Hannah The Bride:
Hannah is from Germany and Paul is from England. We met in 2013 in Ghana (Africa) whilst working for a charity. We were in a long distance relationship for 3.5 years, with Hannah living in Germany, and Paul in Ghana and the UK. It was definitely difficult at times, but there was never a doubt in either of our minds that we wanted to be together, and so we just made it work. Our relationship involved lots of Skype calls, postcards and flying back and forth, with a few surprise visits thrown in as well, before we got married.
We also both love travelling and experiencing new countries and cultures. There’s so much to do and experience in the world and so we want to explore as much of it as possible. We’ve done bits already, travelling through Europe and spending last summer riding on trains around India and Nepal, but we’re ready to see even more. For our honeymoon later this year we’re visiting Vietnam, Cambodia and China are excited for the adventures that are in store for us.
We got married on the 8th of April 2017 in a beautiful little town in Germany called Reinheim.
We kept the traditions we liked and got rid of or changed the ones we didn’t like. After the church service to which we invited lots of family and friends we had champagne and cut the wedding cake because it was important to us that everyone could be part of that. Some of our amazing friends also organised a whole cake buffet so there was lots of choice. After this part the closer family and friends left for the reception where everyone had time to chill out, play games and just have a good time. Since we’re from two different cultural backgrounds we wanted to let both play a part at the wedding so before dinner we had the traditional speeches from the father of the groom and the best man. We did our speech together though, alternating between English and German.
One thing that’s traditional in Germany is to have a “programme” section in the evening. It’s an opportunity for the friends and the family of the bride and groom to put on a bit of a show, with games, skits and other fun things related to the couple. Our friends put together a video about us, played some games and Paul surprised Hannah with a song that he had written with his brother.
We really wanted our wedding to be a celebration that everyone could get involved in, not just having the whole day focused solely on us. So it was amazing to see all our friends and family getting to know with each other, having fun and laughing together.
What I love about wedding dresses is that they always show the character and personality of the bride. And that’s what most people said about my dress (apart from it being absolutely beautiful), that it suits my personality so well.
I’m not a great shopping fan so I wasn’t too excited about the whole dress shopping part. A friend recommended a small wedding boutique in Darmstadt (Germany) to me, so about six months before the wedding my mum, my maid of honour, a very close friend, my brother and I went to Edel Brautmoden
and we absolutely loved it! The shop assistant picked out several dresses based on what I liked, and what not, we worked our way to nine dresses I actually tried on. With each dress I had a moment to myself to think about it and then the others got to comment on it. The last dress I tried on was a few sizes too big but I liked it the best and the shop would order it in my size anyway. I didn’t have a big emotional moment where I knew that was it, so the store assistant was a bit surprised but brought out the champagne so we could celebrate this decision. When the dress came in my size it fit almost perfectly and only needed a few alterations. Although I wasn’t emotional whilst buying it I most certainly was when I had to take it off because I wouldn't get to wear it again and I really enjoyed wearing it for our big day.
We couldn’t have done it without our amazing friends and family! We did plan a lot ourselves but also delegated certain areas (like music, coffee& cake, programme) to friends and family and they did a fantastic job!
One other thing that was really important to us was the photographers. I had been a maid of honour at a wedding, and after seeing how the photographers at the wedding worked, knew that she wanted them for our wedding too. They just seemed like the right choice. The photos from the wedding proved that it was a great decision, we are both insanely happy about how they turned out and love the fact that these are the photos we get to look back on when we’re old and grey.
Our favourite colour is grey so we knew that one was definitely one of our wedding colours. We're not big fans of bright colours so we wanted something elegant but simple to accompany the grey. We chose white and bronze and enjoyed finding different ways to use those colours in the stationery and decoration.
Decor & Flowers
All the rest of the decoration was a DIY project and it was so much fun to be creative and to use ordinary things like tins and turn them in to vases.
One of the most important and fun things we're the flowers. I went to a flower shop with her mum the day before and bought loads of white flowers and eucalyptus. We spent the afternoon arranging the flowers and making my bouquet and had the chance to do it exactly as we wanted it to be.
One thing we did to make that happen is that we wrote a personal card to everyone telling them what we appreciate and love about them. It was a lot of work beforehand but absolutely worth it.
For other brides out there, Make sure you find the best way to get yourselves organised. We used a spreadsheet online (Google Drive) for all our planning which was great because we access it online anywhere and all the changes could be seen by the other person.
Secondly, ask for lots of help. We knew before we started that we couldn’t celebrate the way that we wanted too without lots of help, and so we asked those around us to help how they could. Our friends and family were absolutely incredible throughout the entire planning process. They gave us tips and advice, took responsibility for loads of different aspects of the day and made sure that we were well looked after too. We really excited to return this help as well in the next few years too. It may sound weird but our friends were really grateful for the opportunity to help and get involved, and we can’t wait to have that chance too!