Even from a purely logistic point of view, the situation in 1842 presented itself very differently in comparison to the pageant seven years earlier in 1835. King Ludwig I’s vested interest in turning the Oktoberfest on the occasion of the matrimony of his son and successor – the first crown princely wedding since his own 32 years ago – into a great national festival, ensured the timely planning and a comparatively generous financial budgeting. The network of railroads in Bavaria was already developing: in 1839, not far from Theresienwiese (Theresia Meadow), the first train station of the city, predecessor of today’s main train station, was built. In 1840, the railway line Munich – Augsburg was inaugurated.
Back in March 1842, the presidium of the royal government of Oberbayern (Upper Bavaria) informed all communes of the realm of the king’s wish. From all governmental districts, respectively, several bridal couples “of blameless morals and indubitable dignity” ought to be selected to participate in the collective wedding in Munich. The cost of accommodation and board in Munich ought to be met by the city, the couples’ bridal outfits were to be financed by the district courts, by their families’ own means as well as by donations made by foundations and sponsors. The only other condition, apart from an impeccable reputation, was that the couples had “[…] to appear in the proper, particularly traditional and distinguishing attire […]” and that their entourage ought not to be too numerous. The authenticity of the costumes was less important; in particular, the urban couples, therefore, based their costumes on models of traditional attire that no longer existed.
The response to this directive from Munich seems not to have corresponded in every point to the expectations. Even though sufficient sponsors could be found among the aristocratic squires, the majority of the bridal couples was middle class. Apparently, prosperous craftsmen and wealthy peasants particularly liked the increased prestige to be gained by such a wedding. In addition, there could be hardly any question of a regionally balanced distribution of the couples: in contrast to the four couples sent by most districts, Upper Bavaria provided six bridal couples and the Rhenish Palatinate only two. The larger cities such as Speyer or Kaiserslautern did not directly participate.
Apart from newspaper reports, three sources in particular may be consulted for the procession of the bridal couples. In addition to the official programme of the city of Munich, in the book by F. Rudolph on the 1842 Oktoberfest may be found detailed descriptions of the couples and of their costumes (pp. 49-?) Finally already shortly after the procession appeared a series of three lithographs, created by Gustav Kraus (1804-1852), which illustrated the bridal procession with great precision and considerable empathy. The programme published by the magistrate of the city of Munich is included here with its full text to illustrate better the three lithographs reproduced here.
Even though the programme describes the procession of bridal couples from today’s Alte Rathaus (Old Townhall) on Munich’s Schrannenplatz (today: Marienplatz) to the Catholic church of St. Michael or to the Lutheran church of St. Matthew, the lithographs by Kraus depicted the parade of the (now) married couples past the Königszelt (Royal Tent). Nonetheless, the descriptions in the festival programme coincide with the depictions on the lithographs. The only difference consists in the depiction of bride and bridegroom walking side by side in the lithographs – since they were already married at this point – whereas they had walked in two separate processions on their way to church.
To save as much space as possible, Kraus wound the bridal procession snakelike in four rows, one above the other – in a form of representation that had by then already proven its worth for this kind of illustrations over the centuries.
Sources Referenced: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library) and Bavarikon (Bavarian State Art Treasures)
Sheet I. Bridal Couple 1-5
The first sheet shows the start of the procession, led by two groups of mountain riflemen and a band of music. Due to the shorter journey, the couples from Upper Bavaria had the advantage of being able to bring in wedding carriages and to keep the accompanying groups significantly larger at their own expense. For example, the bridal couple from Ismaning in the district court of Munich pulled through the city with five carriages, their own music group and almost 30 participants.
§. 2. The wedding procession starts at 9 a.m. in the following order:
I.) The bridal processions from Upper Bavaria. The mountain rifle company from Lengries, royal district court of Tölz, with their minstrels. The mountain rifle company of Wackersberg , of the same royal district court, also with their minstrels. This is followed by the bridal processions:
1) The bridal couple from the city of Munich: the bridal couple Johann Schmidt, prospective master craftsman, and Amalie Ortlieb, Catholic, accompanied by the widowed mother of the bride, her guardian, the groomsman, 2 witnesses, 2 bridesmaids and the wedding loader .
