Why we married
It took us quite some time until we realized, that we actually should get married. Maybe if we were staying either in Venezuela or in Germany it would not have been so necessary, but as we decided to keep on living in different places and at the same time planning to have a family, it seemed like we would make our lives unnecessarily complicated, if we do not marry. So even before we went back to Germany last summer by hitch-hiking, we made the decision, that we will marry some time in the future. Who would have thought, that things would come that fast.
Once we arrived in Germany, our school here in China informed us kindly, that they were not able to provide a Student-visa for Hudie again, meaning that she would not be able to come back to China with me if we would not find a solution. And the only solution in this situation was to get married as soon as possible.
But what means as soon as possible? When we were in China we did not get prepared to get married this year, because when we saw the necessities that need to be fulfilled for a German in order to marry a non-German, it was clear that it would not be possible to marry within the time we were staying in Germany. Luckily a Peruvian friend from my mothers side called Rica was facing these bureaucratic obstacles in the past as well and overcame them by simply going to Denmark, to get married over there.
Preparation for Denmark
Consequently we started looking up the conditions and offers for marrying in Denmark. To our surprise it seemed to be quite a business for some people to offer non-European people an easy and fast way to get married with a European person.
After comparing the offers from different companies we decided to give our wedding into the hands of Lone Müller Sigaard in Fanoe, a small island about 100 km from the German/Danish border. We decided for her, as she seemed to be most trustable and attentive of all the different companies we tried. Furthermore she speaks fluently English, German, Spanish and Danish. She promised us, that she could get us married within the coming week, if we got all the paperwork ready by then.
Great now it was just about the paperwork. For me no big deal, as I could get the necessary documents in our local citizen centre. I had to get a birth certificate, a paper that showed, that I really was registered in Germany and that I was not married yet, my passport and an application form of course. For Hudie it became a bit more complicated, as she did not have her birth-certificate with her, neither did she have a paper that would show that she was not married. All she had in her hands, was her passport with a stamp, that showed that she was still legal here in Germany.
Luckily Lone told us, that instead of the original documents, we could present an oath confirmed by a notary. Therefore we only had to find a notary which was able to hand out documents in English, so it would be accepted in Denmark. Frank, a good friend of our family advised us to go to Himmelman-Pohlmann in Dortmund, because there we could be sure, that they have all permissions and know-how to present this kind of documents. Though it turned out to be a little expensive (85 Euro, it is always surprising how much money one can pay for nothing but a peace of paper) but the service was very professional and the next day we already had the signed documents in our hands and were ready to leave for Denmark.
Invalid Displayed Gallery
Again we were really lucky, because my brother Nils still had holidays and my mother was able to lend us her car for a few days, so we even had our personal driver. Furthermore we had a best man for our wedding as well, everything seemed to workout fine.
We arrived late at night on Fanoe, so we did not really see what the island was like. But the next day we only had to register in the town hall and then we would have the whole day to explore the island. And what can we say, it is a holiday island, in summer this place is packed with people. Now it was already late summer, and the island was really quiet, but this made it feel even more romantic. So even though our whole wedding happened in a rush, this island still left an unforgettable impression on us, with its old houses, tiny streets and the seals that we could see on a little sandbank in front of the island.
Our luck really would not leave us alone this time, as it seemed. There was a German TV team on the island who wanted to make a documentary about this islands oyster-king. And as it looks better with people in the background, we were invited to take part for free.
First we went out with a bucket on the mudflats to search for oysters. Thanks to climate change the oysters coming here as blind passengers on big cargo-ships are now surviving in the waters of the northern sea and are multiplying rapidly. It did not take us longer than half an hour to fill up our buckets with big juicy oysters.
Then the oyster-king took us with him to his little hut on shore and started preparing the grill. We got served some local tasty beer and started eating oysters in every kind of variation you can imagine. Raw oysters, grilled oysters, oysters with strawberries, oysters with cheese, oysters with garlic, oysters prepared in a Peruvian-Ceviche way… We never ate that many oysters in our lives.
In the night we had a nice dinner together with the other couples who were going to marry the same day as us. After this relaxed being together, we went to bed early, as the next day was the big day. It is a funny world, two weeks before we would not even have been able to imagine, that this day would come that fast.
We had a quick little breakfast and then we were already on our way to the town hall. To be honest it felt a bit awkward at first as there only were Lone and us. After five minutes an old lady appeared, who was going to be the second witness besides my brother. But that was it, we were no more than 5 people in the room, which seemed much to big for so few people. At least some candles created a nice atmosphere and when Lone was holding her well chosen speech, we forgot about it all and just were happy about that we made the right choice and really got married in that short time.
Then we waited for the other couples to get married and congratulated each other.
But this was not all yet. To make sure that the marriage certificate from Fanoe would be accepted in other parts of Europe as well, we still had to get an Apostille from the ministry for foreign affairs in Copenhagen. Furthermore, as we needed this document to be recognised in China as well, we also needed to get an Apostille from the Chinese embassy in Copenhagen.
Therefore we did not really have time to celebrate in Fanoe, but went straight to Copenhagen the same day, to get all the papers within the next three days. But in the end we did it and we got this peace of paper with two Apostilles on its back, which cost us in total about 1000 Euro and a week of time. But it surely will help to make our life as an international family much easier in the future.
Are you an international couple as well and has or had to get married to be able to stay together? What are your experiences?