02 October 2008

Jenny and Seppl's Wedding

I hopped on the tram today to head to Schkeuditz for the wedding, and about halfway through I realized the woman sitting in the same row as me was Seppl's grandma, who I met last Christmas. I greeted her, and together we went to meet at the city hall of Schkeuditz, a beautiful old building.

After Jenny and Seppl arrived, we were seated in a hall where a lady gave them advice and they signed the certificate. Another lady there turned on and off the cheesy music in between parts of the ceremony (Phil Collins and Elton John included).

Afterwards, everyone got up and greeted them. The new couple had to cut through a big piece of material with their names and a heart painted on it (usually with nail cutters I was told, but scissors work too), and Seppl carried Jenny through.

The flower girls were thrilled to forcefully shake all remaining petals out of those baskets. Hilarious.

Then, in the cellar (there are always restaurants in the cellars of city halls here), Jenny's dad led us in toasting the couple. We ate cake and I got to know all the non-German speakers.

Next, I took three of the non-German speakers to the hotel and then to the V├Âlkerschlachtdenkmal. I drove during the second part because the nice Polish girl was a really slow, really scared driver, and we only had thirty minutes before the reception. Her Dad's black Mercedes reminded me of the trip to Switzerland in May--you know, the drug trip that my dad loves to tell people about.

Then to the church, where the program was altered in emergency mode because of a sick piano player. They sawed a log together (another German tradition) and then everyone went inside. There I played the Minute Waltz (an unfortunate split-second decision that caused a slamming heartbeat, shaky hands, a red face, shortness of breath, and too many mistakes to have comfortably on a wedding video) and got to announce the program pieces. Then Jenny and Seppl cut the cake (no throwing or fighting or smearing involved), we toasted the couple again with all the people, and we dug into the lovely food.

After eating, we each received a numbered paper so we could all together paint a painting for the couple, and we were told to take pictures with funny hats on and a picture frame around us.

In Germany, it is tradition for the couple's first dance as a married pair to be the waltz, so waltz they did, each song picking a new partner so as many people as possible were dancing. Waltz we did, and I didn't mess up this time!

Once it was dark outside, we were each given a balloon with a glow-in-the-dark bracelet tied to it, and we let them all go into the sky. I wasn't exactly pleased about plastic bracelets and balloon remainders laying around Leipzig, but Jule said she'd pick them up in L├╝beck, where she's moving to on Saturday.

Then we watched two presentations, one about Seppl, and one about Jenny. Seppl's was hilarious and included a clay-mation he made when he was 14, and Jenny's was sweet.

Next, Jenny was told to put on those swimming fin thingies, and Seppl was told to put on boxing gloves. Together they had to gather money from balloons, with Jenny popping them with the fins and Seppl picking up the money with the gloves. Also hilarious.

Jenny and Seppl were later presented with a key that has been passed from couple to couple since 1949 (or was it 59?) every time there was a wedding in the Leipzig wards. I looked through the list and made some more family connections I hadn't known about before.

**I started cleaning up, and then they called my name in the microphone. Yikes! The throwing of the bouquet! There was material hanging from the ceiling, so it didn't look to me like she'd be able to throw it well. If anyone should be getting married soon, it's Petula, so I pushed her forward, but she went and hid. It all happened so quickly: Seppl yelled for her to throw it far, Jenny threw, it bounced off the material and went straight back down to the floor. We all kind of stared at it and laughed. Then I said, "Throw it again!" and I picked it up and handed it to her. Her dad declared that I was the receiver of the bouquet since I had picked it up and this seemed to please everyone. Ha ha. Twice in one year!**

Finally, everyone was worn out and started leaving, so we cleaned up for hours. In the end, I received a bowl of fruit, a plate of food, more flowers, and a ride home. The wedding was beautiful and small. I loved being a part of it. And, ironically, I was already planning on going to the temple tomorrow for a baptism session (with a Polish and Ukrainian group) and then to the Dresden Stake ball after, and that's when Jenny and Seppl will be sealed, so I'll probably see them there. Cool!

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