French, German, Polish and English. If you haven’t been to a wedding that was translated into 4 languages… You maybe have never been to a true European wedding!
The wedding day arrived bright and early. Everyone was up in our flat taking turns getting ready as we had been graciously invited to attend the marriage document signing!
It was a very special experience for us to be a part of – as truly, it was only family present. There was some minor drama at the very last minute with fear that one of the witnesses had not made it to Berlin yet… However, at the final moment, he came swooping into the building and all was well!
The signing was relatively short, but really beautiful. I didn’t get any photos of the actual signing as that was forbidden. However, the room where it took place was a beautiful ornate oval room with a magistrate who was born to do this kind of work. Who knows how many of these she goes through every day, yet the emotion and genuine expression in her eyes as she went through all of the documents with Angelique and Thomas made it feel like this was the only one she had ever done.
After the signing – a few of us gathered outside to usher the newly weds to a celebratory toast at a nearby pub. Conveniently – just on the other side of the building!
Before we get to the photos – I have to apologize a bit. I believe all of these photos were taken with my iPhone. It was just another one of those situations where I didn’t quite feel right photographing with my SLR in such a candid situation. So – if the photos look a bit grainy, please forgive me!
After the champagne flowed for a bit it was time for a little work! Scott and I headed back to Angelique and Thomas’s flat to pick up some stuff to take to the venue for set up. I’ll have to admit, it was a bit more than I initially expected ha – but after 3 trips back and forth to the venue, it was all there! Wes accompanied us on the 3rd trip and helped us unload and unpack some of the stuff. It felt a little like a wrestling match, because as Scott, Wes and I finished – the rest of the family tagged in to perform set up!
The set-up too took a bit longer than expected, and by the time the rest of the family was done… there was a little drama with time tables. Alas, we knew this was the main event we had traveled thousands of miles for, and none of us were to be deterred! As they say, all’s well that ends well.
Once we arrived at the venue, everything looked beautiful! We were created with a fire lined walk that led guests up to the main event. Though it was raining a bit, and half of the venue was outside, the large umbrellas made it easy for guests to flow inside and out.
Once all of the guests had arrived, we ushered into the main hall for the ceremony. The main area was decorated as almost a burlesque (French) tent with candles and seats everywhere. It was absolutely gorgeous! The ceremony itself was a first for me. Each language; French, Germany, Polish and English were represented throughout the wedding. From the multi-colored envelopes guests could grab based on their preferred language. Down to the ceremony itself which was translated not once, but 4 times!
I have to say, I’ve perhaps never felt more American than when I was reading off the language options to guests, and they replied with “Any of those.”… I do well to understand a little French and a little Spanish!
This may be one of the shortest blogs I have ever written, however, it is impossible to describe what a time the next 7 hours encompassed! The speeches were beautiful (including one my mother gave as a guest of honor). The food was gourmet quality, and no glass was ever empty the entire time. I don’t know the last time I danced that much, or made that many friends in a single night! And I use the term “night” loosely. By the time we all left, it was going on 3:30 in the morning! Truly, truly, a special night that none of us will soon forget.
That’s all for me! I’m going to let the photos do the rest of the talking. Thank you again so much to our hosts and their families! It is truly a privilege to be able to call you all ‘family’!
– Andrew Jones-Brothers