realized how open the top seemed to be, ie you could see straight down my chest! Our quick solution, maybe not the best solution, was to super glue the dress to my skin! It worked for few hours, but I ran back to the flat and added a lace tube bra before our pictures and dinner. Norman’s family came here for last minute touch ups and I helped with the girlies hair. When it was finally time, we all set out towards the town hall. Walking through the city was surreal and it was finally starting to hit me… I was getting married! People starred and took pictures, as I desperately tried not to trip while walking in heels down the cobblestone streets… not fun. I was very anxious to see Norman, knowing that all my nervous jitters would disappear once I was in his arms.
The boys met the rest of us in the courtyard and seeing Norman on our wedding day brought tears to my eyes. Seeing my dad and brothers helped in those tears making their way down my cheeks. There was a lot of hugging, a lot of smiles, and a lot of kissing! I was surprised by how relaxed I felt, but I guess when every part of your body knows that a situation is right, there is no reason to feel anything other than joy. But I also think a big reason for my calm feelings were that I was with Norman before the ceremony, I can’t imagine the “american tradition” of waiting and walking down the aisle towards him. Now that would make me nervous… I guess I will see what that feels like in October. Even though we will have been married for a few months, I still know that the second half of our wedding celebrations are going to be exciting and they will still feel ‘real.’ We waited a few minutes before walking up the stairs and through the doorway, which we would soon walk out of as husband and wife.
Our parents –Cyndi, Richard, Ramona, and Klaus, our siblings – Kai, Ethan, Nadine, Kathrina, and Calvin, our witnesses – Tolga and Lisa, Norman’s very good friend – Marko, and our friend and photographer – Frank joined us in celebrating our first wedding ceremony. We sat at a table facing Herr Görgen and Herr Kann – the translator sat beside me. The two men took turns speaking – one paragraph in German, then translated into English. Mr. Kann made us laugh with his personal connection to my home when stating “Chelsea… born… in THE MILE HIGH, Colorado USA” Good man!
We were given our ‘Stammbuch der Familie’, which is a ‘family book’ given to every couple on their wedding day and is used as a legal keeping of important documents relating to the new family. I signed our marriage certificate with my new name – a bit awkward, as I realized I hadn’t practiced it yet. Since then I have spent time playing with my new name and trying to decide what my new signature could look like though… a very fun game! Norman kissed the bride, we were introduced as Ehemann und Ehefrau Treinen – husband and wife, and we turned to see smiles on our family’s faces and tears in their eyes. It was a wonderful and intimate celebration of the love Norman and I have for each other.
Lisa brought rose petals from her garden that everyone threw into the air while cheering as we walked back into the courtyard together. We celebrated with champagne and took part in another German tradition, which I thought was very fun and a bit silly. The new couple must show how they will work together on their marriage… together we swept up all the rose petals. An alternative option would be sawing a tree trunk in half using a two-man saw… THANK YOU Lisa for bringing flowers and not lumber.
We had originally planned to visit a wine garden after the ceremony, but were having such a wonderful time that we ended up staying and spending a few hours in the courtyard. Frank Martini did an amazing job of capturing the whole day and everyone that celebrated with us, but he also did a fantastic job working on our posed pictures, which were taken in the Palace Gardens across the street from our flat. Ethan and Kai helped with the process and were named our “prop boys” holding my bouquet, shawl, and Frank’s equipment. The results are gorgeous and will be cherished forever!
The celebrating continued at the Romikulum Restaurant where we were joined by more of Norman’s close friends. The food was delicious, the atmosphere was romantic and classy, and the laughter that filled the room made us very happy. Norman’s family and friends are so amazing and I feel really blessed to have such wonderful people around me out here. Of course I miss everyone at home (a lot), but I couldn’t be happier with the group of people surrounding us on this side of the world.
The day was perfect and everything I could have hoped for. I really think our solution of two weddings is perfect because after all is said and done; nearly everyone that we love will have celebrated with us in at least one location. I thought of my family and friends that were not physically with us on this day but who support and care about the two of us no matter how far away we may be. I love having Norman as my husband and I feel so lucky to have found such a wonderful man, even if it meant traveling halfway around the world to find him! I still can’t believe that I married the ‘cute guy from the restaurant in Cambodia’… wow LIFE REALLY IS AN ADVENTURE!
Click here to see more of our wedding pictures on facebook… https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.750168878812.2254031.42104254&l=c409088522