First the registry office, now the church: Christian Lindner and Franca Lehfeldt’s wedding party on Sylt reached its climax on Saturday. The couple is beaming, the political celebrities congratulate – but critical voices are also getting louder.
The wedding party continues: Finance Minister Christian Lindner (43, FDP) and the journalist Franca Lehfeldt (33) got married on Saturday afternoon in the Church of St. Severin on Sylt. The wedding ceremony lasted about an hour, then the bridal couple stepped out of the church, where they were received by their guests. Bright petals swirled through the air as Lindner and his bride emerged from the church. Some guests cheered. Afterwards, Lehfeldt and Lindner chatted with their guests in front of the church in the cold Sylt wind at a champagne reception before they got into a convertible and drove away.
Noble visit: Scholz, Kubicki and Merz among the guests
In the black car decorated with flowers, Lehfeldt arrived at the church around 4:30 p.m. about an hour after the groom. She was wearing a backless dress with a long train and a bow at the nape of her neck and her hair was loose. Lindner wore a dark blue suit and a silver tie with a white rose as a boutonniere.
Among the guests were Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his wife, the Brandenburg Minister of Education Britta Ernst (both SPD), Vice President of the Bundestag Wolfgang Kubicki (FDP) and CDU leader Friedrich Merz. The journalist and “Welt” editor Stefan Aust and the entrepreneur Frank Thelen, known from the TV show “Die Höhle des Löwen”, were also among the guests. In the evening the celebrations should continue in the “Sansibar” between Rantum and Hörnum on the North Sea beach of Sylt.
The pretty church on the outskirts of Keitum is one of Sylt’s landmarks with centuries of history and is also a popular wedding venue for celebrities. For example, in 2018 fashion designer Guido Maria Kretschmer tied the knot with his long-term partner Frank Mutters.
Police officers had been securing the church and the area lined with a frieze wall since Saturday morning. Explosive detection dogs were also deployed. The streets around the church grounds were partially closed to traffic at noon. Various police vans lined the streets, officials set up barriers. Onlookers and journalists sometimes positioned themselves hours in advance on the cycle path and footpath opposite, hoping to catch a glimpse of the couple.
Numerous curious people also gathered on the other side of the church. There, “TV total” presenter Sebastian Puffpaff distributed T-shirts with various motifs of the wedding couple, canned beer and small flags. This place had to be vacated at around 2:00 p.m. In the meantime, several hundred people were waiting to catch a glimpse of the couple and their prominent guests. Some punks also came.
Ethics professor criticizes the celebration as “a luxury wedding that is not very socially and morally sensitive
While the onlookers in front of the church were peaceful and curious about the couple, there was controversy on (social) media about wasting taxes and an inappropriate timing for the celebration, as well as about the couple getting married in the church , although both are said to have left the church. However, when he was sworn in as Federal Minister of Finance, Lindner took the oath with the addition “so help me God”.
It is also common in the Northern Church that at least one of the two partners must be a member of the Protestant Church. However, the synod decided in November 2020 that “a casual service can also be celebrated if people who are not church members ask for it”. According to the Evangelical Church in Germany, occasional events are services that are celebrated on the occasion of important milestones in people’s lives: baptism, confirmation, marriage and burial.
The Protestant ethics professor Mathias Wirth criticized the wedding. He told the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger” that this was a “luxury wedding ceremony of little social and moral sensitivity for a minister who at the same time wants to cut the Hartz IV rates for the long-term unemployed”.
Police issue punks in front of hotel ban
Mayor Nikolas Häckel (independent) had already married the couple in a civil ceremony on Thursday afternoon. On Friday, the bachelorette party was on the agenda. Lehfeldt wore a mini dress with a snake print and loose hair that evening, as hairstylist Lukas Kuciel posted in his Instagram story. The 33-year-old shared the photo in her own story on Saturday.
The police were not only on duty to secure the wedding locations. On Friday evening, the officials issued a dismissal against a group of around 35 punks, as a police spokesman said. They showed up around 10 p.m. at the hotel where Lindner, his wife and the wedding guests suspected they were. According to the information, the punks were said to have been loud above all, but otherwise peaceful. The celebration had taken place at a different location. The punks were finally escorted by the police to the train station and finally, after midnight, on the train to Westerland.
The North Frisian island is a popular holiday destination for celebrities and is also often chosen for weddings. It is the second marriage for the 43-year-old Lindner. He was already married to the journalist Dagmar Rosenfeld. Lehfeldt is also a journalist. The 33-year-old works as a political reporter for the Welt news channel, which belongs to the Axel Springer media group. It was announced last October that she and Lindner had gotten engaged.