A friend of mine from work was getting married, and apart from it being a really great time, it was interesting to note the differences from Aussie weddings.
First, the wedding took place in the registry office. Getting married in a church doesn't count (even though they can take money straight from your tax each month!). If you do get married in a church, you must also get married in the registry office as well to make it count. With the normal "I do's" (or as Magnus elegantly put it "Ich Will" (I want!), the celebrant then started a description of the certificate: Name, D.O.B., occupation, address of both, then the wedding certificate number. This is apparently something that they don't skip, no matter what! I have since been told that this formality happens at Russian weddings as well.
Second, Carola had to sign papers (along with the wedding certificate) on the spot to say she would take Magnus' surname.
With these formalities finished, we then enjoyed champagne and finger food in the ante-chamber of the town hall where the wedding took place, and then went on a 3 hour "Coffee and Cake" (and of course beer and schnapps) river cruise. The weather was cool but clear, and as we hadn't taken a boat cruise yet (the last one we tried to get on didn't run on the day we turned up!), this was really enjoyable for us. Also a good chance to practice a bit of 'conversational German'.
We ended up docking at a modern building in the old East of Berlin where a room had been set up for dinner.
Then the third interesting difference - Magnus and Carola introduced every person at the wedding in turn, sharing some special memory or reason for them being there. This was the first time I had seen this done, and I thought it was a lovely personal touch.
Magnus' dad's speech was the best of the evening (I even understood the German!) and the cake, made personally by Carola's step-dad, was outstanding! Nicole says it was the best tasting German cake she has had since she has been in Germany!
After 13 1/2 hours, it was time to relieve the poor baby-sitter (who had been on duty since 12.00 mid-day) - although I expect the party continued for a while after we left.
After such a fine start, good luck and best wishes, Magnus and Carola!