Samstag, 29. August 2009

Scoping out the site

Hi all, so I'm here for the weekend at Mr. Schnitzel's family home, in the small town in the Alps where all of the wedding festivities will be taking place! We're here for a visit, but also to scope out some things, most particularly the Landhaus Sommerau where we will be holding our ceremony and reception. It looks like the whole date change debacle is shaping up into a great idea, namely holding the civil ceremony the day before with close family and friends, dressed in Dirndl and Lederhosen, followed by drinks at Mr. Schnitzel's family home and dinner at a cozy local German pub. Sitting here, with this lovely view of the church spire of Buchenberg, I can really picture it.

We haven't gotten a chance to go over and scope out the Sommerau yet, most because it's saturday in August and they, of course, have a wedding going on! (which would actually be kind of great to spy on, maybe I'll tramp up there later...) but we plan on heading over tomorrow to get something to eat and check out the event room again, as well as one of the hotel rooms, and just generally ask some basic questions. I have been endlessly flipping through their brochure and they really just offer everything and I think they will be really flexible with our ideas. I can't wait!

Yesterday when we arrived, Mama Schnitzel fed us and we got to talking about the wedding, of course. We hadn't yet discussed who she was interested in inviting, so she rattled off a list of names that I, of course, have never heard and Mr. Schnitzel looked confused, mostly because they are his polish relatives that he has, in fact, not seen for at least ten years, since he last visited Poland. And I got to thinking about how weddings are really amazing because they bring a whole bunch of people together who haven't seen eachother for a while or maybe ever for a common, joyous occasion and I got really excited about the chemistry that fills a room when so many people from so many different backgrounds and families and cultures get together for a fun event. I can't wait to meet everyone, and for everyone to meet eachother! Really, that's the most important thing to me (as I've said before, stitching together two families!)

Otherwise, I have been relaxing and staring with a giant goofy grin on my face at my husband-to-be :) *sigh*

Freitag, 28. August 2009

Bavarian outfits

In Bavaria, the tradition costume consists of Lederhosen for men and, for women, a Dirndl. Most of you probably have a good idea of what this looks like – your standard, stereotyped St. Pauli Girl type outfit just about suits the picture. They are, of course, much more beautiful than that, and manage to be sexy and voluptuous without being as…er… bosomy… as what most people picture. Anyways, living in Munich, it's great to have one, because there are several occasions each year to wear them, such as the Strong Beer Festival or, most notably, Oktoberfest! Since the latter is fast approaching, I have been on a mission to find a suitable new Dirndl for myself, without much luck. I have even visited the more upper priced locales, but to no avail: I just couldn't find what I was looking for.

What luck that today, as I was strolling away my lunch hour, I walked past a Dirndl Warehouse sale. I decided, what the heck, and went in….within 20 minutes and only ONE Dirndl-try-on later, I had what I had been looking for all along! Plum Dirndl, beautiful poofy sleeved blouse and white apron to match the white piping and trim. Beautiful, and it fit perfectly, plus the price, zinging in at €99.70 for the entire set, just can't be beat (i had been looking at Dirndls that, without the accessories, cost upwards of €200…) To top the whole thing off, the sales people were lovely and even offered me a glass of prosecco, which I (unfortunately) declined, saying I had to get back to work…. (I hope the wedding dress buying experience is this pleasant!)

And then I got to thinking about the wedding. And how it's going to be in the alps. In the beautiful, cow inhabited, church spire poking, cheese eating alps, and how really, we should maybe try to incorporate some of this lovely traditional dress that I adore into
our wedding. And I also got thinking about how a few of my friends had expressed the wish to wear a Dirndl to the wedding, and about how we may have to change our date due to restrictions on the civil ceremony… anyways, I got this crazy idea that we could do the civil ceremony on Friday evening, in traditional dress! Since it will be the "official" German part anyways, and the Saturday ceremony is going to be more typical American and have a more emotional component, it would be quite fitting. I still haven't figured out how that could incorporate the bridal party and traditional dress…perhaps we could all go Dirndl shopping together and those who wished could buy something and wear it to the civil ceremony.. I dunno, those are all just ideas. All I know is, I look pretty smashing in my new Plum Dirndl, and Mr. Schnitzel is dashing in his Lederhosen…

Those hills… so alive…

Donnerstag, 27. August 2009


It's been a long time coming, but the Boy now has a blog name: Mr. Schnitzel!

