I wasn't sure whether or not to write about this whole wedding/marriage thing here, it can get a little "fluffy" (for lack of a better word), but there are just to many oddities in the process here, I can't keep it all to myself. Up to now, I have had to swear twice (first, way across town at the US consulate to the tune of $30) that I am not currently married (the consulate gave me a certificate and threw in the fact that I'm not a member of the armed services, which is true, but I didn't swear it like they say I did). Despite demanding this certificate (charmingly titled, the Certificate of Eligibility, which sounds like it should list how many camels I'm worth, no?) the German Standesamt or Bureau of Status made me re-swear it (mein Freund didn't have to swear even once....). We also had to attest to the fact that we are not each other's parents or (half-)siblings, though the Official commented that seeing as how we are from different countries, this was unlikely (???). Anyway, my favorite part of the Standesamt is the xeroxed article they have posted on the wall, telling of an Austrian (same-same, but different) civil ceremony in which the bride jokingly answered no when asked if she took this man...The ceremony was therefore postponed for 10 days! At the bottom of the sign is noted: "This applies to Germany too!"
As a foreigner, my documents had to undergo a special inspection, which the efficient Germans completed in less than half the time promised (got to give credit where credit's due). It's hard to believe, but either they missed the teeney discrepancy in my birth certificate (long boring story) or didn't care. In sum, after all the swearings and paying of various fees based on my lack of official income, and being inspected, we have now been cleared to wed by the German government (only the official ceremony, the real fun comes later)...assuming we can both keep a straight face.