Thursday, June 17 and Friday, June 18
[narrative continued from previous section]
It was grey and/or raining pretty much all the way from Zurich to Niederstotzingen, and at times the rain was quite heavy. Fortunately, it mostly let up as we reached the unlimited authobahns in Germany, allowing us to greatly step up the speed and make up for lost time. We arrived at the barbeque right around 7pm, where the festivities were already in full swing.
Tradition of broken ceramics
The evening was filled with quaint wedding customs, excellent food (it wasn't, strictly speaking, a barbeque - more of a hot delicious catered German food sort of thing), and lots of beer. We retired to bed at quite a late hour, after what was effectively 48 hours of no sleep!
Miriam and Asmir's wedding day arrived much as the previous several weeks' days had arrived: gray and rainy. We were apparently in an extended rainy period that was stubbornly refusing to move on, and Miriam was worried about getting good wedding shots. Fortunately, It seemed more damp and showery than full-on rainy, and we reassured Miriam that as long as it didn't rain, a cloudy day actually offered excellent lighting conditions for wedding photography. The whole sky would act like a giant studio lightbox!
After having a fine continental breakfast with other wedding attendees, Graham, Alanna and I prepared ourselves for a long day of shooting pictures. Lenses, memory cards, flashes, extra batteries: check. We went to scout out the grounds of the pre-wedding photo-shoot: a nearby castle/residence in town (I'd label it more of an old upscale villa or estate than an outright castle), looking for areas and angles that would best function in the context of wedding pictures. We then returned back to the hotel, then went over to Miriam's house, where Asmir and Miriam were finishing up with their clothes, hair, and makeup (well....just Miriam for the makeup part).
We then went back to the villa/castle and spent a good two hours, collectively taking at least a thousand shots of Miriam and Asmir. With his greater experience and skill, Graham led the way with guiding and taking many of the 'primary' shots, and Alanna and I running support. The rain almost completely held off during our photo session, providing great light. It was fairly cool, though; Miriam was practically purple from pre-hypothermia. We had to stop every so often and throw a warm jacket over her or warm her back up in the car.
Then it was back to the center of town - first to Miriam's house, for a bit of final prep and to pick up Miriam's parents, then to the city hall for the wedding ceremony itself. This was held in the council chambers of the hall, which is sized such that only close family members could attend. Everyone else waited outside.