Date Change...

So we just found out that the civil ceremony can only be held on the first Saturday every month (small town)… so we're looking at a date change! It looks like we may be hosting some additional patriotic festivities the day after the wedding…more to come!

Mittwoch, 26. August 2009

A weekend away

This weekend was spent in Amsterdam, visiting two friends from the states who are spending a week vacation there. It was just beautiful, not in the least because the weather was perfect, and Amsterdam is just the right kind of city to wander around under sunny skies. We mostly just soaked up the romantic canal-lined streets and chatted, every now and then sitting down in a cafè to drink some beer or wine or simply gazing at the boats tuckering by. We also took a lovely boat tour on a small, wooden boat through the waterfront area of the city, a once warehouse/shipping port and now-turned modern living area. We gazed into people's waterside homes and admired their fine tuned mixing of design pieces with all around Amsterdamy coziness. Lovely. Yet another European city that I could most certainly call home.

It was great to see my friend Miss Spunky Glasses (currently searching for a new pair!) also because we got to talk wedding! I was awestruck when she brought a HUGE stack of American bridal magazines (magazines are really heavy!) and we spent a lot of time sitting at cafès and flipping through them and pointing out the things we liked/didn't like. Plus, German bridal magazines, like so many things wedding here, are proverbially dusty and traditional, and, well, boring. Not that German weddings are boring… it's just… there isn't a lot of spunk or creativity surrounding the whole thing, in my opinion. But maybe I just like American magazines better :)

So the planning took a bit of a hiatus for the relaxing weekend, and I came back to a stack of things to do and swearing to eat right and exercise after a somewhat indulgent trip. Since our mode of transport of choice was the night train, we were somewhat less than perky upon arrival in Munich, and for some reason when I am feeling that drag from lack of sleep, I attempt to compensate by eating extra calories. Let's just say that I topped off my burger king breakfast with a nice dinner of Pringles and wine by the river with my friend Miss Giggles by the Isar river. But I swear, starting today….

In terms of wedding planning, I feel like I have been doing more reconsidering than actual decision making. The momentum of the first couple of weeks has faded somewhat, but then again, some things are good to mull over, including:

-the dress (I have lots of ideas and examples and am already planning my dress buying trip for February/March to the US)
- the wedding party (I am waiting for our meeting on September 6th with Oliver to hear his thoughts and opinions on the ceremony, as well as to meet with our venue this weekend to talk about ceremony possibilities among other things)
- the photographer (I am rethinking my original budget/priorities and have written about ten other photographers for quotes
- -the color scheme (I saw a bouquet at a beautiful market in Amsterdam that had all my previously mentioned colors plus a shade of peachy orange – beautiful! That might be just the kick we need)
- save the dates (still trying to decide if we should go for a simple photo card, a hand drawn picture including our logo and a cute slogan or a magnet! Also still trying to decide if doing that engagement shoot is worth the money)

Phew. I have to be honest, writing this blog is actually a really great therapeutic way to sort out my thoughts. Thanks again to Miss Spunky Glasses (did you find new ones?!) and Mr. McIcecream for the wonderful weekend in Amsterdam!!!!!!

Donnerstag, 20. August 2009

Basking in the glow...

So what exactly am I doing when I'm NOT planning the wedding? Lots, actually! The sun is shining and the boy and I are soaking it up in every possible way: grilling on the river, going to the pool and going to biergartens. It sounds cheesy, but it's reminding me of how we fell in love! What a setting.

Today it was so hot that my colleagues and I went to the English Garten and changed into bathing suits. We then walked a bit up the river that snakes through the park and jumped in, floating all the way back to our spot. LOVELY. It made it hard to go back to work, but it's easier knowing that I'll be meeting friends later on the Isar to go grilling for the second day in a row and the third time this week.


Just to describe the scenery a bit, the Isar is the river that runs alongside Munich. I say alongside instead of through because most major cities with a river are built around the river, which makes for some beautiful pictures, but mostly a not-so-clean river. In Munich, the Isar served as the eastern boundary of the city for centuries, so while the city has certainly expanded around it, the Isar retains that off-the-beaten-path feeling. The best part of the river near Munich is, in my opinion, near our apartment. It's called "the Flaucher", a section of the river dotted with stony islands and scruffy trees and a long wooden footbridge connecting them. The river runs through in rivlets and waterfalls, and there are several pools deep enough to swim in, or you can just let yourself be swept along with the light current. The city of Munich actually filters the river water for swimmers, so there are no worries about icky side effects!

