Attending A Wedding

In Switzerland for a marriage to be legally binding the couple has to go to the registry office where the two officially get married. There is normally a very small ceremony led by the clerk at the registry.

It could be a couple of days or even a few weeks after the legal marriage that the couple then invites family, friends and colleagues for their public wedding.

Often, quite some time before the event, the couple to be wed sends out rather creative invitations for their public wedding. Traditionally, the inner circle is not only invited to the ceremony, but also to the wedding banquet afterwards. These people usually also get a wish list from the couple where on a specified website they can pick a gift that the couple would like to have. These can be an iron, or a voucher at IKEA, or a contribution to their honeymoon etc.

Quite a few people still like their wedding ceremony to take place in a church setting as has been the tradition for centuries. However as the Swiss are increasingly secular some wedding ceremonies are held in rather exotic settings (in free fall or under water) without necessarily Christian elements. The bride and the bridegroom usually are quite free to organize a wedding the way the personally like to.

The wedding I attended took place on the grounds of a vinery. The Christian wedding ceremony included the entry of the the bridegroom followed by the bride led in by her father, songs of worshipping God, a down to earth sermon by the pastor, the bridegroom and the bride exchanging their personally formulated marriage vows and the exchange of their wedding rings, a kiss and then a prayer of blessing by the Christian parents for the newly wed couple. At the end the bride and bridegroom were cheered on as they made their way out (see picture above).

After the ceremony everyone was treated to a rich buffet served in the vinery. There were tables with many different kinds of cheese, meats, backed products, wonderful deserts along with great vine and beer. Later on a band played, there was some dancing along with some funny productions.