So let me tell you a little bit about the way a traditional marriage in my rural part of Austria is celebrated and then I will tell you how we did it. Two totally different things!
I grew up in a veeery small village. There are only 1800 inhabitants and it's located in the very east of Austria, just a few kilometers away from the Hungarian border. There's internet, we have roads, shops, a pharmacy, a doctor, schools...but we also have traditions. And as some traditions are very nice and thoughtful and pretty, some of them are rather...let's say antique and outdated.
When you have a traditional marriage in our village, it starts the day before. Husband and wife spend the last night beofre the wedding apart. Friends and family arrive at the evening before the big day to bring A LOT of sweets and baked goodies. These are called "Krapferl" at this part of our country and are very similar to christmas cookies. My aunts baked. And baked and baked and baked. We had TONS of cookies in our house. Let me tell you that our wedding was really small. We invited 21 guests, one of those was our lovely photographer. So there really was no need for us to have six (yes, SIX) cakes. SIX CAKES FOR 23 PEOPLE! Do you see how insane that is? But just try tell these to my aunts. So we had a room full of sweets. Cookies, cakes and pretty much any other dessert that you can imagine.
|this was all made by ONE.SINGLE.AUNT!!!|
|all of our cakes and sweets. everything is handmade. isn't this amazing? 20 million calories, all in one picture!|
But the relative and friends not only visit to bring the cookies but they also came to bring the presents. So there were a lot of envelopes with cards and money.
We also got some traditional gifts such as crockery, bed dishes and linens. My brother and his girlfriend gave us Harry Potter wands. Hermiones for me and Rons for my man as they end up married and with kids. He knows how crazy I am about Harry Potter so this was a wonderful gift!
It was a nice evening full of eating, drinking and talking. At 10 pm everyone was gone and I collapsed into bed, where I couldn't sleep because I had a very sore throat and couldn't stop coughing.
On the next day I had my hairdresser appointment and afterwards my friend came over to do my make up. Everyone asked me if I was nervous already and surprisingly - I was not! I was really calm and relaxed and I looked forward to the day.
Meanwhile my man met with his guests at the restaurant of his mother. He had rented a Mustang for the day. (It looked like this . Not the usual wedding car, but we like it unusual!). They all drove half an hour to my parents house where we all met.
If this would have been a traditional wedding, some men would have blocked the road to stop him and my man would have to pay them money to be able to continue driving. Thank god nobody did that!
I was nervous when I heard the car outisde! At this point, people from all around the village, family, friends, neighbours and strangers had gathered around our house to have a look at the bride. Normally the bride and the groom and all invited guests would walk from the thouse to the church and everybody in the village would stand beside the road to have a good look at what everyone is wearing. Insane. I didn't want to present myself like that, so they just had a little glimpse at me when I walked outside and got into the car.
|me and my first encounter with our Mustang! love the green! And here you see a glimpse of my crochet shawl!|
We then drove to our location, a beautiful thermal spa and lodge. You can have a look at their homepage here. The ceremony took place at the library and anyone who knows how much I love to read knows that this was the perfect location! It was really nice and beautiful, my brother played the guitar, his girlfriend (a jazz singer) sang some songs, the mothers cried, we couldn't stop smiling and I was so excited all the time that I forgot my bouquet in that room and have not a single photo of it now.
After the obligatory champagne we took hundreds of pictures. Of every guest and then of course of the two of us. As my man doesn't know about this blog and as I don't want him to know about this blog, there won't be any pictures of him because I can't ask him, if it's okay with him. Does that make sense? Anyway, these pictures are rather personal so there will only be a few of them for you!
We then had dinner, danced a little and had a wonderful time with our closest family! We stayed at the lodge for two nights and in hindsight we should have stayed there for our entire honeymoon as our holiday in Mallorca wasn't really like we imagined it to be. But that story is reserved for a separate blog post.
At a traditional wedding, people would have "stolen" the bride which means that I would have been kidnapped by the friends of the groom, we would have gone to a bar and after a while the groom would have had to come to that bar, get me back and pay the bill of the consumed drinks. Let me tell you, I've been to weddings where the poor man had to pay hundreds of euros!
There also would have been a midnight dance, where EVERYONE dances with everyone. Which means, the bride has to dance with every single guest and also the groom. During these dances the godmother of the bride would slowly have to take off the veil of the bride. I didn't have a veil. And if you have a big wedding with 100+ guests (which is rather usual in the countryside) that means a lot of dancing. I've been to weddings where the midnight dance lasted over an hour!
After that dance, people would start to throw coins in the middle of the dancefloor and the bride and the groom would have to sweep up those coins whereas guest would always run through the pile of sweeped up money so it's harder for the bride and groom to collect the money.
Then there is a conga line accompanied by a ridiculous song about cowboys and bears, then everyone stands in a circle to sing a heartmelting and cheesy song about the value and friendship and by that time it's way past midnight and the bride and groom are normally so exhausted that they just want to go home.
We avoided all that. We had our dance (neither my man nor I are great dancers), we laughed with our family, we got tons of gifts (4 weekends at 4 different romantic/wellness/mountain hotels all over Austria!!!) ate tons of food and went to our beautiful suite at 2 pm.
The perfect wedding!
And for everyone who kept reading until the very end (thanks for your patience): Here are some pictures:
|to me - the prettiest dress in the world!|
|me in my dress in our hotel room|
|we all sat on one table, since we were only 20 people. We made the decoration ourselves. I still think it's the perfect table!|