People often ask me about the best wedding I’ve ever attended. Thinking back, one of my favorites took place in Vienna. It was an incredible wedding weekend. The experience began as soon as I landed and checked into a luxury hotel, where a special welcome gift prepared by the executive chef awaited. After flying all those hours, being treated to an array of bite-size gastronomical delights accompanied by champagne, made me feel welcome and special.
The next morning, the other guests and I boarded a train that took us on a two-hour ride to the ceremony site passing through picturesque areas including Salzburg, where The Sound of Music had been filmed. On the train, two kinds of champagne along with sumptuous truffles were served. When we arrived, horse-drawn carriages were waiting to take us to the chapel, and the couple arrived by helicopter. It was like a scene from a movie.
After the ceremony, the couple emerged from the chapel and joined a marching band that awaited. The rest of the guests followed in a procession as we all took the path to the top of a hill toward a castle where a beautiful luncheon was served with elegant, yet minimalistic décor. Later that night, back in Vienna, carriages picked us up once again to transport us to the wedding reception, which was a masquerade ball. I thought the theme, “Amadeus,” was brilliant, and the ambiance was very sexy, moody and glamorous.
We all dined on incredible food, a live band provided music, Brazilian dancers performed, the dessert displays were fabulous, and the festivities continued with an all-night afterparty. Before I knew it, it was 7 a.m. and a “hangover soup” was being served to the guests—but the wedding was so incredibly fun, I felt like I didn’t want it to end.
I think the main reason why this wedding stands out so much is because there wasn’t one single element that overshadowed the others. Everything was exquisite, from the décor, to the train ride with champagne and truffles, to the
way dinner was served during the reception. It was how it all came together so seamlessly, and how we guests (who traveled in from around the world) were made to feel. Each guest felt special just being there.
As Editor-in-Chief of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style magazine, I always tell people that every detail of a wedding is important—the dress, the cake, the tabletop designs, etc. However, having a great photographer that documents these memories is one of the most important things because those images and the memories they evoke is what you will have to share with your loved ones for years to come. In the end, a wedding’s success has everything to do with how the‑ guests were made to feel and what a wonderful time they had. I recently attended a friend’s wedding, and I experienced the same feeling I had in Vienna back in 2003.
If you’re hosting a destination wedding—or any kind of wedding, for that matter—remember to think things out and consider the small details that will make a big difference to your guests. Most of all, remember that your wedding is a celebration of the life commitment you’re making and the journey you’re about to take together. So, be sure to enjoy the process and have fun.