Let us explore Austria that spellbinds fairytale weddings with Michaela Honies.
In Conversation with Michaela Honies of Elegant Events based in Vienna are leading coordinators across Austria for all your very special celebrations. Michaela ensures delivering excellent content and gains happiest clients.
WT: Michaela, you reside in an enchanting country Austria! We would like to know when you started Elegant Events and how it happened?
MH: Hi Meenal, I have started Elegant Events more than 15 years ago and it was a bit like a miracle. I have never dreamt of weddings and getting married, but when I decided to leave the secure wings of a big company to found my own enterprise, I saw the big potential in this industry. And as soon as I have started telling the people about it, one of the biggest event companies of the counter turned to me and within a few weeks I was responsible for about ten of the most appealing and popular wedding locations in Vienna. So it was like riding on a rocket and I really enjoyed this exciting time!
WT: Can you recommend locations in Austria for Indian Weddings ?
MH: Austria is a small country and due to its history, we have two centers with amazing locations and palaces and these are Vienna and Salzburg. These cities provide all couples with a perfect infrastructure, the most beautiful event locations and the best hotels and restaurants they are looking for. But if you are looking for this special winter wedding experience which can be such a beautiful surrounding for your wedding, then of course Kitzbuehel should also be on your list! It is the most famous winter sports region in the Alps, beautiful nature combined with a historical center with almost chic flair of doing business. It is a city of charm and all-rounder profile. The hospitality of hotels and restaurants are at the highest level. So this is so outstanding, you will never forget what you have seen there.
WT: Belvedere Palace is one of the most known castles in the world. What attracts everyone?
MH: Belvedere Palace is not only one of Europe’s most stunning Baroque landmarks, it is surrounded by extensive gardens and at the same time the place of excellent art exhibitions houses the greatest collection of Austrian art dating from the Middle Ages to the present day, complemented by the work of international artists such as Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh. But the most stunning paintings for all couples and their guests are still and for always the famous golden Art Nouveau icons the Kiss and Judith from Gustav Klimt.
WT: Are you onboard with Belvedere Palace? Have you catered to any Indian Wedding there? Can you tell us about the most recent ones?
MH: Of course, Belvedere is such a great place, you cannot do weddings without having this on your list! And yes, we have just finished our work for the lovely couple Anjuli & Vidur, who have decided to do their wedding in Vienna. Guests came from all over the world, as Anjuli’s family lives in the US and Vidur’s in India, so it was a wonderful idea to meet in the middle of these two continents, here in Austria.
The couple has already arranged a tour on a cruise ship on the Danube when we first met, and laid the planning and organization of all the details of their wedding day here in Vienna into our hands. So we have set-up the design concept for the ceremony, dinner and party; have planned the lights concept together with our partners from Concept Solutions; and arranged all other details like food, the cake, the music, the flowers, the furniture, and much more. It was very interesting for us to find a way to realize all these Indian traditions in an historic Austrian setting, and to make this day unforgettable for the couple and there guests!
WT: Like Belvedere Palace is there any exclusive venue or heritage in Austria where celebrations can be done? (where special permissions can be given like Scalaria, Red Bull Hangar, Salzburg Castle)
MH: We have such a lot of AMAZING locations here in Austria, one of the best are the palaces of the Liechtenstein family which is still privately owned by the reigning Prince of Liechtenstein. When they have reopened the city palace, we were the first ones ever who got the permission to arrange a very exclusive wedding reception at the Princely Dining Room.
WT: Five star alliances or heritages you suggest?
MH: Absolutely, we have made the best experiences with the Starwood hotels in Austria as there are Hotel Schloss Fuschl in Salzburg and Hotel Bristol in Vienna. And an absolute new star and my favorite of the moment is the Park Hyatt Vienna with an adorable Penthouse Suite with more than 800 sqm which we have already used for one of our wedding couples including a luxury wedding brunch on the day after the ceremony for an exclusive round of only eighty hand selected guests.
WT: How well connected are the cities?
MH: One of the reasons why we are concentrating on Vienna and Salzburg is the perfect connections they offer. Vienna airport is only 20 minutes from the centre, and besides the fact that Salzburg does also offer an airport (especially used by private planes), Munich is very near and it takes guests an average of 1.5 hours to get to the centre of Salzburg.
WT: Are there any outdoor catering you recommend?
MH: We always work with one of the best European caterers for our international customers, which is Do&Co Catering. The biggest advantage: Due to their international network, they can just bring the experts on any international dish right to Vienna. We ask, they bring! So we have been already successfully cooperating for Indian, Russian, Arabian, Chinese and Jewish couples here in Austria, amongst many others.
WT: We would like to know about the services you offer?
MH: We are only offering full-service wedding planning. We have had the honor to work for more than five hundred couples during the last fifteen years. Due to this we have been gaining endless experience during the last years and know very well how to make an event successful. Together with our partners, we design an individual composition of design, style, colors and entertainment with the aim to make our weddings inimitable and unique. So usually we start with looking for the perfect location and end with selecting the couple’s gifts to the guests. And are endlessly happy when we see the smiles and happiness in the faces of our couples on their big day!
WT: Which other destinations have you conducted special events in Europe?
MH: Sorry, Meenal, we are only working in Austria.
WT: What is unique about Elegant Events?
MH: With the experience of more than five hundred unique weddings and social events, I am happy to be listed as one of Europe’s leading wedding coordinators. We have done all kind of weddings, from small scale up to several millions dollar weddings. The most unique asset, in my opinion, is the extreme professional way to work for a private customer. Nowadays we are always responsible for wedding budgets of several hundred thousands dollar and we handle this with the greases care we can think of. Besides this professional way of working, we have developed a kind of a signature style, we love to give each wedding a very glamorous touch, something our customers are eagerly longing for and we know how to make these dreams come true.
WT: Have you faced any challenge in weddings? Can you elaborate with your strengths how you achieved them for that wedding?
MH: Our weddings are always so special, starting from all the different cultures we mostly have to include in our weddings, or the different nationalities the guests are coming from. And sometimes of course also the very, very intimate aspect of a family event where you get involved in all these stories of love, tears and rules which make a family’s life and which are important to know to make a wedding successful.
WT: What do you like about Indian Weddings?
MH: Indian Wedding are such a great experience! Nearly 90% of our customers come from abroad, and we love to combine the traditional aspects of an international wedding with the traditions and cultural opportunities in Austria! Doing Indian weddings is always a feast for us, with all these colors and scents and musical highlights!
About Michaela Honies Elegant Events:
After having sold her first wedding agency, founded in 2001, and which she has made the leading wedding agency in Austria; nowadays Michaela Honies makes luxury wedding dreams come true. In all the years and after so many glamorous events, she understood to build up a broad network of brilliant service providers, reliable partners, outstanding designers and the most wonderful locations of the country. Today Michaela Honies offers a comprehensive and complete portfolio of exclusive event design and holistic event planning with her company Elegant Events.