South Africa meets Czech Republic: our Protea-themed wedding

protea-bouquet

As soon as I knew that I would be getting married away from home (South Africa), I knew there was one thing I definitely wanted at my wedding: Proteas. Proteas are a genus of flowers indigenous to South Africa, and the King Protea (Protea cynaroides) is the national flower of our country. 92% of Protea species grow in the Cape Floristic region. They are big, beautiful, hardy flowers, and you see them growing wild when you hike on the mountains. The first time I found some proteas in Berlin, I inhaled their subtle scent into my lungs and could smell home. Continue reading

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The complications of a multi-national wedding

ring

When people get married in the movies, there’s never any mention of all the paperwork, and so I naïvely thought that on the day of the wedding you go to the church or government office, sign some papers and that’s it. Unfortunately that’s not the case, especially when it’s a marriage between two people of different nationalities, as in our case!

Someone in my German class told me he and his wife (both Italian) got married in the US, and all they needed were passports. The European version of a Las Vegas style wedding is apparently to go to Denmark as less administration is required there, but even for a wedding in Denmark you do need more paperwork than just passports, so a little bit of advance planning is required. My advice to anyone going into a multi-national marriage is not to set a wedding date until you have your paperwork in order. However this is also tricky, as venues need to be booked in advance and some papers expire (for example, a letter of no impediments is only valid for 6 months).

Our case is more complicated than most, as four countries are involved. I am South African but also have British citizenship, as my mother is British. My fiancé is Czech. We are living in Germany at the moment and we will get married in Czech Republic. As a result, we started with the administrative process for getting married in January, and are still not finished, in August, two weeks before the wedding. Continue reading

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The wedding planning continues…

wedding shop

(Look away now if weddings bore you.) I’ve just discovered the world of online shopping. And let me tell you that many hours can pass while you are looking through online catalogs of wedding paraphenalia. You can find almost anything you want on ebay or in online stores (I switched to looking at German online stores, since the postage from other places is pretty high on average). Once you start looking, you see things that you hadn’t thought about, but of course you need at a wedding. Pininterest is another good place for getting wedding theme inspiration, although I don’t find it very practical for finding items, it’s more just eye candy. Weddix is a useful German site, I spent ages looking at all their table decorations, guest presents and other ideas. Giving sugared almonds is a wedding tradition I remember from childhood; you can buy different kinds of sugared almonds and bags now. I chose bags to match with our planned woodland / nature theme, but there are lots of options. Continue reading

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Planning our Czech Wedding

Finally some free time I could use to work on my literature review write a blog post  (:-)  and what do I end up doing….playing around making example wedding invitations online.

My Invitation (4) My Invitation (5)

But it is addictive, see here. With the online templates you can change the text, add your own photos and so on. So far J says all of my creations are too pink (even the purple ones). He is now keen to have a simple invitation with a protea on it, the South African flower I’ve chosen for my wedding bouquet. Let’s see how that evolves.

This past weekend we were kicked into wedding planning gear by J’s sister (and rightfully so, since we’re planning a June wedding but have not organized much yet at all). We’d done a bit of research about all the forms required to get married and had visited a priest at Christmas in Hradec Králové who’d informed us that to get married in a church we’d have to do the marriage preparation course. We’d also located a church in Berlin where we could do the course, although the usual parish priest was away so we’d have to wait before meeting with him. Other than that, we had not settled on either a church or a reception venue. Continue reading

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