Our trip to Bielefeld

Two weekends ago, we took a trip to Bielefeld for the wedding of one of Tobi’s childhood friends. We took the train up (veeeeery early, I might add!) the same day. Our cousin Christoph picked us up from the station and we had breakfast with his family before going to Tobi’s parents’ house to have lunch and get ready for the wedding. Theo wore his baptism outfit again.

The wedding service was good, especially when Tobias played his cello in the string quartet. Theo cried a bit, but otherwise did really well. The reception was really nice, too, and the food was great! There was a fun photo booth setup for the guest book…here are the bride and groom! (He’s a chemist, so there were all sorts of props related to that…)

Theo even had his own seat and place card!

We had fun talking to this couple, who actually live in Chicago and flew in for the wedding.

German weddings also include a number of games. They had quite a few of them here, including musical contributions, a poem, picture slideshows, and a game where the bride and groom had to sit back to back and answer questions about themselves by holding up the groom’s shoe or the bride’s shoe depending on the answer. (i.e. Who takes up the most room in bed? Who dances better? Who cooks better?) It’s funny when the couple doesn’t answer the same way!

The one that most made me laugh, however, was this very interesting version of the opera Carmen…sung by sock puppets!

And then, when Theo was sleeping soundly in the stroller, we joined these people on the dance floor. At some point, it was only the kids, the bride and groom, and us out there dancing. The best part was that the kids copied everything Tobias did – he was the dancing trendsetter! At one point, I said to him that he could do whatever he wants and the kids would follow, kind of like a cult leader or something. Which led to some extremely funny “dance” moves, including a conga line that snaked in and out of itself, and the time he removed one shoe and put it in the middle of the circle. When all of the kids did the same, he then took one shoe back out of the middle — not his! — and put it on and danced around with it for a bit before switching back to the correct shoe. It was hilarious!

True to German fashion, the wedding cake came out at midnight. As well as a midnight snack. I chose cheese over cake!

German gift-giving: don’t forget the cellophane!

Germans are really good at presenting gifts. Especially when that gift comes in the form of cash. You don’t just stick it in a card and call it a day. It must be folded into some shape and built into some sort of diorama, which is then wrapped up in cellophane to give it that nice, festive look, but that doesn’t require you to actually unwrap the present right away because you can already see what’s inside.

Like this picture frame with an island scene and a money boat:

Or this vase with a ladder and a bunch of some sort of googly-eyed, arrow-like creatures crawling up it…(not sure what that’s supposed to be; perhaps an inside joke?)

See?

You can’t see it in this picture very well, but the one in front with the big red bow on it was a house built out of money, complete with farm animals and trees. (The couple just bought a house, so I’m guessing it is to go towards costs for that.)

Interesting, right? We also gave money, but weren’t quite as creative. We just stuck the money in the card. Although we at least folded it into a paper airplane before putting it in the card, which I wouldn’t have thought of if it hadn’t been for Tobias being German.

It was all in all a lovely evening, and very fun to experience another German wedding. And it was Theo’s very first wedding!

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