A Formal Ballroom Destination Wedding in Vienna, Austria
Carla and Luis
Carla and Luis’s story began when they were undergraduates, attending the same summer program. Luis's roommate noticed Carla upon arrival and tipped him off to the pretty co-ed. Introductions were made, and two months later, they began dating. After a five-year long-distance relationship, they went their separate ways. But two years later, on August 8, 2008, they met up at the Empire State Building, in New York City. That rendezvous sparked a lasting romance, and on April 14, 2012, Carla and Luis tied the knot in another great city -- Vienna.
A Warm Welcome
All 96 guests received tote bags made by The Wedding Chicks.
They contained the weekend’s schedule, some of the pair's favorite spots around town, facts about the wedding, and a few fun German words to learn.
Carla's sister painted the map that identified the couple's beloved haunts and the venues for each event over the weekend.
The bride gave her mother an embroidered hankie to thank her for teaching her the meaning of love.
Vendela roses were tied together with beige silk lace.
A custom-made Manuel de Vivar veil and headpiece completed her look.
One of the main reasons the couple chose to wed in Vienna was the city's vivid musical history. Handkerchiefs for "tears of joy" were attached to programs honoring the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Opera La Notte di Figaro."
The Ceremony Location
St. Peter's Church, the oldest Catholic Church in Vienna, was selected for its Old World charm and baroque interior. The intricate paintings and ornate architecture made a beautiful setting.
A Grand Assembly
A choir, tenor, and soprano performed the ceremony music, starting with the bride's entrance to Ludwig van Beethoven's "Ode to Joy."
A unique chart using letters instead of numbers mapped out the floor plan and table assignments: "W I E N" for Vienna (in German), "L O V E", and "H" and "M", representing the bride and groom’s last names. Gold satin bows were a fun touch.
Guests enjoyed a traditional Austrian lunch prepared by M*Eventcatering while listening to classical music played on the piano. A Waltz instructor and a troupe of professional dancers later guided guests on the dance floor.
The Musical Guide
A program detailing the melodies heard throughout the reception, including a performance by opera singers, rested at each place setting. Inside was a note from the couple: "One of the greatest advantages of getting married in Vienna is that here, classical music enhances love like no other place in the world."
Doll's Flowers decorated large candelabras with roses and jasmine.
Carla wrote a letter to each guest, incorporating favorite love-centric poems and quotations. To achieve the authentic look, she used a feathered quill pen and handmade cotton paper. She then folded and closed them with a wax seal bearing the pair’s monogram.
A dense chocolate Döry torte cake (similar to the traditional Austrian Sacher cake, but with chocolate truffle mousse in lieu of a layer of apricot jam) and strawberry cake with layers of quark (a type of cheese) showcased local flavors. Festive sparklers surrounded this multi-tiered, piped creation by Anika Post of Demel.
The First Dance
The newlyweds selected "The Emperor Waltz" by Johann Strauss II, the traditional opening tune at all royal balls, for its gorgeous melody, but also because of its special meaning. The groom's friend lovingly refers to the couple as the Emperor and Empress.
A Big Bang
The evening concluded with a firework show over the palace's gardens that was choreographed to music.
Photography: Claire Morgan
Wedding Planner: Prime Moments
Flowers: Doll's Flowers
Cake: Anika Post of Demel
Music and dancers: Wiener Residenz Orchestra
Hair and makeup: Alice Retzel