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Laura Hunt

A Wedding with Heart - A Weekend Celebration in Bavaria

Johanna Kaestner
Photography: Guests

Note: Please click on pictures!

Click picture to enlarge!In May 2003 we received an invitation to our niece's wedding; it was a small booklet and looked like a brochure for a seminar describing the wedding weekend in stilted legal language. No wonder: bride and groom work in the  juridical system. It took us quite some time until we figured out the details. Another information folder awaited us in the hotel, containing the weekend itinerary and maps.

Bettina and Alexander envisioned their wedding as a fun celebration together with their family and friends, a celebration in which heart and joy played the major part. Bettina's immediate family literally lives all over the world, but almost all the relatives were able to come, meet the groom, and enjoy the festive, yet relaxed atmosphere.

The couple picked the conference hotel Aurachhof in Fischbachau, which they knew from other meetings. The quiet, lovely hotel has an extremely friendly and capable director, accommodating staff, and offers delicious, creative food.

The Wedding Weekend:

Saturday 3:00 p.m.

The guests and the groom gathered in the courtyard of the old cloister, now the city hall of Fischbachau. The bride and her parents arrived in a typical Bavarian carriage.
The civil wedding ceremony took place in the beautiful former cloister's refectorium. The music was provided by Alexander's sister and her classical trio.

A champagne reception immediately followed the ceremony. As a memento each guest received a champagne glass engraved with Bettina's and Alexander's names and their wedding date. The couple and the witnesses returned with the carriage to the hotel.

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Late Afternoon:

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Coffee and cake were served in Aurachhof's garden while Bettina and Alexander introduced their families and friends.

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When time came to return inside, a large, framed canvas with a big red heart   barred the entrance. Scissors were provided and the newly weds were asked to cut out the heart.

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Finally Alexander could carry Bettina through the opening into the hotel.


Click picture to enlarge!

Click picture to enlarge!

Aperitifs were served outside, followed by a multi-course dinner in the festive reception hall of the hotel. A collage with photos of the guests made it easy to find the right table. Each course was so plentiful, that the breaks for speeches and customized songs from Bettina's uncles and friends were very welcome. Then a friend presented a cookbook with recipes he had collected from most of the guests. (Several recipes from "Cooking for Couples" were included.)

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The first dance was a Viennese Waltz; Alexander and Bettina danced so beautifully that it was a joy to watch them.

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The last events of the day were the cake cutting and a slide show of Alexander's life presented by his mother and sister. The band played until 2:30 in the morning, a few die-hards stayed up until the wee hours of the morning.


After a hearty breakfast we prepared for the day's events. Bettina and Alexander, avid hikers and art fans, had organized a tour  at the Rococo Click picture to enlarge!pilgrimage chapel in Birkenstein.  From there we could choose among three different hikes. The lack of sleep took its toll, and most of the guests preferred the easy stroll to the shady Biergarten (garden restaurant) close by. The most ambitious hikers, the newly-weds included,  climbed about 2,400 feet to the top of the Breitenstein.

Click picture to enlarge!

Click picture to enlarge!

In late afternoon we gathered at Aurachhof's garden again, enjoying the last of the wedding cake before saying farewell.

This was one of the best weddings I attended. Well organized by Bettina and Alexander,  it had a natural flow and was so joyful and relaxed. There was so much laughter and good discussion; I am certain this wedding celebration will stay in our hearts forever.

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