German Wedding Traditions
Before the German Wedding Day
According to German wedding tradition, when a baby girl is born in Germany, several trees are planted in honor of her birth. When her wedding date is set, the trees are sold, and the money is used for her dowry.
A unique German pre-wedding custom is the creation of a wedding newspaper by the friends and family of the bride and groom. This newspaper, or booklet, is filled with pictures, articles and stories of the engaged couple. The newspaper is sold at the wedding reception, to assist with the expenses of the honeymoon.
German Marriage Celebrations
A traditional wedding day, in Germany, could actually last three days. First, German couples who are getting married must have a civil ceremony at the city center, which only family and close friends attend.
The next night is the big wedding party. The bride and groom invite all of their friends, neighbors and acquaintances.German wedding tradition says it's good luck for guests to bring old dishes to break. The newlyweds then sweep up the broken pieces together, symbolizing that nothing will ever be broken in their house again.
Religious Marriage Ceremonies in Germany
On the third day, the German religious wedding ceremony takes place. German brides do not have traditional wedding attendants except for flower girls.
Sometime during the vows, when the couple are on their knees, the groom might kneel on his brides wedding dress to show who will be 'wearing the pants' in the relationship. When they stand, the bride might step on her groom's foot to show otherwise.
As the newlyweds leave the wedding chappel, they throw coins to the children watching.
A wedding reception follows the religious service.. It is customary for the 'best man' to steal the bride from the reception and take her to a local pub, where they drink champagne until the groom finds them. Then the groom has to pay for all that they drank. Later, friends of the couple block all the reception site exits with ribbons and garlands. When the couple is ready to leave for their honeymoon, the groom must pay a toll to exit, usually the promise of another party.