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!
Photography: Stepan Vrzala
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
Photo Booth: Fotonaut
Photography For Pre-wedding Dinner: Tomas Vrzala
Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Villa Richter
Rolls Royce: Jaroslav Sebek