You Are Cordially Invited To A Geo-Wedding

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to witness the marriage of an unfamiliar German couple – geocacher Jan Scholten and his muggle bride …”

Actually, that’s not strictly true. But the visiting European lovebirds (GC handle: j_sch) are inviting Kiwi geocachers to a wedding reception-cum-event cache in the Marlborough Sounds on March 21st.

Yesterday new reviewer Status Quo published the pair’s event listing, GC3E226 Wedding: Bring The Bride A Present, which reads:

“J-sch and his wife to be are going to be married in the Malborough Sounds. We are 18,000kms away from home so, apart from two witnesses, nobody is coming. That is fine and planned by design.

“But we thought it would be a funny thing if someone likes to show up afterwards (when the kids are in bed) and wants to have a drink with us. So no attending the ceremony (that is our private one) but maybe some chat later? It would be a nice idea if a couple of geocachers want to show up to show the bride that even at a remote place some people do care.” 

There’ll be wine, snacks and “maybe a beer” on offer, not to mention a smiley for attending; the only catch is you have to bring the bride a wedding gift. Scholten says they’re not expecting “anything great; just smallish stuff to keep my wife calm about all these geocachers being there”. “A small flower, a self-baked cookie or whatever you can think of (a rock found on the road or a fresh dead possum do not count). No need to buy anything expensive.”

Jan Scholten

This “after-work get-together” will round off a big day for the tourists from the Southern German town of Fürth. Despite flying across the world to tie the knot, they’re not eloping, he explains, but simply trying to “stay ( far) away from family quarrels and organising a big wedding”.

At midday on Wednesday fortnight, the couple will say “I do” before their witnesses and two children, aged four and a half and one year. Scholten says he’ll be in a black suit, and his bride a white dress for the traditional ceremony.

Once the officiant pronounces them wife and geocacher, the Scholtens will relocate to accommodation venue Hopewell Lodge to prepare for their 7pm reception. That’s when the groom hopes local geocachers will turn up to help them celebrate. Not too many, though – in fact he’s thinking of capping guest numbers so as not to scare the lodge’s owners.

“It is pretty remote,” Scholten says of the location,  “but I may set a maximum attendance to be sure. Not sure how long I would stay married when hordes are coming.”

It’s a brave plan – and possibly a geo-first – but Scholten says hosting the remote Terrain level 5 event, his first, will let him meet new people and “otherwise keep my statistics”.  “I won’t be allowed to cache on that day, I think,” adds the 34-year-old, who will mark his first geo-anniversary eight days after his nuptials.

He and his fiancée, 32, have been together for almost nine years and, while not willing to disclose how they met, Scholten says they both work with computers. The IT network engineer takes care not to reveal too much about his partner to It’s Not About The Numbers but she’s obviously easy-going. When he suggested the event cache reception, she apparently looked slightly horrified “but then just shrugged”. “The best man asked whether I’m crazy. I did not tell any others.”

And to the German’s credit, geocaching was but a distant thought when Scholten proposed on bended knee, though he did have a geo-themed bachelor party back home.

Once hitched, the pair will “continue their honeymoon in NZ” for a month. This is their second visit, having spent six and a half months here in 2005. Since arriving nearly 30 days ago, Scholten has logged 129 finds as the family explores the South Island and says he’s noticed a local fondness for “trads in Sistema boxes”. Luckily, there are hundreds of truly great hides in that part of the country to keep him busy until his nuptials.

Unfortunately, It’s Not About The Numbers is unable to attend the happy couple’s celebration but would like to wish them all the best for their legally-wedded future.

*Will you be present at Mr and Mrs Scholtens’ geo-reception? Let us know below.

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