2) The bridal couple from the royal district court of Starnberg: Georg Rehm, prospective shoemaker, and Maria Bauer, Catholic, with 2 wreath maids, the honorary father, the mother of honor, the groom’s father and mother, the bride’s father, 2 cousins of the bride, a cousin of the groom and one of the bride’s cousins, a sister of the bride and 7 musicians.
3) The bridal couple from the royal district court of Schrobenhausen: Martin Spieß, Gütler and day laborer from Eiselsried, and Theresia Mühlpointner, Häusler’s daughter. These accompany: the groomsman, two wreath maids, two honorable fathers, Catholic, two witnesses, four other closest relatives, the wedding loader.
4) The bridal couple from the royal district court in Munich: Jakob Sanftl, small farmer and carpenter in Ismaning, and Barbara Kranz, daughter of a blacksmith, Catholic.
These are followed by the wedding loader on horseback, a musician’s carriage with 10 minstrels, a four-horse bridal carriage with the bride, the mother of honor, two maids of honor, the bride and groom’s parents, a two-horse carriage with 6 maids as wedding guests, a two-horse carriage with 6 young men as wedding guests and the Bridegroom appearing in the four-in-hand bridal carriage after the wedding ceremony.
5) The bridal couple from the royal district court in Rosenheim: Johann Rebacher [correct name: Seebacher], farmer in Vorderschweinsteig in the municipality of Niederaudorf, and Maria Kloo, farmer’s daughter, Catholic.
These accompany two preceding youths, two preceding virgins, the groomsman, the mother of honor, two fathers of honor and witnesses, a deputy of the bridegroom’s deceased mother, the mother of the bride, the wedding loader.
Sheet II. Bridal couple 6-19
On the second sheet, the couples from Lower Bavaria, the Rhine Palatinate, the Upper Palatinate and from Upper Franconia follow in close order after the bridal couples from Upper Bavaria. Worth mentioning is the picturesque deputation from Kronach at the end of the sheet, in which the town apparently wanted to use the event to attract more attention with historical costumes.
6) The bridal couple from the royal district court of Reichenhall : Johann Aschauer, Oedgastner farmer in the Stoißberg community and Maria Eichner, farmer’s daughter, Catholic. The order of this bridal procession is as follows: five musicians, the bridegroom with the wedding loader, the groomsman with the bride, the father of honor with the mother of honor, a maid of honor, five pillory women. Close the bridal processions of Upper Bavaria: The mountain riflemen from the royal district courts of Reichenhall .
II. The bridal processions from Lower Bavaria.
A flag bearer with the coat of arms of the city of Landshut. The musicians from Kötzing.
7) The bridal couple of the city of Passau: Ignatz Seidl, prospective citizen of Passau and Katharina Rackl, daughter of a hired coachman, Catholic. They are accompanied by the groomsman, the two assistants, two maids of honor, and the mother of the bride.
8) The bridal couple from the royal district court of Landshut: Mathias Eisenried, farmer from Pestendorf and Therese Fleischmann, farmer’s daughter, Catholic. With these go three wreath maids, the groomsman.
9) The bridal couple from the royal district court of Straubing: Georg Schütz, farmer’s son von Atting and Helena Wild, miller’s daughter, Catholic. Her companions are the groomsman, the maid of honor, the mother of the bride, the father of the bride, the wedding loader.
10) The bridal couple from the royal district courts Griesbach : Jakob Steindl, prospective farmer in Oberschwaetzenbach and Therese Grammel, farmer’s daughter, Catholic. The mother of the bride, the maid of honor, the father of the bride, the bride’s progeny, and the wedding loader follow the same.
III. The bridal processions from the Palatinate.
A flag bearer with the coat of arms of the County of Veldenz. Musician. A standard bearer with the coat of arms of the city of Speyer.
