11 May 2017 - The Wedding of Andreas and Carsten
We awoke to a lovely sunny day, got dressed and caught the train to Pankow. There we walk to the Rathaus a lovely old building, where the civil ceremony was held. It was a short service led by the marriage celebrant and is the legal part of the marriage. When this ceremony is over Andreas and Carsten have all the legal rights that married couples are entitled to. Not everyone goes to the civil ceremony as the church wedding is the more important part. We were honoured to be at this part of this ceremony and it was nice to meet many of the guests. After the ceremony we walked down the road to a local park for nibbles and champagne. The weather was so sunny we could have stayed all day.
I made friends with Erica a lovely 96 year old and her son. Erica's English was excellent. I wish my German was better.
After drinks we made our way home, to get ready for the afternoon ceremonies.
The Civil Ceremony
Champagne in the Gardens
The Church St Johannis in Tiergarten.
The church was exquisite. I had to meet up with the other readers of the prayers and the pastor Sabina Rohm. We entered the church to magnificent organ music played by Dr. Ralf Lutzelschwab, Andreas's oldest friend and another historian, (religious manuscripts).The paster did a wonderful welcome both in English and German. The first hymn was in English and was sung with gusto by the English Speakers amongst us. The rest of the service except for my pray was in German so although we understood what was going on (having known the plot from previous weddings). We did not understand a word of it.
My prayer went down extremely well with the pastor saying she was impressed by it!!! What do you think?
Dear Lord, we pray today for your blessing on the marriage of Andreas and Carsten,
We ask that you grant them a long and happy life together,
Dear Lord, give them the strength and wisdom to overcome any trials that life may bring them,
May their love continue to grow stronger with time and may they never take each other for granted.
Dear Lord, we pray that you will help them to be responsible to each other, for the quality and happiness in their relationship.
We pray that they may empower each other to grow as individuals and to grow in their love for each other.
Dear lord, we pray that we their friends will be there to help them in times of need and enhance their times of joy.
We, the friends of Carsten and Andreas ask you to hear this prayer.
We left the church through a shower of rose petals and bubbles blown by many members of the congregation. Mini buses took us from the church to the reception
The Wedding Reception at The Savoy.
The wedding reception was at the Savoy a lovely old fashioned hotel were everything was done correctly, with the minimum of fuss. We started off with lovely drinks and nibbles while everyone settled in. Then into the dining room. We were on one big table in a u shape at our end where the Scottish, Australian, Austrian and other mainly English speakers.
Everyone was introduced by Carsten and Andreas and a little was said about each person. This was great fun and interesting as we had mostly heard of each other but never met before.
This was a very inclusive marriage, the glasses were smashed underfoot in the Jewish tradition as the main witness was a Jewish holocaust survivor, a mass was said for them in Ireland at Castle Donamon the morning of the wedding, and the main ceremony was of course in the Lutheran church. I think we got most bases covered.
The wedding guests were a marvellous mix of historians, theologists, philosophers and many others with interesting jobs or hobbies. The other witness Uta turns out to be a great singer and actor and entertained us with two hilarious songs about Andreas and Carsten.
Every one got on so well, the table was a buzz with conversations. The food and drink was superb and arrived with little fuss but all at the same time quite a feat for 50 people. Before we knew it we were drinking coffee and then out into the entrance room for a wedding waltz , well more like a few dances to everyone's favourites like "dancing queen" . Photo of me below I am dancing if you are wondering what I am doing!
1:30 am and we decided the time had come to leave. The rest of the people were mostly staying at the hotel, so could party on. The taxi took us through Berlin at night like a tour of Berlin we drove down the Unter der den Linden towards the Brandenburg Gate then around past the Bundestag. Everything was all aglow and no people. Quite a fairy tale trip home. A fantastic end to a fabulous day.