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Asking a German girl to marry you

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God, how sweet. :)

 

I think you should do what you think is most natural thing for you two. I was proposed without a ring and didn't mind. Got later the ring I wanted - just very simple silver thing.

 

There are plenty of nice (and expensive) rings at www.trauringe.de

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Today, a fantastic , beautiful sunny day in Bavaria and 5 months after leaving Blighty I asked my wonderful German girlfriend to be my wife, today was her birhday and so after teasing her with other standard gifts, cards etc, I went down on one knee and popped the question "Möchtest du mich heiraten ?" , which because my deutsch is not so good took me some time to remember, she looked at me with those big doleful eyes and said...ja natürlich!!

It probably flies in the face of fashion at the moment but I love this country! , and to cap it all its pissing down in Manchester today !...yes I left my friends and family to come to my new life here in Germany but it was the best thing I ever did,...one question though I have'nt a clue about Deutsch Weddings, I heard there are 2 ceremonies , What are the experiences of fellow TT'ers with the way things are done here and what advice would you give?

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Today, a fantastic , beautiful sunny day in Bavaria and 5 months after leaving Blighty I asked my wonderful German girlfriend to be my wife, today was her birhday and so after teasing her with other standard gifts, cards etc, I went down on one knee and popped the question "Möchtest du mich heiraten ?" , which because my deutsch is not so good took me some time to remember, she looked at me with those big doleful eyes and said...ja natürlich!!

Congratulations :D. It's a beautiful German spring day today, so you picked a perfect moment.

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Congratulations. Yes, there are two ceremonies. The first ceremony is the one at the registrars office. This one is obligatory as German law does not recognize purely religious marriages/ceremonies that take place in Germany. Many registry offices have very nice locations available so it can be a nice ceremony in its own right.

The second ceremony is the wedding in Church. This is optional. It really depends on where you live, family traditions and expectations etc. In Berlin a lot of couples do without a wedding in Church, in Bavaria a wedding without a church wedding is still rather rare.

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There is only one ceremony that is required and that is the one at the Standesamt. The other one, at the church, in the backyard, wherever, is completely optional. I only did the one at the Standesamt and blew the rest on a fun party.

 

I have friends who have done the following:

1) Standesamt in November, church the following June

2) Standesamt in September, church two weeks later

3) Standesamt on Friday, church on Saturday

 

It is completely up to you.

And don't be pressured into getting married in a church if you don't want to. Honestly, if I had a 10er for every idiot who said 'oh, you have to get married in the church', I could have paid for the party on that alone.

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It probably flies in the face of fashion at the moment but I love this country!

I dont know that I'd quite put it that way but Ive been here 22 years with no plans to go back, so I guess I feel the same ;-)

 

 

I have'nt a clue about Deutsch Weddings, I heard there are 2 ceremonies , What are the experiences of fellow TT'ers with the way things are done here and what advice would you give?

As others have mentioned, you get married in a Standesamt, whatever you do in a church or other ceremony is your own business and irrelevant to your married status (in the eyes of the law). As a Brit, youre going to have to jump a few extra hurdles to get married (apparently UK marriage law has a whole pile of loopholes that would theoretically allow you to annull your German marriage for various odd reasons and the Germans want to make sure you cant/dont/wont). Im my case we ended up spending something like €800 extra on fees just because Im British. It would have been a lot cheaper to get dual citizenship first and get married as a German so check that out first if you think it might be an option for you. Now we're married and have spent the money, my wife wont let me become a German ;-).

 

Also, there are still Standesämter who will claim you need an "Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung" from the UK to marry here. You dont, you just have to sign an "eidesstattliche Erklärung" that youre not married in the UK and thats enough.

 

If you have a decent Standesamt then all the paperwork isnt a huge hassle but it will take a few weeks to get finished - Dont try turning up wanting to get married a week later. A few things have to go to court and that always takes time here. The sooner you talk to your Standesamt the better.

 

In our case we made things even more complicated by getting married in my wifes home town rather than where we live. It still wasnt a major headache, just a couple more forms and fees and it did mean we were able to get married in a Watertower :-). Go to the standesamt where you are "registriert" first, even if you want to marry somewhere else.

 

Getting married is the new black - I can recommend it!

 

andy M

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[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

Im an American, girlfriend obviously German and its come to the point in our relationship where i am ready to take the plunge. Which brings me here. So i'm looking for rings now and the fact she is German is starting to make this process a lot more difficult then i thought it would be, considering the cultural differences when it comes to engagement and weddings. So i think its hard to be like hey babe would you rather have an American style engagement where i buy you the engagement ring and then a wedding band which you can wear with it after we are married or should i follow German culture and get a wedding band which as i understand it is just moved from the left to right hand after marriage. I thought about this a lot really and did consider the fact that we wont be living in Germany forever (or we might). Which would be more suitable for where we live? not that i really care if she wore the ring on her right hand instead of the left in America but then the same problem wearing the rings on the left hand in Germany. I really don't know what route to go and it kinda spoils the surprise if i ask which she would prefer as i already know that she wants me to pick a ring and not go with me or give her a prop ring when i propose. i think that she might like a whole "American" tradition of engagement ring then a wedding ring but i'm not sure she even is aware that our traditions are different and if i did this she might be confused during what is supposed to be a special moment and i would have to explain the differences and blah blah so i come to ask advice and get some more info on the ring tradition. My understanding is that matching wedding rings are used and that the ring is pretty simple from what i have seen when looking so far. Then when married you just switch the ring to the other hand i really don't know what she expects and thats what is making it so hard. she speaks way better english then her friends and i have been trying to get with one of her friends to go with me to look but the language barrier is brutal sometimes and its hard to just ask all the questions i have to her. i speak no German just enough to get by when i'm out and don't have my beloved translator at my side. its sad really i have been here for almost a year and don't even speak the language a little but im in the military and im surrounded by little America all day every day. any advice on tradition or suggests would be much appreciated and if someone could confirm the ring traditions that would be great too.

