Waking up to an open window and the sound of church bells playing outside is something I could get used to very quickly. The kind of sound that seemed the perfect start on this wedding day along with the birds and country noises that we don’t hear where we live in the United States.
The day was starting like a normal wedding day. Sarina had her hair done first thing in the morning and was accompanied back to her house with her two friends and her Mother Enid for make-up getting dressing for the wedding. I was happy to be a part of the festivities with the ladies and I was able to photograph the girls and Sarina’s Mom during this traditional part of the day.
When we arrived at the church I let Sarina’s Dad escort her into the church before I took my place next to Pat in the the church. Together we listened as the service started. Spoken in German, except for some of the more popular music that was played, we were still able to grasp the meaning and emotion of the service and how moving it was. Pat and I were so moved and emotional while we sat listening, that I really felt like took our own relationship together to a new level of love.
At the end of the service the new Mr. and Mrs. Lal existed the church in big smiles and church bells ringing. It was all so perfect. After family photos, greeting of guests the newly married couple was whisked away to another church where they both work during the week. There the congregation gathered for an informal coffee reception with lots of homemade sweets. It was so lovely to see how the members of this congregation hold Sarina and Malte in the highest regard.
As the end of the reception line ended, again, Sarina and Malte were whisked away to the second reception location. A gorgeous venue and giant barn type building well away from any residential area that would be disturbed by the noise later in the evening. The dinner reception and entertainment were for close family and friends that would remain with them for the remaining part of the evening.
This part of the evening was so special and so amazing to witness. Sarina made sure to seat Pat and I with her very good friend Leah. She was an amazing translator and one of the kindest young woman I’ve met. She sat alongside of us throughout the evening after the dinner to make sure that we understood what everyone was saying.
The evenings program of toasts and entertainment wer mostley orchestrated not by the Bride and Groom, but by their amazing family and friends. There was enormous thought put into doing special things that were completely all about Sarina and Malte and the story of their adventure of growing up, the exchange year to Virginia, their travels and the eventual story of how they met. The evening included the most heartfelt speeches by each Father, a video montage put together by Sarina’s brother Tobi with music from a song her Dad sings when he is performing that included bit parts by many family and friends. A speech and photos by Malte Sister, speeches from friends, skits from friends and even a “how much do you know about your new spouse” game. It was incredible fun.
The evening was long, but it never felt that way to us. There was plenty to eat along the way including S’mores, which Sarina came to love while she was in America, but also included a midnight snack of amazing Indian food, sweets and other desserts left from our dinner.
The Bride and Grooms first dance started as a waltz, romantic and loving, but after a few minutes of this, they broke into a surprisingly upbeat rock number that had us all the guests cheering and clapping. Eventually Sarina and Malte started pulling of their friends and family onto the floor to dance with them. The music for the evening was provided by the band Sarina’s sings for with her friend Maria standing in for Sarina during the reception. Fabulous music, vocals and instrumentals rocked the house until after 4 am. We left with Sarina’s parents about 3:30 am but the party kept on going. Wow, words really cannot even begin to express our excitement, delight, happiness and emotions that will forever leave a handprint on our hearts. It was just incredible to experience.
Sunday morning started with everyone getting ready to depart but not before we enjoyed the company of family over the traditional breakfast of breads, cheeses and meats along with coffee. Pat and I rode with a friend into Hamburg to start our part of the trip.