Germany Trip

Marion and Thomas'  Wedding

Thursday, March 5, 1998, 5:40 p.m. boarded NW Airlines Flight 835 to Memphis, TN. Arrived Memphis at 7:01 p.m. Boarded KLM Flight 8286 for Amsterdam at 8:30 p.m. After setting at the end of the runaway for an hour waiting for a thunderstorm to pass we were on our way. Arrived in Amsterdam 12:45 p.m. March 6. Our next flight was KLM 8043 to Bremen at 1:10 p.m. We had to almost run from one end of the airport to the other end—go thru customs and passport control. We made our flight but our luggage didn’t. Arrived at Bremen at 2:15 p.m. The Romahn’s were there to meet us and was surprised at the small amount of luggage we had (one carry on). We went and filled a claim for our luggage and they delivered it later that evening.

Saturday—March 7—Went to the hardware store to get some wire to and food for the chickens and rabbits. That afternoon and evening Marion’s brothers and their families came and we worked on the wreath for the front yard to Marion and Thomas’ house. It is a tradition to place a wreath with a double ring in the center to symbol the home of newly weds. The wreath was about 5 feet diameter and the rings in the center about 1 ft diameter. The wreath was covered with evergreen branches and the rings with gold foil. Then they made flowers from crepe paper and placed these on the wreath. Ruth and I were not too good at making flowers but our relatives were pretty adapt at it. After the wreath was complete it was taken to the neighbors for storage, so Marion and Thomas would not see it.

Sunday—March 18—Went to church with Marion and Thomas. They had to go to church because the pastor was going to announce their wedding. That afternoon we attended a bazaar at the preschool that Soren (Herbert and Kristen’s son) attends.

Monday—March 19—Went shopping – Ate dinner out and that evening went to the neighbors to help and watch them make the garland for the door. The tradition is the family and neighbors make a garland to go around the door and it is also decorated with evergreen branches and flowers. The base for this is a rope about 30 feet long that they tie the evergreen branches to. This will be placed around the door the night before the wedding.

Tuesday—March 20—Took some picnic table and benches (folding type) to Marion and Thomas’ and placed them in the garage. Also had other odds and ends like portable heaters as the temperature was around 40°.

Wednesday—March 21—An evening of celebration at Marion and Thomas’. Took the food to Marion’s and then went to Marion to her work place. Set up the tables and benches in the garage and decorated the garage. Went back to Erwin and Marie’s to get the wreath and a few other things. Went back to Marion’s about 7:30 p.m. to place the wreath in the front yard. The neighbors and friends arrived and placed the garland around the door and also brought another wedding wreath. At 8:00 the door bell was rung and the party started. First was the breaking of porcelain on the sidewalk. It is a tradition that neighbors and friends bring porcelain and break it on the sidewalk and then the couple cleans it up. They work at this and when they are making good progress some men take and dump out the trash cans and they have to start over. They do this three or four times and then they let the couple complete the cleanup. This is supposed to bring the couple "Good Luck." At 8:00 p.m. they began the lunch and celebration of toasting, etc. At midnight another tradition takes place. They take off the grooms pants and the brides bra and burn them. They dig a hole in the garden and bury the ashes—to be dug up a year later. I think Thomas has on swim trunks and Marion had the bra on the outside. I think Thomas’ legs were a little cold standing there watching his pants burn.

Thursday—March 12—The civil wedding at the courthouse. This is required. The immediate family attended and there was some champagne and toasting afterward. This lasted from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00. The only excitement here was when Thomas mother opened a bottle of champagne and it blew its cork. They asked me to open one but decided not to let me after I told them I had never done this—A wise move on their part. We then went to Erwin and Marie’s and had dinner with the family.

Friday—March 13—The men went and picked up some sections of fence that Thomas had spotted in a flyer. But like in the states the first place we went to was out of it so we ended up going to another town to get it. Meanwhile Ruth, Marion and Marie went shopping and Ruth did find some tea sets.

Saturday—March 14—The hairdresser came to fix Marion’s hair that morning. The wedding gown was kept in a locked room so Thomas would not see it. The only exciting time was when they couldn’t find the key to the room for about 10 minutes. It was normally kept in a drawer but they found it in the hairdressers case. Around 3:00 Thomas arrived in a Model "A" Ford to take is bride to the church.

Everyone sets themselves at the church and wait for the wedding party to arrive. The pastor comes down the isle followed by the flower children, then the bride and groom (arm in arm), and the attendants. The attendants were Marion’s brothers and their wives. Thomas is an only child so there were no attendants from his side of the family. The only excitement here was when the pastor asked Thomas if he would take Marion to be his wife and he hesitated a second before he could answer.

After they were outside the church, Thomas co-workers from the bakery were there with French bread to make an arch and also serve them some bread. Marion took a bite from one end and it wasn’t too bad. Thomas took a bite from his end and it was loaded with Tobasco sauce. He sure did pucker up. The wedding party them went to the photographic studio to have the wedding pictures taken. Erwin’s brothers and sisters went to Erwin and Marie’s for tea and brunch.

At 7:30 a.m. we went to a rented hall to have a catered meal and celebrate the wedding. The meal was served family style and it was really good. After the meal there was toasting and dancing. There is a custom that if the guest tap the side of their glasses with spoons the bride and groom have to kiss. If they are not together they have to find each other.

During the evening we were entertained by the dance club that Thomas and Marion are members of. The troop preformed to the tunes of Singing-in-the-Rain, Pink Panther, and Ghost Busters. The bakers not to be out-done showed up with a cloth hog—about the size of a 200 lb hog. It was stuffed with small pieces of foam rubber and also 30 buns with money baked inside. They would unzip the belly of the hog and have to reach in and find all the bread. They were digging in up to their arm pits. They found all but one bun.

We had a parade of hats. They made mock hats to symbol their activities.

The hats represented were the auto club (regular baseball type caps with the auto club symbol on the front). Computer hat (about as large as a computer monitor and about the same size—also looked like a computer monitor). Insurance hat ( Marion works for AOK Insurance—looked like a cap with a ruler for a bill and ribbons hanging from the sides and back. A USA hat (a large hat with the states of CA, IA, KS, MN, etc to symbolize their trip to the USA). A baby hat ( made like the hats we made in school with baby things hanging off of it) A bakers hat with all kinds of small bakery items hanging off of it.

At midnight the wedding cake was bought out and the bride and groom served each other. After that a buffet was served. The celebration continued until 3:00 a.m. when the band stopped playing. We got to bed about 4:00 a.m.

Sunday—March 15—Slept late and then the families came over for tea and brunch.

Monday—March 16—Went to Marion’s to see the gifts and load up the tables and benches. Marion seen a good price on computer furniture so we went to check it out and have lunch at McDonald’s which was next door to the stores.

Tuesday—March 17—Marion decided to buy to funiture so we went to get it. Just like the states—they were out of computer desks—but had the cabinet. Erwin wasn’t too happy. We took the cabinet and spent the morning putting it together.

Wednesday—March 18—Headed to Bremen to catch the plane. Everything as on time. We arrived in Amsterdam with time to spare and did some shopping at the airport. We got on the plane on schedule and had to wait an hour while they looked for the luggage of a passenger whose luggage was on the plan—but he wasn’t. For safety reasons the plane doesn’t fly if the passenger and luggage are not together. They made up a half hour on the flight to Memphis and we were able to make our connection to Wichita and arrived on schedule.