From the area’s huge Oktoberfest celebrations to the many breweries around town, the strong German heritage in this region of Ohio is widely known. Besides serving Wiener schnitzel at the reception how can a local bride incorporate her family traditions into her hochzeit (wedding)? We’ll look at how you can bring your German heritage into your wedding.
German traditions before the wedding
The old German tradition of “kidnapping” the bride for the groom to find can have a fun new twist. A few weeks before the wedding the bride and her ladies can orchestrate a scavenger hunt for the groom and his groomsmen. Giving hints like, “Your next clue is staged at the exact spot where we were engaged”, the men can go scrambling through the town and be greeted by a fun party for everyone at the end. You could even throw a traditional Polterabend where guests smash dishes to send good luck to the couple—just make sure you clear it with your venue first, of course.
Also notable, German tradition dictates the engagement ring is worn on the left hand but after the wedding it is switched to the right hand. It’s also traditionally a plain band but even German brides want the bling now and many are getting the rock-encrusted rings we typically see in our favorite jewelry store.
The tradition of Hochzeit-Schuhe says the bride must save up pennies for years to purchase her wedding shoes. To modernize this ritual, bridesmaids could chip in and present the bride with the shoes of her choice at her bridal shower.
German heritage in the wedding
A sweet tradition incorporates white ribbons carried with the bridal bouquet. After the ceremony the bride gives the ribbons to guests who tie them to the couple’s car antenna. To modernize this practice, the maid of honor could hand out the ribbons to guests after the recessional then guests could write their well wishes on them. Reading them a few weeks after the wedding would be a charming reminder of the couple’s special day. For a memorable keepsake the ribbons can then be put in a fill-able ornament for their first Christmas.
If worn, the veil is very particular for German brides. They are typically not taken off at all and only removed after the First Dance and Father/Daughter dances are complete.
Brides also carry salt and bread for good harvests and the groom grain for wealth. Instead of walking down the aisle carrying a pretzel, set up a small display with a card noting the tradition near the guest book.
Probably a tradition you don’t wish to do while dressed in an expensive, white gown and tuxedo, the bride and groom are presented with a log to saw through to show the guests that as a couple they can handle difficult tasks. To make this more reception (and effort) friendly, you could make the Groom’s Cake a log and cut into the first piece together.
Fir boughs are often laid down for the couple to walk on for luck. Having a few in front of the ceremony venue steps or even incorporated into the bridal bouquet would pay homage.
Whatever wedding traditions you wish to incorporate in your special day Roberts Centre can help. Our planning staff can help you navigate the old and new to make your day uniquely yours. Contact us today at 937-283-3272.