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  #41  
Old 25.07.2017, 12:59
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Re: A Swiss Wedding

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Thanks for your comments. I had the impression that the receptions here in the evening tended to be smaller and really only close family & friends and not your dad's cousin's milkman etc., like in the UK. Maybe this has something to do with limiting the expense. Has anyone been to a non-expat evening reception here?
Yes, that is my impression, "everyone" is invited to the ceremony and an apero with snacks afterwards. But family and close friends have a dinner together.
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Old 25.07.2017, 13:11
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Re: A Swiss Wedding

I think the biggest wedding I've been to here (Swiss, not expats) had around 80 guests. For reception and apero that is. This is nowhere near those massive wedding parties you see in most countries.

It's not to limit expenses. People prefer to spend their day with people they care about rather than the deceased grandmother's former neighbor who they haven't seen since they were 8. It's just different traditions really. As we know the Swiss distinguish friends from acquaintances and no one here has "140 close friends"

Most people I know have a ceremony with everyone they know though as said, even there they are selective. This is followed by an apero for everyone. The dinner is for the closest friends and immediate family, 25 to maybe 35 people, rarely more.
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  #43  
Old 25.07.2017, 13:39
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Re: A Swiss Wedding

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I think the biggest wedding I've been to here (Swiss, not expats) had around 80 guests. For reception and apero that is. This is nowhere near those massive wedding parties you see in most countries.

It's not to limit expenses. People prefer to spend their day with people they care about rather than the deceased grandmother's former neighbor who they haven't seen since they were 8. It's just different traditions really. As we know the Swiss distinguish friends from acquaintances and no one here has "140 close friends"

Most people I know have a ceremony with everyone they know though as said, even there they are selective. This is followed by an apero for everyone. The dinner is for the closest friends and immediate family, 25 to maybe 35 people, rarely more.
Same with funerals
No apéro for the masses in this though.
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  #44  
Old 25.07.2017, 13:44
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Re: A Swiss Wedding

I've been to a handful of weddings here over the years, so my sample isn't representative. But that said:

Half of those weddings were huge blow out My Big Fat Swiss Wedding productions. A couple hundred guests. One was Full Eidgenoss, with Trachten, Alphorns, cows with headresses, yodler choir, post-prandial Schwingen (really!). The rest of the big shindigs were what you would expect from any large expensive wedding anywhere else in the world: Ceremony, reception usually at a castle or resort, dinner music ranging from a quartet to a chamber orchestra, dancing until the wee hours... all carefully planned and choreographed. Flowers galore and horse-drawn carriages de rigeur.

The other half were more modest affairs. Ceremony in your Sunday best (or not), bride in white optional, old-timer bus to take the guests to a party afterwards, often at a farm. Dinner, a bit of music, a speech or two. And games. The games surprised me. Usually around 50 or so guests.

What was odd - for both types of weddings most of the invites were due to business connections or friendship with one of the parents. I've only been to one wedding where the bride and groom were true friends. Given all that I've heard about wedding norms here, I was surprised to be invited to those others.

So I guess with weddings as with everything: YMMV. Given that the blow-out weddings were the more recent affairs, I'm guessing the times, they may be a-changin'.
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  #45  
Old 25.07.2017, 14:25
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Re: A Swiss Wedding

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Half of those weddings were huge blow out My Big Fat Swiss Wedding productions. A couple hundred guests. One was Full Eidgenoss, with Trachten, Alphorns, cows with headresses, yodler choir, post-prandial Schwingen (really!). The rest of the big shindigs were what you would expect from any large expensive wedding anywhere else in the world: Ceremony, reception usually at a castle or resort, dinner music ranging from a quartet to a chamber orchestra, dancing until the wee hours... all carefully planned and choreographed. Flowers galore and horse-drawn carriages de rigeur.
Ugh. OK I know different people then, haha.

I was once at a wedding in Bangkok of a Thai friend. 350 guests. They had about 30 seconds to talk to some people, but not even all. I have no idea how and why people would ever enjoy this, it'd be my personal nightmare. Granted, I also have an Indian friend who had about 600 guests and her father was disappointed there were only so few...

Different strokes indeed.
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  #46  
Old 25.07.2017, 15:05
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Re: A Swiss Wedding

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Ugh. OK I know different people then, haha.

I was once at a wedding in Bangkok of a Thai friend. 350 guests. They had about 30 seconds to talk to some people, but not even all. I have no idea how and why people would ever enjoy this, it'd be my personal nightmare. Granted, I also have an Indian friend who had about 600 guests and her father was disappointed there were only so few...

Different strokes indeed.
The wedding is not for the bride and groom to enjoy...


