My Big Fat Ex Soviet State Wedding

June 14, 2016 - Events

There is nothing better in the world than attending a close friend’s wedding – unless you’re still single or recently divorced, of course… Lucky for me, all of this is non applicable and instead, alongside myself, all my closest friends and my husband were there to share this special moment with the happy couple – at the Palais Kinsky at the heart of Vienna!

The identities of the bride and groom will have to remain a secret for numerous reasons, but let me reveal to you that it was somewhat of a whirlwind romance – they met last September, were engaged by October and the wedding was planned and organised in only four weeks (this fact was the butt of many jokes during their ceremony, may I add!). Their nationalities will also have to remain a secret, although the title of this post will probably give you somewhat of an idea.
But let us return to the heart of the matter: the chosen venue for the wedding was the Palais-Daun Kinsky, located on Freyung square in Vienna. It was built between 1713 and 1719 by the architect Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt and is one of the most impressive examples of Vienna’s historical architecture. Upon entering the Palais, you are greeted by a large, breathtaking staircase draped with a red carpet, while on its second floor you are engulfed by the full magnificence of its interiors that include stucco decoration, painted ceilings and sculptures as well as breathtaking chandeliers. The impressive oval ballroom forms the heart of the Palais, and is where the grand dinner and the main festivities took place. The ladies’ and gentlemen salon was used for the pre-wedding ceremony cocktails, while the yellow salon was used as the setting for the ceremony. The ladies’ and gentlemen salon’s large ceilings with their huge, shuttered windows enabled beautiful views of the Freyung square as well as a fresh breeze on this warm, summer’s evening.
Such a historic venue called for some modern touches. Upon entering, guests were greeted with a photo booth, which, I have to admit, was my absolute favorite!
There was a box filled with wigs, accessories (retro-glasses, crowns, silly hats, fairy sticks) and all kinds of paper props to go along with the booth, while each of the images printed twice – one for the guest to take home, and another for the couple’s wedding book which was available for every guest to stick their pictures and write their wishes in. The perfect way to ensure that the couple had ample memories of their special day! A candy bar with beautiful, hand-made sweet delicacies ranging from colorful popsicles to macaroons, cupcakes and cakes was also set up, as were large white stand-alone letters that spelled out the world LOVE, decorated with white flower arrangements.
After the cocktails, and the ceremony, guests were seated to enjoy numerous pleasures for the taste buds that came in the form of assorted starters from the groom’s home-country, followed by a three course menu (with a delicious main course consisting of perfectly cooked beef), topped off with a gigantic wedding cake for dessert and the assortment from the candy bar, of course. One of my further personal favorites at the wedding was a surprise presented to the guests by the bride and the groom: their joint performances of a very traditional and rather elaborate, national dance originating from the groom’s home country, for which they had taken lessons for prior to the wedding. This is a very thoughtful and beautiful alternative to the rather boring, first dance and also acts as a sign of respect on part of the bride towards the family and culture of the groom. To conclude, I would like to share with you some chicken soup for the soul on the topic of love that the civil servant told the guests during the couples’ ceremony:

Once upon a time, in an island there lived all the feelings and emotions: Happiness, Sadness, Knowledge, and all of the others, including Love. One day it was announced to them that the island would sink! So all constructed boats and left. Except for Love.
Love wanted to hold out until the last possible moment. When the island had almost sunk, Love decided to ask for help.
Wealth was passing by Love in a boat. Love said,
"Wealth, can you take me with you?"
Wealth answered, "Sorry Love, I can't. There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat and so there is no place here for you."
Love next asked Vanity who was also sailing by. Vanity was also ready with the same answer.
"I can't help you, Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat," Vanity answered.
Sadness was close by so Love asked, "Sadness, take me along with you."
"Oh . . . Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself!", sadness said in a sullen voice.
Happiness passed by Love, too, but she was so preoccupied with her happiness that she did not even hear when Love called her.
Suddenly, there was a voice, "Come, Love, I will take you." It was an elder. An overjoyed Love jumped up into the boat and in the process forgot to ask where they were going. When they arrived at a dry land, the elder went her own way.
Realizing how much was owed to the elder, Love asked Knowledge another elder, "Who Helped me?"
"It was Time," Knowledge answered.
"Time?" thought Love. Then, as if reading the face of Love, Knowledge smiled and answered, "Because only Time is capable of understanding how valuable Love is."

Photos by Sherwin Asadi.


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