We are going to kick off the launch of our destination wedding blog with a bang or, rather, a pouf! The star of this ethereal Slovakia wedding by Jan Cechovsky and Brano Herchl has got to be the custom pouf designed for the bride by Jin Wang. The fashionista and her dashing groom invited a handful of their closest friends to travel with them to her homeland of Slovakia to witness their vows in a 13th century castle. They threw tradition out the window and hosted a bash that was completely them through and through. Mosey on over to the full gallery to see more from this couture couple.
This is a semi-DIY destination wedding that I planned online and via the phone from San Francisco. Extremely unorthodox. No wedding bouquet, no music band, no dancing (except for the first dance). I required everyone to wear hats and head pieces, which made some of my guests quite unhappy at first.
Both the groom + I are software engineers in Silicon Valley. But unlike most people in the geek world that we live in, we love fashion. We met at Google, where we both worked (and I still do), and have been together since. We live in San Francisco, but I wanted to have my wedding back in my homeland (Slovakia). We had about 10 Americans fly over to EU for this (and a crazy trip to Amsterdam that made it worth the travel). We had 35 guests total. I am a photographer myself, and made sure to select two best photographers Slovakia has to offer. Fluffy (my shih-tzu) also travelled all the way from San Francisco to join us and to carry the rings.
[My] wedding dress was grayish/greenish/beige, made of layers and shreds of tulle. Jin Wang from San Francisco Union Square made only three such dresses, but I was the only bride who had a matching custom head pouf. The pouf was a big deal for me since I'm not a fan of veils. I was going for a pure couture look too. I bought more of the odd gray/green/beige tulle and made boutonnieres for every guest, including the groom. The color theme was "gray, cream, and champagne gold". Groom wore colorful paisley hat and tie.
The weather was perfect, big storm during the drive to the castle, and foggy skies during the shoot. Who will notice the goosebumps on my skin, right? As a photographer myself, I could not ask for a better lighting conditions.
The out-of-town guests had no idea what they were in for (in spite of me telling them to be ready for major hike). They had to climb the steep road to the castle, and after the ceremony (during my shoot), they attended an 1.5 hr long guided tour in English. One of the photos shows me and Brad at the back of a bus...where everyone rested after a physically exhausting first part of the day. Before entering the reception, the groom has to sweep broken porcelain plate, while the groomsmen are kicking the chips away from him. (see the photo where the groom is sweeping). It is a Slovak tradition that challenges the couple to show how they work together to deal with unfortune. Once the groom sweeps (with the help of the bride), the party goes inside. One of the photos that I uploaded shows a live folk band that came in as a surprise (from my dad). The wedding cake was a disaster. I had never a chance to see it or taste it before my wedding day. Since I planned it long-distance, I could only describe the cake via email. I sent a photo of an example silver/gold cake to the reception venue, but it seems the pastry chef might have thought that the silver was really blue. When we walked into the reception room, a blue cake was standing in front of us. One of the photos shows a groom laughing at something high up on the wall. I made a 20 minute video of him as a child and gave him this surprise. The room was crying when they watched it, because Brad was not the most behaved kid. He even mooned the camera at some point!
Wedding Dress + Pouf: Jin Wang San Francisco / Groom's outfit: John Varvatos / Wedding Photographers: Jan Cechovsky + Brano Herchl / Make-up: the bride did it herself after taking make-up class by "Makeup By Stacy McClure" in San Francicso / Hair: Femme Fatale, Zilina Slovakia / Wedding Coordination, invitations + design: Petra Cross / Ceremony venue: Orava Castle / Reception venue: Villa Necas (a wine cellar in 18th century salt storage mansion turned into modern bed and breakfast)