Nicole and Volkmar’s wedding was something out of a storybook. Leipzig and its surrounding areas was romantic in itself – as if it were out of a fairytale with its old buildings and charm. The wedding was in a little white church shaded by trees, that was built in the 1400’s, and the reception was in a Rococo palace! Its no surprise that the little girls in the party thought Nicole was a princess marrying her Prince Charming!
Nicole, me, and the bridesmaids, Steph and Caro, got ready together with the babies. Nicole’s mum, Arlene, came in to help as I laced Nicole into her wedding gown. Nicole looking stunning.
Steph and Caro went ahead to the church while the three of us to help orchestra seating. We were picked up in a vintage white car by the best man. We took selfies with our iPhones as we drove down the country roads. The driver took the best selfies from behind the wheel!
When we arrived at the church, I busied myself with Nicole’s silk train and crinoline. I felt had to hide tears of joy when I heard the music play and saw all the people standing in the little church. Everyone had big smiles on their faces, eager to see the beautiful bride! This was a church filled with love for my best friend and her husband. Nicole radiated joy and excitement – it was so beautiful!
The Church Service
Nicole and Volkmar sat in two heavy wooden chairs before the alter. The minister was Volkmar’s mother and Nicole’s brother Brett stood beside her to read out prayers in English. The service was mostly bilingual – and it was unlike any service seen before!
When the first choral work was sung, I found myself overcome with emotion. Nicole’s mum noticed my hand holding the program was shaking, so she kindly got me a Kleenex. I couldn’t hold back my tears – it was all so beautiful!
Twice, the bridesmaids and I joined the minister, Brett, and best man at the front. First to hold hands in a circle and again to give our blessings. There is no rehearsal at German weddings, so I did not know what order things were to done. Its suppose to be organic. Apparently I was suppose to give the first blessing, but I didn’t quite clue in. There was some back and forth in English German, some akward standing still in silence before it was clarified. Oops!
I had been unsure what to say as a blessing. I didn’t want to sound corny or canned. Volkmar had said not to worry and just say whatever came into mind. As I sat in the pew earlier, studying the white and gold paintwork around the alter during one of the choral performances, I was spurred by the moment to give a blessing related to song. Music was a huge part of Volkmar and Nicole’s life. So, I said something along the lines of words of love, glorious song, and never ending. Caro and Steph both said very beautiful things – and Steph had even memorized words in German.
A tuning fork was a central part of the service. I don’t yet know whether that was a Lutheran tradition or unique for Nicole and Volkmar. I think it was to represent them as one, in tune with each other and God.
The reception was held outside at the grand steps of the palace. Once we had coffee and cold steins of beer, Caro played her violin and Nicole and Volkmar cut the cake. With each slice, they kissed one another with cheers from the guests. I had a slice and a small sample of all the other German cakes that were available! I had to try them all!
Dinner was the best catered food I had ever had – it was so flavourful! There were so many dishes I had never had before. We were particularly curious about the cold cut meat that had the same texture and thickness as smoked salmon. I think it was called Leipzig ham.
Caro and I, who had both worked in catering, were very amused by the staff at this event. They had visible tattoos (one even had one on her face!), facial piercings, coloured hair, dreadlocks, even one had catering gear that looked like it came out of a LARP. It contrasted sharply with the Rococo interior and traditional decorations. We definitely weren’t in Canada anymore! Nonetheless, they were smiley servers and did well.
Volkmar’s friends from choir had adapted two traditional German songs to be about Nicole and Volkmar. Although we didn’t understand most words other than “Volkmar” “Mölkau” “Nicole” “Beamsville” we were laughing along with all the guests! It was incredibly entertaining. I loved all the singing at this wedding.
Volkmar’s best man did a bilingual speech, then translated when Volkmar’s dad did his. I had set up German captions as a PowerPoint with the help of Nicole’s friend from Austria (also called Nicole) for mine. We had some technical difficulties at first, then I spoke too fast, resulting in me saying half of my speech twice. Volkmar ended up jumping in to be the technician!
Despite the hiccups, Nicole was practically keeling over with laughter at the humourous parts of the speech. Despite me being mortified that it hadn’t been ‘perfect’ for my best friend, it appeared to go over well with the guests. Many people came up after to say how much they enjoyed my speech with the balance of humour and sentiment.
Nicole’s parents, Steve and Arlene, stole the show with their shared speech and childhood pictures. It was hilarious! Apparently at age 9, Nicole declared she was going to have twins later in life. Later, when she met Volkmar, she had sent a simple email to her mum: “I’ve been swept of my feet! Skype now?”
Speeches done, we gathered in the small ballroom where a projection screen had been setup for a video complied of all the well wishes to Nicole and Volkmar from people who could not attend. We had been worried that it might make Nicole cry tears of sadness at her wedding, but she glowed with joy and laughed all the way through. It was a hit!
Nicole and Volkmar kicked the dancing off with a multi-generational music mix. It was held in a small ornate ballroom with Euro pop and American classics. The wedding party appeared to do a lot of traditional dances too. I think it may have been polka!
The dancing carried on until sunrise, but I had to call it a night at 3:30am. I think Nicole’s grandfather outlasted me! It was one hell of a party – and Nicole and Volkmar were dancing to the end! They are superhuman…
Weddings are usually quite formulate, but this was truly unique! Combining German and Canadian traditions, language, song, venue, food, the love for and between Nicole and Volkmar, with the beauty of Europe made this wedding truly special. Throughout the entire evening I kept thinking how fantastical this wedding was – better than Hollywood! A real fairytale wedding that wouldn’t have been possible in Canada or China. It was so exquisite! And Nicole looked so very beautiful and every room was filled with love.
No other wedding shall compare!