The bridal soiree was hosted by an uncle of the bride, Count Anton Wolfgang von Faber-Castell and his wife Mary.
A few photographers and journalists (including me) and a camera team of the Hessische Rundfunk - closely watched by some security people at the entrance - were present when the first guests arrived at 19:00 at Meyers Galerie at the Staedel (Städelsches Kunstinstitut und Städtische Galerie) in the Dürerstrasse in Frankfurt am Main. The front gate was covered to avoid us to take photographs through the gate. Tens of known and unknown guests arrived in cars, taxis and busses. Some of them drove through the gate, so we couldn't see much of the people inside. But most of them stepped out of the cars and taxis in front of the gate so we were able to take photographs. At first we were able to read names on the invitations they had to show at the gate, but already soon the checking of the invitations was done inside so we couldn't read them anymore. However the staff at the Staedel took good care of us as several times drinks were brought outside for us.
The religious wedding took place at noon in the 14th century gothic evangelic Johanniskirche in the centre of the old town of Kronberg im Taunus, northwest from Frankfurt am Main. Some 350 guests were invited for the wedding, that was led by the Rev. Erich Dorn. The civil wedding had already taken place in Wiesbaden on April 25 in private.
The bride, Countess Floria von Faber-Castell arrived at church just before noon with her father Count Hubertus von Faber-Castell and the brideschildren, among them Tatiana and Polissena Galdo (daughters of Princess Mafalda von Hessen), Cosmo Brachetti-Peretti (eldest son of Princess Mafalda von Hessen) and Madeleine Caiazzo (daughter of Princess Elena von Hessen) and Freiherr Alexander von der Leyen. The bride wore a simple dress from champagne-coloured silk, created by designer Sibilla Pavenstedt from Hamburg. Eye- catching was the splendid 200-year-old 3-metres-long brocade train from the Hessen family, while also the beautiful diademe the bride wore came out of the family possession of the Hessen family. The bridal bouquet existed of peonies and forget-me-nots, the bride's favourite flowers.
It seems little Cosmo didn't really enjoy being a page, as he started crying at arrival at church and during the wedding his nanny took him outside. Also other guests went outside with their little children during the service. Verena and I had a short drink with a photographer and a journalist from Bunte (a German magazine) and on our way we met a guests with an adoring little girl we had already seen entering church before, while the little girl - Romy Victoria - showed us that she already could walk very well, although it was still too difficult for her to walk up the stairs so her father carried her inside.
(photo left) The bride arrives at the church (middle photo and photo right) Bridal couple leaves church (All copyright: Netty Leistra)
After saying goodbye to Pfarrer Erich Dorn bride and groom posed for the photographers for a while. After some encouragement from the press no less than two kisses of bride and groom followed (of course I didn't manage to photograph those). Cheered by a few of their guests bride and groom left.
After the wedding bride, groom and guests drove to the Castle Hotel Kronberg (Friedrichshof Castle) for the reception hosted by Landgrave Moritz von Hessen and Princess Tatiana von Hessen, parents of the groom. Friedrichshof Castle was built between 1889 and 1893 for Empress Victoria of Germany, widow of Emperor Friedrich III and eldest daughter of Queen Victoria of Great Britain. Empress Victoria is also the great-great-grandmother of Prince Donatus von Hessen.
In the evening a dinner and ball took place, hosted by Landgrave Moritz von Hessen and Princess Tatiana von Hessen and the mother of the bride Countess Adelheid von Faber- Castell. The four-course dinner took place in the great dining-hall and existed among others of lobster on cucumber-carpaccio, fillet beef from Angus with morels, asparagus pie and potato-gratin. White wine of the vineyards of the Prinz von Hessen was served. After the dinner a ball took place in the great dining-hall and on the terrace of the castle. Until late at night the guests could party on a rich musical programme, among others a performance of the band 'Street Live' with a repertoire from jazz to funk.