11) The bridal couple from Pirmasenz: Peter Lorenz, shoemaker in Pirmasenz and Anna Maria Bachmann, bricklayer’s daughter, Catholic. With them go four male witnesses, the parents of the bride and groom.
12) The bridal couple from the royal country inspectorate in Kirchheim-Bollanden: Peter Schmid, linen weaver in Göllheim and Katharina Joos, carpenter’s daughter, Protestant. Her accompaniment consists of the parents and their four deputy relatives and four witnesses.
IV. The bridal processions from Upper Palatinate and Regensburg.
A standard bearer with the Upper Palatinate coat of arms. The train of miners from Amberg with music. A flag bearer with the coat of arms of the city of Regensburg.
13) The bridal couple of the city of Regensburg: Wilhelm Heinrich Erdmann Kaufmann, prospective master craftsman in Regensburg and Anna Katharina Hagen, butcher’s daughter, Protestant. With the same is a wreath maiden as companion of the bride, the groomsman, the father of honor, the mother of honor, a male and a female witness.
14) The bridal couple of the royal district court of Hemau : Joseph Weiß, cottager from Pölndorf, and Barbara Mirbeck, from Aichkirchen, Catholic. These are accompanied by two wreath maids, the groomsman, and the fathers of the bride and groom as witnesses.
15) The bridal couple of the royal court of Kemnath : Mathäus Weyh, butcher’s son from Kemnath, and Anna Murr, butcher’s daughter, Catholic. They are followed by two wreath carriers, the groomsman and the parents of the bride and groom as witnesses.
16) The bridal couple from the royal district court of Neunburg vorm Wald : Joseph Probst, prospective master shoemaker in Neunburg vorm Wald, and Katharina Brunner, shoemaker’s daughter, Catholic, with two wreath maids, the groomsman and two witnesses.
V. The bridal processions from Upper Franconia.
A flag bearer with the coat of arms of the Duchy of Franconia. Music. A standard bearer with the coat of arms of the city of Bayreuth.
17) The bridal couple of the city of Bayreuth: Christian Friedrich Schmidt, citizen and master cloth maker in Bayreuth, and Sabine Magdalena Wanner, daughter of a master glazier, Protestant. They are followed by a bridal attendant and a bridal attendant.
18) The bridal couple of the city of Bamberg : Georg Humann, Ludwigs Kanal skipper in Bamberg and Barbara Strommer, journeyman’s daughter, Catholic. They are accompanied by two bridesmaids, two groomsmen, two witnesses, a representative of the bridegroom’s aged father and the bride’s father.
19) The bridal couple of the royal court in Kronach. Georg Hellmuth, master cutler in Kronach, and Margaretha Grieser, daughter of a bricklayer, Catholic. They are accompanied by a groomsman, two bridesmaids, two witnesses and two magistrate deputies in old Spanish costume with golden chains of grace, as presented to the City Council of Kronach by the Prince Bishop Melchior Otto von Bamberg and Emperor Charles VI [Sic!] awarded in 1651, and granted to bear.
Sheet III. Newlyweds 20-35
The third sheet ends the sequence of the bridal couples from Upper Franconia and closes the procession with the couples from the administrative districts of Middle Franconia, Lower Franconia and Swabia. Among the relatively small bridal groups, the large groups from Mistelbach in the district court of Bayreuth at the beginning of the sheet with 16 participants and the group from Werneck in Lower Franconia stand out; in both cases it was a matter of rich peasant families who, according to tradition, financed the bridal couple’s travel and equipment themselves.
20) The bridal couple of the royal district court of Bayreuth: Johann Nützel, farmer from Mistelbach, and Kunigunde Nützel, farmer’s daughter, Protestant. They are accompanied by two bridesmaids, two bridesmaids, two groomsmen, a representative of the groom’s father, the bride’s father, the bride’s godfather, two children aged 10 and 12, and five musicians, (Bumblebee musicians.)
