Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Bride, The Groom ….and The Hochzeitsbitter…

Hochzeits…what? Hochzeitsbitter... 

 The Inviter, known in Pomerania as the Hochzeitsbitter, plays an essential role in German weddings.  This colorful character with his trailing silk ribbons and his often flower festooned cane is traditionally the Bride’s brother(s), but it is also common to see the role filled by her future brother-in-law(s), uncle or close family friend.  He has no need to blend in to his surroundings for his job is to travel the community on horseback….by the 1880s by carriage…and invite members of the community to the nuptials. In return, for his invite he receives payment either in coin or in drink…or both.  

In keeping with the great importance of the community, the Hochzeitsbitter is as important as the Wedding Couple and Minister.  So central a figure, the Hochzeitsbitter still appeared at  least in a portion of weddings in strongly Pomeranian settled communities in Wisconsin.
As you can imagine with his red vest, top hat and silk streamers, the Hochzeitsbitter is not a sullen gentleman. His goal is to spread the joyous news to the community while having a bit of fun along the way.
…and you ask what the uninvited guests do? Well they crash the reception of course banging pots, ringing cowbells and creating a general ruckus and playing what is called Katzen Musik (Cat music).


  1. Hochzeitsbitter!!! Can't wait :)

  2. ...Can't wait for Top Hat to arrive!!

  3. Hmm....I'm thinking of a colorful character well known to OWW. Your Hochzeitsbitter's initials wouldn't be MB, would they? ;)

  4. <> I do know of which colorful character you speak. He would indeed make a splendid Hochzeitbitter, but my little brother, Jimmy Danko, has so graciously agreed.

    1. Ah, colorful indeed! (orange!) And per tradition, your brother. :)