On a short side note, this is also the second area of Munich, after the English Garten, that is famous for allowing "FKK", which is "freie körper kultur" or "free body culture". NAKED. That's right. But don't worry, we were't. Makes for interesting site seeing...

This whole area is a griller's paradise, and we lug our portable Weber, some coal, blankets and torches down any day that's warm enough. We usually get a good enough crowd of our friends together to have a great gathering. Nothing tastes better after a long day at work than a river-cooled beer (cases of beer come in plastic crates here, so all you have to do to keep it cool is stick it in the river) and a nicely grilled steak. And when the sun goes down, we light up our wax torches and turn up our portable speakers. It feels like being in some sort of Munich-born Elysian fields. To me, anyways….

Mittwoch, 19. August 2009

Visit to the Office of Marriage

Yesterday, after work, I took advantage of the extended hours on tuesday of the Standesamt, Heiratsbüro (Civil Office, Marriage Section) and paid them a visit. Our friends, who are from South Africa and Columbia and got married in Germany recently told us that I could go just there, without the boy, without an appointment, and find out what documents I would need.

Indeed, after locating the office (sandwiched between the offices for Registration of Newborns and the Death Office (for lack of a better translation, it sounds awful, I know,
but it is referring to registration of deaths) (the irony does not escape me), I discovered a button called "walk-in appointment for first information session for necessary documents". Pushing this button prompted the machine to spit out a number here's my number:!

see at the top "heiratsbüro"? that means "marriage buro".

...which I took with me to my seat in the clean but oh-so-depressingly-sterile waiting room. The only other people there were a couple, the woman obviously from a South American country (Peru, I would later overhear) and the man from Germany. The electronic number board flipped and they were called into a room, so I was left alone to read my Harlan Coben mystery and become, mysteriously, quite nervous.

Now those of you who have followed some of my other blog or who also are living abroad as an expat will understand the fear that such waiting rooms can spear into our hearts. We've done this before. We've waited hours, only to be told we are missing a form. We've been looked at in a suspicious way, been asked to provide documentation for this and that, been poked and prodded and generally doubted. We've done this before. What if they think I'm just marrying to get a better visa? What if I look nervous? Maybe there is a special office for foreigners? All of these questions shot through my head when suddenly the old fashioned number flaps whirred on the semi digital panel displaying mine, number 74, and the room number where I was supposed to enter. I rose, heart pounding.

The rest was actually rather uneventful. I was asked a series of questions like "your name", "husband's name" (I kept saying "future husband" but the bureaucrat used the present tense, which I thought was interesting, if not a bit odd..) (PS: you know how in the US this would be a good place to make a joke, like "haha, well, we haven't quite made it yet" right. In Germany, they just wouldn't find that funny, In fact, the guy behind the desk would most certainly look at you with a combination of confusion and disdain...)..."place of birth" "husband's place of birth". The questions went on like this and then I was abruptly handed a sheet of paper to take to the cashier and pay 10 euros for. This was, I think, my fee for being advised. Ok.. I forgot to include that one in my wedding budget, but I think I can swing it. I paid the fee and came back to be presented with a checklist of documents the boy and I will need in order to apply to be married:

For me:
Birth Certificate less than six months old
Certification of authenticity of said birth certificate, internationally recognized
Copy of passport
Copy of residence permit
Copy of registration of residence in Munich

For him:
Copy of attainment of German Citizenship (he was born in Poland)
Birth Certificate, doesn't matter how old
Certification of authenticity for parent's marriage in Poland
Copy of passport
Copy of registration of residence in Munich

It's a lot, but it's not too bad. I already got on the phone with Virginia to order my birth certificate. I did have a good laugh, though, as it seems that all US or State agencies are shocked to have a citizen calling them from abroad. It always goes something like this:

"Yes, I have a question because I am a resident of Germany"
"Germany? Like in Europe"
"Are you calling from there, right now?"

I am thinking: wow, yes, we do have electricity!!

