Later in the day we had a rehearsal at the stone church, which was icy like a walk in fridge. The caretaker reassured us it would heat up in three hours before the actual wedding the next day! In the evening the Kannenbergs hosted the rehearsal dinner at their house.
The Rat House may sound like an unlikely scene for a wedding, but as we discovered, Germans have two weddings. The official wedding date was March 24, when Christina and Benni were married by the local mayor in the Rathaus (town hall). Normally a fairly quick and serious event, this mayor was excited to perform a wedding with a group of about 20 witnesses including the oldest resident in the area (Benni's grandfather) and a group of English-speaking Canadians. He spruced up the event by starting with a trivia game about Germany, awarding the winners "sweeties" (what Germans call candies) made of stinging nettle and other strange ingredients. He translated part of the service to read in English.