Exactly one week after our Austrian castle wedding, Reinhard and I got doubly married in my hometown church, Faith Lutheran Marietta. My mom was totally key in planning this event. Thankfully she already knew exactly who she wanted all the vendors to be. The photographer had done all the family portraits for church members forever. The caterer has done all the church functions. And even the florist does the flowers for the church sanctuary every Sunday. And of course we knew the officiant would be Pastor Carl. I loved getting to Skype with my mom during the weeks before the wedding because she always had something new to show me that she had done for the wedding.
We had family come from all over – some flew from New York, drove in from Virginia and North Carolina, and even took a motorhome journey from Arizona. Not to mention Reini’s sister and boyfriend flew from Austria for extra support. We were sure happy to have all the extra hands with this event, too. We had the professional florist make all the altar pieces, bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres, but we wanted to cut a couple costs and do our own table centerpieces from Sam’s flowers. There was a hurricane over Miami that Monday and our flowers were late. After an hour on the phone, my mom was told that the flowers weren’t going to be there until the Saturday if we were lucky and the following Monday if we were unlucky. We were sad, but researched alternative means of getting some flowers. But like a little miracle, the FedEx man showed up with our flowers on Friday morning! My mom and aunt ran out to greet him with breakfast treats and hugs! Oh that was one happy FedEx man! And those flowers turned out awesome. We got gigantic white hydrangeas and garden roses in various pink hues.
Part of the crew and I went to the church on Friday just after lunch time to start setting up. It definitely took a while to make the church cafeteria look nice (the castle didn’t take much effort), but we were very satisfied with the result. However, we didn’t have much time at all left to get beautified before our rehearsal dinner. We all changed in the school locker rooms (no time for hair fluffing), had a quick ceremony rehearsal, and then drove over to Ray’s on the River. This place is fantastic. They had an amazing menu to please both fish and meat lovers. The location is really beautiful too – we had a private room with direct access down to their Chattahoochee River garden area. We all loved their drinks and service. I highly recommend them for such an event.
The next day was the big day (part II). I felt relatively stress free. We had our regular hair dresser come over to do our do’s in the church youth room. Suz and I popped over to Zaxby’s for a little lunch treat while the guys (plus Kathrin) went over to a sports bar to watch a football game.
Everyone came back in time to get dressed up (yes, I got to wear the same dress for both weddings!) all pretty and head down the aisle! Our organist learned the Sound of Music wedding march just for me and it was perfect. Pastor Carl did a great job – short and sweet. My godfather did a reading for us. I could hear my grandma crying in the front row behind us. And my daddy seemed very proud.
We took some family pictures after the ceremony then met everyone in our reception space. My dad gave a sweet toast and people cheersed to us! People seemed to enjoy all the specialty beer my dad had collected from various places (including Red Oak from my university town – Elon). I got my dream wedding cake for this wedding – from Publix! The bottom layer was chocolate cake with a raspberry filling and the middle one (for Reinhard) was vanilla and strawberry with a strawberry and whipped cream filling. It was all coated in delicious buttercream. And I got to have my parents’ cake topper on my cake too!! Ahh it was a dream!
I really enjoyed getting to visit with all the people at the wedding. Since moving to Austria, I can’t see my friends, family, and neighbors nearly as much as I would like – so it was really wonderful having all of them in one place! Our American wedding was definitely different from the Austrian one but I know my family and neighbors were very happy to be able to celebrate with us too.