Colleen Kelly and her husband on their wedding day, from "Why Salzburg Has My Heart: My Wedding in Austria"

For those of you that don’t know this, and this may be most of you, I have a deep love and connection for a very special city in Europe…because of my wedding in Salzburg, Austria! It all started many years ago when I was invited by my best friend to study abroad in college, and we moved to Salzburg for a year. I lived with a local family (who spoke only German) while my friend chose to live with another family in town. We attended school in this iconic city and traveled on weekends, but we always came ‘home’ to the magical city of Salzburg.

After a year, we returned to the United States, and I graduated from college and settled down with a job. But I couldn’t stop thinking about when I would go back to my beloved Salzburg. Soon, I had a boyfriend, and all he knew was that I was obsessed and in love with this fabulous city (I talked about it all the time). So, my then-boyfriend at the time asked if I would like to go back. One spring after dating a couple of years, we flew over there for a visit (it was his first time in Europe). Upon our first night, he promptly got down on one knee and proposed on a bridge overlooking the legendary Salzach River, with magical views of the castle fortress as our backdrop. It was like a fairytale, and we were both thrilled about spending our lives together. (Plus, as a woman, there’s nothing better than a good engagement story to bring back home, and I had a good one!)

Anyway, while there visiting this city and enjoying our status as a newly engaged couple, and while walking amongst the winding European streets and passing by castles, baroque beautiful palaces, and flower-filled gardens, we saw a white royal-looking horse-drawn carriage. Waving to the onlookers with smiles on their faces was a beautiful bride, her handsome husband, and two white horses with red plumes, topped with a driver wearing an elegant suit and top hat.

Colleen Kelly and her husband in a horse and carriage on their wedding day, from "Why Salzburg Has My Heart: My Wedding in Austria"

We looked at each other and both thought the same thing: This is where we wanted to get married, and there was no doubt in both of our minds, this is where we were meant to be married. 

That city is Salzburg, Austria, and it has my heart forever.  

A year later, we were married there in a fairytale wedding with 49 family and friends who attended. It was a 4-day celebration in which, along with our guests, we stayed at the famous Hotel Sacher Salzburg along the Salzach, and we were married at Schloss Mirabell & Mirabell Gardens in the palace followed by a ride in the exact same white horse-drawn carriage we saw before when we were engaged. And, to top it all off, we had a wedding reception at Schloss Mönchstein, a 13th-century castle high on a hill overlooking Mozart’s beloved city, where President Clinton and Queen Catherine of Russia once stayed.

Colleen Kelly and her husband at the Sacher Hotel, from "Why Salzburg Has My Heart: My Wedding in Austria"

It truly was magical, and we made many memories not only for ourselves but for our family and friends who also extended their own family trip while in Europe. 

Anyway, that’s the backstory. My husband, Greg and I, have been together 21 years, and we wanted to take our two girls, Dunovan and Shea, to see where we were married. So after the pandemic, we decided to make a family vacation happen.  

Here is my family travel blog about this beautiful enchanting city filled with classical music, culinary delights, and iconic scenery and Austrian castles that take your breath away.

Colleen Kelly and her husband with family and friends on their wedding day, from "Why Salzburg Has My Heart: My Wedding in Austria"

Click to subscribe to the Colleen Kelly Travel Newsletter.

Recommended Posts