Sunday, July 13, 2014

Germany Getaway: Wedding Day

To continue with our trip in Germany, we woke up on the 10th of May to our usual breakfast of perfectly boiled eggs, various cheeses, salami and other cold cuts, assorted homemade jams, and slices of bread (yes, from the one that Mom baked). Except for the eggs, we had the same thing every day. I’m not complaining, though. Everything was delicious. We made sure to eat more than usual this time because we wouldn’t have time for lunch as we would all be busy getting ready for the wedding, and the next meal would be dinner.

We arrived at St. Hippolytus Church (again, another church we visited during WYD05) early to make sure things were ready, giving us a chance to take pictures.






Finally, the wedding began, and although it was in German, we were able to understand some of it through Daddy Jurgen who would translate to us.

The only parts in English were when Irene and I said our petitions for the Prayers of the Faithful.
I have to share that there was one very unique member of the entourage that day. Summer also walked down the aisle, and was very behaved during the entire ceremony. Because she was their baby and a member of their family, M&S wanted her to be part of the wedding, and fortunately, the officiating priest did not have any problems in allowing this. Ang cool, di ba?

After the wedding, we all went outside to greet the newlyweds and take photos.




And after that, we all headed to Stanzwerk Bochum for the dinner and party. If my memory serves me right, it used to be a machine shop or industrial factory, and the owners just built the restaurant around the place, giving the diners and guests some idea of its history.



Although the occasion was formal, the ambience of the venue gave a relaxed feeling, making everyone enjoy themselves. And boy, did we enjoy! Aside from the cake-cutting and a couple of speeches, there was no program and no host or emcee. Most of the things just happened spontaneously.

Upon arriving, the guests were given welcome drinks, and we met and talked with Mom and Dad’s friends and relatives. They also introduced me and Irene to Dad’s mother, his sister and her family where we each told them “Ich bin Holger tochter” (I am Holger’s daughter). They didn’t get it at first, but when Dad explained to them how we became part of their family, they understood.

After a while, all eyes were on M&S as they lit the fireworks, cut the cake and fed each other with slices. It was a 3-layer chocolate and vanilla ice-cream cake and was very delicious!

After that, we all settled ourselves at our assigned places.
Then Sebastian said a few words (in German and English), and then we were invited to help ourselves with the extensive buffet spread. When the guests had eaten, Dad stood up and said his speech, with Stef translating in between so that we could understand. It was a really beautiful and heart-warming speech coming from the father of the bride, and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room when he finished. Then the Maid of Honor and Best Man surprised the couple with a music video which they had prepared involving M&S’s family and friends. It was so cute and thoughtful, Sebastian couldn’t help his tears from falling and giving his friends tight hugs.

Another surprise was a flash mob of high school cheerleaders that Sebastian’s mom had arranged. They danced to Bruno Mars’ Marry You and their dance moves and stunts and tosses and twirls and flips were really amazing! We were worried that their pyramids would be too high and the girls at the top would reach the ceiling, or a girl would be tossed to hard, but they all knew what they were doing. Galing talaga! And unique!

When the cheerleaders left, Dad and Michaela had their Father-Daughter dance of course, and Sebastian also danced with his mom. And then the dance floor began to fill up and everyone danced the night away to the tunes played by the deejay and the Dutch musician, while having some drinks from the bar in between.

And the party didn’t end until 3 o’clock in the morning the next day!

As I said before, that’s normal for German wedding parties, just like when we attended the Polterabend on our first day. Wow, right?! Whew!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Great Wedding Gift Idea

Hubby and I were part of the service team of our CFC cluster’s Marriage Enrichment Retreat 1 that took place over the weekend, and definitely we were busy. Hubby was the head of the Marshalls and Logistics Committee while I was part of the Child Care Committee. Fortunately, the overnight activity took place in Auris Hotel at Tecom (unlike past MERs that took place in other emirates), so the journey going to and from there wasn’t long.

Anyway, I just wanted to share the souvenir that the participants received. It was such a nice token, the service team also ordered these souvenirs as well.
It’s a Marriage Memory Jar! Whenever something good or special happens, the couple will just need to write the details on a piece of paper, and put it inside. Or if they go out on a date, they can get a remembrance from that event (a paper napkin from the restaurant, a movie ticket, stationery from the hotel, etc. ) and put that in. It’s a nice way to remember all the special things that they shared and went through together.

One thing that makes it a memory jar especially for (church) married couples, is the sand. There are 3 different colors of sand inside: neutral (white-brown), blue, and orange. There’s an explanation for this.

In all marriages, there is the husband (blue) and wife (orange). But a couple alone can never make their marriage work. Someone should be part of it. Of course I’m not talking about having an affair. I’m talking about God…who is the only third person that can should be part of every relationship. Without Him as the foundation, couples won’t be able to face and overcome the problems that come their way…their marriage wouldn’t last.

Initially, the jars were distributed with only the neutral colored sand in the jar, and the blue and orange sands were given separately.
At the signal during the program, the couples poured in their colored sands into their jars together, at the same time, and were asked to mix them well. The challenge given to them was if the day comes when one or both of them want to part ways (and for sure, that day will happen), they need to separate the different grains of sand. If they could do that, then and only then can they break up.

Practically impossible to do, of course.

Which is why the jar was such a nice token for the MER1. And why I think it’s such a great wedding gift idea. Or even a wedding anniversary gift to couples.

And it’s not expensive too! All you need is a big glass jar, normal sand (from the beach), 2 different colored sands (the ones used for ours were from Ikea; any colors will do), different colored papers to write down memories in, and whatever things you want to use to decorate the jar.

Simple, easy, yet very meaningful.
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