Finally: the reason we went to Germany! My friend Peggy and I met when my son Lukas and her son Florian were toddlers, probably in 2003 or 2004. She's originally from eastern Germany, which was still the DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik: German Democratic Republic, and anything but democratic, and from the point of view of West Germany, occupied territory) at the time. She moved to the west after the fall of Communism and has come a loooong way in rebuilding her life. Peggy and Florian have visited us three times in Cyprus, and after her nightly two-hour phone calls with "just a friend" during her last visit here, we were not particularly surprised to hear of their engagement!
Before we left the H family's house, we got Barbara to take a photo of all eight of us together, dressed up and with someplace to go:
We do technically own an iron here in Cyprus, we even bought it ourselves, so that I could iron the t-shirts that the children made at a holiday club in 2009, to set the colors. (Never mind that I ironed them the day before the holiday club in 2010.) That is, to date, the only time I have used that iron, and it stays in the guest flat. Most of our clothes for the wedding did need ironing, but Barbara has a very fancy, special iron, which she wouldn't let me use. It did not make me sad in the slightest that she ironed everything for me. Admire those wrinkle-less clothes--they only appear for weddings. (I ironed our clothes for my brother's wedding in 2009 and my sister's wedding in 2010, too, so it's not that I NEVER iron...)
Lukas was VERY excited to wear a suit and tie, still being sad that he hadn't gotten to keep the tuxedo that had been rented for my sister's wedding. We got most of the pieces at the thrift store, but did have to buy the shoes new, since Lukas refused to wear tennis shoes. (Florian wore tennis shoes, though!)
A blurry photo of the procession into the church, Florian and Lukas with the flowers, followed by Peggy and Hannu.
The church had pews on three sides, the middle ones facing the front and the ones on the two sides facing each other. We sat in the front pew on one side, so had the absolute best view of the bridal pair, as well as of the Blumenkinder. Which was quite...interesting. Lukas totally rose to the occasion and behaved flawlessly for the entire hour, even while Florian was being a bit more of a typical nine-year-old boy...
Helen fell asleep against Jacob.
Marie (wearing the dress she'd gotten for my sister's wedding), Phil and Margaret Daniell, and a sleeping Elisabeth on my shoulder.
Katie was extremely impressed with the horse and carriage.
As we drove from the church where the wedding was to the church where the cake reception was, Jörn took a photo of the horses in his rear-view mirror.
M & M's with Peggy and Hannu's names on them were scattered on all of the tables. As the reception wound down, Lukas got permission (not from us...) to go around and collect all the M & M's that hadn't been eaten yet. We probably brought home close about 500 grams of them.
The official "wedding cake" had six different cakes (the bottom one isn't visible in this photo) on a stand, and there was also a cake buffet with many more. Everything I tasted (didn't count how many...) was scrumptious. Germans really know how to do cake.
Lukas and Florian.
After the cake reception, about 40 of us went to yet another location for the evening dinner and dancing. Lukas danced nearly the entire three hours between dinner and when we left, mostly with Katie, but grabbing any other partner he could when she took breaks, or just dancing by himself when he couldn't get anyone to dance with him. I have a great video of Lukas dancing with Katie, which I keep meaning to post on Facebook, and here's a photo of him dancing with Helen.
Helen's shoes, which we found in the too-big-for-Helen things right before we left, started to come apart during the reception. Jacob whipped out his trusty roll of duct tape and repaired them. (No, I do not know why he took duct tape with him to a wedding. But I'm glad he did.)
Peggy and Hannu. :-)
Nobody took any photos of Jörn and me dancing, but here's a nice blurry one of Marie with Jörn. Her dress is actually bright turquoise (with a black sweater over it), I don't know why it looks so dark here.
Elisabeth, my only non-party-animal, wanted to go to bed. She kept asking to go out, to go to bed, go to sleep. She finally fell asleep anyway, without a bed, and I put her on these chairs.
Helen sharing a special moment dancing with Jörn.
Peggy and Hannu danced the official first dance, and just after that a few other people joined in for one or two songs, but for the vast majority of the evening, it was only Langes on the dance floor, sometimes up to seven of us. (Jacob was the only one who wouldn't dance.) We had a great time and were sorry to leave before the party was over, but both of us had to drive (we had two cars), and we knew we had to get up early-ish the next morning, so we left at 11:30.