Hi. We are trying to plan a Church wedding in Austria. Does anyone have any experience or could recommend a good planner. We will already be legally married (at City Hall) before we go, so it will just be church and party or dinner after. We were thinking of late November/early December. Thanks!
Since you're talking about something 2-3 months away, I would make known how many people you're thinking of hosting and what locations in Austria are actually viable ones. It sounds like you may also need a wedding planner that speaks English?
I would think that venues would already be booked in advance for something so close....Maybe look at a town like Graz that is a beautiful city, but not super touristy, so it may have better prices for vendors...?
hmmm tricky one...
Pick a town you wish to get married in, and then get in contact with the town hall (Gemeindeamt for smaller towns); usually someone can reply in English and direct you to the ecclesiastical authority there. Austria being a Catholic country, expect to be asked for documentation and timely announcement of the banns. You will have to arrange these things with the local parish (Pfarre)and the priest (Pfarrer). In more tourist-oriented regions there are wedding planners who speak English - just pose this question on tripadvisor.com.
At the same time, I would not hesitate to work things out via a hotel or Gasthaus you may want to stay in. A lot of them have experience with weddings - it's their weekend bread and butter event - and can find whatever you may want. The Advent season is a particular good time for booking, since it comes just ahead of the holiday period (and there is no Thanksgiving holiday in the way).
Is a wedding in Austria done the same way as here? A local wedding planner may have a completely different picture of what a wedding looks like. That could be a good thing.
I got the impression (maybe wrongly) that many weddings in Germany were similar to our Justice of the Peace marriages at town hall.
I've seen some pretty big wedding parties in Italy. I've also attended a wedding in Korea for a Korean Air Force officer. It was part Western style wedding and part Shinto (I think) ceremony.
A wedding in Austria involves both a legal ceremony (usually low-key) and then a church wedding. The banns are a Catholic requirement; the residency laws in Austria may differ some, so this is where you need to contact the Austrian embassy for info.
Since you already are married, just bring the marriage certificate along to avoid complications.
If you are not Catholic, then you will either have to get in touch with a Protestant (Lutheran) parish, or ask at the town parish you desire to visit what is appropriate.
There are a number of lovely customs that Austrians (in more rural areas) have wrapped around the event. The bachelor parties there may have the same effect as they often do here, but the creation of a wedding bower by friends and relatives ("Schwingbogen") the Bachelor Funeral, a very sacrilegious rite, and the stealing of the bride are still very fond memories that are practiced today.
There is a long thread about this very topic on tripadvisor.com (in my mind the finest online travel web page):