Having said that, our wedding was about about one hundred people and I thought it was huge, though I did have fun despite of it (or was it because of it? lol). I am relieved to find out it can always get worse...
Anyway, I'll explain how one can easily reach an insane number:
- your parents, sibling(s), their partners
- your aunts (nothing is done without good old aunts in this world, trust me), uncles, cousins, their partners
- friends
- your parents' friends (or business associates, colleagues or whatever they see fit to invite)
Repeat the algorithm for the partner and....voila.
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  #47  
Old 25.07.2017, 15:12
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Re: A Swiss Wedding

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Same with funerals
Depends, I've been to funerals here where the church was overflowing.

Tom
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  #48  
Old 25.07.2017, 15:25
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Re: A Swiss Wedding

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Having said that, our wedding was about about one hundred people and I thought it was huge, though I did have fun despite of it (or was it because of it? lol). I am relieved to find out it can always get worse...
Anyway, I'll explain how one can easily reach an insane number:
- your parents, sibling(s), their partners
- your aunts (nothing is done without good old aunts in this world, trust me), uncles, cousins, their partners
- friends
- your parents' friends (or business associates, colleagues or whatever they see fit to invite)
Repeat the algorithm for the partner and....voila.
Yeah I can see how it can happen. I just never understood why anyone would invite anyone they don't really care about and that plays no role in their life. In my mind, it's an intimate event and it should be with people you actually care about. And no one cares about 150 people, including some random friends of parents or business colleagues they meet for an afterwork beer once every four months. Well maybe I have a different definition of "caring".

Thankfully, I have no interest in marriage so it's not like this will ever be an issue

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Depends, I've been to funerals here where the church was overflowing.

Tom
Same.
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  #49  
Old 25.07.2017, 15:48
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Re: A Swiss Wedding

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Yeah I can see how it can happen. I just never understood why anyone would invite anyone they don't really care about and that plays no role in their life. In my mind, it's an intimate event and it should be with people you actually care about. And no one cares about 150 people, including some random friends of parents or business colleagues they meet for an afterwork beer once every four months. Well maybe I have a different definition of "caring".

Thankfully, I have no interest in marriage so it's not like this will ever be an issue



Same.
Common sense plays little part in big weddings.

I went to a 400+ people wedding in Malta (population 418,000).
A measurable percentage of the island descended on that one venue.

It was shit and overdone anyway, we left early.
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  #50  
Old 25.07.2017, 15:51
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Re: A Swiss Wedding

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The wedding is not for the bride and groom to enjoy...


My original plan was immediate family and a few close friends at the church, a small lunch afterwards. Then the mothers got involved...

But the silver lining was that turning the party over to the mothers meant that OH and I could get on with the rather more important business of figuring out how we wished live the rest of our lives.

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I just never understood why anyone would invite anyone they don't really care about and that plays no role in their life. In my mind, it's an intimate event and it should be with people you actually care about.
Where I come from, a wedding had traditionally been a community event, it's how in generations gone by parents 'launched' their children in to the adult world.

The significant events of a child's life - baptism, confirmation, marriage in the religious sphere, birthdays, graduations, also marriage in the secular - these are all about becoming part of the community, and the community is there to witness. And support, and above all celebrate.

The Big Fat (insert adjective here) Wedding is part of that. We may no longer need to 'launch' our children into adulthood, they do that just fine on their own these days - but being part of a community is still important and we still invite the community to celebrate this significant milestone.

Define community however you wish.

But intimate or lavish, whatever you and your families wish and your cultural traditions expect, it's all good. However you choose to do it, a wedding is a celebration - enjoy!

---

Now back to weddings here...

A couple of the weddings I've been to combined Swiss traditions with the traditions of the non-Swiss bride or groom. Sometimes two separate ceremonies are held, sometimes aspects of both are combined in one. I love seeing how diverse traditions, both religious and secular, can be brought together.
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  #51  
Old 25.07.2017, 15:57
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Re: A Swiss Wedding

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But intimate or lavish, whatever you and your families wish and your cultural traditions expect, it's all good. However you choose to do it, a wedding is a celebration - enjoy!
Sure. If the bride and groom wish so, there can be 5'000 guests for all anyone cares. However, often it's because of this:

Quote:
Then the mothers got involved...
So it's not what the two people that should decide want, but instead about what others want based on some really very outdated view of weddings and marriage. Which, given the 45-50% divorce rate, is a bit ridiculous to begin with

I've also seen two relationships implode before the wedding because of the above (granted it may just have been the final nail in the coffin, but let's say it didn't help) plus one more case in which the couple, especially the bride, pushed through their viewpoint (meaning intimate ceremony with just 6 people) only for the lovely MIL to barely speak a word with her to this date, 5 years later. I mean, really?

