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A Classic & Cosy Real Wedding in Germany

“We walked up the steps to the outdoor terrace of the hotel and were greeted by all of our guests throwing confetti and cheering. It was just amazing.”

The couple: David McDonald & Mary Griffin
Length of engagement: 27 months | Wedding date: 15th March 2014
Wedding location: Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Photographer: Melanie Hold

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We met… David and I had always lived in the same housing estate in Tramore since we were born, we were just a road over from one another, we would have started school together, and made our communion together. Growing up, we had different friends, David did a lot of travelling and always worked abroad so I didn’t see or hear of him when we were older. Both our younger brother are best friends, a family incident happened that brought us in contact with each other. He used to call to my mother’s house so she could do his sewing, my mother secretly used to get me to call up on a Saturday “for tea” at the same time as he was there to try and bring us together!! It took awhile and a lot of wooing on David’s part but we got together. Actually, on one of our ‘first dates’ I brought 2 friends with me by accident!! I wasn’t sure what he meant when he asked me to go out for a few drinks, I thought there was loads of friends going and decided to drag along 2 friends rather than show up alone with a load of lads. How wrong I was, I walked into our local in Tramore with Christina and Amy in tow, and there he was, sitting at a table, on his own…

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Our proposal… The proposal was very special. We went to Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany to spend Christmas 2011 there skiing, David had planned a trip to see Neuschwanstein Castle which was always on our ‘to do’ list, he had organised a car to take us there claiming the bus was too much hassle/too early. Neuschwanstein Castle is in fact the ‘original’ Disney castle, it was what the design of the Disney castle was based on, I am a huge Disney fan so it was just magical. David had planned a private tour of the castle and the tour guide was in on the plan, we went up on the balcony where King Ludwig would have sat, the tour guide went off to play music so we could hear the amazing acoustics of the room as the ceiling was pine panelling. I thought she was mad leaving us there, next thing the music came on, I suddenly realised that actually, yes, the acoustics WERE quite good, turned to David and there he was on bended knee…

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My hair and make-up… I wanted a classic look for my make-up, natural eyes and a red lip, my eyeshadows were Mac and my lipstick was Mac Russian Red. My sister Amy is a make-up artist and she took on the task to do my make-up on the Big Day, Amy helped me shop for what I wanted and of course we had many a make-up trial. Amy was fantastic on the morning of my wedding, she turned from sister to professional the minute she entered the room and made me feel so relaxed and gave off a real sense of calmness. I knew what way I wanted my hair – up, loose and to the side, I discussed it with my hairdresser and she created my look perfectly.

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My dress… was Novia D’art. I had seen it online when browsing for dresses and it was the first one I tried on. I loved the lace and felt it was so timeless, I knew I wanted a dress that when I look at photos in 20 or 30 years time it would still be a dress one would wear. It was so easy to wear and walk in and the back of the dress was just fabulous, I loved it, it was different. I bought my dress in Ciara Bridal in Powerscourt Shopping Centre in Dublin City Centre. The girls in there were just so nice, relaxed, helpful and fun, I would recommend Ciara Bridal to anyone.

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His suit… David’s suit was Ermenegildo Zegna and his shoes were Hugo Boss, both from Brown Thomas in Dublin.

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Our ceremony… Our ceremony was in St Anton’s church in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The ceremony was lovely with both our families and close friends present, we had a singer Cliodhna Gahan sing at the church and she did an amazing job.

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What our bridal party wore… Our groomsmen wore suits from Next and our bridesmaids wore dresses from a website called ‘Dressale.com’, shoes from Marks & Spencer and cardigans from Benetton.

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We chose our photographer because… Melanie was a photographer I found when looking for one in the Garmisch area, we met her in January of that year. Melanie was so nice and understanding and did the photos that we wanted, I had an idea to make our own photo booth and Melanie set the whole thing up, it went down very well with our guests, she was a brilliant to work with and everyone gave her a big cheer when David thanked her after the dinner. She went above and beyond for us – she even went out on the roof of the hotel to get a group picture for us!

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We chose our venue because… We chose the Panorama Hotel in Garmisch because it fitted with what we wanted for our wedding, it was perched up high overlooking the town of Garmisch with fantastic panoramic views, it was a 30 second walk from the church so no transport issues for our guests and it had a rustic, alpine, ski lodge feel to it. The Panorama Hotel is a family run hotel by Andrea and her sister, they did a brilliant job dealing with their first Irish wedding and everyone was wowed by their service and efficiency.

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We chose our wedding coordinator because… Uschi Glas is a wedding planner and works in the hotel industry in Garmisch. Uschi was fantastic, so calming, professional, precise, she knew what I wanted and made it happen – I am forever grateful to her.

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Our wedding theme/colours… We didn’t have a specific theme for our wedding as the location and view didn’t need it. I wanted our wedding to be simple, classic, cosy and sparkly and did not want to take away from the alpine feel of the hotel and the amazing views on offer. Also the fact that our wedding was completely DIY I wanted to keep things simple. I had fairy lights all around the room and on the window sills and lanterns with tea lights in them both inside and outside. The centrepiece on each of the tables was a simple ivory pillar candle with ivy draped around it and running off the edge of the table. I had baskets of blankets for my guests to keep warm if they went outside and had a basket of slippers for the women in the bathrooms – everyone loved the slippers!! I had spoken with Uschi a lot about the feel I wanted and she created exactly what I had in mind on the day of the wedding. We did the menus, table plan, place names and mass booklets ourselves too and kept that in line with the theme using ivory paper with an old style type writer font.

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Our menu… We had a 3 course meal, soup or salad for starters, fillet of beef or fillet of salmon for mains and traditional German apple strudel for dessert. The meal went down very well and we had nothing but good reports from our guests.

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My favourite part of the wedding day was… after we had our photos done, we walked up the steps to the outdoor terrace of the hotel and were greeted by all of our guests throwing confetti and cheering. It was just amazing – I will never forget it, I felt famous for a moment.

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Our honeymoon… We went to New York for 5 days, Mexico for 10 days and finished with New Orleans for 5 days, each place was so different and we loved every bit of it but New Orleans was just wow – a wonderful city with fantastic food, culture and people.

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My piece of advice for other brides… Use Pinterest for ideas – if you visualise your wedding enough, it will happen. Don’t do what everyone else wants you to do for you wedding, do what you and your other half want to do!

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Pamela Mahon

Pamela Mahon

Pamela enjoys writing about all things decor (she loves buying it too) and has a not so secret addiction to stationery.

  One comment

  1. Oh my that venue is amazing and that dress…wow!

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