Having met in Austin, Texas Kelli and René celebrated their love with a weekend full of love and laughter in René's home country, Austria - right amongst the beautiful Alps. Aiming for a light and airy aesthetic they stuck to whites, blues and greens and ensured the wedding was very personal and welcoming. "Despite there being over 90 people, we wanted the experience to be intimate. With this in mind, there were tapered candles around the tables, soft ribbons on the chairs, and light flowers without too much clutter. We also took advantage of old furniture we found around the grounds, my favourite piece was the chest we served the cakes on. It really came together so beautifully."
Having to blend not only cultures but also language, it proved to be a great ice-breaker. To make communication easier for their guests, they passed out stickers to indicate the guests who could speak both languages and ease communication between other guests. "We also included both languages on our printed goods because the last thing you want to happen is for a guest to get lost or confused. It also made for such an amazing experience because you have René's grandpa who was here when the US troops were in Austria post-WWII and then you had my grandparents all the way over from Texas next to each other not understanding one word between each other, but enjoying themselves. René and I were sitting in the love seat after all our guests had left in the wee hours of Sunday morning and we were thinking about this love people show for you on your wedding day. It's not something easily put into words, but you felt it in that room. It's the beautiful thing about weddings - not just the love between the couple - but between the people present for the couple."
Thank you to Luca from HILO & GINGER for sharing this sweet wedding with us.
HOW DID YOU MEET? He's Austrian and I'm American. We met when he traveled to the States on a J1 visa to work at same small boutique hotel in Austin, Texas where I worked. He had just landed in the States and came to the office to complete some paperwork. When our head of HR introduced us, I immediately messaged my sister: "Laura, come to the office. This cute German started today and I'm going to marry him." René did not disclose to me that he was actually Austrian until I introduced him to a friend some months later as my "German colleague". You should know, Austrians don't take kindly to being called Germans. ;) René swears none of what I say about this encounter is true, but I am sure AT&T could recover the text message for a small fee.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL: The proposal happened at one of the most historic places in Berlin. It was shortly before we went on a trip to Austria and Italy where I initially wanted to propose to Kelli. The ring was already at home and even though we only have a small space, Kelli didn't find it. It happened on a random day, pretty much the only day where we didn't have plans. Kelli had to go to an appointment and I used the time to go home and change into something nicer. I asked her to come to the Brandenburg Gate because a friend of mine was in town. The Brandenburg Gate was just the perfect place to propose as it also stands for the unification of Germany, or even of the whole of Europe. Berlin though is the city that will forever stay in our hearts as the city where we first lived together and where I proposed to Kelli. Fun fact here: I asked a tourist to make a video of us so we will always see that it happened in front of the Brandenburg Gate, unfortunately she managed to not have it in the picture, not even once.
TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR WEDDING DRESS: I'd been to too many stores by the time I made it to Brown's Bride. When Lauren greeted us at the door with the warmest hello and hugs; then she offered Prosecco - that's when I knew I was in the right place. There was something about the way the skirt was soft, but the bodice was a little sexy. I knew I wanted it to really unique without crossing any lines. When Lauren added the veil, it was finished. Every time I look at the pictures, I just want to put it back on.
ANYDIY ELEMENTS? In our welcome boxes for our guests, we included a few DIY elements. There were schnapps and pumpkin "kurbis" oil from René's grandmother and chocolate dipped cookies from his mom. We personalised the bottles and bags these treats were put in with our monogram from our invitations.
DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING FLOWERS: The wedding flowers were soft and wild.René left the flowers to me entirely and so I kept it with who I am. They pulled our favourite colours, and I even snuck in a few pinks, and some new flowers for me. I honestly cannot remember all the names, but the eucalyptus was really paramount for the tables and bouquets. It gave everything this wild feeling without crossing into out of control.
FAVOURITE DETAIL OF THE DAY: Rene: OMG so many. The favourite detail was obviously Kelli agreeing on wearing a different dress before the church and having a real first look of this beautiful woman in her wedding dress in the church.
Kelli: It was so special that my mom had my dad's signature sewn into my wedding dress. She wanted this to be a surprise of course, but being the last of her three daughters to get married, I sort of knew it was coming. However, Brown's Bride did such a beautiful job of sewing it into my dress right at my chest, it was really special.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OUT TO A COUPLE PLANNING THEIR WEDDING? Do all you can up to the week of the wedding, then just enjoy yourself. At the end of the day, your happiness is what makes the photos sparkle and no one will remember what went wrong (or even notice). Also, enjoy the planning! It can teach you a lot about each other, especially patience. God bless Rene for all he had to endure from me. We more than survived and had the most amazing, beautiful, memorable wedding and you will too!
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT? Rene: I must say though that the most moving moment of the day was having my grandfather there who only left the hospital two days before the wedding and seeing all these emotions in every single face at the wedding.
Kelli: When the groom's cake, which was shaped like Texas, was brought out and René started singing "Deep in the heart of Texas" then all the American guests started singing too...that was pretty awesome.