The Wedding (Take 2!)

Saturday, August 13 brought Tim and Anni to their "American-style" wedding.  Let me tell you, those Germans like to really extend their celebrations!  That is something to be desired for Chuck and I.  We really love that the German culture takes TIME with each other.  They are not in a rush, they do not have plans after plans, and they can just sit and enjoy each other.  It's a lovely experience, until my Northern VA attitude kicks in and then I have to remind myself to just BE and enjoy the moments with people.  This wedding went on from about 12:30pm until 12:00am.  I've never experienced any other wedding like it.  It taught me a great deal about the value of being together without being in a hurry. 

As the honored Groom stood at the front of the church that Saturday I was struck with how LONG he stood at the front of the church.  Tim had plenty of time to observe his surroundings, smile at his guests, but mostly he just gazed down the center aisle with sheer anticipation and excitement for his Bride to arrive.

Waiting for her...

She's coming!  Look at that SMILE!
Not the best angle, but there she is!  She looked so beautiful!
Finally together.  Love the happy tears!
And so it begins....

Wedding #1

Just about to be MARRIED! (Tim and Anni, that is!)

I know this sign says something about marriage, but I can't quite remember.  In Germany, the "real" wedding takes place at the courthouse, and that actually counts as the anniversary date.  In the case of Tim and Anni, they also had another wedding celebration the next day that was more like an "American-style" wedding.

The courthouse wedding was wonderful, even though I couldn't understand a word anyone was saying! Chuck did an amazing job of interpreting for me, but I still constantly felt frustrated in not knowing the language.  I wanted to know every detail of what was going on, but that just wasn't possible.  So, I found myself paying closer attention to facial expressions, body language, and the environment around me.  I have heard that when one of the 5 senses is lost, then the other senses kick into over-drive.  That's how I felt in Germany.  Though "understanding a foreign language" isn't a sense, it certainly feels like it!  My other senses kicked into high gear and I snapped pictures like crazy!

Exchanging the rings!

Still exchanging!

Mr.  & Mrs. Dubbe!  YAY!

I wore really high heels that day!
After the marriage ceremony (for lack of a better word!) Tim and Anni treated family and a few friends to a delicious brunch!  Oh how I love trying and eating German food!  This place served some sort of amazingly huge pancake-type entree.  They had me at pancakes!  There was also a constant supply of hot tea and hot coffee on the table which I took advantage of and thoroughly enjoyed.  This place was outside, but there was a covering over our tables.  The restaurant supplied pillows to sit on, and blankets to cover up with.  There could be no better combination for me!  I wish ALL restaurants provided blankets!  I usually freeze to death and so I fully embraced the blanket provisions.  We had such a lovely meal together celebrating the happy couple!  BUT, the fun had only just begun! 

Pre-Wedding Days

My posts have been a bit wordy, so thought I'd keep it short today.  Here is the happy couple, just one day before they married...

Braut Party Part II

Present time at the Bridal Party was full of sweet moments.  Anni has a silly side to her personality, but also a thoughtful, emotional side which we got to see a lot during the wedding week.  The little ducks she was holding up in this picture were so cute!  Perfectly representing her silly, fun-loving side.  Bride and Groom rubber duckies that Maria (in the background) found in Berlin.  The Groom duck even had red hair, just like Timmy.

One of my favorite gifts that Anni received was this HOME MADE memo board, hand-crafted by her friend, Lissie.  Lissie created the wood backing, as well as the sewing of the front cloth.  It was absolutely adorable!  What talent!  Plus, the time and thought she put into her gift was really touching.  Talk about a sweet gift.  I noticed that Germans seem to put a lot of thought and creativity into their gifts.  They don't just throw gifts in a bag, they'll hand-wrap a gift with some sort of personal touch:  like ribbons, hanging decorations, or some other sentiment.  Don't get me wrong, my American gift bag was front and center, I don't even TRY to attempt crafty gifts.  It's not me, and no one would think it was special if I attempted to hand-craft something, haha!  I just admire that trait about the Germans, and the Dubbe family in general.  (Yes, my husband is 100% more creative and crafty than I will ever even attempt to be.)

