MIKE & DEBBIE // AUSTRIAN REHEARSAL DINNER & TRADITIONAL WEDDING PORTRAITS (PART 1 of 2)

You might remember this couple from the epic proposal I got to shoot last year in Greece. When Mike & Debbie plan something, they tend to do it in a big and memorable way. When Mike proposed to Debbie last August, over 50 of their friends and family flew in to Mykonos, and we spent the rest of the week celebrating in Santorini. So of course, the wedding weekend was no small occasion. This girl from Texas and boy from Philadelphia both live in London, and wanted to plan a fun-filled weekend for their favorite people. They settled on the quaint town of Gmunden, Austria for their celebration. While Austria isn't typically on most people's bucket lists of places to visit, it completely blew us away. Beautiful lakes surrounded by gorgeous mountains, we spent a week in this secret gem of a country.

Friday started with the rehearsal dinner, where everyone wore the traditional "lederhosen" (for the men) and "dirndl" (for the women). What most people don't know is that these "costumes" are actually traditional wear for all the locals, and can cost up to 600-700 Euro! Everyone wears them during Oktoberfest time, to work, out with friends, literally everywhere. You actually look out of place if you don't wear them! We had a mini portrait shoot before dinner, and then took a boat cruise across Lake Traunsee to this adorable little restaurant where the couple planned a surprise performance of traditional Austrian dancers for their guests. It was literally so much fun, and afterward we still had the wedding to look forward to! Stay tuned for the actual wedding day blog to come soon...