3 SPEAKERS, 3 VOICES, 1 VISION – Wedding speaker talk with Claudia Geiger, Anja Happe and Katrin Nalobin



Photo: Cornelia Lietz

Talking from the inside

As "the new blogger" behind White Wedding - The Blog, I think it's time to tell a little more about me and my connection to the wedding world. What could be better than taking you straight into the topic of weddings? Because I am a wedding celebrant with pretty words and I always enjoy immersing myself in the stories of my bride and groom and working with them to create a ceremony in which they can see themselves.

My colleagues Claudia Geiger from Facts & Feelings and Anja Happe from Goldröschen also see it that way. You already know both of them as members of the WHITE WEDDING family: Anja as one of the two founders of WHITE WEDDING and Claudia, who has worked here several times as a wedding planner and speaker.

The three of us came together for a talk for WHITE WEDDING - The Magazine Issue No. 2 meet up to chat a bit about the inside of the house and, above all, to give you as a wedding couple some insights about the wedding. Get inspired!

Wedding Photos: Cornelia Lietz

“Love must be celebrated”

“Love must be celebrated,” agree three wedding celebrants from North Rhine-Westphalia. Because emotions are what define a wedding in the first place. For the speakers, the clear highlight for a firework of emotions is the wedding ceremony. Whether religious or independent, this is all about the reason why two people celebrate their big day.

The three women who give love their voice present what the framework for this can look like and what possibilities there are. Claudia Geiger from Facts & Feelings is all about ensuring that the bride and groom celebrate the way they want and in line with their personal ideas. Magazine founder Anja Happe von Goldröschen wants to give the wedding vows a worthy setting in which the bride and groom feel comfortable. And for Katrin Nalobin from pretty words, laughter and tears of joy are at the top of the priority list. Even if online, in the Speakers' Talk the three of course do what they do best: talk.

All three speakers consider one vision to be crucial: that the bride and groom find themselves in the wedding ceremony. The prerequisite for this is that the couple and the theologian or speaker harmonize with each other. Many personal details are discussed, especially for a private wedding. “It’s important here that the bride and groom can open up,” emphasizes Anja. If there was a spark in the introductory conversation, then during the preparation period it's already said: Let the marriage begin to be amazing!

Church or private – how do couples find the right ceremony for themselves?

“The content makes the difference; in terms of the process, church and private weddings are very similar,” Claudia, Anja and Katrin agree. As a rule, the church wedding follows a given liturgical framework. Plus point: usually lower costs and less planning effort for the bride and groom. According to its name, the free wedding ceremony is independent and flexible in its design. The focus here is on the story of the bride and groom. Anja describes the success factor: “The free ceremony is always very personal and is always tailored to the individual wishes of the bride and groom.”

Anja Happe

Anja Happe (Photo: Luz y Amor)

Elements of both forms can also be combined: “A religious aspect in the free wedding ceremony can, for example, be a Bible verse as a wedding motto,” suggests Katrin. Claudia adds: “Involving your favorite people is always possible in the form of intercessions.”

The location also creates the magic of a wedding ceremony. Church weddings usually take place indoors. Brides and grooms who decide to have a free wedding usually also prefer an outdoor ceremony. “But always have a plan B in case of changeable weather,” notes Claudia. Please note: If not provided by the location, furniture, decoration and technology may have to be rented.

Are you still looking for the right wedding venue?

Take a look at our location guide and find out which place is right for your vows!

Do you already know that you are getting married in NRW? Here we have put together the TOP 10 of the most beautiful registry offices in NRW for you.

The wedding vows are the most moving moment of every wedding ceremony. How can it be designed?

Marriage question, marriage vow, vow of loyalty – there are many names for the wedding vow. The possibilities are just as diverse. These depend on the type of wedding, but especially on the wishes of the bride and groom. In the Catholic Church, marriage is a holy sacrament. While there the declaration of consent - the mutual promise of lifelong loyalty - is an integral part of the wedding ceremony, in the Protestant church the question of marriage is asked. Sometimes it is combined with personal words from the bride and groom as wedding vows.

