Geena Urango – My Best Friend’s Austrian Wedding

Last month I flew to Europe to go to my best friend’s wedding. Emilie Menghin (formally Stewart) and her Austrian husband Stefan Menghin are what you might call… a perfect love story.

Emilie came to Austria about 3 years ago to play professional volleyball for a team in Innsbruck. A few of her teammates were friends with Stefan, who played water polo and rugby in Innsbruck as well. They were introduced to each other, and let’s just say the rest is history. Can we say future athletic babies?! They fell in love, moved in with each other, got a dog, Stefan proposed, and wah lah! A beautiful Austrian wedding! …And soon to be beautiful California wedding when they move to the states as soon as Stefan is done with school.


A traditional Austrian wedding is different in some ways and similar in others when compared to a traditional American wedding. One difference is the fashion. Traditional Austrian weddings have the bride wearing a dirndl. As you can see above, Emilie looks gorgeous in hers! Many of Stefan’s friends who attended the wedding also wore Lederhosen’s which are appropriate for weddings.

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Wanting to embrace the culture, a few of us Americans bought dirnls to wear to the wedding. I mean, what better excuse to buy one?! I will tell you though that those things are very tight… extremely tight… can’t breath going to die tight. You get used to it. (Also, that will be my halloween costume for the next 5 years.)


(It was really bright…)

Another difference of an Austrian wedding is the location. Although I know there are parts in America with beautiful mountains, I’m used to the California beach wedding. The mountains in Austria though are unlike any I’ve ever seen. They are too perfect. It was actually quite hard to believe they were even real. I still think they’re just a painting…

Similarly though, there’s a ceremony (which is actually the signing of the marriage license) and a reception with an amazing meal. The meal is then concluded with the first dance for the bride and groom, music and dancing for everyone (and schnapps shots), the cutting of the cake (more schnapps shots), and more dancing (and schnapps shots).

A huge congrats to Emilie and Stefan Menghin! You guys set the bar pretty high, so I’m expecting even bigger things now for your California wedding!


Geena Urango
Features on our blog 

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Emilie Stewart
Emilie in AustriaLand
Features on our blog

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