If you want to tie the knot, there is lots to plan for – not least Austria’s stilted bureaucracy
Vienna is a dazzling backdrop to any love story. With magnificent ambiance guiding star-crossed lovers through streets of relaxed grandeur, its epic historical scenery can melt hearts with ease. Between luscious stolen glances above a steaming mélange or endless echoing strolls on ancient cobblestones, Vienna is an expert secret keeper. If Cupid in Lederhosen has struck you with a fatal shot to the heart, it may be time for those wedding bells. Here is a guide to a seamless, low stress and utterly magical wedding day.
Twelve months to go and you are already overwhelmed. The first step might be to consider hiring an experienced wedding planner. Most expats have destination weddings, with guests flying in from all over the world in need of accommodation and entertainment. The planners at A Very Beloved Wedding (AVBW) offer a wide range of services to create a personalized and unique experience for every guest. With staff fluent in eight languages, a secret recipe for channeling the essence of the couple, and an award from Elle magazine, AVBW can help you relax knowing that the magic is happening behind the scenes.
Setting a date is where your story begins. Although springtime and summer are the most popular, you may find yourself imagining a white winter wedding, an ode to coziness on a snowy vista. The location is an important decision; do you opt for the palatial vibe of the Garden Palace Liechtenstein, or the spacious elegance of vineyard nuptials at Cobenzl? Civil servants (Standesbeamter) perform ceremonies at the Registry Office (Standesamt) and at a limited number of other locations. You have to ask. At this time, be informed about necessary legal paperwork as you may be asked to source materials from unexpected places.
The bureaucracy of marriage in Austria can prove tricky to navigate for expats, so prepare yourself for the joy of paperwork acquisition from your country of origin, costly translations, and more stamps than you care to think of. You may be required to have all your documents notarized by an Austrian authority as well get an Apostille from your home country required for international recognition of all official documents, which is an added expense on par with the delight of choosing flower arrangements. When the Standesbeamter throws a corpulent book of law at you from your country of origin, you will have a glimpse at your name change options – for example, not every American state allows a husband to take the wife’s name. Your planner should be well versed in the language of love and paper and can surely aid you in finding the necessary resources. For the DIY’s check out our links in the sidebar to start.
Next comes the budget. It’s not a secret that wedding receptions can be expensive, with the typical expat couple shelling out €60,000, while homegrown Austrian love-birds spend closer to €25,000. A wedding planner will be paid a percentage of your overall budget, typically 10-20, differing between agencies and services provided.
The next step is to hone your concept. AVBW has a workshop to help capture the essence of the couple. This creative process delivers the concept, the aesthetics and the flow of the event. If you are a DIY couple, use this time to consider what each of you really wants out of the day, what styles speak to you, and where your preferences lie. Peruse Pinterest, attend wedding conventions, read magazines, and develop a concept that reflects who you really are as a couple; your guests are sure to respond.
Once your concept has been created, it is time to dig into the details. Ten months in, it’s time to start pinning it all down! Will your ceremony be religious, civil, or both (only civil ones are legally valid in Austria)? Will you have a DJ or a live band? Will you serve a sit-down dinner or have an expansive buffet? What will you be wearing? Steinecker and Flossmann are great resources for couples searching for the perfect game day outfit. And select a caterer. Motto caterers do an impeccable job on taste and presentation. But there are others, and many venues supply their own. Then plan the decor, often the domain of your planner if you have one. If you are a free agent in paper and pom-poms, check out the website www.weddingavenue.at for fanciful examples of wedding decor finery.
Go with the Flow
After you’ve got the nitty-gritty hashed out and have set the basics of your day, you can start planning the flow of the event, deciding on the details of the ceremony, adding any traditions you would like to include. Whether it is a Catholic communion or an Austrian bride stealing interlude, play with different ideas. Six months in, file your paperwork, start drafting invitations, and order your wedding rings. Two months in, send out invitations, and have makeup and hair trial runs.
The weeks before the big day are reserved for tying up all loose ends; this is also the time to start writing your vows.
On the big day try to relax; be in the moment, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Although something can always go wrong, it’s best to counter mishaps with humor. Your wedding planner will be busy behind the scenes so you don’t have to be, and if you’ve hired the right one, they will be sure to have planned in some surprises. If not, designate a stress resistant, trusted friend to coordinate deliveries, communicate with vendors and oversee the day with a detailed plan in hand.
After all, it’s a celebration of love, with friends, family, and fairy dust.
Planning for the Big Day
For decorations and flowers visit Lederleitner’s expansive Roman Market Hall located in the cellar of the Vienna Stock Exchange building. Here you can find experts who will assist you in finding the perfect arrangements for your big day.
For a contemporary twist, visit Blumenkraft for avant-garde floral arrangements at this modern florist, perfect for the sleek and stylish.
For a sweet spin on your wedding cake, check out Cupcakes Wien. Their delicious assortment of cakes include vegan options, and you won’t have the hassle of cutting every slice!
Inject some Austrian history into your wedding with the high court bakers, Gerstner. They create magnificent cakes sure to please the eye and taste buds.
These printers work together with many Austrian artists and are friendly, professional and fast. Schedule an appointment to view their paper styles for your wedding invitations.
Nominated among the Top 12 Best Wedding Planners Worldwide and Top 3 in Europe by Elle International Bridal Awards 2017, A Very Beloved Wedding creates unique, meaningful and timeless once in a lifetime experiences through event planning, consulting and design. They are the only destination wedding specialists in Austria. They also offer couple photo shoot production, floral design and curated rentals.