Sonja and Martin had a Monday wedding! So, Sonja is from Germany, and Martin is from L.A. and their newly adopted hometown of New York is actually pretty close to being a central location for both sides of their family. Lots of people flew thousands of miles to be here for them, and it was really very touching.
Honestly, Sonja should really write a how-to guide for planning a long distance, bilingual wedding where many of the guests haven’t met before. The place cards were like ticket stubs with a perforated pull-off part where the guest’s name went. That “stub” had a sticky back so it actually doubled as a name tag. The favors were luggage tags that said, in my case, “I went to my client’s* wedding, and all I got was this luggage tag!” (They were all customized according to the guest’s relationship to the bride and groom. I plan to use mine on Thursday when I fly to Florida for a wedding. So great!) Everyone also received lighters, which not only led a rock ballad feel to the first dance, but also were used to light the sky lanterns that floated up at the end of the evening, as seen below in the first photo.
The vows and toasts were given in both English and German, and Sonja’s friends outdid themselves in coming up with creative ways to help the guests get to know each other and incorporate German wedding customs. First, the bride and groom encountered a sheet with a large heart drawn on it when they arrived at cocktail hour. They had to use scissors to cut out the heart together to symbolize working on their new life together, then Martin carried Sonja “over the threshold” style through the heart-shaped hole, which was both adorable and hilarious.
Guests wrote their best wishes on cards for the couple that were sent out into the world via a balloon release, although my very favorite balloon moment of the night was the bride, her friends and cousins rocking out on the dance floor to the 80s hit “99 Luftballoons” which, just trust me, is infinitely more awesome when it’s sung by adults who were children of the ’80s in Germany.
The bride’s friends also planned a bilingual “how well do you know your guests?” game. The guests received cards, in English and German, with various categories on them, like,” Category #1: People Who Live in Europe” or “Category #2: People Who Live in New York.” The guests then stood up when prompted if they fit that category, and the newlyweds had to guess what all the people standing had in common. The two examples I gave were pretty easy to guess, but it got harder as the game went on. It helped all the guests get to know each other a little better, and it really illustrated all that Sonja and Martin have in common: a love of travel, salsa-dancing, and really awesome people from all over the world who love them to pieces.
Lastly, the couple’s amazing friends and family surprised them with a video featuring, among other things, Lego stop-action animation, messages of love from around the world (the ones from Martin’s family in the Phillipines and Sonja’s friends in Europe who couldn’t be at the wedding were tear-jerkers), and a hilarious view of New York as shot by the wedding guests while doing touristy things. Of course, this means that not only did the wedding guests spend months coordinating the video by collecting messages from around the globe, they battled jet lag and the New York City subway to shoot and finish editing it in the short time that they’ve been in the States, AND THAT is an amazing gift. It was just so great.
And now, allow me to humbly add my best wishes to those messages from around the world… Congratulations, Sonja and Martin, and may you always have safe travels not only Down Under for your honeymoon (BEST HONEYMOON EVER… Joel and I are biased) but as you visit your loved ones wherever they live and wherever you call home. Die besten Wünsche für die Zukunft!
Filled Under : Wedding