8/4 – Walked from the Ibis Hotel in Frankfurt back to the train station, for a twenty minute ride to Hanau. Here we were met by beautiful niece Jeanette, sister of the groom, and her handsome beau Marcus, who drove us to our hotel. We walked around Steinhaim, which is an old town with the wooden Alpine architecture so typical of Germany. Still gray and rainy, but the sun is supposed to shine tomorrow for the wedding.
8/5 – The wedding day is here, beautiful and sunny. Jeanette and I are waiting at the hotel for the groom to arrive.
The church was decorated with flowers, and there was a full mass. The guests really participated, singing every hymn. The bride, Eva-Maria, was so beautiful! There were no bridesmaids or groomsmen. It was all about the happy couple.
After the church service, all the guests walked down the street to witness the civil ceremony at 15:00. This is something that does not happen at American weddings. The civil ceremony lasted almost as long as the church service, and the witnesses had to promise to help the new couple with everything, including chores. This got a round of laughter, so I’m pretty sure it was a joke.
Then we all went out into the garden, to watch the newlyweds cut a heart out of a big piece of red cloth, using dull manicure scissors, and then step through it together. This is also something we don’t do in the US.
At 19:00, we filed into the banquet hall for supper. I was starving, and everything smelled so good! The buffet included salads, potatoes, pasta, chicken, fish and the absolutely best roast beef I have ever tasted, cut in half inch slabs and covered in brown gravy. Folks went back for seconds and thirds. Words just cannot do it justice. Everything was delicious.
Then there were games and performances by family members to entertain the bride and groom. The party was still going strong when we took our leave around 22:30, and we heard the party didn’t break up until 02:30. A full day of celebration!