Alice & Dom’s wedding at Berggasthaus Grander Schupf was one of my favourite weddings of 2018. These two were an absolute ball to spend the day with and I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much in one day. Even looking back over the pictures as I put together this blog post, I can’t help but smile. You’ll see what I mean when you look at the pictures too. I think these two definitely win the award for the happiest couple of 2018!
Dom and I met when we were teenagers working behind the bar in our local pub, The Red Lion, in Alvechurch. We were friends for years and despite spending the next decade in different countries we kept in touch and started dating seriously in 2013 (just before I left to travel around Brazil for 3 months!) In Autumn 2014 I moved to St Johann in Austria to live with Dom. A beautiful town where we spent 4 happy years skiing, hiking and living the good life in the mountains. In 2016 our little boy, Alfred was born and life got even better, and louder.
Dom proposed to me on my 32nd Birthday. He popped the question thoughtfully, privately and so sweetly just after we woke up and I said yes. I was absolutely delighted after giving up all hope of a proposal several years previously. We had holidayed in Venice a couple of months earlier and i had seen a beautiful glass necklace in Burano that I loved but couldn’t afford, Dom remembered the place, ordered the necklace and gave it to me with a small polaroid of our son, Alf, holding a sign saying “Will you marry Daddy?”. It would later be referred to as ‘shameless use of a child to elicit a positive response’. This is also a fair assessment of what happened.
The night before our wedding my sister gave me a gift from Dom to open before our wedding day. In front of my Mum and my lovely bridesmaids i opened the gift, a small box, to find, Nothing. It was a beautifully gift wrapped, empty box. Dom enjoys a joke so I wondered if i was missing something, should I call him? Would it be weird to call the man you love the night before your wedding and ask why you didn’t get a present? It seemed slightly bratty. Fortunately my phone rang anyway shortly afterwards, it was Dom thanking me for my (beautifully gift wrapped and visible) gift, “did you like yours?”… It turns out Dom had bought me an incredibly thoughtful gift, two earrings – one the chemical symbol for love and the other the chemical symbol for dreams (I’m a geek). He’d had to buy a pair of both and had put one of each together to make my gift, he did that. Then gift wrapped and sent the empty one. SO CLOSE.
Can I have two?! Our florist made a tiny boutonnière for our little boy, Alfred to wear on the day. My Mum quietly gave me a sixpence to wear in my shoe a few minutes before we left for the venue, traditionally a gift from the brides father. Incredibly thoughtful as my Dad had passed away and couldn’t be there with us.
Our celebrant, Elisabeth, was an absolute hoot. She referred to us as ‘Alex and Don’ several times accidentally and generally made us and everyone laugh throughout the ceremony, we loved her. Our son, Alf, released a helium balloon into the sky within 2 minutes of arriving at the venue. It was one of the ‘key’ balloons lining the aisle, absolutely no one noticed it had gone, including me.
I went to one wedding shop to try on dresses and hated it. I fled, I thought i would love the experience as I love clothes so much and feel i have a strong style but the reality was a disappointment. My friend Emily helped me by sending me links to some designs she felt were more “me” online, she was brilliant. My dress was actually marketed as a bridesmaids dress, its from a British brand called Needle & Thread. I ordered the dress online and tried it on in my living room, I then took it to a tailor in the village where i grew up in Alvechurch, her name was Danielle and her company is Foster & Bloom, she took the dress up (about a foot!), upgraded the ribbon, padding and straps as well as adding some thoughtful details to make it my wedding dress. She was wonderful. I really wanted a slightly unusual dress, i thought dove grey was a gentler colour for the relaxed vibe and setting we had in mind. Albeit with a bit of sparkle still.
The Grander Schupf was always our favourite. It was the 1st mountain hut Dom took me too when I visited him in St Johann so it has some sentimental value for us, its a beautiful venue outside and inside in any weather, and we could have it to ourselves. NB: The real reason is because they have an indoor slide to the bathroom, and you cant argue with that for entertainment. We wanted an authentic and relaxed mountain wedding, we wanted foremost for the details to be about us and our story and for all our guests to feel comfortable and happy.
Our friend Cara made the cake for us as a wedding present. It was AMAZING. I used paint and water to fill jars of honey in bright colours to weigh down the large helium balloons. I also wrote the blackboards and seating plans. My husband and I homemade all the frames for the blackboards. We run a small business called Walks with Alf, making woodwork projects such a personalised frames and photo prints, so we wanted to incorporate this in our day. All the wedding favours were homemade lavender candles decorated with each guests name and a mountainscape, my friends in Austria helped me make these before the big day. Each table had a wooden spoon which I hand-painted with their table number, this is a little throwback to the pub where Dom and I met as bar staff all those years ago. We love a wooden spoon.
I found our florist on Etsy, they are based in Suffolk. Florence & Flowers. Our photographer was the result of an incredibly successful google search and a lot of luck. My wedding shoes were a 10 pound eBay bargain. The necklace i wore on the day was a Sagittarius necklace, the star sign for our little boy, Alf. Dom’s idea. The bracelet was a gift from my Mother in Law, Ann. The earrings ‘dream’ and ‘love’ Dom found on Etsy. The cake came from our friend, Cara Saunders.
Listen to each other and be happy to compromise where you can. You both need to be happy and feel yourselves to have the best day, its about who you are and that you love each other. Tell your story not anyone elses, pick your details to celebrate and try not to waste time or money on the other stuff. The flowers wilt and the balloons burst but your memories will last forever. Oh, and also, it REALLY doesn’t matter if it rains. Dance in the drizzle.
The dried flowers were an absolute win, cheaper, gorgeous, smelt amazing and still sat in my bedroom today, as good as they were that day. Not overspending on decorating a venue which was already so beautiful was wise I think. I’m really glad that we budgeted well and made a day to remember for us and our guests that hasn’t crippled us financially. Where we did spend money, and where I would advise spending money, was getting an incredible photographer and an amazing venue filled to the brim with great food, generous drinks and laughter.