Neither my German fiancé nor I have ever really cared much for weddings. So, for the first six months of our engagement we never really talked about our wedding at all.
Planning a wedding in Germany

Now don’t get me wrong. Both Marco and I have a great respect for marriage, which is why we are getting married. We also love seeing people that we love get married. But all the wedding hoopla? Eh. Not for us.

Since we registered our marriage at the beginning of August, however, we have had to dive right into wedding planning. And with both of our laid-back attitudes about the whole thing, I have been pleasantly surprised with how smoothly it’s all going. Here is everything we have gotten done so far:

Date
The local German registry office let us reserve a date for our civil ceremony already (even though our application is still sitting at the regional court and could be rejected). But assuming that doesn’t happen, we are getting married on December 30th!

Ceremony Location
Our local registry office has five locations throughout the city for civil ceremonies. They are all located in beautiful and historic buildings, but one definitely stood out to us from the rest: the water tower. The Lüneburg Water Tower was built in 1905, but hasn’t actually served as a water tower since the 1980s. Now it is a museum and viewing platform of the city.

Here are some images of wedding ceremonies held inside the water tower:

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Source

After the ceremony, we can roam the water tower and take pictures. Here some pictures from inside the water tower and on the platform:

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Source

Wedding Dress
My dress is actually the very first wedding-related thing we got. I knew I wanted to go wedding dress shopping with my mom, and the last time I would see my mom before the wedding was when I was in New York in July. So, my mother and I went to a wedding dress shop one day and walked out 30 minutes later with my dress. Best of all, the dress fits perfectly, and I only need the bottom hemmed.

Over the past couple weeks, I have also purchased shoes and a stole. So, my outfit is almost complete!

Invitations
We need to send out about 40 invitations. Exactly half of the recipients speak English and the other half speak German. So, the standard wedding invitation templates were not going to work for us. We were also horrified with the prices at most wedding invitation websites. So, I decided I would design our invitations myself and order them through Vistaprint.

I am no graphic designer, but I am still happy with the result. I added the Lüneburg skyline at the bottom, with a heart marking where our wedding ceremony will take place. Our invitations are personal to us, and nobody else has one like it!

(the details are written on the back in English & German)

Reception Location
After setting our date and choosing our ceremony location, the next step was to pick a location for the reception. Knowing our wedding would be small (>30 guests) and knowing we didn’t want to waste spend a lot of money, we kind of figured that we would just end up booking a private room in the back of a restaurant somewhere. So, we started doing some internet research to figure out what restaurants in our city offered appropriately-sized rooms.

What we didn’t expect is that the famous hotel in our city (famous among German women over 60 for its prominence on a German soap opera) would have several awesome venues for us to choose from, and that their wedding packages are very reasonably priced!

Ultimately, we chose the Mühlensaal (mill hall), which is in the city’s old mill. Today, the building is known as the Lüner Mühle (Lüne mill), but a document from 1391 refers to the building as the Klostermühle (monastery mill), as it was originally owned by the monastery.

How many Americans can say they had their wedding reception in a building built in the 14th century?!

In the picture below, you can see me standing in front of the building. The entire second floor of the building is the reception hall – below is a restaurant and above are hotel rooms.

And here is a view of the building from the other side. As you can see, the building hangs quite precariously over the water, which means there are some great views from inside the reception hall.

That’s the status of our wedding planning for now! Up next on our list of things to do: hire a photographer, pick out Marco’s suit, get wedding rings, and get my dress altered. I’ll check in again next month!