There is a German tradition of having a Polterabend the night before a wedding. Polterabend literally translates to “rumbling evening,” and it’s basically a big ball of mischief and shenanigans. We knew it was coming, but weren’t exactly sure what we were in for. After the toasts, JP’s father called JP’s brother, Maurice, over to help him start the evening’s festivities. While André explained the concept of a Polterabend to those unfamiliar, he also pulled out what he’d been hinting around about for months–

The handcuffs. Maurice handcuffed us together, and André explained that this was to simulate the trials and tribulations of marriage, working together, and being bound to one another.

Symbolism aside, we’d have to be handcuffed together until somebody said the safety word. This was a pre-determined (and unknown to everyone except André) word that would have to be said while everybody told stories about us.

However, before the mass storytelling, everybody needed to get something to eat, and naturally JP and I had to go first– handcuffs and all.

Let me just say that moving around, much less getting food and eating, is pretty difficult to do while handcuffed together. (But pretty hilarious too, I might add.) I got the better end of the deal, as my right hand was free.

After everybody got food and was seated, the stories began.

There was lots of laughing, embarrassed face-covering by yours truly, and great tales of us as a couple. And high-fiving, apparently.

Mom talked about how I always reminded her of Bridget Jones, and then began to do the “Bridget, what your baaad boyfriend do?” scene from the Thai prison. It was amusing. (And also relevant at the time, but sadly I can’t totally remember the context. Bah!)

After loads and loads of stories had been told with no safety word said, JP and I began to wonder what in the world the word was, and how we were going to figure it out.

Then, Best Man Joe to the rescue! Telling a story about the James Bond tuxes, he said it– James Bond. That was our safety word. Thank you, Mr. Bond.

Then, when we thought we’d be handed over a key, we got a policeman’s hat full of candy. The key was hidden somewhere, and we had to find it. I suggested that we use the cupcake skirt to dump the candy out and sift through the lot.

There were some kittens (!!!) in there, and I got distracted. After sifting through all of the candy, we found no key. Candy back into the hat.

While JP was clearly distracted by the kitties (those devils), I decided to look under the hat, and there the key was– adhered to the bottom. Those tricksy hobbits.

JP unlocked us, and I was free at last!

For a few seconds, at least. JP seized the opportunity to handcuff me to… me. I struggled and lost.

After some whining and prodding, he finally un-did me. Nice guy, that JP.

My father devilishly looked on,

and I seized an opportunity to be a ham and put the hat on.

Next up? Presents, cards, and more rumbling fun!

*All photographs by Matt Miller of Our Labor of Love.

show hide 8 comments

FARoutSeptember 15, 2010 - 3:45 pm

That is just the cutest thing ever. Great job, Andre!

LaurSeptember 15, 2010 - 3:48 pm

Hi. I love your dress.

Debby DSeptember 15, 2010 - 5:26 pm

Love, love your dress, girl! You look smokin’!

MarieSeptember 15, 2010 - 7:02 pm


You guys look like you have so much fun. It’s so fun to read about.

ShelleySeptember 15, 2010 - 11:44 pm

You are so cute :) I love this post… it made it sound like you had a really great time! so much fun!

Bowie BrideSeptember 15, 2010 - 11:57 pm

This is SO cool. Love that you guys rocked some German tradition. And might I add, it’s a damn awesome tradition that I wish we had done. ha. We did havce our rehearsal dinner at a german bier hall afterall…

Anyway, looks like you had a beautiful rehearsal dinner experience. And damn girl, that dress is fly as balls. etsy, right? i feel like i’ve seen it before. LOVEs!

[...] a blast at our awesome rehearsal dinner, starting with toasts and roasts, followed by us being handcuffed together, and ending with a good old fashioned beat [...]

[...] a blast at our awesome rehearsal dinner, starting with toasts and roasts, followed by us being handcuffed together, and ending with a good old fashioned beat [...]

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