What a magical day! We gather at the palace in our formal finery, and the tourists who are on the grounds for other reasons are quite taken with our glamorous selves. A wedding at the Schönbrunn is not a common event. The ceremony is to be in the white and gold room, where a string quartet is playing. The men are resplendent in their tuxes and ties, and Pat looks amazing in his custom-made suit. Maya says “Dad. You are so … blue!” The women are beautiful in their gowns and pinch-y shoes. But as Maya’s friend Mai says, “beauty is pain.”
We sit and wait for the bride, who may just be the most beautiful bride ever. The ceremony is conducted by two celebrants, one the official Austrian registrar, and the other a translator to make sure everybody understands exactly what everybody is agreeing to. Britta and Grayden are more than happy to agree to all stipulations. For the ring exchange, the bride hands her bouquet, which is made from ten pounds of vintage brooches, to her maid of honor, who stumbles under the weight of it. Pat and Christine hold hands. Everybody cries.
Outside for champagne and photos
We are all very pleased with the cloudy day, which is warm but perfect for taking photos and enjoying champagne and appetizers. The photographer takes everyone into the woods for mood shots surrounded by the grand old trees that line the walks on palace grounds. The best man takes selfies with everyone.
But wait, there’s more
The wedding couple has arranged for all of us to take a private tour of the palace. We see the private chambers of Maria Theresa and other Hapsburg big-wigs, including the giant bed from which Maria Theresa conducted business while being pregnant with any one of her sixteen kids. Next stop, the bus to dinner.
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For a sneak peek at the fabulous ten course dinner from Silvio Nickol look here!