21) The bridal couple of the royal Rehau district court : Johann Zech, room journeyman in Rehau, and Margaretha Sammet, daughter of an economic citizen, Protestant, together with a groomsman and a bridesmaid.
22) The bridal couple of the royal district court of Wunsiedl : Johann Nikolaus Küspert, farmer of Reichenbach, and Margaretha Barbara Nürnberger, daughter of a farmer, Protestant. They are accompanied by a groomsman, a bridesmaid, the groom’s father, the bride’s father, the bride’s mother, and the bride’s godfather.
VI. The bridal processions from Middle Franconia.
A flag bearer with the coat of arms of the city of Ansbach.
23) The bridal couple of the royal district court of Eichstätt: Johann Heugl, from Burgheim , and Dorothea Birner, from the same place, Catholic. They are followed by a bridesmaid, a groomsman and two honorable fathers.
24) The bridal couple of the royal district court of Nuremberg: Andreas Wolfgang Volland, tenant of Großreuth, and Anna Kunigunde Lauble, Protestant. They are accompanied by a groomsman, a bridesmaid, an honored father, an honored mother.
25) The bridal couple of the royal district court of Markt-Bibart : Christop Deinlein and Katharina Wolf, both from Sugenheim, Protestant. They are accompanied by a groomsman, a bridesmaid, and two honorable fathers.
26) The bridal couple of the Ellingen court . Johann Christoph Hartmann, from Suffersheim , and Chrstine Loy, from Ober Höchstadt , Protestant. They are accompanied by a father of honour, a bridesmaid, a mother of honour, a groomsman.
VII. The bridal processions from Lower Franconia and Aschaffenburg.
A flag bearer with the coat of arms of the city of Würzburg.
27) The bridal couple of the city of Würzburg. Adam Geist, freight conductor from Würzburg, and Sabine Wirth, Catholic, along with two train men and six attendants.
28) The bridal couple of the royal district court of Bischofsheim an der Rhön : Jakob Horbett, linen weaver in Wegfurt, and Eva Motter, Catholic. They are accompanied by two witnesses, a bridesmaid, a bridesmaid, and two attendants.
29) The bridal couple of the royal district court of Werneck: Johann Pfister, farmer from Schnackenwörth , and Margaretha Treutlein, farmer’s daughter, Catholic. The same follow: the parents of the bride and groom, two train men, two groomsmen, (slender lads) two bridesmaids, (slender maids) and two next of kin.
30) The bridal couple of the royal district court of Euerdorf : Michael Schubert, farmer from Ebenhausen , and Margaretha Gößmann, Catholic. They are accompanied by two witnesses, two bridesmaids, and three attendants.
VIII. The bridal processions from Swabia and Neuburg.
A flag bearer with the coat of arms of the County of Burgau. Music.’ A flag bearer with the coat of arms of the city of Augsburg .
31) One bridal couple from the city of Augsburg is: Johann Michael Ragner, Huker from Augsburg, and Theresia Viktoria Trichter, butcher’s daughter, Catholic. With them are two wives of honour, two witnesses, two bridesmaids.
32) The second bridal couple of the city of Augsburg. Friedrich Thenn, master butcher in Augsburg, and Rosine Weiß, daughter of a master chef, Protestant. They are accompanied by two women of honour, two witnesses and two bridesmaids. |8| Six flag bearers with the coats of arms of the cities of Kaufbeuren , Kempten , Lindau , Memmingen , Neuburg and Nordlingen.
33) The bridal couple from the royal district court of Kempten: Konrad Prestel, master shoemaker in Heilig Kreuz , and Maria Merz, daughter of a day worker, Catholic. They are followed by a companion of honour, a father of honour, two witnesses, a groomsman, a maid of honor and a mother of honor.
34) The bridal couple from the royal district court of Monheim : Mathias Zollenhofer, lithography quarryman in Solnhofen and Barbara Rubmann, quarryman’s and tailor’s daughter, Protestant. They are accompanied by two witnesses, two groomsmen and two bridesmaids.