"yes. I need to know if this authentication form has the word "apostille" on the top, because that's what they require in Germany"
"so ma'am, you're saying, you need to request your Birth Certificate, sent to Germany?"
"Yes, with an "apostille" authentication."
"ok, please send us a self-addressed stamped envelope and a check for $22"

Right. Because I am supposed to get US Postage HOW? And since every other civilized country on the face of the planet phased out the usage of personal checks years ago in favor of a sleeker, faster, better online transfer system, how should I obtain said check? Right. Not internationally minded, State of Virginia.

At any rate, that's what parents are for. I will be sending them the documents which they will in turn stamp and write a check for a send off. Oh dear.

All in all, this was a very successful venture, and I have to say, having learned the importance of forms and documents and bureaucracy in Germany, it kinda sent chills up my spine to see the boy and my names side by side on a crisp blue German form. Lovely. Romantic, even.

Dienstag, 18. August 2009

Choosing the Big Wigs

We got a quote back from our preferred photographer and are strongly leaning towards taking her up on it. Kristen Speed is an American photographer living in Munich Germany. She shot my colleague's wedding and a got a strong recommendation from her, plus I like her style and the idea that she would be able to mix and mingle with the guests in ease. We are scouting out dates to do an engagement/couple shoot with her at the end of September, which should give us an even better idea of her style and give her a chance to get to know our personality as a couple. I'm very excited, and if you breeze her website you'll see that she seems to do a great job of capturing people, which is my biggest goal of the day.

The other "big wig" decision has been our officiant, because we would like to have a ceremony that is more festive than a German civil ceremony and we want to integrate some special, cross-cultural elements into the planning. Oliver looks like the perfect fit, especially considering that he just got back from doing a wedding in Tanzania at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro! Sounds like he is used to non-traditional ceremonies, and I can't wait to meet him and hear all his ideas.

I will be very happy to have these bigger decisions wrapped up early in the game because I know how fast good photographers and officiants book up – there are only so many Saturdays in the summer! I am hoping that this will free us up to make the little decisions with patience and also give me time to (ehem) write my Thesis! Just to think… a year from now I will be married and have my Masters!

Montag, 17. August 2009

In terms of planning…

There have been a few "advances" this week, most notably finding a photographer who I am interested in (still waiting for a price quote) and finding an officiant (aka free marrier) to do our non civil ceremony. They are tentative steps, but concrete ones, nonetheless. The next "big" planning step will be to meet with our venue next weekend to discuss big details, like potential meal plans, the possibility of doing the ceremony outside etc etc. I have to say, I am having a lot of fun.

Also, I toured a bunch of jewelers on my lunch break last week to scope out rings. I am not particularly enthused with the style of ring that is so popular at the moment in Germany, a sort of palladium grey plain thing with sharp edges… it's a bit too modern for me… and I am looking for something with a bit of embellishment to go with my beautiful sleek engagement ring . I found this pair that I like a lot:

I did find our great place with a guy who took the time to show me rings in all different metals in different cuts and weights. We decided that I will bring the boy back for a meeting together because, as the salesman claims "he can only make ring recommendations when he sees the couple in person". Just my brand of kooky :)

Another thing I would like to get done this week is to go to the Standesamt (civil marriage office) and find out what crazy forms and documents I will need to marry in Germany! I have heard rumors about a six month old-at-the-latest birth certificate (what's that about? I thought birth certificates were supposed to be…uh…from your birth!) so I am anxious to get started on that one.

Other "thoughts" that I have been letting float around are 1) décor/flowers (I have been saving an awful lots of photos, like this one ) 2) favor ideas and 3) possible ceremony configurations. All in all it's still "fuzzy" but that's the fun part.. scouting out all the ideas!!!

the first "sparks"

The last week has been a relaxing one, the first in about a month and a half since our trip to the US and my parents visiting. Not that I didn't enjoy all that tremendously, but it's awful nice to just come home from work and relax at home, or do the laundry, or run errands. The weekend weather was gorgeous, so we soaked up all that sunny Munich has to offer, visiting biergartens, grilling by the Isar river and going to the public pool on sunday, topping it all off with Schnitzel in yet another biergarten. It's too bad, in fact, that such a picture perfect weekend had to end in my very first wedding planning fight.

