Hi, I'm Jenna. I am a Canadian expat living in Germany and blogging my way through sustainable travel. I'm here to help you ease yourself into travel that's a little more sweet for our earth. I make mistakes on a daily basis, but that's what the blog is for - learning and growing! See you on the road!




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We’re Married! What’s Next?

By on December 28th, 2016

Our legal German wedding came as quite a surprise for many of you, and there’s a reason for that. So now I’m going to tell you the story about why we married here first.

Paul Henrik proposed to me up at my cottage in Buckhorn, Ontario back in August 2016. It was a sloppy proposal and it still makes me giggle as I realize he hasn’t changed since the day I met him back in Africa in September of 2012. I found the ring twice before he could gather the strength to ask my father for my hand in marriage. I could read it all over his face and there was not an ounce of surprise left when he decided to pop the question. He packed the ring away in our luggage as we flew from Germany to Canada for vacation, I found it as I was unpacking our stuff. He then packed it in his backpack for our short trip to the cottage. When I went looking for my iPod he insisted it was in the front pouch of his backpack. While I asked him a few times if he was absolutely sure it was okay that I go into his backpack, he never got the hint I was trying to send. So I went into the backpack and sure enough, there it was, sitting in a ring box right beside my iPod.

We kayaked down the lake that day and stopped at a little island to drink a few beers and go for a swim. He waited quite a while until popping the question and when he did, he grabbed the box (forgetting to open it), put it in my hands and with red cheeks asked “will you be my wife?”


While it’s certainly not how I imagined a proposal playing out, I couldn’t have asked for a better moment. We were engaged!

Yes, our wedding date is still set for September 9, 2017 in Canadian cottage country, but we decided to get legally married in Germany first. Why?


Photo Credit: Alex Pal Photography

I’m finally allowed to stay in Germany (without the hassle of a visa) 

We’re getting married next year in Canada, so why wait to go through the hassle of another couple visas when we can sign the marriage papers in Germany now and avoid all the stress and distraction of visa processes while allowing us to focus on planning the big celebration in Canada.

I’m finally allowed to register my business in Germany

On a tourist visa, I’m not able to register a business in Germany which has left me in a pickle trying to organize my taxes for 2016. While I figured out how to make it work for 2016, it will be great being able to start 2017 off fresh – handing in all my legal papers and starting my business in Germany.

I love him, what else?

Why wait? It’s not uncommon here to have your legal wedding months before your church wedding/ceremony. I actually know many others doing the same thing. Unlike in Canada, there is no officiant that comes to your wedding. You are required by law to visit the Standesamt/Marriage Office before the wedding to sign all documentation (although there are a couple other expensive alternatives).


So our German wedding was a way to celebrate with our loved ones here in Germany, legalize everything, and ring in the new year as a newly married couple!

We never exchanged wedding bands, we never said our lengthy vows and we never had our first dance, but don’t worry, that will all come!