It is said to be the most wonderful day in a lifetime. And it is a day you’ll have to prepare a whole year long. After our engagement at the Vondelpark in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and our civil marriage at the old townhall in Göttingen, Germany it was time for our wedding ceremony and party at the Tierpark Sababurg within the Reinhardswald belonging to Hofgeismar, Germany.
We were searching some weeks for the right location and discussed every restaurant and possible place in our area. And then the Tierpark Sababurg came to our minds as we had been there numerous times and had many stories connecting us to this place. They have a barn used as a church, a restaurant and a wooden ballroom in front of the elk grounds (“Elchlodge“). They don’t do many advertisement for weddings there but in the summer they seem to have a party there every Saturday.
Booking and planning the event was quite easy but involved different parties – we had to book the church barn from the Tierpark, arrange with the Evangelischer Kirchenkreis from Hofgeismar that we could have the ceremony with our pastor from Hann. Münden there and book the Elchlodge and the catering from the restaurant Zum Thiergarten. While planning the event we felt in good hands, as the organizer from the restaurant is very experienced. I was worrying most about how to get older guests and children to the places distributed throughout the park and later back to the exit – but he offered a shuttle for everyone in need.
We handed over a list of guests so that they only had to tell their names at the entrance of the Tierpark to receive free admission. We took another gate to drive directly to the Elchlodge and park our car there. That way we could bring presents and decoration items home at night. We took our handcart, seated our child and walked through the nice alleys with high trees to the church barn and our guests.
Getting married at a barn
In front of the church barn some tents were set up for the coffee break after the ceremony. A neighbor of us who once ran a flower shop had beautifully decorated the rather simple barn from the inside. After our guests entered the church the bell in the wooden bell tower next to the church was used and we entered the barn through the doors on the reverse side.
Our pastor belongs to our Evangelisch-reformierte Gemeinde in Hann. Münden and he had also done the baptism of our youngest one. We knew him and we knew that it would be a relaxed, humorous and a bit alternative religious service. It was wonderful, friends and family were involved, we had selected nice songs and a great marriage vow and a family member played some classic music.
Afterwards we walked through an espalier of roses, received congratulations and had some sparkling wine. While we were enjoying the situation heavy rain occurred and everybody was searching for a dry place. But it wasn’t too bad: the Tierpark-Express arrived and brought our guests to the Elchlodge. Then the sun came out again and we decided to have a nice walk through fresh air to the place where our guests were already waiting.
Dining with elks in front of the house
At the Elchlodge we took some pictures outside on the great terrace. We had tables inside and also outside in a tent – people were continuously floating around and the 16 children had a nice place to play. We also had a children’s table with games, a candy bar and a photo booth. The latter was really worth the money: everybody made some funny pictures and took a printed souvenir home. Especially the children had fun to use the costume items and be creative.
After a short speech we opened the buffet which was arranged outside under the roof of the Elchlodge. Later we cut the wedding cake, my wife threw the wedding bouquet, we had the first dance and a great party. Later that evening the elks arrived and we had really good views on these fantastic animals. And I was really glad that they showed up in the end. Being at the Tierpark at nighttime was also an interesting experience: there are not many situations in which you have total darkness and no light to see (at least if you live in a city).
Therefore we could watch the stars and after the party I had the pleasure to drive through the empty park, always hoping not to miss the road and find the exit. It was great to have our wedding ceremony at this fantastic place with so many wonderful people. A day that we will always remember and best of all – every time we will visit the Tierpark in the future we can return to the place where we answered the most important question ever asked.