German Weddings, the Reception and Dance: Part 3 of German Weddings

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At first glance the reception at German weddings is very similar to wedding receptions in North America.  A nice meal is served, speeches from the bride and groom and the bride and groom’s family are made, and the newlyweds kiss when glasses are clinked with a spoon, but first impressions can be deceiving.

Seated at the head table with the bride and groom are the bride and groom’s parents and grandparents.  Since there is no wedding party to begin with, there is no need to seat them.  I really like this idea of honoring the family and this is likely a German wedding tradition  that J.P. and I will do at our own Canadian-German wedding in Canada next year.

We also loved the heart shaped pretzels that were served at a German wedding between the ceremony and the reception.

The other notable difference is that there is no emcee. Prior to attending a German wedding I asked J.P. if he had any ideas about who we should ask to be our emcee.  He didn’t see why we would need an emcee, since in Germany the couple does this themselves.  Indeed this was the case at the German wedding we attended and it surprisingly worked quite well.  We’re still undecided on this one since I like the idea of an emcee but as many of our guests speak only English or German, not both, it could be tricky to find a bilingual one.

As with many weddings, the real fun begins after dinner when the dancing starts.  The Vienna Waltz is the song of choice at most German weddings and was the case at the German wedding we recently attended.  It is a beautiful dance and we’ve decided that this will be our first song at our Canadian-German wedding.

Surprise, Germans are actually very good dancers.  They certainly put me to shame with the lively Discofox, especially the groom’s German granny!

Next came the real surprise with a dance, I had never heard of, the Discofox, but it is a very popular dance in Germany and Switzerland.  The Discofox is a lively dance that was repeated many times throughout the night and frequently to English pop songs.  Much to my surprise, not only are Germans good dancers,  it was the aged 60+ people in the crowd that were burning up the dance floor and doing a mighty good job of it to I might add.  Even the groom’s 90 year old granny gave it a go and was surprisingly agile.  Watching granny Discofox to Britney Spears was one of the highlights of this German wedding!  While I loved watching, I really wanted to dance, but unfortunately had no idea how to do the Discofox.  Eventually we just danced “freestyle” to Banarama’s “Venus” while everyone else disco foxed around us.  I felt highly uncultured and kept hoping the “Chicken Dance” would come on so I could strut my stuff, but no such luck!    If you are going to a German wedding, I highly recommend learning the Discofox before you go since Germans can dance quite well and you don’t want them putting you to shame!.  See the Discofox in action.  I plan to turn our living room into a dance floor this year as I learn the Vienna Waltz and the Discofox!

Have you heard of the Discofox?  What has been your experience with this dance?  Please feel free to share your comments below.

See also:
Getting Engaged to a German:  Part 1 of German Weddings
German Wedding Ceremony:  Part 2 of German Weddings
German Wedding Gifts:  Part 4 of German Weddings

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Laurel
Laurel Robbins is the founder of Monkeys and Mountains Adventure Travel. She's passionate about getting outdoors as often as possible and helping travellers do the same on their vacation in a sustainable way. She's Canadian and grew up in the Canadian Rockies but now lives in Munich, Germany. You can find her skiing or hiking in the mountains most weekends, hanging out with her cat or with her nose in a good book.

Comments

WaAussie
October 30, 2010
Discofox? Never heard of it, better find out what it is! And yes, I have noticed too that Germans are generally good dancers.
Ok, this discofox looks like an abreviation of the polka gone disco http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mv2y-ai5K2Q&feature=related . Now this was what my then boyfriend tried dancing with me, and I did all the wrong moves :)!
Jamie
October 30, 2010
wow, i like the idea of this discofox. even the name of the dance is awesome.
Expat in Germany
November 3, 2010
WaAussie - glad it's not just me who has never heard of it. Ah yes, it does look similar. Now all we have to do is practice. Thank goodness for youtube :)

Jamie - I do too and I agree, you can't beat the name.
Diane Plowman
September 7, 2015
Where did the adorable heart shaped pretzels come from???? What city were in?
September 7, 2015
@Diane - These were in Stuttgart, but you can find them all over southern Germany. Possibly other places as well, but I'm not sure.
Anonymous
December 23, 2010
It's a one two tip one two tip dance (he left she right) allowing for all sorts of moves which is said to be a kind of European Salsa.

I was wondering if anyone ouside of Germany dances it which is how I landed here. We had a German English wedding quite a few years back. It included oddities at the time such as a best woman and me as a bride who translated the speeches which was very entertaining. I hope you have a lovely wedding
Expat in Germany
December 27, 2010
@Anonymous - good to know, after the wedding I found it on YouTube and it looks quite manageable.
I've asked some international friends and no one outside of Germany has heard of the Discofox but not sure if it is strictly a German thing (it may also be in parts of Austria or Switzerland).

I'm sure the oddities of your wedding created wonderful memories for your guests. We're also translating our own speeches and are forgoing an emcee as is the German way. Thank you for the wedding wishes.
October 28, 2011
[...] http://www.etiquettescholar.com/dining_etiquette/toasting_etiquette/international_toasts.html http://www.worldweddingtraditions.com/locations/west_europe_traditions/german_traditions.html http://www.topics-mag.com/internatl/weddings/german-wedding.htm http://myexpatgermany.com/german-weddings-the-reception-and-dance-part-3-of-german-weddings [...]
Rachel
May 17, 2012
Could someone post a link to "Vienna Waltz" and/or give some more information about it, like who wrote it and/or who performs it? I'd love to hear it.
September 12, 2012
Hi Rachel, Here you go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwdWE-X2vRI
Estelle
September 13, 2012
That's a dance. She wanted the SONG titled "Vienna Waltz."
September 18, 2012
@Estelle - Unfortunately I only know of the dance, but she should be able to find it with a Google search.
Emmy
October 5, 2015
I stay with a friend in Germany once a year ( he is not German ) and we go to a disco where they do Discofox most of the evening and the Germans are great at it and I have to say I feel very left out as they do not want you on the dance floor while discofox is in progress unless you can do it so getting up there and bopping to our club music is not an option I love Discofox and hope that one day I will be able to join in and dance it as well as the Germans do
October 5, 2015
@Emmy - That sounds like so much fun! I'd also like to be able to do it properly! Here's to practising!

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