Several years ago our family hosted a young man from Germany in our home for a year. His name is Peter. Over the years our family has kept up with him with visits to Germany and Austria and with Peter coming back to visit in the States. Twelve years ago Peter started dating a lovely young woman named Julia. Over those years our family has become very connected to Julia too. They are a darling couple. On July 6th, 2019 Peter and Julia became husband and wife. Our whole family was fortunate to be invited to the wedding and even more fortunate to be able to attend.
It was such fun for the nine of us to fly altogether from Tirana to Vienna on a short one hour and 40 minute flight.
We all stayed in an Airbnb located very close to the subway and not too far from Peter and Julia’s apartment.
There was a fabulous park right around the corner from the Airbnb that we visited several times. I liked this park because it lent itself so well to imaginative play. There was more then one way to play with every part of the park. Also I loved the simplicity of the park and how the colors blended in well with the natural surroundings. Really liked it, can you tell. 🙂
On our first day in Vienna we took a short subway ride to the center city. While there we visited St. Stephen’s Cathedral which is one of the city’s most recognizable symbols. The building of the cathedral began in 1137 and was completed in 1160.
We decided to climb the 300+ steps on the inside of the steeple. Everyone did a good job climbing including Juliet which is shown in the video.
From the top of St. Stephan’s steeple we can see the church where Peter and Julia will be married.
After we came back down from climbing the steeple the church bells started to ring. Loved it!
That evening we met Peter, Julia and their families here for dinner. This restaurant is Peter and Julia’s favorite place to eat schnitzel. Schnitzel is a meat dish that originated in Austria and is delicious.
As we are walking to dinner Juliet has a big conversation with me about her time at the park that day with Grandaddy.
One difference between Vienna and Albania is that vehicle traffic yields to pedestrians in Vienna. Also, in Vienna it is safe to cross the road when the traffic signal tells you to while in Albania that is not always true.
Waiting for the subway…
Meeting Peter’s dad, Bernardo, before going into the restaurant.
Delicious schnitzel with a wonderful group of people.
David arrived in Vienna on our second full day. Yay, we are altogether now! We went across the street from our Airbnb to Prater Park which is an amusement park built in 1897.
I was the typical tourist who fell for the photo op before riding the ferris wheel. After all, how often to all 10 of us get together.
Elizabeth and Ben really enjoyed the ferris wheel. 🙂
More fun at Prater Park, the amusement park.
For the rehearsal dinner, many of the guys (including David and Josh) decided to dress up in traditional German lederhosen.
Heading for the rehearsal dinner.
Jacob in the subway station.
Peter and Julia’s families worked very hard preparing a delicious spread for all of us to enjoy at the rehearsal dinner.
The bride (dressed in a traditional German dirndl) with one of her flower girls.
The groom with one of his groomsmen.
Don’t they look great!
This is the absolutely charming church where Peter and Julia were married.
The inside of the church
The program for the wedding was so nicely laid out so that even the English only speakers (like me) at the wedding could follow it. I was honored to be asked to do a reading at the wedding. This was the schedule for the day of the wedding:
- 3:30 wedding ceremony at the church
- 5:30 appetizers at the reception venue
- 8:30 dinner is served with toasts happening between each course
- 11:30 dancing begins
- 4:00AM reception ends
As you may know, most American weddings end at midnight so this was a big change for us. The Chervenaks stayed until after midnight. Randy and I made it until 2:00AM but many of the guests and other family members were there past 4:00AM. Wow! From what we understand, this schedule is common for European weddings. We enjoyed ourselves so much that it really did not seem that late to us.
The ring bearer, the two flower girls and the page boy are ready. A page boy is a child who carries a sign saying “Here Comes the Bride”.
The flower girls have their baskets of flower petals that they will put down after the ceremony, as the bride and groom walk down the aisle to leave the church.
Juliet doing her flower girl job.
The bride and groom leaving the church…
…and walking down the sidewalk outside of the church.
And they are off to the reception.
Walking through the streets of Vienna from the church to the reception venue.
The reception was located at the top of the middle building in the group of three skyscrapers in the picture on the left, gorgeous setting!
The 5 of us,,.
The 9 of us (Juliet has gone home to go to bed).
The silly 9 of us.
Josh and Jacob strutting their stuff…
Bennett turned 5 at midnight so we needed to celebrate!
Peter and Julia’s wedding and all the festivities leading up to it were such fun. This was the type of wedding where you could easily feel the love between the couple and amongst the family members. We were honored to be included in this wedding celebration!
The day after the wedding we went to visit Schonbrunn Palace which was the summer residence of the Habsburg rulers starting in the 1500’s. Beautiful, beautiful!
Renting and riding electric scooters was a big hit throughout the weekend.
That evening we gathered one more time to share a meal and say our good byes.
One more picture before we all go our separate ways. David is headed back to NYC for work. The Chervenak Family is headed to Germany to visit their former au pairs. Randy, Josh and I are headed to Belfast to visit some friends in Northern Ireland. LOVED our time together and feel very torn about living internationally so far from the ones I love most.