Courtney and Gernot’s internation romance snuck up on them. They first met when Courtney taught English in Austria, then maintained a long-distance friendship as their travels took them across the globe. Finally, Gernot moved to New York City to stay with her for one month…that turned into six…ending with Courtney moving to Austria as their love blossomed.
Courtney walked on her mother’s arm for the ceremony, regal and elegant in her gown and lace bolero as they made their way to the arbor. The Reverend Allan Ross asked us to look around and take in the beautiful surroundings: the green fields, trees and hills in the distance, the tall grass under the setting sun. I breathed deep, watching guests from Michigan, Austria and the Hudson Valley appreciating in that moment why the couple had chosen to have their wedding here.
CEREMONY READING: I loved this reading, “Because” by Steven Reiser, emphasizing the balance that similarities and differences lend to the strength of a marriage.
THE DETAILS: The bridesmaids wore lavendar dresses with dark purple sashes and carried white cala lillies; Courtney’s bouquet was black magic calla lilies with white accents. Instead of signing a guest book, guests etched their signatures into the metal frame around the photo of Courtney and Gernot.
Courtney and Gernot were introduced to an instrumental version of Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida,” and danced to “It Had To Be You” by Harry Connick Jr, their bridal party lined up on either side swaying back and forth in time to the music.
The newlyweds incorporated an Austrian wedding tradition into their wedding reception, the Groom Sweep. A European twist on the dollar dance, the bride sits on a chair in the center of the dance floor while guests toss change around her. Her new husband must use a broom to sweep up the change and deposit it into her lap.
Gernot scrambled to collect the coins scattered on the floor until he was quite out of breath. “Have him put the change in his pockets,” one of Gernot’s groomsmen whispered to me. Once Gernot stuffed the coins into his jacket pockets, his Austrian buddies flipped him upside down, shaking the change onto the floor.
There was love, laughter, a blend of new traditions and old at Courtney and Gernot’s wedding. Beautiful!
Photos by Myles Studio *All photos in this blog courtesy of Myles Pinkney.