Andi + Ralf’s nuptials in Schilersee, Germany was a woodsy Bavarian fairy-tale come true…complete with flower girls and officiant in customary Bavarian dress, a traditional Bavarian log cutting ceremony where the bride and groom work together to cut through a log (pretty cute!) or my favourite: I Do’s on a jetty overlooking the Alps. Don’t miss this special and absolutely exquisite Melissa Sweet gown aptly named Fern, made from pleated English netting, five layers of hand sewn lace panels including crinoline and silk/satin petticoats. Andi points out that this gown is no longer in production, so what an opportunity it would be for another bride to scoop up this perfect fairy-tale, vintage inspired beauty!
The Ceremony The ceremony was held on a jetty outside the Seehotel Schlierseer Hof, only 30 minutes from where Ralf grew up. The setting made the whole event feel like a fairytale amidst the picturesque Lake Schliersee, framed by the Alps. We had a traditional Bavarian band play while I walked down the aisle and the flower girls and officiant wore dirndls, the customary Bavarian dress. Immediately following our vows, we were presented with a two-person crosscut saw for the ‘Baumstamm sägen’, a Bavarian tradition where the bride and groom must work together to cut through a log, symbolizing their ability to overcome challenges together in their marriage.
The Reception The reception took place in the Seehotel Schlierseer Hof’s Panorama Restaurant, which overlooks the lake. We chose the venue because of its Alpine charm, complete with wooden ornamentation and a beautiful hand-painted ceiling. I wanted the wedding to reflect the German countryside – woodsy, rustic and earthy – and this was realized in the decor and color scheme, which consisted of various shades of green and brown. The groomsmen wore dark navy suits with forest green shirts and moss green striped bow ties. The bridesmaids both wore deep green dresses, and carried flowers picked that morning from a nearby field. The candle holders were custom made by Ralf’s brother from tree branches in his garden and rosemary bouquets hung from the ceiling, bringing the forest indoors. Because Ralf is German and I am Californian, but are both currently living in London, we incorporated elements of our international life into the event. I designed the stationary and table cards myself, which were named after cities in which we’ve lived. My bouquet was made of succulents, to represent California, and as favors, the guests were given custom German gingerbread hearts called Lebkuchenherz, which are traditionally offered in Bavaria at Oktoberfest and Christmastime. Guests were treated to a six-course Bavarian meal, followed by a three-tiered ‘Prinzregententorte’, or chocolate butter cream layer-cake with marzipan frosting. Perhaps the most popular element of our reception however was ‘The Queen’, a cardboard cutout of Queen Elizabeth II, which represented our life in the United Kingdom. She frequently joined us on the dance floor and I believe at one point I even saw her going for a slice of cake. The whole event felt like some sort of magical fable come to life. Here’s to happily ever after!
Andi’s Dress Search I originally pictured myself in something sleek, modern and bias cut, whereas Ralf was hoping for a ‘cupcake’ style ball gown, so I decided to be as open as possible when shopping for dresses. I’d tried on nearly every style possible in almost every bridal boutique in London and San Francisco before spotting Melissa Sweet’s ‘Fern’ online. I immediately knew it was the dress. Delicate, graceful and incredibly romantic, this vintage-inspired gown perfectly captured a classic fairy-tale look that suited the venue and would stand the test of time in photos.
How Andi Felt in Her Wedding Dress Radiant, Magical, Timeless
Why Andi Decided To Sell Her Wedding Dress Melissa Sweet’s ‘Fern’ is no longer being produced and can only be purchased second-hand. I have never felt more beautiful in any other article of clothing and I’d like to give another bride the opportunity to feel the same way.