Two Engagement Parties


I know only of two engagement parties in which members of my family took part and they were ninety-three years apart. Naturally, I did not take part in the first one and nobody of the first took part in the second. Still, the people in the picture have a lot in common  with some of the people who attended the engagement party last Saturday.

An engagement in 1922

An engagement in 1922

There are fourteen people in the picture. Eight of which are part of the gene pool the young bride of last Saturday’s engagement party belongs too.   The “happy” couple in the front ( on the right) do not look   happy. Family rumors have it, that they had a mighty row on that day. It could have ended there and I would not be around to talk about any engagement  party. The couple, of course, were my parents-to-be and it took them another seven years to tie the knot. They were married for eighteen years, got divorced and remarried each other a second time after another twenty-five years. A stormy relationship you can say.

If you look at the picture you see a plate, with a young woman, hanging on the wall. This plate is still in the possession of the family and is now  in Melbourne, Australia.

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It is a portrait of an Italian woman in the style of the ancient classics by Anselm Feuerbach. My mother wanted my son Martin to have it. And so it happened.

The picture sneaked into the background of my life at another occasion in June 1956. This time I’m on the balcony of my mother’s apartment in Berlin with my future wife Uta. We were not officially engaged, but you could say, we were heading that way. We look much happier than my parents looked at their engagement. Half a year later we were married.

The Plate, Uta and I

The Plate, Uta and I

It would have been appropriate to have the young, southern lady overlooking the latest engagement party. Nobody thought of it. This blog is only an afterthought.

And so we come to 2015. Natasha, our eldest granddaughter, got engaged to Mitch in a grand party attended by more than sixty people. I marveled at the typical Australian mixture of people of different backgrounds and how they all came together in a friendly athmosphere. I think, Uta and I, we were the oldest in attendence.

IMG_0206We had a good time among the younger crowd. The music was a bit loud, but when I switched off my hearing aid it was bearable. The “boom, boom” of the bass one could feel without hearing. Conversation becomes a bit difficult, but we managed.

Cutting the cake and the bride has a halo

Cutting the cake and the bride has a halo

The bride with her siblings

The bride with her siblings

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Three generations

The oldest and the younges. Alexander is starting to great grumpy. It is past his bedtime.

The oldest and the youngest. Alexander is starting to get grumpy. It is past his bedtime.

The mother of the bride and the grandfather

The mother of the bride and the grandfather

Grandma Uta with our lovely Granddaughter Krystal who just started her university life.

Grandma Uta with our lovely Granddaughter Krystal who just started her university life.

The father of the groom and the happy couple

The father of the groom and the happy couple

Me and my Granddaughter-in-law, Ebony.

Me and my Granddaughter-in-law, Ebony.

All in all, we had a great time. I even spilled beer on my trousers which dried very quickly. Uta and I  had a few dances, too. Nobody took any pictures of that. I assume, it was not that remarkable.  Later we were complimented for it. By midnight,  it was all over and we all went home. At home, we had a late supper with our son Martin from Melbourne and our daughter Caroline with her partner Matthew. We kept talking until 2 o’clock. A good time was had by all.

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9 thoughts on “Two Engagement Parties

  1. Wow, two engagement parties ninety-three years apart!
    This is really something. I wonder, when the next engagement party is going to be – And also how many weddings we can still hope to attend! – Anyhow, this recent engagement party was a great event. We wish Natasha and Mitch all the best for the future! 🙂

  2. What an interesting way to tie in all the engagements. You have such a wry humour! Enjoyed the bit about the painted plate and of course, the pre-engagement picture of you and Aunty Uta 🙂

    • Thanks, Munira, over those years so many social changes have taken place, nevermind the new technologies. My mother was working as a telephonist as a young woman. A new media at the time. Today, even at the engagement party, people were checking their smartphones all the time.

      At the time of the picture, with Aunty Uta, I had a tough time but Uta helped me to overcome the bad time. I think we were lucky finding each other. She stuck with me even society and the rules of the games would have told her to give me a miss. We are proof that love can overcome obstacles.

  3. That looked like a great engagement party. It might be a few years yet for us to have a party of grandchildren getting engaged. Our eldest grandson will be 15 in June.
    A great story of the plate Peter. Your engagement photo looks like a very happy couple, determined to make a go of it. And you both did!

    • I was surprised Uta was able to stick it out to the end. For us it was great to have most of our family there. Our son came from Melbourne came for a 28 hour visit, but because of problems in his family, he came on his own.

    • Hi, Gerard, Monika’s twin sons are 35. One of the twins has been in a relationship for a good many years. He and his partner have already two sons (our great-grandchildren!). They think it is about time to be getting married now! 🙂
      As far as Peter and I are concerned, we had no engagement party, a very simple ceremony when we got married, but we had a great family celebration for our 50th as well as our 55th Anniversary. Now we are looking forward to our 60th Anniversary coming up in Dec.2016. 🙂

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