Reini and I had been planning up a storm and it truly paid off! The ladies and I started the day (September 9) at the Chaos hair salon. We had fun getting our make up and hair done together, and even got to sip some champagne! They did an awesome job on us, making us look like a bridal party! Once glam, we went over to our hotel at the base of the castle, the Auracher Löchl Träumerei. Let me tell you, this hotel was really cool! Each room had a special theme. Reinhard and I stayed in the Las Vegas room. My brother said his room had a Transylvanian/Dracula theme. Kate loved her Hawaiian destination room. It was all great fun. And they have an amazing breakfast which everyone loved even in their hungover state the next morning. I have some friends in the area that say they want to go back to Kufstein for a weekend stay just to check out a different themed room in the hotel!
On our way over to the hotel we picked up a party pretzel to munch upon. The men (not allowed to see the bride, of course) were given some pretzel sandwich pieces which they had to eat in their own room. The bridal party got dressed and then went to the castle! We turned quite a few heads as we marched through the Kufstein Old Town and up to the Festung lift. I found the photographer (the amazing Christina Ehammer – all the good photos on this post are her’s) and ran off with her, Kate, and my dad to take a few pre-ceremony glamor shots. I was maybe 5 minutes late getting to the ceremony site and they sent the Festung manager out to find me. Apparently they were afraid I had changed my mind and ran away! Nope – just having some “me time”!
Then we got to the ceremony. Wedding ceremonies are definitely different from what Americans are used to. We have a rehearsal so everyone knows exactly how to march in and where to stand. Not with this one. Reini assured me that it would all work itself out… So I did my grand entrance but my family stood there like deer in the headlights, not taking the seats in the front row saved for them but standing in the back. Oh well! The ceremony was really beautiful. Sister Kathrin and good friend Teresa beautifully played our entrance song, ‘Let It Be’, on the guitar and flute. Then Kathrin got up to the front and did all the English translations with the Kufstein city representative. She did a great job, for sure. Reinhard (guitar) and Suzanne (voice) performed ‘A Thousand Years’, leaving nearly everyone (especially me) in tears. It was such a sweet moment! We eventually got the rings on each other and sealed the deal with a kiss. A little brass ensemble played our closing song.
Then we greeted all our guests before they headed out to the courtyard for cocktails and we went to take some more pictures. The cocktail hour was a ton of fun. One of Reinhard’s music ensembles played for us. Reini even played with them for a bit! Beer and flavored champagne were served and people got to sit under the big trees in the middle of the castle.
It seemed like people were so happy sitting in the courtyard visiting one another that they didn’t want to move over to the dinner reception site! But eventually we got everyone to go up into the Kaiserturm and find their tables, labeled with countries that Reini and I have visited together. The room was so beautiful. Reinhard’s good friend and fellow band member Maria was our florist and chief decorator. She and I had fun shopping for ribbon and picking out flowers, but I had no idea how beautiful it would all turn out. Two words: cannon flowers. SHE DECORATED THE ANCIENT CANNONS WITH FLOWERS. Oh I was in love!! Dinner was so delicious. We had beef filets and fish as main courses. The dessert selection was wild. We had friends and family bake cakes for us! So we had tiramisu, Sachertorte, apple cupcakes, and a gorgeous vegan cake. My good friend Selina is a vegan and offered to make a cake for us right away. I had no idea that it was going to be so extravagant! She made it three tiers and crafted edible roses too. Wow!
After dinner we headed down to the first floor of the castle where we had our ceremony. Music was very important to Reinhard so we splurged for a live band, Impressed, for the end of the reception. They were great fun! They played a waltz for our first song and then played a couple traditional dancing songs before moving to modern hits. My friends commented on how great the castle staff was. At the reception bar, the workers kept our friends’ wine and beer glasses full! We had to have a midnight snack, but we chose a less traditional Weisswurst (white sausage) with Semmelbrot. We had a makeshift photo booth in the corner (made from my iPad and a tripod). We had so much fun looking at the silly photos that people took! Young and old got into it!
All in all, the wedding was awesome, coming to an end at 3am. I’m so thankful that we had so much help to put on a great event. All the musicians, bakers, and decorators truly made it special!