Romance is alive and well my friends! Especially for this couple who met in Austria and travelled all the way to the bride’s home state to create their dream wedding. Yes, it was a dream of the groom as well to be married in California. And that was before he met and fell in love with his bride. And then he met her. See, super romantic, right? Cliff Brunk captured all the seriously drop dead gorgeous images and lucky for you and me, there’s a gallery bursting at the seams.

Don’t miss the fab little film by Burkart Studios:

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From the Bride… Michael and I met in Vienna, Austria in spring 2009. He is a journalist, born in Salzburg, and I am a cellist, born in California and living in Austria since 2003. Very early on in our relationship, far before there was talk of a wedding, Michael confided in me that he would love to get married in California. Villa Montalvo was an easy choice. It had a perfect combination of old-world elegance, beautiful gardens, pleasant South Bay weather, and it was also relatively easy to get to for all of our guests, many of whom came from Europe. It was very important to us to include elements from both of our cultures in our wedding day. Our wedding website, our ceremony programs and our table cards were all in both English and German. Our invitation from Oblation Papers had a romantic ampersand symbol, which we then wove in as a theme throughout the day. We used it on our program, dinner menu and table cards (all of which were DIY, mostly created by Michael, who is great with graphics). Our florist, Nancy Liu Chin, created a giant ampersand out of rose petals on the aisle, and BethAnn Goldberg of Studio Cake made our initials and the ampersand symbol out of tangerine-colored fondant to decorate our cake. Another European touch was our cocktail served at the time of the wedding cake, “Sgroppino,” which is an Italian after-dinner drink comprised of lemon sorbet, prosecco and vodka. We first tasted this drink at a restaurant in Udine and love recreating it at home for a light dessert. The day went by far too fast, but we have thousands of wonderful memories, not to mention the stunning photos from Cliff Brunk and video footage from James Burkart, which we still enjoy watching almost daily! If we could, we would do it all over again every summer!

From the Groom… A wedding in California. Warm sun, happy people, a garden ceremony and dinner under the stars. That is how I, as an Austrian, had always imagined my wedding – long before I met HER. And then I met her. Mara. The love of my life … and a California girl! And my dream of a Californian wedding came true. Naturally, we wanted to incorporate some Austrian touches into our Californian wedding. We were so honored that a few of Mara’s musician friends made the trip from Austria to California. Their performances of “Liebesfreud” by Fritz Kreisler and the “Blue Danube Waltz” by Johann Strauss were just two of the numerous highlights of the day for Mara and me. For our first dance, we chose (what else?) to do a Viennese waltz: the famous “Wiener Blut” by Johann Strauss II. We love food, and we love to dine in special restaurants. For the sit-down dinner, each of our tables was named after one of our favorite places. Mara and I spent many hours together writing short stories recalling our experiences at each of the restaurants. We wrote about our favorite dishes, funny anecdotes from our meals or the people with whom we shared the experiences. Living 6,000 miles away from our wedding venue, we could never have organized all the details without the help from our awesome wedding planner, Elisheva Basseri, of “A Bride’s Best Friend.” She could, without a doubt, also call her company “A Groom’s Best Friend.”

Wedding Photography: Cliff Brunk / Wedding Venue: The Villa at Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, California / Event Design + Planning: Elisheva Basseri of A Bride’s Best Friend / Floral Design: Nancy Liu Chin / Wedding Cinematography: James Burkart of Burkart Studios / Catering: Le Papillon / Wedding Cake: BethAnn Goldberg of Studio Cake / Wedding Invitations: Oblation Papers & Press via Letter Perfect / Music: Octobop / Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Wedding Dress: La Sposa / Bride’s Shoes: Enzo Angiolini / Hair: Sarah Morris of Wedding Hair Perfected / Makeup: Jennifer Gamez of Beauty Mark Ink / Maid of Honor’s Dress: Jenny Yoo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Made by Louise Wardlow with Jenny Yoo Fabric / Men’s Suits: John Barritt

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