Congratulations, Alyssa & Dennis! Their medieval German castle wedding along the Rhine was just gorgeous. Photography Vicky Baumann & Soulmade Films.

So tell us, how did you meet the love of your life?

We met through mutual friends in our courses when he came over to the United States from Germany to do his masters program exchange at my University--the University of Texas. Undoubtedly the most unexpected introduction of my life! And yeah, after about 8 months of being bound at the hip, he brought my back to Germany and I've been here ever since (4 years)!

When did you know they were the one?

I knew that he was the one when we could just sit with each other at a cozy coffee shop and study together and that was enough. It was beyond what could be exchanged in words (although our conversations were also nice!), but it just felt comfortable, safe, and right. He looked across at me so warmly and sincerely, and it just was something I sensed, you know?

Tell us the story of the proposal!

So, we didn't exactly have the traditional romantic proposal. In fact, it was probably the least conventional proposal one could imagine, but somehow also romantic? It was predominantly legal reasons with me being a US citizen and studying and working between the Netherlands and Germany and after sitting down and discussing our future, we decided that of course such a decision would make my legal and professional life here much easier, but we also felt ready. We knew that marriage would be something that we would want someday as we couldn't imagine being apart from one another, but one could say that it perhaps happened sooner than we thought. In any case, we are incredibly happy that we did!


How long was your engagement? What went into deciding your wedding's date and location?

It was roughly a year and a half--although that was largely influenced by COVID-19 circumstances. We decided on our wedding date with the idea November of 2021 would be a safer bet at having a shot at an in-person wedding than earlier in the summer, and we also find autumn particularly romantic. As far as where we had it, we knew we wanted to have it in Germany since we've really built our lives here and we decided on a medieval castle along the Rhine in his hometown. It was familiar, easy to arrange (mostly!), and really the most magical and ethereal of locations we could have ever imagined. It was also sentimental to us both as it was the first place we went when we moved over here, and I was just as stunned by it on the wedding day as back then when I first saw it.



How would you describe your personal style? What was most important to you when you were planning your bridal look?

My personal style is a blend of simplistic, elegance, and above all, comfort! When I was planning my bridal look, I was thinking a bit mythical. I had hoped for a dress that was timeless and looked like it came out of a fantasy world and the Natalie dress lived up to exactly that. Beyond just the aesthetic though, I didn't want something that itched or pinched or made parts of my body peek out in unflattering ways. I wanted a very clean and soft look that fit my body in such a way that it was snug and flattering, but I could breathe and move around freely without feeling restricted. This dress achieved that in spades and I felt very comfortable hugging, eating, and dancing the night away in it.

How did you find Wear Your Love?

I found Wear Your Love on Etsy.

When did you know you had found your perfect dress?

For me the Natalie dress combined a classy and pristine element with a daring and striking vibe. I thought that fit my personality perfectly with the more soft and demure features such as the high neckline, long-sleeves, and gentle lace train, but also the tough of edginess with the deep cut back and the hip-hugging mermaid silhouette. I hadn't found another dress which matched exactly what I wanted until I saw this one.



Which dress did you choose, and did you request any custom aspects?

I chose the Natalie dress and did not request any custom aspects.



What went through your mind when the Wear Your Love box arrived at your doorstep and you tried on your dress for the first time?

Relief. Definitely relief as I was rather wary about ordering a dress online and it arrived about 6 weeks prior to the wedding so I just hoped that I would like it--and I did!



Did your wedding have a theme or style?

We didn't specifically have a theme, although it was loosely fantasy inspired as we both Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. The castle in which we had it at is famous for dragon mythology and we played the song "I See Fire" which was written for "The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug." So there was a bit of a connection, although not too direct.

How involved was your partner in the wedding planning? Did your families help? Did you hire a coordinator, planner, or event stylist?

He was rather diligent with things, with a bit of gentle reminding! We did not hire a wedding planner, although his family helped a great deal with things such as coordinating hotels, one of his cousins who does event planning did our floral arrangements, and they all helped get me in touch with local vendors.



Let's show your wedding venue some love! What is the name of your venue, and why did you choose it for your special day?

Castle Drachenburg was the castle where we had our wedding ceremony and Restaurant Drachenfels was the restaurant nearby it where we had our beautiful reception. We chose it because it was sentimental for us both, we were very familiar with it, and the proximity of it being only 10 minutes away from us also helped!



Tell us about your wedding playlist! What song did you walk down the aisle to? Did you have a first dance song that was meaningful to you?

We didn't have music during the wedding ceremony and this is due to the fact that we were in a very old castle which is protected from things like sound systems coming in. However, we definitely had a lot of music going at the reception. Our first dance song was "I See Fire" by Ed Sheeran, which isn't exactly a romantic song (at all really), but it has always been a very rhythmic and soulful song to us and it is also a very good song to dance to. I recommend trying it sometime!

What was your favorite moment of the day?

There were two, really. The first one is a bit cliché, it was a moment outside of the castle with my dad before we entered and walked down the aisle. My dad is an expert at quelling nerves and knows exactly which jokes easy the tension and that was very special to me. And then, my second favorite moment was after the first dance, when I changed into my reception dress which was a bit more party-esque, it was having my friends in the bathroom with me helping me take my Spanx off and put on an adhesive bra (all of the complicated parts of women's dressing) and fixing my hair and makeup. There was a lot of laughing and I just felt so loved and safe. Other than that, the typical moments that are meaningful such as our vow exchange were obviously also unforgettable, especially since we personalized ours.

Who was involved in your special day? We would love to shout out your photographer, favorite vendors, and anyone else who made your day magical.

@der_drachenfels - Reception Location @thegoodbaki & @vickybaumann.de - Photographer team @lauramariebaedke & @ninanolepahairandmakeupdesign - Hair & Make-up team

Do you have any advice or helpful tips for others planning a wedding?

In retrospect, it probably is easier with a wedding planner if you really want to save yourself time and headaches, but if you're more of a simplistic person, it is rather manageable. Even though ours perhaps wasn't a magazine-style, perfectly-designed wedding, it fit us. And for us, having our guests have an experience, which they described as "an experience of a lifetime" was worth more to us than whether or not our napkins were the exact shade of blue to match the menus. I suppose my point is that although details are nice, often the bigger picture things are what are most memorable to you and to your guests alike.

What has been the best part so far about being married?

It felt like we had reached a higher level in our relationship--one which feels even more comfortable, safe, and right for us. It feels like we sealed the deal as a team and we are ready to go forth together in our lives. I've never felt more confident about a decision in my life and I think I can say that on behalf of us both.

Alyssa is wearing The Natalie with natural lining and a full 18 in train.

June 18, 2022