A stunning, European setting with bright pops of colour to add some romance completed Dominic and Tanja’s day. We loved the historic architecture and the rolling hills – the perfect accompaniment to their adventurous souls.
Dom and I met at work – he was a consultant in Cape Town and I was in the marketing department in the Johannesburg office. It all started when he asked for my help to make a presentation “pretty”. Passionate conversations about travel, food and music over MSN messenger connected us. Our long-distance relationship stretched over three and a half years with thousands of emails.
In 2011 I backpacked across South East Asia for six months while Dom travelled across Northern India on a motorbike. We joined our journeys by reuniting in Paris and trekked across France, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal for a few months on a shoestring budget (a true test for a couple!). After this adventure, I transferred to Cape Town and moved in with Dom. We also continued our love affair with travel by ticking Sri Lanka and the West Coast of the USA off our bucket list.
It was in San Francisco after a day of wandering the streets of Haight-Ashbury, the birthplace of the hippie culture in the sixties, that Dom proposed to me in our little bohemian, rented apartment. This was followed by a beach sunset and a simple pizza-and-beer dinner at a local gem. Dom doesn’t do over-the-top or cliche, so the low-key proposal was true to his relaxed style and it ended up being an incredibly special day in one of the world’s most beautiful, vibrant cities.
I used to be in eventing so everyone expected me to organise a big, showstopper wedding. Every time I thought about it and the more Dom and I spoke about it, we realised that small and intimate was what we both wanted. Narrowing a considerable guest list down to 30 people was one of the most difficult things we had to do. In hindsight, being honest with ourselves and what we wanted was completely worth it. It resulted in a relaxed, authentic and truly intimate occasion.
My father is Austrian and he used to spend his childhood summers on the family farm in the alps of South Tyrol (Alto Adige). This tradition continued with many of my holidays being spent in the same gorgeous area. When Dom asked for my dad’s blessing, my father shared my dream of getting married in one of the rustic castles of this area. A few months before our nuptials, we spent our Christmas break in South Tyrol and the romance of the blended Italian and Austrian cultures, architecture and food sealed the deal. Dom is an ardent climber so being surrounded by mountains also made him very happy!
Our family and friends are scattered around the globe so it was the first time many of them met, travelling from Los Angeles, Washington, Kuala Lumpur, Vienna, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth to this remote castle on top of a mountain in the Dolomites of Italy.
Due to the breathtaking alpine scenery and the rustic castle location, we kept the decor quite simple. We wanted a timeless, classic look for everything so that we could look back on our wedding and it wouldn’t feel dated. Neutral shades complimented the natural, lush green surroundings. The backdrop allowed us to play with elements like the flowers – a variety of white blooms white with a lot of greenery. Dom wore a classic navy suit while I chose a flowing, Grecian gown. The only other pops of colour were the red roses in my hair and bouquet, as well as the berry shade of lipstick I wore to create a bit of drama.