Angel and Todd, from the US, met on a dating site before realising they actually were next door neighbors in the city of Los Angeles! A shared love of snowboarding led them to beautiful Austria, and they found everything the were looking for in the town of Kitzbuhel for their destination wedding: an easily accessed location that skiers and non-skiers could enjoy, with plenty of accommodation, restaurants, shops and things to do, a church that could perform the ceremony in English, and of course a beautiful reception venue. Claire Morgan went along to capture their special day.

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HOW THEY MET

Todd and I met on a popular dating website in 2009. It turned out we lived next door to each other. What are the chances of having such luck in a city as large as Los Angeles? On our first date, we walked out of our front doors and met for the first time, then walked to the Indian restaurant on the corner of our street to have dinner. I introduced Todd to snowboarding and we eventually started going on annual trips to Europe to snowboard the Alps, a lifelong dream of mine. One of our favorite places was St. Anton, Austria. On our second trip to St. Anton on the morning after our arrival, Todd invited me to take a walk through the town. I thought it was strange, but it did not occur to me that he had planned to ask for my hand. As we walked, he described how much I meant to him and tears started to fall down his cheeks. I thought “why is he getting so emotional?” Still not catching on to his plan. It was only when he dropped to one knee in front of a gorgeous cathedral in the centre of the town, with the beautiful snowcapped mountains as the backdrop that I realized he was proposing. It was a lovely & perfect proposal & of course I said yes!

CHOOSING THE LOCATION

Todd and I are avid world travelers and passionate adventurers and wanted to incorporate things that we loved into our wedding. We thought Austria was a perfect setting, since it meant so much to us and our relationship. It is our favorite place to snowboard, we love the people, culture and food and we had gotten engaged there. The difficult part was deciding on the town. We had to have a location that everyone could enjoy, whether they were skiing or not. It had to be somewhat easy to get to and have plenty of restaurants, shops & things to do. Most importantly, the town would need a good variety of hotel accommodations, a nice venue for the wedding reception and a Catholic church that could perform the ceremony in English. We were fortunate to find all of these elements in Kitzbuhel, Austria. Our friends and family were able to take full advantage of the opportunity to see more of Europe before and after the wedding. We announced the wedding date and details via an email about nine months prior to the wedding date so that everyone had plenty of time to plan. We sent “Save the Dates” five months before the wedding and invitations went out two months before the big day.

CHALLENGES

Planning a winter wedding during high season at a popular ski resort made it quite challenging to find hotel accommodations for everyone. We used booking.com which has a great fully refundable cancellation policy, to book a variety of rooms in different price ranges. We paid for them ourselves and offered them to friends and family. It worked out well. We ended up using all of them & were paid back by our friends who used the rooms. Another challenge was getting the proper legal documents together & understanding the requirements to get married in another country. We worked with a planner who advised us on what we had to send & when. Internet research was also a huge help. If we could do it again, we would use the coordinator at the hotel instead of an outside planner.

STYLE & THEME

We wanted an elegant winter wedding. We used a color palette that included blue, black, silver & white. We incorporated winter flowers such as blue thistle and silver miller leaves into the bouquets to give them a wintery feel. The bridesmaids were styled with black faux fur shrugs & long black gloves. And of course, the entire backdrop of the wedding was the Austrian Alps.

LOCAL TRADITIONS

We did. We danced an Austrian wedding waltz. We also had a midnight snack, which consisted of a traditional food items such as a roll with meatloaf, Goulash soup, potato soup with sausages, local cheese selection, traditional cold cuts and curry worst. We also had a local Austrian sparkling wine for the cocktail hour.

BEST DECISION & ADVICE

The best decision we made was hiring a great photographer & videographer to capture our most cherished moments. Also, having a photoshoot the day after the wedding in the snow was one of the best decisions we made as well. Our family and friends giving their beautiful speeches at the reception was the most memorable moment for us. Our advice for planning a destination wedding would be to pay the vendors directly. Hire a wedding planner, but don’t trust that person to handle your money. Book hotel rooms and transportation well in advance. Also, book a photoshoot the day after the wedding to have time to capture your destination location. For example, since we were at a ski resort, we did a snowboarding photo shoot on the mountain the day after in our wedding gear with the bridal party. The photos turned out amazing and it’s not something you can have time to do on the wedding day.

Photography: Claire Morgan | Ceremony Venue: St. Andreas Parish Church, Kitzbuhel | Videographer:  Hochzeitsmovie | Reception Venue & Catering: A-Rosa Resort | Florist: Flower Sensation | Stationery: Aardvark Letterpress | Bride’s Dress: Inbal Dror from Panache Bridal | Bridesmaid Dresses: Shareen
Vintage & Ralph Lauren | Groom’s Tux: Hugo Boss | Groomsmen’s Tuxes: Men’s Warehouse Rentals
Black by Vera Wang | Shoes: Agnes Pump by Jimmy Choo | Bride’s Jewelry: Erica Koesler | Day After Wedding Snow Shoot: Helga Schaefer Photography | Wedding Celebrant: Father Michael

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