Well anyway. Some things I don't need to understand, the big deal about weddings being one of them
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  #52  
Old 25.07.2017, 18:23
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Re: A Swiss Wedding

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Sure. If the bride and groom wish so, there can be 5'000 guests for all anyone cares. However, often it's because of this:



So it's not what the two people that should decide want, but instead about what others want based on some really very outdated view of weddings and marriage. Which, given the 45-50% divorce rate, is a bit ridiculous to begin with

I've also seen two relationships implode before the wedding because of the above (granted it may just have been the final nail in the coffin, but let's say it didn't help) plus one more case in which the couple, especially the bride, pushed through their viewpoint (meaning intimate ceremony with just 6 people) only for the lovely MIL to barely speak a word with her to this date, 5 years later. I mean, really?

Well anyway. Some things I don't need to understand, the big deal about weddings being one of them
Well, mothers getting (too) involved is part of the...ahem, fun. That's the full circle of life, isn't it.
I can understand the joy, pride and even the over enthusiasm...now.
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Old 26.07.2017, 06:20
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Re: A Swiss Wedding

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I did get married in Pontresina in 1979. We did the civil ceremony and a family dinner after. Then we all went to the Postli for the party. My son will be getting married next August, so I wasn't sure if things were basically same.
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Old 26.07.2017, 09:31
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Re: A Swiss Wedding

I got married in Switzerland a year and a 1/2 ago and had too celebrations, one in Zurich after the register and then a bigger ceremony in the alps. If I can help in anyway way then please just ask. We are also both from the UK.



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Hi there
I am originally from the UK but have been living in Zurich for 4 years. I'm getting married next year and wondered if anyone has any experience of having gone through this here. I know that it's quite different and was therefore trying to do some reading about what's involved but haven't really found anything. Does anyone know of any good books/links explaining the Swiss wedding experience? I've been to a few wedding aperos but apart from that, don't have much experience.
Many thanks for your help.
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  #55  
Old 26.07.2017, 10:05
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Re: A Swiss Wedding

^^Since cumulus8's post was from 2008, one would hope that he or she figured it out themselves by now!
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  #56  
Old 26.07.2017, 10:08
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Re: A Swiss Wedding

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I've only been to one wedding where the bride and groom were true friends.
huh?!
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  #57  
Old 26.07.2017, 10:20
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Re: A Swiss Wedding

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huh?!
Of ours.



Hopefully all brides and grooms consider themselves each other's true friends. After all, that's one of the secrets of a happy marriage. (blah blah blah...)

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Old 26.07.2017, 10:22
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Re: A Swiss Wedding

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Everyone I know here paid for their own weddings, no relying on parents.

Tom
I paid for my son and his fiancé. And was glad to.

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Yes, that is my impression, "everyone" is invited to the ceremony and an apero with snacks afterwards. But family and close friends have a dinner together.
We did it the other way. Restricted invitations to the ceremony and lunch afterwards. Half the guests were in formal dress, the other half informal. Then we had a big party in Basel a few weeks later. We couldn't care less about tradition - I told the couple that they decide what they want to do. I was just glad I didn't organise it (best man and maid of honour did most of that).
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Old 26.07.2017, 10:51
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Re: A Swiss Wedding

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Thankfully, I have no interest in marriage so it's not like this will ever be an issue
Howe can you be so cruel to me, darling ?
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Old 26.07.2017, 13:38
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Re: A Swiss Wedding

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Can anyone tell me does the father of the bride usually provide for their daughters wedding and what do the grooms parents provide financially please.
We'd alway (half jokingly) told our sons that in the UK it was traditional for the bride's family to pay for everything and we fully intended to follow tradition.
When #1 son married a swiss girl he'd apparently dutifully repeated this to her!
Her parents were slightly taken aback but said it was fine as they had a Wedding Account at the bank which they'd been paying into since she was born!
So we got away with it, but had also then little to no impute in any of the arrangements.

Basically a Civil ceremony at the local Mayor's office (limited number of guests in the actual room, mostly family... but a hundred or so more outside in the gardens listening in via loudspeakers. They also got drinks and nibbles), the bride arrived on foot accompanied her bridesmaids and a local trad jazz band. Then there was large proccession of cars and motorbikes from the Mairie to the grounds of a local vinery a few miles away for the apero.
A couple of hours later around half the guests left and the third part began. Full dinner followed by dancing, games, etc. until five the following morning.

#2 son is tying the knot next year and they're planning something similar... but in a chateau. Am really hoping the 'UK tradition' ruse works a second time!

As you might have gathered from the other replies traditions vary and quite possibly each region will have their own variations. The main thing seems to be that the event is split into three parts. Civil ceremony (from a legal point of view this is the important bit, if there's also a church ceremony the civil section is often done a few days before), an apero, usually followed by a dinner/party. It's the norm to have different guest lists for each bit... only close family and friends are usually at all three. NB: these are often held in different places.

As for who pays... probably whoever can afford it!!!
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