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„Der Paul war der Dolmetscher bei einem Choraustaustasch zwischen den St. Nicholas Singers aus Northwich, UK und unserem Kinderchor, den „Kolibris“, hier in Koblenz, Deutschland. Ohne ihn hätten wir es nicht geschafft! Er war fleiβig, sympathisch und sehr effektiv.“
Ulrich De Waal, Chorleiter, Koblenz-Pfaffendorf, Germany, April 1976

Getting married PDF
Tuesday, 06 July 2010 00:00
 

They say that getting married, getting divorced and buying a house are the most stressful activities known to man.  Probably best to live alone, celibate and in a cave, then!

No, being serious, I’ve never found this to be the case – until now!

I don’t remember getting married in 1975 being stressful (had stress been invented back then?)  As far as I can recall it all went very smoothly, except for my best man, my brother, forgetting his suit and having to buy another en route to the ceremony!

Buying our first and second houses in the UK was also stress-free, or did my wife do everything so that I didn’t notice?

Buying two properties in Spain also caused us no heartache other than wondering on both occasions whether we’d done the right thing (We had!).  See What have we done?

Getting divorced didn’t cause me any stress –  it just brought much sadness and cost me a lot of money.

Buying my first UK home alone was a doddle.  I even did the removal myself with friends.

But what’s really causing me stress at the moment is getting married again.  Well, I suppose if you’re British, your partner’s German, you’re both divorced, you live in Spain, but you want to get married in Germany in a Church, you’re asking for trouble!

Yes, indeed!  The bureaucracy has been unbelievable, particularly in respect of me.  I need a brand new birth certificate, a brand new wedding certificate, original decree absolute, a certificate of no impediment (doh!) and another piece of paper we don’t have in the UK, but they do everywhere else apparently.  Acquiring all these costs an arm and a leg and takes ages.  And all of these documents have to be translated into German by a “sworn” translator, something we don’t have in Britain. As an interesting comparison, the Hausfrau needs similar documents; they cost a few euros and came straightaway!

For the Church wedding we need proof that we belong to a church.  Problem is, we’re both Protestant but live in a Roman Catholic country.  I also had to convince the German lady pastor who was available on the date we wish to wed that I was a Christian.  That wasn’t a problem, because I am.  The proof of membership of a Protestant church wasn’t a problem either, as there actually is one in Ronda, Asambleas de Dios (Assemblies of God), in Calle Infantes, which I attend sometimes, and they’re going to provide the necessary.

So here we are, 25 days to go, with one document already gone missing in the post (it’s since turned up), another not arrived yet, no sworn translations, no suit for me.  Everything else is fine: we have dates and times for both the civil (compulsory) and church weddings; my family have all booked their flights to Baden-Baden; accommodation and car hire are booked;  rings ordered; photographer, fancy car and champagne reception are all in hand, as is the wedding breakfast.  It’ll all fall into place in time, won’t it?

B loody hope so.  Talk about stressful!

© Paul Whitelock

 

 

 

Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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