The latter is also the most emotional variant in a free wedding ceremony. Katrin explains: “Here it is also possible to repeat passages recited by the speaker individually or to choose the classic yes word. Or the speaker recites the partners' declarations of love." It is also conceivable to write down your words, as Claudia adds: "Some couples put their personal wedding vows as letters in their memory box to read on the first wedding anniversary." Anja tells of one Idea for Families: “Parents can include children in the Pledge by writing them a letter that will be opened at a later date in the future. This is a wonderful opportunity for parents to capture their own thoughts and emotions with their children.”

If the bride and groom do not want to just exchange rings once at the registry office, this usually follows the wedding vows during the church or private wedding. “The symbolism is what counts here!” emphasizes Claudia. When closed, rings convey the infinity of love and togetherness. The rings are blessed in church. “Ring warming is a fantastic option for a private wedding,” explains Anja. The guests give the rings their good wishes for the bride and groom, either silently or out loud.

wedding rings Photo: Cornelia Lietz

Wedding vows and exchanging rings are already considered rituals. What other classic rituals are there?

“The wedding candle is a universally understandable ritual, in every language, in every culture. And that’s why, in my opinion, it is used so often,” states Anja. The candle brings light and warmth. It drives away evil spirits and carries good wishes into the universe through its smoke. Claudia reports: “The wedding candle is often a gesture to the family.” In the free wedding ceremony, mothers of the bride and groom are happy to design and light the candle, for example with their children’s christening candles. Passing the light on to the entire wedding party has a special effect, says Katrin. “Then an enchanting atmosphere is created, especially in the evening hours or in the darker seasons.”

Wedding Photos: Cornelia Lietz

As a symbol of togetherness, Claudia speaks of the sand ritual, in which grains of sand are inseparably mixed. Campaigns like these are very suitable for children and blended families. The possibilities for rituals are unlimited. In general, if you prefer individual and unusual rituals, you can implement them primarily in a free wedding ceremony. Anja’s tip: “A ritual should not be implemented for the sake of a ritual. It should fit the bride and groom's story and translate their language. Then it is possible to strengthen the connection between people who love each other through the action.”

Claudia Geiger

Claudia Geiger (Photo: Cornelia Lietz)

Music creates a special atmosphere during the wedding ceremony. How do couples make the right choice? How do you support this?

Instrumental or vocal – music has the power to make big emotions even bigger. “The acoustics in a church obviously set the tone,” says Anja. Organ music or a gospel choir ensure melodious moments here. Just as with a private wedding, a professional solo singer or a duo can also make your heart beat faster. Live music always has a unique character.

“As a starting point for choosing a song, my bridal couples receive a list of ideas during preparation. “That usually shows which direction the music can go,” says Claudia. Katrin also looks for initial clues with her bride and groom in the wedding conversation: “If a common event, getting to know each other or the first kiss is associated with a certain song, we often find it.”

Spoken words can be magical. What inspires you for the wedding speech?

“Definitely the love story of the bride and groom,” the celebrants answered this question as one. What special moments did the bride and groom spend together? What events shaped the relationship? What travels or hobbies do the two share? What does your everyday life look like? “But it’s also about how the partners treat each other, verbally and non-verbally,” say Claudia, Anja and Katrin unanimously. In addition, Anja and Katrin are inspired by books or romantic films, for example.

Are you looking for more inspiration for your wedding?

In issue 2 of WHITE WEDDING - The Magazine you will get lots more tips - from the rings to the wedding arch. Get one of the last copies now!

Order magazine

What are your special experiences at weddings? What touched you?

“For Claudia, one of the most beautiful moments is the hug of the bride and groom after the wedding. “My highlight is knowing that it was the wedding they both wanted.”

“The most beautiful stories are always very closely linked to the couples’ personal emotions,” says Anja. “I’m always really happy when the bride and groom or often their relatives contact me after the wedding and tell me that they had the perfect wedding.”

Katrin Nalobin

Katrin Nalobin (Photo: Luz y Amor)

Katrin is thrilled by the emotions during the wedding: “If my speech causes tears of joy and laughter, then I know that my words have been received. I’m also touched by the positive response from the guests – how nice it is when both the bride and groom as well as family and friends can see each other in the ceremony.”


CLAUDIA GEIGER | Facts & Feelings
ANJA HAPPE | Golden Rose
KATRIN NALOBIN | pretty words

PHOTOS | Cornelia Lietz + Luz y Amor