Shirley and Benni

So far we always described weddings from our side, so let´s make a change and this time read what bride said:

 When Benni proposed we were enveloped in a delicate snowfall under the stars on the highline park in New York City. I had flown to NY to surprise my mom for her 60th birthday and he had flown to NY to surprise me! I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect and romantic setting…. until our wedding day! Benni was born and raised in Germany, and I have a huge family in Israel. We knew that no matter what, some of our wedding guests would have to fly to our wedding, so we decided to have a destination wedding! We knew that Prague would be the perfect backdrop to our perfect day. My father was born and raised in Prague before moving to Israel, and while there is very little family left there, I knew it would be a great way to honor that side of my family, particularly my grandmother, Lucienne, whom I’ve always looked up to. Prague is also one of the most gorgeous cities in Europe and has such a rich Jewish, intellectual, and musical history. The decision was easy, especially because our friends and family from all over the world were willing and eager to travel to celebrate our special day with us.

I reached out to, Andrea Hanusova Hamanova, an event planner in Prague, and she helped me pull all my lifelong wedding dreams together. Because we decided to have a destination wedding we wanted to treat our guests to more than just one day with us. Andrea helped us plan an incredible three day event. We kicked off the weekend with a get together at one of the oldest beer halls in Prague where our families could get to know one another. The following evening we held a rehearsal dinner for all of our guests at Villa Richter, a villa on one of the oldest vineyards in CZ that truly has one of the most gorgeous panorama views of Prague. Our guests sipped on local wines and beers while feasting on traditional Czech cuisine and enjoying the views.

I’d always envisioned an outdoor ceremony with a classy yet whimsical feel. Andrea helped me find the perfect venue at a chateau on a small island on a river in the center of Prague. It doesn’t get more whimsical than that! The ceremony took place in the garden in front of the chateau and the reception took place in a gorgeous tent beside the chateau. Guests could freely walk in and out of the chateau and tent to explore the island which really gave the whole day a really varied ambiance that everyone could enjoy! Walking down the aisle with my parents and seeing Benni anxiously waiting, while the harpist played Edith Piaf’s ‘La Vie En Rose’ made all my nerves simultaneously melt away and also give me an overwhelming sense of joy. Under the chuppah from Israel, we exchanged vows and shared our first kiss as newlyweds! We were enveloped in fresh rose petals thrown at us as we descended down the aisle as husband and wife and straight into the celebratory cocktail hour.

I wanted the cocktail hour to feel like a chic yet lively garden party with music, dancing in the sun, antique couches, whimsical props, and garden games. Andrea made all of that happen! We even had a lovely flower-adorned swing hanging from a tree that really wowed the guests! Because Benni and I met in New Orleans, we had a jazz band that played all the NOLA favorites and had everyone dancing (some even barefoot)! We had champagne flowing as well as a signature cocktail with Monin rose, St. Germaine elderflower, fresh lemons, and fresh rose petals that was called ‘Benni & Shirley-La Vie en rose’. The hors d’oeuvres were absolutely delicious. Guests snacked on steak tartare, foie gras with fresh figs, duck confit scented with lavender, and tuna tartar with a passion fruit soup. Guests were then invited into the tent which was adorned with hanging floral wreaths, New Orleans style lanterns, a string light filled gazebo, and tables adorned with Czech crystal flutes, homemade lace tambourines, gorgeous meadow style floral centerpieces, travel inspired giveaways, and fresh apricots to give a really fresh, bountiful, and garden feel. The reception was kicked off by our first dance which began as a traditional Viennese waltz that transitioned into a Peabody swing dance to our favorite song by Parov Stelar who mixes 1920s jazz to electronic beats.

Since both of us love food and culinary adventures, a three course dream menu crafted by Zatisi catering was offered to our guests. Some of the highlights included appetizers of smoked veal tartar with truffle aioli, burned strawberry salad with goat cheese Gervais & gingerbread crumbles, and carpaccio of halibut with caviar dressing. Second courses offered were roasted quail, black tiger prawns with coriander, avocado, & mango sauce, and salmon sashimi with watermelon radish, edible soil, and cucumber dressing. The entrées included French duck breast with apricot sauce, Seabass with vanilla potato Purée, and Veal Filet Mignon. Everything was absolutely perfect from the presentation to the French service to the delicate yet intensely delicious flavors.

Our family gave speeches between each course, each of which filled us with so much happiness, love, and sincere gratitude for our amazing families. The Groom’s sister surprised us by singing Louis Armstrong’s ‘What a Wonderful World’ that even had some of our guests in tears! The Charles Bridge Band, continued playing through dinner, with some musically inclined guests even joining the band. We and our guests continued celebrating by dancing on a sparkling dance floor!

When it was time to cut the cake the DJ played Brigitte Bardot’s 1960s pop song ‘Ma je Joie’ and we all gorged ourselves on the brandied pear chocolate cake and the rest of the dessert table treats which included rose-scented macarons, parfait filled jars, apricot shaped marzipan, white chocolate covered cherries, golden donuts, earl grey cookies, strawberry cake-pops, and more. Guests were then invited to the cobblestone area overlooking the river for a ‘surprise’. The surprise was Frank Sinatra music playing to a backdrop of a magical fireworks show cascading over the Prague skyline. The fireworks enveloped the night with such excitement and awe. It was one of the highlights of the evening for me to cuddle up with my new husband and watch the incredible skyline light up for us. Guests then danced the night away until 3:30 in the morning and were treated to midnight snacks (German bratwursts & Israeli falafel sandwiches), a photo-booth, and flowing cocktails. There were really so many special moments, that I can’t choose one but it was so special was to leave the reception with my husband and remember each and every amazing moment we shared with each other and all of our loved ones. Stepan Vrzala captured every moment so beautifully, I get a sense of renewed excitement at each picture I look at! All of our wedding day expectations were surpassed thanks to our family, guests, and amazing team of planners and vendors!