I won't go into details in such a public forum but suffice it to say it had to do with the guest list and numbers and the fact that I am inviting so many friends and it was a very turmoiled 11pm on a sunday night phone call. I mean… I am one of those people who invites 45 people to my birthday party. I just like to be surrounded by people I love. Lots of them. But really I never considered that my guest list, "gigantic". I mean, it's all relative and I guess certain relatives of mine had tiny backyard weddings, and that's not exactly what this will be. But there will most certainly not be 500 people milling about. Not even 1/5 of that…

It turns out that the "problem" had a lot to do with feeling overwhelmed about the number of German guests who will be coming. Like the whole thing will become a wholly Germanized German speaking event. Of course, that's one of my biggest goals: make sure that everyone there, regardless of language or nationality, feels welcome and can follow what's going on! It'll be a challenge, sure, but actually I think that once everyone is there it will all mesh just fine. Plus, all my German friends speak English anyways, so communication shouldn't be a problem at all.

At any rate, I do hope that the rest of this planning process is relatively Sunday-night-argument-free or very argument free in general. I think just because the TV shows show feuding families and disagreements, doesn't mean that it has to be like that. What do you think?

Freitag, 14. August 2009


So it might be a bit early to be talking about this, but I have been thinking about the registry situation. In Germany, they don't really do registries, at least not really. It's still stuck in the old-fashioned days where you actually have to go to the fancy store and they give you all kinds of advice about what fancy schmancy stuff you should put on your grown up fancy schmancy list and how you need a roasting pan to go with your sauce pan… Part of the problem is, Germany is woefully lacking in wonderful stores like Target, Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma. Lovely stores for the normal people of the world who like gadgets and household stuff but don't want to spend a million dollars or drive all the way to ikea to buy some plastic bins(ok, I know that Williams Sonoma is actually kinda fancy… but it's also kinda wonderful). I have been browsing the amazingly designed registry sites of those stores and bemoaning Germany's medieval stance on weddings. The other problem is, there are about a million things that I want at Target, Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma precisely because I CAN'T get them here in Europe: Jalapeno roaster pans and measuring cups and Ziploc bags and stuff like that. But of course, who wants to schlep a Bundt pan across the ocean?

So here's the solution I'm thinking of: we will register at the above mentioned three American places, but only for things that are packable. That way, people who are interested in giving us the joy of lovely American products that we otherwise couldn't get will be able to do that, if they are willing to schlep them in their suitcase. Then, we will go to snooty Kustermann (who has really really nice stuff, but they are still snooty) and having one of those archaic registry meetings and pick stuff like plates and glasses and silverware that people otherwise wouldn't want to pack. And we will probably also use something called the "wish gallery" which is a German website where you can make your wedding registry from a bunch of different online shops who were too lazy to make their own registries, so people can then order directly from those stores (like amazon, karstadt, etc…). That seems like a rather unwieldy solution, but the best of both worlds :)

Not that this thing is about the presents, or anything :) Just a thought in the planning process… (hope this didn't come off as to egotistical and material!!)

How did other expats deal with this? Did anyone follow the German tradition of just asking for money? Does anyone else think that is pretty boring? Hmmm..

Donnerstag, 13. August 2009

Most Important Things

At my mom's request, I made a list of ten things that are most important to me about our wedding. I will be going over this list with the boy and refining it as time goes on, but here's what I'm thinking now:

1) Bringing two families together
2) Comfortable, festive, beautiful atmosphere
3) Relaxing fun and memorable celebration
4) Meaningful ceremony
5) Photographs to preserve all the memories
6) Ceremony and reception that reflect aspects of all cultures (American, German, polish) and make everyone feel at home
7) Including everyone in the event, regardless of language or nationality
8) Opportunities for people to interact with eachother
9) Dress: comfortable, beautiful, special
10) food and drink: delicious, "cross culturally edible" and elegant without being overly fancy. Abundance without going overboard.

What do you think? What was most important to you?

Mittwoch, 12. August 2009

I Won!

Wow, I never win anything! I guess I can't say that anymore, because I found out that I am the winner of the Mini Rhino Sampler Contest at 100 layer cake!! Here's my (winning!) entry:
I won a hand stiched heart sampler from mini rhino, which I am excited about proudly displaying on the big day.