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This is a no-brainer. Do you think she'll want a diamond, or not?

 

Seems obvious to me, especially if you're going to move her back to the States or if she's going to hang out with a lot of American military wives, that she'll want the rock. The bigger the better, obviously.

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i dont think she would care if i got her a diamond or not she wears no rings and only wears jewelry when we go out somewhere nice. but i think your right id want the rock if i was to be around military wives and living in the states. i dont think she expects some nice bling so maybe i should go that route and thanks elfen i read through alot of that stuff got some good info on traditions i cant get the perfect answer because i didnt ask her guess ill have to go with the gut feeling.

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MHCM - you have taken so much thought about this and are taking your different cultures into consideration. My hat off to you. Any women should be delighted that you are taking so much care about her feelings/culture and as well, considering where she will be living.

 

I think this is a very personal thing and there are probably lots of different views on it. I think that she would be happy that you took all sides into consideration but I would frankly go with the 2 ring thing. An engagement ring that has a stone that she would like - it doesn't necessarily have to be a diamond - I got a sapphire in gold which I loved and then a wedding ring on the day.

 

Yes diamonds are a girl's best friend but frankly - you know her taste the best and do what you think she would like and not how it would fit in with the environment where she may end up. It is about you 2 not anyone else, isn't it?

 

Anyway - I got a diamond from my friends for my xxx birthday after my divorce in the form of a necklace - so I never lost out on the bling!!!

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On a more serious note, small diamonds in a channel-cut ring looks elegant and would be a good compromise between a traditional German simple gold band and a diamond solitaire or more elaborate setting. You could also include stones other than diamonds, as already suggested, but I think diamonds look best, unmixed with other stones.

 

Something like this would be nice. (Channel-cut diamonds are available in lots of different sizes and prices. The photo is just to show you what a channel-cut ring looks like, if you don't know.)

post-116-13032472165493.gif

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In the US the traditions are pretty much up in the air. Eg there's the mangagement ring and its not uncommon for couples to pick their ring together. The engagement ring itself is only a 75 year old tradition. I wouldn't worry too much about culture on this one, do what makes sense.

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As far as the German tradition is concerned, engagement rings are identical rings worn by both partners (on the left hand). But the American tradition of a diamond ring for the girl is being adopted by some as well, so it's quite likely that your fiancée-to-be knows about it.

 

Since you say that your girlfriend doesn't wear rings, I would keep the wearability factor in mind. IMO the ring should therefore be rather delicate, so that it neither is flashy (not common here in Germany) nor causes discomfort when worn. I personally think that a ring with one or several small embedded stones (i.e. no prominent setting) or a ring where the stone is held invisibly between a recess (socalled Spannring) is not too obtrusive for someone who doesn't wear jewellery every day. For the material, I'd prefer white gold or platinum as it goes better with different outfits, but hey, that's just my taste.

 

Anyway, I don't think you really can do anything wrong with the look, as it's meant as an expression of feelings.

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How sweet of you to be so worried about the details.. that says a lot!

I'm an American that chose the German way. I don't like "big rocks" and even if we were in the States being flashy is not important to me.

 

The idea of a band with diamonds or other stones might be a nice one. It might ruin the surprise a bit but it might be best to just ask for her opinion. You could ask her hypothetically and let the actual event still be a surprise. It might save you both headaches and confusion later. What if you buy the ring you think she likes but she ends up not liking it and doesn't tell you so that she doesn't hurt your feelings?

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I have just a wedding band no diamonds. I am perfectly happy with that. They are overrated and just get caught on things and you fear hurting it or loosing the stone.

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I think I would go with a small, but classy looking diamond ring for an engagment. Pick out the wedding rings together. She can always choose to wear the diamond or not, but if she is going to be around Americans, then it might help her to fit in a bit, as others have suggested.

 

Germans have seen American movies and TV, so the idea of an engagement ring cannot be that much of a surprise. You have put a tremendous amount of thought into this and if this is the right woman for you, I can imagine she will be touched by this and find it loving and sweet, and will be very happy to wear whatever you have chosen.

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Ha! Sorry, I had to laugh at that question: Do you think she'd want a diamond or not? It's like she wondering: Gee, do you think he'll want sex on the honeymoon ... or not?

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I understand the OP's predicament. I would be somewhat embarrassed to wear a large, solitaire diamond in Germany. Unless you're hanging out at the casino in Baden Baden, it's just not common here and it would stick out like a sore thumb. Something in between is nice. Either a smaller, excellent quality (flawless) solitaire diamond, or a channel-cut ring as cinzia suggests.

 

The other option is to choose her something rare, such as an African yellow diamond or an Australian pink diamond. They are ridiculously expensive, but only people who know about jewellery would understand that. Others would just look at the smaller size and not think twice. Good compromise perhaps?

 

Or of course, if she has a particular favourite stone, that's even better. Although for the rest of her life she'll have to be careful not to scratch it, as all stones other than diamonds are (to varying degrees) soft.

 

Another thing to think about is to ensure that it's a no-conflict diamond, if that's the sort of thing that rocks her boat.

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