35) The bridal couple from the royal district court of Wertingen: Jakob Saule, mercenary in Sontheim , and Kreszentia Gerstmayer, shepherd’s daughter, Catholic, along with two groomsmen, two bridesmaids and two witnesses.
Further Course of the Wedding
In the program, the description of the bridal procession is followed by the regulation of the procession to the churches and the details of the wedding ceremonies; the couples then ate a meal together in the Pschorrkeller on Landsbergerstraße and from there – in the train depicted by Gustav Kraus – went to the Theresienwiese and there past the royal family. Similar to 1810, a poem was presented as homage and symbols of the parts of the country (according to the representations in the then newly erected ballroom of the Munich Residence) were placed on the tent. At the end of the festive day, the bridal couples – here, too, literally representing the whole of Bavaria – attended the main race together with the ruling family.
The procession takes the route across Schrannenplatz on the side of the royal government building and past the Hauptwache, then runs through Kaufinger- and Neuhauser-Straße, where the 24 Catholic bridal couples and their companions turn into the wide lane. and enter through the side portal into the royal court church of St. Michael, the use of which for the wedding ceremony His Majesty the King exceptionally graciously deigned to authorize.
The 11 Protestant bridal couples and their wedding processions continue on Neuhauser-Strasse and go through the Karlstor via Karlsplatz to the parish church of their denomination.
In the court church dedicated to St. Michael, the mountain archers and miners who accompany the bridal processions line up in the side aisles, those on the gospel side, the latter on the epistle side. The 24 bridal couples with their bridal processions take their places in the pews, which are kept ready for them in the front part of the nave. The public, as much as space allows, is allowed access to the lower part of the church through the two main portals. For the galleries to the right and left of the music choir, as well as for the side chairs in the presByterium, the royal staff of the Oberhofmeister distributes tickets, the holders of which enter from Neuhauserstrasse through the building of the Royal Academy of Sciences or from the Herzog-Maxburg side through the former university building. The gate leading from the wide lane into the church, through which the bridal processions entered, is reserved exclusively for the highest and highest lordships, if they wish to use the oratory.
The wedding ceremony in this church is performed by three clergymen from the parish of Our Lady, by 3 clergymen from the parish of Saint Peter and one from the parish of Saint Anna, at the high altar and the 6 front altars in the following way:
a) At 10 a.m. the parish clergy comes out of the sacristy into the church and goes to the high altar. The preacher at the Hofkirche zu Sankt Michael, as a ceremonist for this act, then gives the conductors a sign, after which they each have to bring the bridal couples assigned to them to the presbytery, where they all line up outside the dining trellis.
b) The metropolitan parish council, surrounded by the other copulating clergymen, immediately begins the act of marriage after a short appropriate preface with the ritual addresses to the assembled people and to the bridal couples and the prayer that follows.
c) When the latter is finished, the four bridal couples numbers 1, 18, 27, 31 from the cities of Munich, Bamberg, Würzburg and Augsburg, which the Metropolitan Parish Board will copulate themselves, remain in the presbytery, and one after the other, he and his witnesses come forward to the high altar for the taking of the vows of marriage and the actual completion of the conjugal union.
d) The other 6 parish priests go to the altars assigned to them for this act; the other 20 bridal couples, however, are escorted back by the conductors to the seats they formerly occupied in the nave, and then each bridal couple is also taken individually and one after the other to the clergyman concerned for acceptance of the marriage vows and for the conclusion of the actual marriage connection in such a way that:
1) on the first (Saint Ignatius) altar on the gospel side the 4 pairs Numero 2, 8, 16, 35. (From the district courts of Starnberg, Landshut, Neunburg vorm Wald and Wertingen ).
2) On the first (Saint Francis Xavier) altar on the epistle side the 4 pairs Numero 3, 7, 23, 33. (From the district courts of Schrobenhausen , the city of Passau , the district courts of Eichstädt and Kempten ).
