German Wedding Traditions
German wedding tradition started far before the exact wedding day. When a girl
was born, parents planted several trees in her honor. Before her wedding day
these trees were sold, and the money earned was used as a dowry. The color
of the wedding gown in the nineteenth-twentieth centuries was black, and it
was not until the end of the World War II, when the color was changed to white.
In the nineteenth century the brides who lost their virginity before the wedding
married in a black suit as opposed to the virgins, who were wearing the white
veil as a symbol of their virginity. Ever-increasing urbanization in Germany
resulted in significant loss of traditions, especially concerning the wedding
night and associated beliefs.
German wedding tradition is very similar to French one, but of course, there
are some distinctive features. First of all, the wedding lasts for three days:
the first is the civil ceremony, the second is the big wedding party, and the
third is the religious ceremony. Wedding party is marked with the old dishes
breaking, and the newly married sweep the pieces together - this symbolizes
that nothing is expected to be broken again in this family. Modern tradition
requires the creation of the wedding newspaper with stories, biographies and
pictures of the future newlyweds. Then this newspaper is sold and money is spent
to compensate for the wedding and honeymoon.
The religious ceremony in general complies with the West European traditional
ceremonies, but German brides do not have the bridesmaids, and are accompanied
only by the flower girls. On their way out the newlyweds throw coins to the
children waiting near the chapel. The reception after the religious ceremony
is usually interrupted by the bride's abduction by the best man and further
buyout by the groom. When the time comes to leave for the honeymoon, they
have to pay for the exit.
Further information on National Wedding Traditions:
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