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Renate & Roland, Austria wedding photographer

Austrian weddings are different from American weddings in many ways. One of the most disctinct differences is that the groom and his family meet to celebrate at his home before the ceremony, as does the bride and her family. The birde’s family are pig farmers and butchers and made all their own meats.When Roland and his guests had had enough of early morning spirits and snacks, they all jumped in their cars and drove to Renate’s home, where he presented the bouquet to the bride. The wedding couple walks out into the rain to present themselves to the guests When all the guests were greeted and the sandwiches consumed, everybody left the comfort of the tents to see the bride and groom get married at the two distinctly different wedding ceremonies to come. Along the way, the convoy of cars was stopped by neighbors who asked them to pay a toll, an Austrian tradition called “aufhalten.” In exchange for a shiny euro, the neighbors offer small rewards such as liquor and sweets. (The local cops know a wedding when they see one and turn the other way ; ).. ) Austrians love to play games at weddings. Here, Roland’s company, Paar roofing, presents the couple with some challenging tasks and tasty drinks. First “the boss” and his bride are asked to build a roof (bosses don’t always know how to do the work, but Roland has put his time in). Then they took the bride and the groom on an aerial tour of the city on the biggest cherry picker we had ever seen. All of this in front of the “Musikschule” (music school), the building in which the civil ceremony would soon be held.Liz’s aunt Liane, Roland’s Mom, sheds a tear while the couple is legally married. When the civil ceremony is over, the guests take a short (and wet) walk over to the church where Roland and Renate are married for a second time, this time before god. The second big surprise of the day came when Roland’s sister Ulrike joined the choir and burst into song at the ceremony. It was such a big surprise because no one in the family, not even her parents, knew that she could sing! She had secretly been practicing for weeks. Her performance was so moving that she brought everyone to tears, including the two of us… When the ceremony was over, Roland’s roofers met the couple outside the church doors, where they had to walk thru an arch of roofing materials and tools. This tradtion is called “Spalier stehen” and is personalized for the trade or hobby of each couple. Then it was time for the “Agape,” a sharing of bread and wine. It stopped raining just long enough for us take some beautiful family pictures and join all of the guests for a giant group shot taken by the “offical” wedding photographer. Thanks to cousin Mike for photographing the photographer in action! It’s not too often that we get to be IN wedding photos. 🙂 No sooner was the group shot over and the rain began. Roland and Renate didn’t care and the four of us got some quiet time walking in the rain and taking pictures in the center of Liz’s hometown Feldbach. Our walk ended at the reception hall “Zentrum” where the party had already begun… Uncle Peter, Roland’s father, gave a very beautiful and personal toast. Roland dances with his mother…and Liz and her cousins show off their traditional Austrian “Dirndls” …and look who is hogging the bride for a dance – this may the first time anyone has seen me dancing. Make sure you check out the slideshow below!… ]]>

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