Let’s Break Some Dishes & Head to the Pub

A wedding cake frosted with the German flag colors.  This image was taken from Google.

Move over, Kim Kardashian.  You may have had an extravagant wedding that will air on E! in October, but your wedding did not last three days.  In Germany, the traditional wedding celebration typically lasts several days.  However, this differs depending on the region of Germany.

On the first day, the couple must have a civil ceremony in the center of town that only friends and family attend.  For the second day, guests must be ready to bring some dishes they don’t want back in one piece.  The couple throws a huge party with more family and friends to celebrate the marriage that’s about to take place.  During the party, dishes are broken and then cleaned up to symbolize the fact that nothing will ever be broken again in the household.  (This could refer to the marriage itself, or something physical in the house).  After that, the best man takes the bride out to a pub until the husband can find her.  The husband then has to pay for all the alcohol the two have consumed.  That tradition is called Polterabend.

Finally, on the third day, the actual wedding ceremony takes place.  German brides will only have flower girls as traditional (for Americans) wedding attendants, which means there aren’t any competitions to see who will have the task of being the bride’s maid.  During the vows, the couple kneels down and the groom will often rest his knee on the bride’s wedding dress.  By doing this, he shows the bride that he will wear the pants in the relationship.  However, if the bride decides to step on the groom’s foot, that means that she will have all of the control and he will limp out of the church.  A religious service can follow the wedding reception, seeing as not everyone does that nowadays.



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  1. Pingback: It's The Bride In Me – Let's Break Some Dishes & Head to the Pub | EuroKulture

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