It took me a decade into my career as a professional wedding photographer to fulfill a bucket list dream of shooting a European wedding. Shakiba and Sebastian gifted me with the opportunity of shooting their fairytale of a wedding in Germany this summer. And now, looking back, I’m not sure if it was the romantic 16th century estate, the winding garden paths or the incredible hospitality of new friends, but this wedding was every bit worth the 10 year wait.
When we arrived at Rittergut Grossgoltern outside of Hanover, Germany, we knew we hit a wedding jackpot. The property highlight is a beautiful estate complete with a moat, ivy-covered bridge, private gardens with trees as old as time, and a quaint little barn circled by apple trees.
Shakiba was relaxed and smiley as she got ready. The light pouring in through the french doors was a beautiful way to start the day.
Shakiba walked out of the hotel and into the courtyard where she took a special moment with her daughter and father. Poor Mila was fighting a cold, but she was excited to see her mom dressed up like a princess!
The ceremony took place in the yard behind the barn where they’d later transition for the reception. Shakiba handmade whimsical garlands that hung in the trees and took the backyard-style wedding from beautiful to magical.
Shakiba and Sebastian chose a Persian tradition of being showered with sweetness as happily married women rub sugar cones over the bride and groom’s heads.
And for our U.S. friends, take a page from Shakiba and Sebastian: The couple’s friends and family made speeches during the ceremony while everyone was attentive and engaged.
They walked out to bubbles and sunshine :)
The venue has room for two separate celebrations on the property. We briefly caught a glimpse of the other couple, which made for a fun interaction!
Together at last. We had no shortage of beautiful places to shoot on the grounds.
It was this shot, standing here next to this beautiful estate that made me light up on the inside. I think I said out loud something along the lines of, “This is a dream come true.” I had been dreaming of this exact opportunity for years.
We made our way around to the back where we found the gardens to be another endless photo opportunity.
After our photo session, we met back up with the guests and wedding party. Cocktails and horderves were being passed around. It was a beautiful evening. A refreshing 75 degrees with a gentle breeze. Perfect.
Another Shakiba and Sebastian ingenious idea: The couple wanted lanterns to hang from the old wood beams, but found the task too cumbersome. Instead, they chose large balloons that floated above the tables to fill the gap in ceiling height. The effect was perfect.