All Hallows’ Eve

In Germany, they don’t usually celebrate Halloween, but it’s become more popular over the years and this year I will be attending my second-ever Halloween party because it also happens to be a friend’s birthday.

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One Year Later

This past few weeks have been crazy busy. On the weekend, Michael and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. On the same day, we re-celebrated his 30th birthday with all of our closest German friends. He was away in Munich from Thursday to Saturday and I got a taste of what life is like without him. Let’s just say that it’s definitely better with him.

And before that, my friend from Sydney came to stay for just over a weekend. She’s also moved to Germany now but only for about a year.

During her short stay in Stuttgart, we wanted her to try as many regional dishes as possible, so of course we knocked out some at home and three in one go at a restaurant:

Maultaschen - like a big dumpling in beef broth

Maultaschen – like a big dumpling in beef broth

Rostbraten - steak covered with crunchy onions, spätzle and plenty of sauce

Rostbraten – steak covered with crunchy onions, spätzle and plenty of sauce

Good old schnitzel - thin, golden brown and simple, with a potato salad

Good old schnitzel – thin, golden brown and simple, with a potato salad

I had never previously given much thought to marriage when I was younger, but it’s fun sharing your life with the right person. Have a great week everyone! Hope it’s just as sunny wherever you are!

New Year, New Challenges

New years are always about new beginnings, and for the first time in my life I am joining a gym! This sounds like a typical resolution but for me it isn’t. First of all, I am not joining the thousands who join up in January all gung-ho about losing weight and getting fit and then giving up in about March.

I am joining with Michael this week and we will go every second day. I know we can keep it up because Michael is a long-time gym-goer and always did that, and now that we will be going together, we can motivate each other more.

Also, I have goals to get fitter in general and to get ready for next years wedding.

Speaking of which, we have possibly decided on a colour scheme: Purple, Green and Grey (and of course by default, white). The list of invitees is also in progress but it’s tricky with so much family and so many friends spread out all over the world!

Here is some wedding inspiration:

White poppies

I think I have discovered my favourite flower (or one of): White poppies

Lanterns are lovely!

Lanterns are lovely!

Grey, white and yellow decor

Grey, white and yellow decor

Grey, white and yellow decor

Grey, white and yellow decor again

That’s my weekly update for now…I will report on our progress but in the meantime I have to write a thesis! At least the weather is looking up…we’ve got 11 degrees Celcius today! Have a great week!

Back to business…the big day

The big day. We pushed pause on all the planning due to our big move and renovating our new home but now that that’s done and we’re settled in, it’s time to hit play again.

Yesterday we took a long drive out into the countryside to look at a location. I don’t want to jinx it by saying exactly what/where it is, but it is a castle. It’s beautiful and on the pricey side but not as pricey as you could go. It sounds crazy to say that I may get married/celebrate getting married in a castle, but in Germany this is not so uncommon. Michael’s sister got married in a monastery that was atop a hill, and to be honest, Germany is full of castles and ruins and fortresses. They have to make some extra cash somehow!

This place does it all, it has an amazing menu and they don’t charge extra for room rental, and they even do fireworks if you want them (and you have the cash)! It was such a lovely experience going there. I even ran into the owner and chef of the place and he was so friendly and patient and then said that our drinks were on the house before bidding farewell and then casually walking off.

Once we have the location secured and the guest list figured out, I hope that all the planning will go smoothly!

Have a great week everyone!

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Monastic: The last Autumn Wedding

Kloster Lorch

Kloster Lorch

Ok, so the couple were obviously not monks, but the setting was a Monastery, set high up on a hill in Lorch.

The couple was also my sister-in-law and her husband who were already officially married, but, as is common in Germany they also married in a church, or in this case, a monastery.

Lorch is in Schwäbisch Gmünd, kind of in the middle of nowhere, but that’s what makes it so spectacular. From atop the hill, the view is beautiful and unobstructed and the monastery grounds are lovely. There is an animal enclosure as well as a herb garden and inside the buildings there is a museum, mural and a Refectory.

Inside the church

Inside the church

With such a perfect setting, the day could only run smoothly. The rain stayed away, the sun shone and we partied through the night. I can only hope that we find our own special and beautiful location when the time comes!

The Refectory, all decked out

The Refectory, all decked out

Autumn Wedding: The Ranch

We’re coming to the end of the wedding season, with just one wedding to go and it’s amazing how quickly time flies. 2013 has a grand total of 6 weddings and for next year there’s already another wedding lined up in January!

The very last wedding of the year for us is in Australia which is really exciting. We get to go back and we get to skip out on a bit of winter in exchange for sunny, summery Sydney without the crazy heat.

The happy couple at The Ranch - can't see the rain, can you?!

The happy couple at The Ranch – can’t see the rain, can you?! (Photo credit: Michael Friz)

But before we get to that, I have to report on a wedding that we had about 2 weeks ago. American guy living in Germany since he was little marries a German lady, so of course, we celebrated at a ranch not too far from Stuttgart.

It was definitely a very different wedding to the ones that we have attended and photographed this year. Not only the location, but the food as well. As you can tell, ‘The Ranch’ was very much country style with stables and plenty of horses. The food was delicious with pulled pork, ribs and burgers on offer.

There were a few mishaps like the music not working for awhile, but I suppose, what’s a wedding without them? Still, I’m hoping that ours won’t have any!!

It rained a little but we still managed to get some nice shots of the lovely couple and had a great time.

We also attended a family wedding the next weekend (just over a week ago) and although we didn’t do the photography there, I will report on it next time because it was beautiful and had just about ZERO mishaps!

Til then, I will be working on planning for the new apartment 🙂

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A very Stuttgarter Wedding

Weddings are magical, and rightly so. They are events to be enjoyed by all and where memories are made. The start of a new chapter. This is why it was not so surprising that despite the rain and overcast days we’ve been having in Stuttgart, that the heavens cleared and the sun burst out from behind the clouds for the special day on Saturday.

Michael and I were asked to photograph the wedding and happily accepted. Two of our friends tying the knot and us getting to play with our cameras? Of course!

The morning started out dreary. I was picked up by the bride and her hairstylist at 10am and driven to the maid-of-honour’s place where the bride was to get ready. The sky was cloudy and grey and as we were in the house preparing, the clouds unleashed a heavy downpour. It seemed that all was lost, but then just minutes before we were scheduled to leave, the rain stopped and the sun shone. Perfect.

Final touches

Final touches

I captured the preparation process while Michael hung out with the boys and snapped some shots there.

I arrived at the wedding in the nick of time, 5 minutes before the bride walked in. It was a lovely ceremony with some oddities. The pair kneeled at the wrong time and the priest forgot to bring his Bible, but what is a memory without something like that happening?

It goes to show that all the planning in the world cannot prepare you for everything, but it will still work out fine.

The celebration was held at a Cafe/Restaurant in Killesberg Park in Stuttgart. Despite being here for almost 2 years it was only my second time there and the first time was just 2 days before the wedding.

Train ride through the park

Killesberg: Train ride through the park

Killesberg Park is amazing. It is huge and in springtime contains so many wonders. There are ponds and a small waterfall, the flowers are in full bloom and the park is maintained well. There is a flower garden that was full of different varieties of tulips and an old style fair with games, a carousel and little stalls selling sweets and snacks. To add to its charm, the park also has a mini train which takes visitors on a large tour of the park. They also have 2 steam trains that they use for special occasions.

The Killesberg Tower

The Killesberg Tower: A view of the whole park

My arms are sore from carrying all our equipment and clicking away with my camera the whole day, but it’s always worth it when you see the images and moments that you managed to capture.

Let the wedding season begin.