Here we are, the Dubbe sisters.  I just love these girls!  Something I love is that our relationships were not the meet and become best friends right away kind.  These relationships have taken time, effort, attention, and more time to grow.  After pouring lots of love into the mixture, we have slowly become the sister-in-laws I have always wanted.  Between long distance, language barriers, protectiveness, and different personalities becoming sister-in-laws was not a walk in the park.  But I was struck at the Bridal Party at how we've all grown closer, more comfortable, and deeper in love with each other.  Praise God for the gift of girls in the family!

Group shot!  True to herself, my sweet Mother-in-Law tried very hard to blend into the background.  She's the pretty lady hiding in the back middle in the green top.  I had to call her over to join the group as she was slowly sneaking away when we gathered for the group photo.  Mom Dubbe is so much fun for me to be around.  And it's not just because she was 1 of only 3 people I could talk to that day!  ;)  I enjoy how much she laughs, the insight she has to offer, and her observations of what's going on around us.  I've never had Mother-in-Law issues, and am very blessed to be Tricia's first daughter-in-law.  Oh, I'm happy to share the D-i-L role with Anni now, too!

Anni's sister, Inna, is on my left.  Incredibly lovely girl.
Another sweet moment during the party was when one our nephews, Gabe (4), came sneaking (hhmm, lots of sneaking in this family!) around the back of the house towards his mom, Becky with flowers behind his back!

To finish my observations of sweetness, I really loved how after Anni opened a gift, she would hug the giver of the gift.  Her appreciation for each friend, or family member was evident not only by the smile (and dimples!) on her face, but in her affectionate hugs as well.  I know this picture is blurry, but it's the only hug moment I caught!

Well, after the Braut Party came much more wedding stuff!  I'll save that for another day though.... ;)

Braut Party

Can you guess who the beautiful, blushing, bride-to-be is in this picture?  If you'll look carefully, Anni is wearing the blue sash in the middle.  In English the sash translates to, "Germany is searching for the super bride!"  It's a take off a popular show over there called, "Germany is Searching for the Super Star".  The sash was perfect for our "Hollywood" themed bridal shower that we (the Dubbe women) threw for our sis-to-be, Anni!  It was a perfect theme since Tim and Anni went to Hollywood, CA for their honeymoon.  If you didn't know, Chuck and I flew over to Germany the first couple weeks of August to help celebrate his brother Tim's marriage to Anni. 

Yep, that's our second trip to Deutschland in less than a years time.  Chuck and I were happy to go and spend time with our fam over there and help out as much as we could with the weddings (Yes, I said weddingS- more on that later).  Truly, it was an honor to be there.  Germany is becoming more and more apart of my heart as I get to know the culture little by little and get to know my "new" family who lives there.  Truth be told, I think it's the FOOD over there that is winning my heart the most! ;)

As I sit in our cozy apartment tonight with the "hurricane" raining down around us, I am at a loss at how to proceed.  Chuck and I have had the busiest three months we've ever had with more traveling than we've ever done.  It was a blissful, FULL OF JOY kind of summer.  A gift from my God directly to me.  Traveling proved to refresh my heart and spirit as I had spent the spring mourning and grieving in a very dark place.  Not that I am completely whole, I will never "get over" our loss, but my heart was ministered to in unique ways this summer by our oh-so-GOOD God. 

All this to say, I don't mean to skip through our whole summer and only blog about Germany, but Germany is fresh on my mind.  I contemplated posting pictures on Facebook, but that seemed to cheapen the experience.  There are many memories, stories, and love associated with each picture that I can't just post the pictures without sharing at least some of my heart. 

So the Braut Party (Bridal Party:  the shower we threw for Anni.  Germans don't throw "showers" so we improvised!)  was our first big event upon arriving in Germany.  It was a joy to be able to express our love for Anni in having her join our family as a Dubbe with the party.  Since we have a bit of a language barrier, it was a tangible way to do just that. 

"Pin the Kisses on Tim"

A game that Chuck's older sister, Becky, had debuted at the shower she had thrown for me!  It was special to play it again at Anni's shower.  We even used the same "Bridal Pin" that I had worn at my shower as well.  It was special to start some traditions of our own! 

"Hollywood Stars" game.  Anni had to guess which hand prints were Timmy's!  She guessed correctly!
I'll save more of my thoughts on the Braut Party for tomorrow.  There's so much to say!  Stay tuned!

My new sis-in-law!  Isn't she just beautiful?!  We are a blessed family.  P.S.  Notice the pin? =)