Hakan Bahcivanci and Selenga Cizmeli married on 11 May
Photo: LaLa La Photo
In 2017, Luxembourg City’s town hall conducted around 380 civil wedding ceremonies, of which 18 were for same sex couples. Delano crashed one of them for a reportage.
Thanks to Luxembourg City’s international demographic, many of the happy couples tying the knot there originally come from abroad, inviting their family and friends over for the occasion.
Turkish nationals Hakan Bahcivanci and Selenga Cizmeli married on 11 May at a brief ceremony at the town hall. “We first thought about having a ceremony at the Turkish embassy but then learned that we had the chance to get married in the town hall,” the software engineer for Amazon told Delano, adding: “We thought that this would be a very interesting experience since all the atmosphere is quite different compared to our country and we also think it is fancy.” Cizmeli, an architect, flew to Luxembourg a few days beforehand for a religious ceremony conducted with an imam in Turkey via Whatsapp before the civil ceremony.
Wedding ceremonies are conducted at the town hall on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays with up to 10, 30-minute ceremonies per day. While, December is reportedly the busiest period for ceremonies, 11 May, the day after a public holiday, also proved popular. Ceremonies were scheduled immediately before and after Bahcivanci and Cizmeli’s wedding. However, the couple was in no rush and used the time before the ceremony to pose for photos in front of the fairy-tale-like backdrop of the town hall building.
The bride and groom eventually moved into the impressive, flower-filled marriage room along with their guests where they were joined by city mayor Lydie Polfer who, exceptionally delivered the ceremony. She was assisted by head of the civil registry office Jules Becker, who has conducted thousands of services during his career, including with members of the grand ducal family, the prime minister and celebrities. While this ceremony ran smoothly, he recalled once meeting a heavily pregnant bride who began to have discomfort during the ceremony. “We were hoping she would not give birth to her baby in the wedding room. Fortunately, she did recover, before the end of the ceremony,” he said.
This Turkish couple’s ceremony was given entirely in English, a language which is proving increasingly popular according to Becker. “Today, the language is more often English than Luxembourgish. Of course French is still in the lead, as many couples are of mixed nationalities,” he said.