I have to say, I have been really enjoying reading truckloads of wedding blogs and gathering lots of ideas.

I did have my first encounter with the "difficulties" entailed in convincing someone else (family, mostly) that my vision is the one and only (I guess maybe it isnt!) :) But I'm learning. I can only imagine what it must be like to direct a movie!! Crazy.

So, where should I display my pretty prize?

Logo complete :)

We just got our logo set up, GRAZIE MILLE to Dionne from City of Dionne for her amazing graphic design talents! A small sneak preview:
The flowers are daisy, lupine and edelweiß, a symbol of the Alps (yes, we all know the song). Just a small preview of what's to come... (the hills are so alive)

Montag, 10. August 2009

Celebratory Weekend (and setting the date!)

I spent this weekend with my parents, who were visiting us in Germany for three weeks (while my professor dad taught a seminar) and are leaving today! :( We had an amazing weekend though: we rode out to the Chiemsee (Lake Chiem) which is sometimes known as the "Bavarian Ocean". It is a beautiful lake framed by the Alps and chock full of q
uaintness. We stayed in an adorable hotel on a smaller lake, and spent satu
rday and sunday riding a ferry out to the "
women's island", browsing the shops, eating delicious food at all manner of island festivals, and just generally celebrating the occasion! My mom and I discussed colors and themes, of course, while the boys (dad and boy) raced up and down the waterslide at the lakeside pool complex trying to break the speed record as recorded by the automatic time system on the slide. So great :)
I am sad that my parents are leaving but I am excited about all the planning that is to come! My mom and I agreed that we would talk a lot on the phone and on Skype and that she would be consulted about every big decision, even if she is across an ocean. And we discussed the idea of me coming over in the spring to go dress shopping – I like that one! :)

We did already make one big decision though – we have set a date with our venue of choice! Oh right, we also picked a venue! But that was easy, because we knew we wanted to get married in Artur's hometown of Buchenberg im Allgäu, a small town in the Alps with a population of 4000 people – so there just aren't that many options. Fortunately, I have had my eye on a place ever since the thought occurred to me that I would love to marry this boy, and so as soon as he popped the question, we stopped by to take a look at the rooms! It's a lovely hotel/restaurant with a big event room complete with a stage and even a gallery balcony going around the outside. The catering is done in-house, which saves me the stress of finding a caterer, and there is no extra charge for renting the room, which is also great.Other perks include the tennis courts, mini-golf and duckpin bowling in the basement, and of course the guestrooms for all of my out of town guests! I really like the idea of everybody being able to stay in the same place – it will be a nice community atmosphere. And like so many things in German, the hotel is nice and beautiful without being too swanky or overpriced, so it should fit the bill for (hopefully) all my guests. They even offer guests of the wedding a cut price of 35 euro (including breakfast!) for the night on the evening of the wedding, so our friends coming from Munich can party into the late hours and still crash there without breaking the bank. So excited! We called and reserved our date, (sometime in early summer, psst), and are
ready to start to plan!

Our next big step will be to pick out a "Free Marrier" (for lack of a better translation) who can do our ceremony. Because we won't be marrying in a church (in German you must be a member of the church to marry in it, which neither of us are) and the only person with an actual power to marry people is the so called "marriage officiant" in each town, which is often the mayor. So the cool part is, we will probably be married by the Mayor of Buchenberg! Unfortunately, that ceremony is very much like a courthouse wedding in the US, all business and little romance, and also little room for other languages or traditions. So a possibility in Germany is to have a "free marrier" who does not actually have the power to marry you (which no one does in Germany except for the official people, not even the churches) but who basically does wedding ceremonies for people like us. We have found someone who we think we like, now we're just waiting to find out if the date is free!

Phew, well it turns out that we have done a lot! I have to get back to work, but I'll be keeping you updated!

Freitag, 7. August 2009

The Ring

No, not the horror movie! As I've been flitting around happily announcing my engagement to everyone who will listen, I have, of course, been showing off my ring! Several times, people have asked me: do they not do diamonds in Germany? Hm… yes, my engagement ring is a plain silver band (with amazing romantic engraving inside). But to tell you the truth, I didn't know that it was such a "must" for an engagement ring to have a diamond on it? What I do know is that engagement rings are not all that popular in Germany. In fact, the Wikipedia article in the German Wiki links back up to the American article about engagement rings.

