An Early Wedding in Berlin

Kerry and I were married in Berlin. The civil ceremony took place at the Standesamt Zehlendorf. We don't have any pictures of the ceremony. My stepfather, one of the world's all-time great guys, offered to take pictures of the wedding. The price was right, so we took him up on his offer. He wandered around during the ceremony with a big smile on his face taking all sorts of shots, and at some point on the way back to our apartment discovered that he hadn't wound the film properly. I won't try to explain the archaic technology involved back in 1985. Suffice it to say, there aren't any pictures of the ceremony itself. We went back the next day and took the picture below.

If there had been any pictures, they probably would have shown us all tired and freezing. It was all of 6 degrees Fahrenheit and the ceremony began at 8:30 in the morning. I'd called Herr Schöpps, the guy who ended up performing the ceremony, a couple of months earlier to set up the appointment. I told him we wanted to get married during the first week of February and he responded with something along the lines of, "You will get married at eight thirty in the morning on Wednesday." That seemed early to me and I said so. "Don't you have anything a little later?" was my reasonable request. After a brief silence during which I was able to sense his exasperation over the fernsprechapparat, aka, the telephone, he responded, "All right, you will get married at eight thirty in the morning on Thursday!" Okay, I get it. We're getting married at 8:30 in the morning.

The wedding was short, efficient, and pleasant, as you might expect. Herr Schöpps changed into his best blue suit, asked us a few questions to which we replied, "Yes." He concluded with a heartwarming, "Let the record reflect they have answered in the affirmative!" I wasn't sure whether I should kiss the bride or salute at that point. At any rate, the entire affair, paperwork and all, was nicely wrapped up before 9 a.m. We all piled into taxi cabs and headed back to our apartment on Albrechtstrasse for some goods from the bäckerei across the street washed down with good deal of Ouzo. A perfect start to what has turned into a marriage of 29 years and counting.

Standesamt Zehlendorf in February of 1985

Standesamt Zehlendorf in February of 1985