Melanie and Jesse’s Simple and Personal Outdoor Austrian Wedding by Wild Connections Photography

Today I am taking you off to beautiful Austria for the gorgeous wedding of Melanie and Jesse. Melanie is from Austria and Jesse is from the States, so it was important for them to hold the wedding back where Melanie is from. With all their family chipping in and helping out, it became a very personal day, with lots of help from those they loved. They wanted to draw attention to the beautiful location and stunning venue they had chosen, so they had a fuss free, simple wedding with little decor,  concentrating instead on the stunning backdrop and the love they had between them. Wild Connections Photography was there to capture the day for them.

Our wedding was simple but so perfect. Our goal was to bring our loved ones together and share our love story and we were more then successful!

Melanie and Jesse were married on 30th June 2018 at Berggasthaus Kandler Alm , Austria. ‘We looked at 3 locations overall. This location was by far the best place for an outdoor ceremony. It was also in the same town that my family grew up in and also where some of them still lived. Specially my grandmother (age 86).  Therefore someone could have taken her home when she was ready. But she ended up being one of the last to leave!!! We had around 60 guests. Since we only come to visit Austria once a year we planned most of it in the summer of 2017. Over the year, we picked our colors , food, clothing, hair .. etc.’

How they met
We met on a popular dating website. At the time, I work full time and was in the last semester of my nursing program and Jesse worked night shift. We never had a lot of time to meet people and our friends encouraged us to try online dating. Little did we know how fast we would find each other and fall in love. Jesse was the second date I ever went on in my online dating journey and I was his first. We always joke about submitting our love story to the website in hopes to part of one of their commercials some day. At the time of our wedding we dated for 4.5 years. We are now approaching 5.5 years.

The proposal
My favorite of all times !! We met in December and the town I lived in always had a huge Christmas light show. After our first dinner we went and drove through the Christmas lights and spent 3 more hours together before we ended our first date. The night of our proposal Jesse took me back to the lights. This time we walked through the lights and we suddenly came to a stopping point. I looked down and he had written” Schatzi, will you marry me?” Of course I said yes and then I hear cheering in the back ground. His mother and sister were cheering us on and taking pictures . It was a really sweet night.

How did you allocate your budget?
We had time and saved money.

Where did you splurge and where did you save?
We saved where we could. Since we had to save money for our flights, hotel, etc we saved everywhere we could. We didn’t pick the most expensive menu option, but picked popular Austrian meals and they were still a hit. We did not do any decorations (other then flowers) and picked simple table decor that the Alm offered. We let nature and the beauty of the Alm be our decor for the most part. We had an open bar and let our guests enjoy the night away. I splurged on my dress some as well but it was well worth it.

How did you choose your photographer?
We live in a really small world, you know? My co-worker has some family in Austria and she started following Cat a while back. One day we were talking about my wedding plans and she mentioned Cat. A few clicks later and a quick email, we set up a phone interview with Cat we had our engagement photo session set up and later on our wedding of course . One of the primary reasons I loved Cat is not only because of her talent but she spoke English and could communicate with Jesse. He was still very new to traveling to Austria and having someone speak to him was very important to me, especially in such an intimate situation.

The dress
My dress was a Maggie Sottero, Keds/Kate Spade wedding flats. Accessories were my mothers charm bracelet and earrings.

The suit and bridesmaids
Jesse’s attire was from Express (a store back in the US) and and our witnesses chose their own attire.

Theme or colour scheme
Just complementing the local scenery & Austrian vibe. Our flowers had several colors- red, navy , white, blues, greens, some pink

Our florist just used her talent and picked what looked best. My bouquet even had blackberries in it!

Other then flowers, we had no real decor. The Alm had a natural beauty with its own decorations and that’s exactly how we wanted it.

We had a menu of traditional local dishes; soup, salad, a schnitzel option and a roast option

Wedding cake
My Aunt baked 3 cakes on her own and then she also had a beautiful wedding cake made for us. I unfortunately do not know who made it. They were all home made and various flavors and delicious!!

One of my fathers Long time friends is part of The Old Flegel band (traditional Austrian folk music). They played all night for us! It was one of the best parts of the wedding!

Who supplied the stationery?
I purchased a template off Etsy and then finished the design myself. Printed them at our local print shop.

Personal touches
We had small scented candles made for everyone to take home. Again it was simple but all so perfect.

Special moments
Honestly it was all amazing. Jesses parents saw how the culture is and what typical wedding traditions there are. They saw the importance of why we chose to get married in Austria and how important it was too me. We got to dance, laugh, cried even, and just got to have fun. The entire day was peaceful and so fun. My aunt arranged that i was picked up in an old timer BMW . So we rode to the wedding in style! It was all so perfect!

Advice for other couples 
Keep it simple and have fun. We didn’t go over the top with most of the things and it was perfect. Our goal was to celebrate our love story with our loved ones and have fun while doing it. We succeeded with just that.

Biggest surprise
How flawless the day went. There really were no hiccups and we just got to have fun. Jesse and I spent the night together the day before, enjoyed breakfast and then parted ways to get ready. Our friends and family provided some simple touches that made it even better. They had a painted tree and everyone added there fingerprints, they also made us a photo album that everyone signed and wrote a sweet message in. Just little things that we will cherish forever.


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For more information on Wild Connections photography go to

 www.wildconnectionsphotography.com /  [email protected] / FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM / PINTEREST 

Cat is British adventure wedding & elopement photographer living in the heart of the Austrian Alps. She loves accompanying adventure loving couples in beautiful and wild locations across Europe, capturing their story in an honest and authentic way.


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