Talking to many people, I found that engagement rings aren't as wide spread as I am lead to believe. My mother, for example, got an engagement couch. All of the German couples I know have no engagement ring.

The boy has watched enough American movies to know what a good old fashion proposal looks like, so I think he wanted to fit that scenario, but with his own twist. I really like the engraving on my ring – it's the expression of love is on the inside, private, for us, instead of being on the outside in the form of a diamond. The engraving is, by the way, the password for my new engagement laptop – my boy sure loves electronics. And another big plus to marrying a web programmer – free awesome wedding website! Coming soon…

The other big question we have is: which hand?! In Germany, the rule seems to be engagement ring on the left, switch it over to the right for the wedding. What is the US "rule"? I haven't decided where I'll wear my wedding ring – any help out there?

What do the readers out there think about engagement rings? A necessity? Diamonds necessary?

Donnerstag, 6. August 2009

Combining Cultural Traditions

So with the planning underway, I'm starting a list of various traditions and aspects from each country that we want to integrate into the wedding, and other ways we will emphasize the multicultural and multi-language nature of our partnership and celebration. I will be adding and subtracting to/from this list as I go.

-Bridesmaids and Groomsmen including "matching" clothing (no matching dresses for me, but I like the idea of a color theme, with matching boutonnieres for the men)
-Procession including family members
-Groom comes in first, bride is brought in last by father
-Save the date cards
-Bridal Shower
-Wedding Registries

-Friends plan various games/surprises for the party
-Midnight snacks, party that goes till the wee hours
-Polterabend, where friends bring old china to throw on the ground and the soon to be pair has to sweep it up
-Live Bavarian band (who can also rock to the oldies)

-Hopefully some pre-wedding celebration food: Pierogies and "Pasteciki" by boy's mom.

-Ceremony in at least partially German and English, perhaps with a Polish program
-Invitations for each language
-Website in three languages

Other things:
I really liked this photo (see above) of a Swedish wedding with the flags of the couple hanging on a string – perhaps there will be flags at our ceremony, too.
Table seating will be hard, we are hoping to be able to mix it up a bit. Maybe we should have people indicate their language abilities on their RSVP, hehe!

Mittwoch, 5. August 2009

First Steps

For those of you who know me personally, you are already aware of my love for organizing. I am addicted to Real Simple and Target (two things I miss TERRIBLY in Germany) and I subscribe to serveral dozen organizing blogs. In practice, i mostly like the act of buying organizational materials and unwrapping them, writing those first neatly handwritten labels and invisioning my organization prowess. This ambition, however, usually vanishes within a few weeks and I am back to happily throwing all my papers into one pile.

But what better excuse to buy new shiny binders and exciting plastic sleeves and labels than planning a WEDDING? So I ventured out today and purchased a pretty plum (a possible wedding color) filofax, with all the trimmings, and a neat filing book for bigger brochures and notes. Here are my purchases.

I wish I could have bought the wedding planner as seen here but they don't ship to Germany! I think I am going to definitely print out many of their PDFs though, and probably use Miss Cloud's categorization system.

Any tips to keep myself motivated to stay organized?

Dienstag, 4. August 2009


Welcome to my new blog! It must be pretty obvious, but the reason I've opened up a new blog is that I'm getting married! My boy proposed on Friday night (ahhhh! wow!!!) and I said yes, of course!

And now I find myself fully immersed in wedding websites, wedding blogs and a sea of new terms like save the date, centerpieces and and cake cutting fees. I dove into this ocean of information and started scheming, but I found myself feeling a bit left out of the American Wedding loop: my wedding will be a multicultural wedding, in many senses of the world. I'm american, my boy is polish, and we both live in Germany. There will be relatives coming from all three countries, traditions to fulfill, languages to translate and cultural barriers to jump over. I can't seem to find many resources for people like me!

So there's no better solution remaining than to simply write about it all! If I am going into this thing blind, than at least those out there in the same situation in the future can read about my ups and downs - or perhaps there are more of you out there (i know there are!) who will read this and connect me up with your experiences as well :)

So here we go. This is the chronicle of planning a Bavarian wedding for a Polish and American family, connecting up cultures and languages, and the incredible power of love to jump national boundaries and fly over the ocean (and all that stuff :)