My husband and I got married on July 20th, 2019 in Graz. At least that was out FIRST wedding. It’s not uncommon to get married twice in Austria and have the civil ceremony and the church ceremony on two separate days.
What IS uncommon is to have a smaller church wedding first and then a larger civil ceremony two weeks later as we did.
One of the main reasons we decided to do two separate weddings was that almost all of our family lives in Styria, while the majority of our friends live in Vienna. So with sustainability in mind, we didn’t want everyone to drive all the way to Vienna. Plus, this way we got two very different but equally beautiful celebrations!
For our church wedding, we chose a traditional Styrian folk wedding in our hometown of Graz but put our own sustainable and vegan twist on it.
Given that we live in Vienna and couldn’t meet all the vendors ourselves, we hired a wedding planner, Irena from Traum Manu Faktur, to help us out.
Her help was a highly appreciated early wedding gift from my husband’s parents, and we couldn’t have done it without her!
Irena does event planning and host assistance and also runs a quaint little shop specialized in sustainable and unique gifts.
Even though we were her first vegan clients, she did an amazing job and thought of everything!
Our beautiful wedding photos were done by Stiefkind Fotografie based in Graz as well. We absolutely loved shooting with them! They made it fun and natural and were really easy going.
We both wanted to incorporate parts of what our parents wore to their weddings, so my husband wore his father’s Lederhosen, which technically aren’t vegan, obviously, but a 32-year-old family heirloom.
I took the skirt off my mother’s wedding dress since unfortunately, the bodice of the dress didn’t fit me. I had a “Spenzer” (traditional Austrian and Bavarian jacket type garment) and an apron made by a friend of mine, who’s a seamstress specialized on traditional Austrian folk garments to fit the white jacquard skirt.
The spenzer was made of natural linen, printed with one of my own fabric designs, and adorned with beautiful hand-sewn details.
For the apron, I chose a beautiful golden jacquard with a traditional stripe motif.
My bag was hand crocheted by my mom.
The shoes were Dorothy Perkins, but they were so uncomfortable, I only wore them for the ceremony and the photos and slipped into some trusty flats as soon as I could. I even ran around barefoot for a while!
The ceremony was held in a tiny baroque church in the forest. It was ideal for us since we only wanted a more intimate ceremony and our smaller wedding party of around 40 people didn’t look too lost in the small church.
My personal highlight was that we got to ring our own wedding bells!
The floral arrangements for the church were done by both our grandmothers using mostly handpicked flowers from the region.
We had a traditional Agape after the ceremony with some home-baked goods and drinks, plus a very special wedding tradition:
“Zuckerlschmeißen” (Literally “throwing candy”) – this tradition is very unique to my small hometown in Styria, I’ve never heard of a similar tradition anywhere else.
Grown-ups would throw individually wrapped candy in the air while all the kids wrestle for it. I remember this being my favorite part of being invited to a wedding when I was a kid, so we wanted to keep the tradition alive by taking it from my small village to Graz.
We chose the nearby church hall as our venue for the reception. We wanted something simple but with a small park for the kids to play and to hang out in the sun with a glass of wine in hand ( which is the only way to celebrate anything in Styria, really.)
Food and Drinks
If you’ve read my One Perfect Vegan Day in Graz post, you already know: We knew immediately who we want as our caterer.
Ginko doesn’t usually do a lot of catering, however, they made an exception for us and exceptional it was!
Sadly I don’t have any photos of the food itself, so the buffet and the menu card will have to do.
Instead of a stacked cake, we opted for separate smaller cakes. These were also done by Ginko and doubled as our dessert.
We had four flavors:
Black Forest, Lemon Yoghurt, Pear-Poppy Seed-Caramel, and Sacher (Chocolate with Apricot Jam), all vegan, of course.
While we chose not to serve a usual midnight snack. Instead, we had some vegan Ice Cream by Eisperle at midnight to cool off during this hot summer night.
Even though us nuptials were the only vegans at the wedding, everyone loved the food!
Our white wine and juices came from a Styrian vineyard named Jöbstl. The owner’s daughters are vegans themselves, so they knew exactly which of their products were vegan-friendly.
The red wines came from Fattoria La Vialla.
The Wedding Favors and other Details
Our wedding planner Irena made sure our wedding favors fit the theme of sustainability and found a zero waste jam company named Jam Session.
They mainly use fruit that is not pretty enough to be sold for their fruit spreads, chutney, and vegan honey.
We opted for 2 different flavors: Dirndl (a regional sour cherry) and “Kriecherl” (Damson plum). They were adorned with laser-cut medallions featuring our wedding emblem.
Our beautiful wedding candle was hand painted by my husband’s aunt.
It was a gorgeous, intimate wedding and I wouldn’t change a thing.
We absolutely love looking back to this beautiful day in our life.
I hope you enjoyed this little wedding throwback. Another one of our bigger, second wedding day in Vienna is coming soon. Sign up for the newsletter if you don’t want to miss it!
My dear friend Rina just started her queer wedding planning business. She’s a vegan herself so she can help you plan a vegan wedding, plus she offers minimal waste wedding planning as well!
Check her out at www.queerdenkerin.at!