Dream team:

Photography: Stepan Vrzala

Cinematography: Profimovie

Floral Design: Inspirito

Wedding Dress: Inbal Dror

Ceremony Venue: Zofin Palace

Reception Venue: Zofin Garden  

Catering: Zatisi Catering

Hair And Makeup: Bridal Beauty

Band: Charles Bridge Band

Harpist: Hedvika Moussa Bacha

Accomodations: Pachtuv Palac 

Bridesmaids’ Hair And Makeup: Andrea Krpejsova

Cake And Dessert: Punkrock Cakes

Fireworks And Fireshow: Arabeska Fire

Get-together Venue: U Fleku Brewery

Minivan: Sebatour

Photo Booth: Fotonaut

Photography For Pre-wedding Dinner: Tomas Vrzala

Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Villa Richter

Rolls Royce: Jaroslav Sebek

Photo Stepan Vrzala

 

Cally and Hiro

Cally a Hiro – international couple who said their „I do“´ in Prague in June this year. Cally is from the UK and Hiro has japanese origins, they both live in Dubai.

Prague has many beautiful places with the view, that are perfect for the wedding and so also Cally and Hiro chose from these locations – Vrtbovska garden for the ceremony and Villa Richter for the following reception.

Save the date

Thanks to japanese origins oprihami birds mingled the entire wedding – Save the date cards, wedding invitation, seating plan and also name tags were little origami birds. The Wedding colour was pink and blue, both bridesmaids and best men clothes matched the colours perfectly.

Photo by Tomas Dittrich

Photo by Lukas Konarik

Photo by Lukas Konarik

Couple chose hotel Aria for their stay, hotel is connected with Vrtbovska garden with the doors, so guests could enter the garden directly form there. Before they all met for a drink at the hotel bar, while bride and bridesmaids made last touches. Photographer and cameraman carefully captured all moments.

Short before 1 pm guests were invited to the garden, groom and ushers welcomed them at the entrace and guests were seated, while string quartet performed. Noone was sure before how 50 chairs will be placed into Salla terena, but at the end fit perfectly.

 

As soon as guests were seated, bridesmaids and bride with her father entered. Ceremony was very romantic, accompanied by 2 readings and lovely songs.

e isn´t very common to have congratulations as a pat of the ceremony abroad, so after the signatures newlyweds walked down the aisle and came directly to the upper part of the garden, where the coktail was served. Prosecco, beer and softs, together with small refreshment was highly appreciated. Group and family pictures were made during the cocktail and newlyweds enjoyed romantic photo session in the top part of the garden with an amazing view.

Historical BMW 501 brought newlyweds for photo session around Prague and guests were escorted by historical tram from Malostranske square. The tram stopped at the Prague castle and guests walked through the castle area to the Villa Richter. Since they got refresment in the tram, the walk was pretty fast.

Wineyard at Villa richter was prepared for another cocktail with Prosecco and after the arrival of newlyweds was cut wedding cake, actually 2 cakes with different taste. Macaron tower and cake pops tastefully accompanied the sweet bar. Guests wrote their messages on the wishing tree and left fingerprint on the canvas. Magician made fun with micromagic and harpist performed lovely songs.

Unfortunatelly weather wasn´t perfect and cocktail had to be finished a bit earlier due to the rain. Everyone moved to the lower part of the Villa Richter, with beatiful tables decorated by flowers in pink and blue and navy blue tableclothes.

Guests chose in advance from 3 starters and main courses. Traditionally long speeches came before the dinner and for fun eas alsio prepared game. After the dinner guests were invited to the upper part of the Villa, Piano Nobile, for first dance. In addition to DJ was also ready Smilebox where the could do funny pics. Not to be hungry, Cally and Hiro ordered cheese bar and around 11 pm were minipizzas available. There was quite a few children at the wedding, so professional babysitters were at disposal and for tired children also separate room with beds.

For maximal comfort of the guests were ready minibuses that brought them back to their hotels. Party finished around 1 am and it was really funny wedding.

We wish to the newlyweds all the best, lots of love and happiness and believe that they will never loose their optimism and fun.

Dream team:
Wedding ceremony: Vrtbovska garden, www.vrtbovska.cz
Wedding reception: Villa Richter, www.villarichter.cz
Photo: Lukas Konarik, www.konarik.info
Video: Libor Svoboda, www.liborsvoboda.cz
Flowers: Inspirito, www.inspirito.cz
Music in the garden: Klaroov kvarteto, www.klarovokvarteto.cz
Harpist: Hedvika Moussa Bacha, www.harfistka.cz
DJ – Jiri Brezina
Transport minibuses: Sebatour
Vintage car: BMW 501, www.oldtimersebek.cz
Caterer – Cesky catering, www.ceskycatering.cz
Smilebox – www.smilebox.cz
Wedding Cake and sweet bar: Prague City Cake, www.praguecitycake.cz

Enjoy couple´s  video