Well, this is my dream. It’s basically winter wedding perfection. The perfect amount of snow fall? Check. A day filled with love? Check. A seriously stylish couple? Check. A dreamy Austrian setting? Check, check and check. Add in horse drawn sleighs, a dreamy barn wedding, and these images from Birgit Hart Fotografie and film by Sequence Five and I’ve just set a new level for winter wedding goals. See even more in the VAULT.
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From Birgit Hart Fotografie…Miri & Christian had the most stunning winter wedding I have ever seen. The couple from New York City chose Miri’s home town for their wedding: Seefeld in Austria. It couldn’t have been more romantic, everything covered in snow, horse carriages, an old barn in the woods…Miri wore a breathtaking gown by Marchesa and red lipstick. Christian a suit by Saint Laurent Paris. And the first look was during a snow blizzard on top of a hill!
Christian designed the wedding stationery and they put so much work in their individual invitations and place cards: They took tons of photo booth pictures holding signs with the name of each guest!
After the ceremony a whole bunch of horse carriages was waiting outside to bring the wedding party to the dinner location. A barn in the woods. An Austrian band played traditional music and then the couples favorite DJ from NYC got everyone on the dancefloor until morning hours. A perfect wedding!
From the Bride… Miri and I met eight years ago in Barcelona, lived in New York for the last several years and after our wedding then honeymoon in South Africa and some time off, we moved to London where we now reside. Traveling is a deep passion we have in common so when it came time to think of a location for our wedding we were torn. I grew up near the beach in Southern California which is a very beautiful part of the world but in the end we thought that a winter wedding near Miri’s home would be the most magical experience for our wedding and our guests.
Miri grew up very close to Seefeld, a down-to-earth town that is full of gracious people, delicious cuisine, excellent spas, incredible skiing and all in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, the Austrian Alps. We spend our holidays in this winter wonderland each year and decided it would be the best location if we were going to have a destination wedding. We wanted to share this special place with those we love most. Given that we had many people traveling from around the world we wanted to make sure that everything was as easy and enjoyable as possible. The time put in to organizing was satisfying when 120 guests (95% of invites) found their way to Seefeld from California, New York, Australia, Asia and all throughout Europe.
As I am a creative director in design and Miri is a creative strategist, planning such an event came second nature to us but not without the help of Miri’s family who live near Seefeld. Miri and I started with very articulate mood boards of what we wanted to create and then art directed and designed everything from the invites, the website and the decorations. It was a lot to juggle with everything else including our jobs and moving our lives from New York to London but with a lot of team effort and organization we made it through relatively unscathed.
We loved the idea of a formal black tie wedding within a cozy, wooden and warm environment. Our wedding was held in the Hotel Klosterbräu, a former 16th-century monastery. Our ceremony was spoken in both English and German as were our vows to one another, Miri spoke in English and I in German. Miri’s sister and my brother read excerpts from The Alchemist, a significant book in how we met. Miri wore the most beautiful Marchesa dress and I wore a Saint Laurent tux. The formal attire made the occasion feel even more magical as people were whisked away by sixteen horse drawn carriages from the ceremony that took place in a century-old hotel in the middle of town. Everyone drank from our customized schnapps bottles as they moved through the forest to where our reception was held in The Triendlsäge, a wonderfully preserved 150-year-old sawmill owned by family friends.
Miri’s step father is kind of like the unofficial mayor of the town and many people went out of their way to make our wedding day a wonderful experience. We love music (and dancing) and so he arranged for a local traditional Tirolean “orchestra” to play for us when our horse carriage arrived. We didn’t know that he had it planned and so when we arrived it felt like we had entered Narnia. There were log fires and Glühwein (hot mulled wine) while everyone socialized and enjoyed the music. Afterwards our guests moved into the sawmill and found their seats. The place setting photos were held by gold safari animals as Miri and I would later head to South Africa for our honeymoon on a two week safari. Each seat had a customized photo booth photo that Miri and I made. We spent six hours in the photobooth to create the custom invites and place settings. That was a real test :) Our cake topper was also customized for the occasion.
During speeches and dinner we had a traditional Tyrolean band play both classic Austrian songs and more contemporary pop staples. We had also flown in a friend from New York who is a DJ and who we had thrown parties with in Brooklyn. It was crucial to have consistently good music and a full dance floor for the party to go well into the morning. We wanted to end our special day dancing with all the people we love most in the world. The songs were back-to-back jams and we danced until 4 in the morning. It couldn’t have been more perfect way to end such a magical day.
We knew it was a success by the amount of people who kept telling us how much love they felt through the entire long weekend but especially on the day of our wedding. We both wish we could relive that day over and over.
Our photographer Birgit Hart delivered everything we had hoped for and more. She was hardly even noticed by guests but somehow she captured the most intimate moments of the day. We didn’t want traditionally posed photos but instead we desired them to be very candid and natural and therefore authentic. Birgit is an incredible photographer with an amazing eye as well as instinct. We also absolutely loved the fact that she shot all the daytime photos on film, something many wouldn’t dream of doing these days. She believes, as do we that film has more texture and soul to it than digital. That said, due to the low light of the evening she switched to digital and captured an immense amount of awesome moments on the dance floor for which we are eternally grateful. On top of all this she is lovely and kind and patient. We couldn’t of asked for more.
We’re so happy (and proud) that we had arranged for videographers to capture everything. We not only have a beautifully preserved film capturing the day but we also have hours of raw footage. In retrospect it was a very small price to pay for the time capsule that we have already watched a hundred times since receiving. Our videographers Jakob and Ben from Sequence Five in Vienna did the most incredible job and are such kind and patient souls. They have such good eyes and instinct for where people will be and are extremely quick on the draw. They then edited all the footage and chose the music based on our interests to create two edits (both highlight and a longer 20 minute version) that we are in love with. We couldn’t recommend them enough.
Photography: Birgit Hart | Cinematography: Sequence Five | Coordination: Creativ Hochzeit | Floral Design: Blumen Hajny | Wedding Dress: James Galanos | Stationery: Christian Cervantes | Bride's Shoes: Sophia Webster | DJ: John McSwain | Band: Inntaler Alpengaudi | Groom's Attire: Tribut Ives Saint Laurent | Venue: Triendlsäge | Film Processing: Carmencita Film Lab | Location: Hotel Klosterbräu | Photography - Assistance: Vanessa Ernst