Miriam and Vinzenz met when Miriam went interailing around Europe with her friend Rosie in the summer of 2014. 'Vinzenz is Austrian and I have a friend who had been to Vienna and knew some people there. Se we made it one of the cities we visited. We arranged to spend some time with the family that my friend knew and when someone had to come and meet us, they sent Vinzenz.'
'We made most things ourselves and the ideas came from a few places. We wanted to make things ourselves because then everything is really unique, and can be exactly what you want it to be, rather than someone else's interpretation of your idea. Mostly ideas came from the season. It was a winter wedding and I wanted to create a warm, colourful atmosphere. The wedding had a rainbow colour-scheme, and this was just because I really love rainbow colours; if it's colourful, it's very me. So instead of numbering tables and stuff like that, we colour-coded them, and it was great.'
'Etsy is an amazing place for odd things, and for getting goods tailored to your specifications. Pinterest was a great place to refine vague ideas that we had by searching for similar things and seeing what other people had made. Also, if you have an idea, and you're not sure about it, just try it out and see! This is best way to find out whether or not it will work, or was a good idea. Lots of people helped us, but really the bulk of the work was done by my mum and my sister, Esther. Without them hardly any of the things would have gotten made.'
'We went for paper flowers because a) flowers are expensive all year round, but particularly in winter, b) they can be kept forever without the worry that they're going to go mouldy, or can super-easily be recycled, and c) then you can have a bouquet that has whichever flowers you want, in any colour you can think of! We didn't know initially whether or not it would be difficult to make the flowers, but actually, the bouquets were surprisingly easy, and didn't take up as much time as we thought they would to make (and making them was fun).'
'My wonderful aunt, Janet, made my dress. We decided what it would look like by looking for pictures of other wedding dresses that I really liked, and hunting for dress patterns that were the same style or shape. But we actually couldn't find a pattern for the type of dress that I wanted and poor Janet had to work most of it out without a pattern! But she did an amazing job (even if she was very stressed).'
'I went very old-school and asked my aunt to make a long, midnight blue cloak for me to wear over my dress, with a widows peak hood. This isn't very traditional, but it was really cold that day and I was very glad of my cloak!' 'The bridesmaids dresses were also all home made. I went out pattern hunting with one of the Maids of Honour and one other bridesmaid, we found patterns that we thought would suit everyone, and then asked all the bridesmaids to vote for their favourite. We then bought the same fabric in several different colours and distributed it and the patterns to the bridesmaids. The pattern proclaimed itself to be easy, but it really wasn't. Every single bridesmaid had problems with making their dresses and both my dress and their dresses were still being finished the night before the wedding! The process was, to be totally honest, quite stressful. But the bridesmaids all looked great on the day!'
They got married in England because they had decided they'd live in Vienna. 'It didn't seem fair to always make the English do the travelling! And it's traditional to be married in the parish of the bride, so double reason! Wedding planning from Austria wasn't as stressful as we thought it would be - most of the work and really important things had been done/organised before I moved over to Vienna in August so really it was just a matter of keeping an eye on things, answering questions and emails and chasing up guests who hadn't RSVP'd!' 'I know that's it's not really traditional to come down the aisle to religious music anymore, but we went for movie music - we took Aslan's Theme from the old BBC Narnia movies and performed it live as a trio played on Horn, Flute and Clarinet, and it sounded awesome. Because Vinzenz is Austrian the wedding was a little mixed culturally.' 'Vinzenz here! During the mass I hardly noticed Maria taking photographs, which was great, because I didn't want to be distracted from the actual mass. Afterwards when we took the formal group photos, they were as efficient and enjoyable as they could have been, and at the reception it was like Maria was just a regular wedding guest, even though she took lots of photos.'
'Traditionally Austrian weddings have games and things organized for the reception, and our Austrian guests performed a silly sketch for us about Vinzenz when he was a child, and how we met and got engaged, and played a fun game where the guests form lines that rotate and the bride has to run away from the groom for as long as possible. Likewise, because he's Austrian, we had a Waltz as our first dance.' 'Our tips for people getting married would be; don't get married at Christmas- everyone will be double stressed because of holiday preparations and the house will be crawling with people! Making stuff yourself is more personally time-consuming, but, it's also a lot cheaper than paying someone else to make stuff, with the added bonus that you end up with mad origami skills. Wedding preparation is stressful (which everyone knows) but it's really important to always take time out to just spend time with your other half - doesn't matter what you're doing, just take half an hour or an hour and go for a walk, get coffee, watch a film, whatever, but don't talk about the wedding (which is very difficult).
We'd especially like to thank Janet (the dressmaker), Andy, Clare, Judith, Phoebe & Rhys (the musicians), Esther, Rosie, Frankie, Ellie, Eleanor, Charlotte, Rebekah & Benjamin (maids of honour, bridesmaids and ring bearer, Father Timothy (who organised the church wedding), Ednea (cake and sweets table creator), Babs (who made one of the cakes), Ola (who did Miriam's hair) and Bridget, Neil and Gerhard (our parents).'
Massive thank you to Miriam and Vinzenz for sharing your thoughts on your wedding day. It was such a beautiful day and I really enjoyed photographing it. - Maria.