How to Get Through A German Wedding

1. When you find out the wedding is going to last 12 hours and you may have to interact in a different language, cry a little. Really, a moan is sufficient. It won't get you out of it and it won't make you feel better, but do it anyway. Allow your husband to offer you support and wine. Then book separate plane tickets.

2. The day before, before the wedding, get lost. Literally. (The Germans can't blame you if you accidentally miss the wedding, can they?!)

3. Ok, so you really should go to the wedding and you know it. Now is the time to hike up the phone bill by calling the one person you know who lives in Germany at late o'clock at night. Do yourself a favor and argue with the hubby about who will make that call first though.

"You call! You understand the German accent better than me!"
"No! You call! He's your friend!"


Speaker phone, it is. :)

4. Then, after you make that call, realize you have to call this other German dude so you can check into your Airbnb rental before midnight. (I told you it was late o'clock!)


5. Finally, everything is worked out and the big day is here. Hubby is trying to figure out his phone and you are trying to look somewhat decent despite the fact that it rained the night before and made your hair frizzy/curly. And you can't find that cover up you bought! Where'd you leave it? At home? in the car? Argh! Why did you wake up so late anyway?! At least there is muesli! :)

6. Take your flip flops, because you will be shooting wedding day photos who-knows-where in who-knows-what. You've done a lot of climbing random things in flip flops before and it's far better to shoot in those than heels. Besides, you can show off your pretty, painted toenails. ;)

7. When you get to the bride's parent's home, realize that you really should have worn hose. Y'know … the hose your husband told you not to bring because "it will be too hot". Then, from that point on, have every single German woman offer to let you borrow a pair of hers for the rest of the day. You will get asked at least 10 times.

#HowToFeelSelfConciousALLDAY #AmericansDontOfferHoseToStrangers

8. Realize that when you shoot the bride and groom peering through flowers and trees, you will get weird looks from them, their best lady, and the actually paid photographer. We must do things the normal way. The boring way. Pose the couple. Shoot from one angle. Done. Bleh. Besides, does the real wedding photographer really want you to copy his shots? No. I should think not. If you're doing this for fun, you might as well try to be original without getting in the photographer's way.

9. When you do random things like crawl on the hard, wet ground in an effort to take original photos while wearing a pretty dress and flip flops, be warned that you will be called "tough" by the bride's family. Is this a compliment? An insult? Who knows?!

10. Perhaps you should hold off on getting a glass of water when the groom offers it to you the first time. After all, his sweetheart will drink it all at which point you will embarrass her when she asks if you have a drink. Saying "you drank my drink" to her in front of her family and friends is not the best way to win her over in friendship. Unfortunately, claiming to have never had a drink would be a lie, and you aren't entirely certain how the groom would take you saying that since he did, in fact, provide you with a drink once before. Maybe you should just go hide in the bathroom and avoid this conversation altogether. ;)

11. When a second drink is offered and you agree to have ice in it, everyone and their cousin(s) will look at you like you are from another country. "It's too cold," they will say. Ha. Wimps. Clearly, those Germans should spend more time climbing mountains barefoot in the snow uphill both ways. ;)

12. If and when the bride's parents decide to have you walk in front of them to the church, accept with gratitude. Think really hard about giving them a hug, but decide against it. You are, after all, a "tough American". Might as well add unsentimental to the list too.

13. Sit anywhere in the church after you look at the Germans confused and they respond … by not responding. How did you not think to ask about where to sit beforehand? Ahh yes! You are tough, unsentimental Americans! You do what you want when you want! You don't care about following the rules! Instead, you break them! ;)

14. At the reception site, make friends with the new photographer. (Weddings can't have just one photographer; that would be boring.) Distract her from taking pictures of the bride and groom. Talk about how heavy your cameras are especially with the attached flash. Sneak a picture of the groom's cousin taking a picture of you as you take a picture of him. (I guess that isn't actually sneaking at that point, is it?) Hide behind presents while the bride and groom get sung to. Avoid cake, bread, and all of the "essen". You have pictures to take.

15. Then! Realize that you really want to change clothing. Ask the photographer when this happens. Look surprised when she tells you that it doesn't! "But at American weddings…" you begin… This is when she offers you the very kind advice of waiting until everyone is too drunk to notice that you have changed. How nice!

16. Watch as your husband gets completely wasted.

Or not.

Yell at him to keep him in shape. The Germans can get drunk, but your husband is not allowed. Your rules and you are wife. This does get significantly more difficult when the groom's brother and cousins offer your husband all of the drinks. Stay strong. You can do it. :)

17. At the end of the night, go home (to your rental Airbnb) and pass out. You have jet lag to catch up on.

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