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Traditional German Wedding Gifts

Updated March 21, 2017

Traditional German weddings include some lovely, time-honoured practices such as bedecking the wedding couple's car with flowers, as well as plenty of good-natured high jinks on the part of friends who traditionally try to sabotage the wedding night Many American couples of German descent choose to incorporate some of these ancestral traditions into their ceremonies, and you can honour their heritage by presenting the couple with a traditional German wedding gift.

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German Bridal Cup

A traditional wedding gift, the German bridal cup, or maiden cup, comes from centuries-old German folktale. The tale concerns a suitor who could win the approval of his beloved's father only by fashioning a vessel from which the couple could both drink without spilling a drop. The resulting cup is shaped like a maiden carrying a basket over her head.

The wedding couple traditionally drinks the first toast from this unusual cup, filling the hollow skirt with champagne for the groom, then the basket for the bride. It is made in such a way that both can drink at the same time, symbolising their new life together. According to German lore, the couple that drinks from a maiden cup will enjoy enduring love and luck. Be sure to present this gift before the wedding day so the couple can make good use of it.

German Porcelain

German porcelain is a gift of traditional Teutonic craftsmanship. The country's Meissen factory is the oldest porcelain manufacturer in Europe and continues to create the finest German china available. From one beautifully wrought figurine to a full tea set, a Miessen porcelain gift is in the finest German tradition.

Black Forest Cuckoo Clock

A cuckoo clock, invented by clockmaker Franz Ketterer in 1730, is a wedding gift rich with tradition. The elaborately carved wood, the pine cone clock weights, and the cuckoo bird all speak eloquently of their Black Forest roots. Every winter, Black Forest clock makers traditionally gathered to display their creations as a reminder to townspeople of the cuckoo bird's song that would be silent in the forest until the following spring.

Fine German Cutlery

Another traditional German product quite appropriate for a wedding gift, finely crafted cutlery, such as Messermeister knives, is both a practical and traditional choice. Manufactured in Solingen, Germany, Messermeister products are the result of a 150-year history. Made of high-quality steel, the knives will easily see the newlyweds through their first 25 years of gourmet marital bliss,

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About the Author

I have an MFA degree in Creative Writing and am a published poet who has received several poetry awards. I have established a reputation as an environmental activist, both through the group I co-founded -- see alternativeone.org -- and through a series of op-ed pieces in Montana newspapers. I have written extensively on alternative energy, recycling and endangered species.

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