Casimir & Alana – A German-American Wedding in Sayn (1)

The wedding season really has begun. On Saturday 1 June 2019 Prince Casimir zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn and Alana Bunte married religiously at the Abbey of Bendorf-Sayn, Germany. The couple announced their engagement already on 22 June 2017.

Prince Casimir zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn was born at Koblenz, Germany, on 4 May 1976 as third of seven children of Fürst Alexander zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn and Countess Gabriela von Schönborn-Wiesentheid. He was married 2000, divorced 2005, to Corinna Larsen and with her had a son: Alexander (* 2002). He owns a financial institute that develops agricultural projects in South America. At the time of the engagement he lived in Paraguay, and his firms main office was situated in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Alana Camille Bunte was born on 2 October 1990 in Laguna Beach, California, USA, as daughter of Brady Dale Bunte and Angela M. Lopez. Her father is American, her mother is from Colombia. She has three brothers. Since she was 15 she worked as a model for among others Louis Vuitton and Carolina Herrera. She studied art and design at the University of the Arts, Central Saint Martin, London. At the time of the engagement she lived in Brooklyn, New York.

The couple met at a birthday party in Italy four years ago and got to know each other better in London. Casimir proposed to Alana on a small, hidden seat in Hyde Park, London, overlooking the lake. At the time they lived in London. The main residence of the couple is in South America now, but they also have a house in New York. They also have an apartment in Sayn Castle, where they would like their children to grow up.

The civil marriage took place in Sayn on Friday 31 May 2019.

Several friends travelled to Sayn for the wedding on Saturday. I would have loved to go, but it was just a bit too far away for me. Stefan wrote me that the museum in the castle was open on Friday when he arrived. He of course went in. In the museum among others the bridal dresses of Princess Yvonne (sister of Fürst Alexander), Princess Alexandra, Princess Filippa (daughters and Princess Philippa (daughter-in-law) are exhibited. Also many photos of weddings can be seen. Stefan afterwards visited the abbey, that was open and already decorated with flowers and the red carpet was there too.

If you want to see something at a royal wedding you have to be early, although not too early. Stefan and Gabi were at the abbey at 9am, some hours before the wedding. Ulrike arrived a bit later, but in time to see the guests arriving. Prince Casimir’s eldest brother Hereditary Prince Heinrich was pretty early as he had to place the pieces of paper with the names of the guests on the chairs. More family members and guests arrived. Only around 10.20am it started to become busier and guests arrived from all sides, so it was difficult not to miss anybody important. Fürst Alexander zu Schaumburg-Lippe, his partner Mahkameh Navabi, his ex-wife Princess Lily zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and their son Hereditary Prince Heinrich Donatus zu Schaumburg-Lippe were the last to arrive at the abbey.

Shortly before the wedding the younger brother of the groom, Prince Louis, arrived. As they look alike many people at first thought the groom had arrived. Finally the bride and her father arrived in a cabriolet. She looked rather tense. Before going into the abbey the dress, veil and train had to be properly laid down, which took time, so there was enough time to take photos. The bride wore a dress designed by the Spanish designer Jorge Acuña, the bride told the German magazine “Gala”. The three and a half metres long veil is from 1870 and was worn by brides of the Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn family ever since. Also the tiara and the earrings are in the possession of the family. The pearl on top of the tiara is from Casimirs great-great-grandmother Fürstin Margarethe von Thurn und Taxis née Archduchess of Austria.

The service lasted for about 1,5 hours and was broadcasted in the cloister of the abbey so people could follow what was happening. It was led by the dean Johannes zu Eltz and minister Joachim Frey. When the bride and groom left the abbey church, Stefan said, a few photographers took positions that almost made it impossible for anyone else to take pictures. Even the groom didn’t seem to be pleased about it. While Stefan went inside the church, the bridal couple and their guests walked in procession to Sayn Castle. There was a reception in the forecourt of the castle, where beer and bubbles were poured.

When bride and groom moved to the terrace of the castle restaurant, my friends quickly moved. A great idea, as the bridal couple and the family all went there and waved to the people out in the street and park. There were also gun salutes from the park. The reception lasted until about 3pm.

Witnesses: David H. Laky, Prince Peter zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, Blake Bunte and Perry Strauß.

Bridal children: June and Jasper Hufkens van Steynvorde, Prince Vincenz and Princess Ladislaja zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn and Maria Truckenbrodt.

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