3) At the second (name of Jesus) altar on the gospel side, the 3 couples numbered 4, 10 and 26 (from the district courts of Kronach and Griesbach ).
4) On the second (holy trinity) altar on the epistle side the 3 couples numbers 5, 11, 28 (from the district courts of Rosenheim , the city of Pirmasens and the district courts of Bischofsheim an der Rhön). –
5) On the third (Maria Annunciation altar) on the gospel side the pairs numbered 6, 14 and 29 (from the district courts of Reichenhall, Hemau and Werneck), finally
6) on the third (Saint Peter and Paul) altar on the Epistle page the 3 couples Numero 9., 15. and 30. (from the district courts of Straubing, Kemnath and Euerdorf) are married. Every copulated couple has to go back to their place in the church pews after the wedding ceremony has been performed with them.
e) When the wedding ceremony of all the bridal couples has been duly completed in this way, they and the parish clergymen enter the presbytery again, as at the beginning, where the metropolitan parish council prays over all the prayers prescribed and gives them the ecclesiastical blessing.
f) Then they go back into the pews again and attend the holy mass, which will be read for them immediately afterwards by the metropolitan pastor on the high altar.
The Protestant bridal couples and their companions are received in the parish church of their denomination by 2 church leaders, are accompanied through the church and directed to the places designated for them. The act of marriage is fixed in the following order:
a) When the procession enters the church, organ playing begins and continues until the participants have all taken their seats.
b) This is followed by singing by the congregation or the choir, at the end of which the clergyman who is in charge enters the altar while playing the organ, all the bridal couples surround the steps in the order indicated to them and the groomsmen and bridesmaids position themselves behind them.
c) The functioning minister begins with prayer or a brief address, reads the appropriate passages of Scripture, and concludes his or her talk after the agenda with the Lord’s Prayer.
d) The bride and groom are now called one after the other, answer the questions put to them, change rings where possible, shake hands, kneel down and the blessing takes place.
e) After the blessing, they go back to their places during a choral singing, the priest says the closing prayer and gives the blessing.
As soon as the wedding of all couples in each of the two churches has ended, which should be the case in the Protestant church by 11 a.m. and in the Catholic church by around 12 p.m., all the bridal processions move together and in the same order as they entered the church have, again from the same off. They make their way in an orderly procession through Bayerstrasse and Landsbergerstrasse into the cellar building of the brewer brothers Georg and Mathias Pschorr , which has sufficiently spacious premisesand Landsbergerstrasse not far from Theresienwiese to have a short lunch provided by the city of Munich.
Toward the hour at which the departure of the Highest and Highest Dominions from the Residence for the Oktoberfest is to be determined, the procession of the bride and groom and their entourage is arranged so that as soon as His Majesty the King has arrived on the festival meadow, and permission most graciously, the procession can set off across the festival grounds and past the royal pavilion.
The order of the procession is here the same as formerly in the church procession, but is opened by the raising of a standard bearing the coat of arms of the kingdom, and in the procession itself flags and standards with the provincial coats of arms as incorporated in the coat of arms of the kingdom , then those of towns and markets, from which the various bridal processions have come hither, divided according to place.
At the royal pavilion, the bridal couple from the city of Munich presented their majesties the king and queen and their royal highnesses the crown prince and crown princess with a poem of homage and celebration. In addition, other eight bridal couples, one from each governmental district, lay emblems of these districts, as they are carried by the statues located on the hall of the royal residence there, in great reverence before His Majesty the King.
As soon as the bridal processions have passed in front of their majesties, the riflemen from Lengries, Wackersberg and Reichenhall, as well as the miners from Amberg, line up on the right wing of the Landwehr detachments set up on the fairground; the bridal couples, however, with their companions, go to the two tribunes prepared for them, opposite the royal pavilion, in order to attend the agricultural festival and the horse race as spectators.
Munich, October 15, 1842.
The magistrate of the royal capital and residence city of Munich.
von Steinsdorf , Mayor.