Well, it wasn’t really 2.5 days – truth be told we first popped into the city offices to start the process way back in December. We were given a list of all the items that I would need to provide in order to get married in Germany. The plan at that stage was to be married before Katja arrived.
So, we got to work. All of the documents we had to supply had to be less than 6 months old – which of course means getting hold of new copies of things. They also had to be witnessed by a Justice of the Peace.
– my long form birth certificate
– my divorce notice
– proof of my address
– proof of my income
– notice of no impediment to marriage
We gathered the details – this took us a little while to gather details and also to wait for things like my actual income statements to come through. The no impediment certificate presented a problem as Australia does not generally issue these. I had to send copies of the divorce decree and my passport to the embassy in Berlin so that they could provide the Eheunbedentslichkeitsbecheinigung (certificate of no impediment to marriage) but then finally we were able to package it all up and send it off. I purchased a dress that would be appropriate for a bride 6-7 months pregnant.
By this stage it was becoming quite clear that we weren’t going to make it before Katja, so we started to hope for approval that would allow us to marry while my parents were over. While down in London I picked up some ribbon from Liberties to make my dress a little more bridey.
A month later we received notice that we now needed to complete a form with all sorts of questions (including a section that asked for my ex’s signature!!) mainly about my divorce. And we had to send in a certified copy of my entire Australian passport – luckily after pointing out that to get a copy of this would cost a few hundred pounds we were allowed to send the actual passport for them to copy themselves. It was getting tight, but still possible. Meanwhile I was attempting to knit a shawl for the wedding but having terrible trouble with pregnancy brain – luckily I happen to know some amazingly talented people and Maria in Ireland took up the challenge to knit a wedding shawl in no time at all. We also managed to order some rings.
And then we heard that the whole lot needed to go to court in Frankfurt to be approved. By this stage we started to talk about planning the civil ceremony in Australia and just forgetting Germany for this event. It was getting far too tight and stressful! Our rings were ready so we picked those up, worst case they could sit and wait until Australia. We were looking after a newborn and trying to organise things like passport for her – no wonder I was on medication for high blood pressure!
As we packed for our trip to Germany we included my dress, some of my favourite shoes that would work well enough and the ribbon. Mum popped into the gift shop at Holyrood Palace and picked up some earrings I’d seen there to match my late Grandmother’s pearls. Christian packed his suit and the tie that I’d bought for him on our trip to Australia last year and we included a cute white outfit for Katja. The stunning shawl arrived just in time (and with a Christening shawl for Katja that is also stunning)
We arrived in Germany on Thursday the 12th. On the 14th a letter arrived asking for payment for some of the official stuff. We paid by bank transfer and then Monday morning found out that we had approval – finally! Monday afternoon we were in the office again going over the details, signing forms of intent and starting to organise the date – the following Thursday, the day before my parents would be leaving.
So there we were, approval at last but only 2.5 days to organise the details of our wedding. So, what do we really need? We set up a facebook event to invite friends who might be nearby (I know!) and phoned a couple of others. We asked a friend to be the official interpreter, luckily she was free and agreed. We then had to try on our outfits, find shoes for Christian, a jacket for Katja in case it was cold and champagne for after the ceremony and I had to get my hair done. My hairdresser in Fulda is a genius, he chose a colour that was perfect for my dress and set my hair such that all I would need to do is run a brush through it the next morning. We the booked a local restaurant for dinner for family.
On the morning of the wedding we popped into town to get some special champagne flutes, thank-you gifts, pretzels for after the ceremony and flowers. The boys got themselves ready and headed off to the palace. By the time that us girls were ready we were running only 5 minutes late.
So.. how did all that crazy organisation go? Read on…