Bride Blog Part 1

There is so much that goes

into planning a wedding that at times it can seem like an impossible task—we get it! The good thing is, you’re not in this alone. We’ve asked one of our brides who is in the wedding planning process to share how things are going in regular posts.

Meet The Bride

Hi, I’m Zanny, and I’m gearing up for not just one but TWO celebrations this summer as my husband and I host weddings in both our native countries: the US and Germany. Yes, that’s right—husband. I’m already married. I think of myself as a COVID bride, as Philipp and I officially tied the knot during the summer of 2020, when masks were mandatory and social distancing was very much the norm. 

Now, three years later, we’re finally getting the chance to throw some parties and share our love and excitement with the people who mean the most to us. As a writer, I process the world through words, so it felt natural to describe my bridal experience in blog form. I’m excited to share my journey as I prepare for these two celebrations—they’re just around the corner!

How We Met

When I was 20 years old, after spending the first years after high school working in a restaurant and backpacking solo through Europe, I decided to head to Cambodia to see what life was like in a Buddhist country. I signed up to bartend in a hostel called Tipsy Turtles in Siem Reap, Cambodia so I could get free room and board that would allow me to explore on the cheap. 

Philipp, now my husband, owned the hostel, and we hit it off right away. 

I ended up moving full-time to Siem Reap a few months after getting there, and lived with Philipp and some friends in a house we called “The Villa” on the outskirts of the city. We spent much of the next year and a half going on motorbike adventures in the jungle together, hitchhiking to hidden temples late at night, and drinking beers with local friends or hostel guests from all over the world. 

Our Elopement

Fast forward a couple of years and we were living in the US, in the small ski town of Telluride, Colorado where we’d moved to work in hospitality and explore the great outdoors. By the time we got engaged in 2020, the pandemic had sent the world around us crashing down. Both of us were furloughed, unsure of what the future would bring.

As much as we wanted to take our time planning a wedding, we were also faced with the reality that Philipp’s visa would end soon and he’d have to go back to Germany. Since borders were closed at that time, there was a good chance we would be separated. So rather than wait, we decided to tie the knot right away in the hopes that we could stick together. We would have gotten married anyway, but our circumstances shifted the timeline. 

We made the decision to elope pretty last minute, then rushed to put some plans together and make it special. I traded restaurant shifts to make sure I had the day off and a few of my coworkers threw me a bachelorette party. Then Philipp and I made dinner reservations for the special day at a fancy steakhouse and splurged on a hotel room a ten-minute walk from our tiny studio apartment for something special. One night of freedom from washing dishes and folding laundry!

On August 11th, 2020, Philipp and I woke up, dressed in our best, and walked hand-in-hand to the courthouse. With both of our families tuning in by video call, we sat in the courthouse and filled out all the necessary forms. Then, a photographer met us outside in the courthouse garden, where we exchanged rings and signed the papers. We were married! 

In the end, an elopement made sense for us. The two of us have been our own unit all over the world, having each others’ backs as expats in a foreign world, working crazy hours in restaurants during the busy ski season, and going on daily walks during the pandemic lockdown when town was eerily quiet. We both live far from our families and the communities we’ve previously known. It felt right to spend our special day just the two of us!

We made a charcuterie board picnic on the banks of the river in Telluride and exchanged the vows we had written. Afterward, we wandered through town, stopping by the restaurants where each of us worked for a glass of champagne before a fancy dinner. It was special and romantic and felt just right.  

Deciding to Have a Wedding After All

During the first two years of the pandemic when it felt like the laws of time and space were suspended and we filled our hours with daydreaming, we imagined having a proper wedding someday. As my family has reminded me again and again, weddings are often more about friends and family than they are about the couple. Having a wedding gives my parents the chance to host all the people we love most in one place for good food and good fun. In an era of our world in which suffering is rife and celebrations seem few and far between, it is important to mark each special occasion. So once we’d all been vaccinated multiple times and it seemed that the tides had turned for the pandemic, we decided to plan a party. 

Well, two parties to be exact.

All photos in this post are courtesy of Zanny and Philipp.

To Be Continued