For her last semester at Sydney University, Jessica Diaz Wilson, co-founder of beauty brand Sunnies Face, decided she wanted to study abroad. She had missed the exchange program application deadline but begged the administration to let her apply to any school still accepting students, and that’s how she ended up in Maastricht, a tiny university town in the Netherlands, where she eventually met Moritz Gastl.
They first ran into each other on a random Tuesday night out at “the grimiest student bar,” Jessica remembers. The next year, Jessica moved to London, and the two did long-distance, as he finished his degree. Then, the year after that, she decided she wanted to move back home to the Philippines and asked Moritz if he’d like to come. He booked a one-way ticket, thinking he’d be there for six months, and cut to 10 years later, and he hasn’t left!
In 2019, while on a trip to Papua New Guinea to visit Jessica’s sister George, he proposed at the end of the coast on a secluded island. The engaged pair had originally planned on having civil and church ceremonies in September 2020 in Salzburg, Austria, but because of all the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and travel, they pivoted to a small legal wedding in the Philippines and postponed their religious service to May 28, 2022.
Since Moritz is German, he helped a lot with the communication during the wedding planning process with Amanda Tirol. “My father loved classical music, so when I told him we were thinking of Salzburg, the birth town of Mozart, he was thrilled about it,” Jessica shares. “We wanted a destination that was interesting to visit, where many people hadn’t been to before, a town small enough to keep the wedding party close together, and somewhere we could honor local traditions such as the dirndls and lederhosen, which we did for the welcome party.”
One of Jessica’s school friends, Mela, helped the couple create their wedding stationery designs with printer Neonovelties. And to kickoff the celebrations, Jessica and Moritz asked their loved ones to dress in Tracht-wear for the welcome party in the mountains for a true The Sound of Music moment, complete with an Austrian band. The bride-to-be wore a custom look by Over The Moon-favorite designer Annina Dirndl.
Two months before Moritz proposed, Jessica found her dream dress by Monique Lhuillier. She first saw it online, and once she visited the boutique in Los Angeles with her sister and tried it on, Jessica bought it right away. After the black-tie ceremony, she changed into a romantic tulle gown by Liz Martinez and ended the night in a sleek design with a bow at the back by Vania Romoff.
On the day-of, the bride got ready with makeup artist Angelo Eugenio and hair stylist Suyen Salazar. While there was no official wedding party, Jessica’s sister, Georgina, also wore a Monique Lhuillier dress, Jessica’s cousin, Isabelle, looked beautiful in a Brock Collection gown, and her other cousin, Martine, put on a Dana Harel tulle number.
The bride describes the wedding ceremony as “a comedy of errors!” She goes on to say, “There were so many mistake; at one point, I just looked at Moritz during the mass and started laughing. He was trying to keep a straight face and trying to ignore me because it was just too funny.”
The bride’s processional song started without her and had to be repeated. “I guess the guests didn’t notice because they were busy taking photos inside the church, so finally, when the doors opened, the kids started to walk down the aisle followed by myself to a string quartet playing ‘Canon in D,’” Jessica remembers. She walked down the aisle alone, holding a locket with her late father’s picture around the bouquet by Gideon Hermosa. “That moment for me was a blur, I couldn’t make out anyone’s faces or hear the music. I just kept thinking: walk slowly, smile, try to hold the tears back, and get down the aisle.”
After the priest began the service with the history of Salzburg, Jessica’s brother read the Responsorial Psalms, which he called the “Responsorial Sam.” The bride explains, “The booklet he picked up had a misprint and had only one verse of five printed. Everyone, including the priest, was laughing when he abruptly ended.”
When it came time for the vows, the priest’s paperwork was so mixed up that he couldn’t find the vows and skipped them altogether. And when it was time to exchange rings, Moritz was given Jessica’s lines, and Jessica ended up saying she would take Moritz as her wife. The priest concluded the mass by saying, “And now, you are married; I will now be going home.” Moritz had to whisper, “Can I kiss the bride?”
Once finally given permission to share their first kiss as a married couple, the new mister and missus hopped into a horse-drawn carriage to the reception venue, Schloss Leopoldskron. Famously, it’s the house from the film The Sound of Music, one of Jessica’s favorite movies.
Cocktail hour began in the garden with a view of the lake and mountain. Mini schnitzels, Champagne, and floral cookies that Moritz’s mother had baked were passed around. Of course, some of the score from The Sound of Music was played by a string quartet.
To make their grand entrance to the reception space, Jessica and Moritz chose to walk in to “Mambo No. 5.” It started as a joke to pick that tune, but it ended up being great fun.
One of Moritz’s favorite parts of the evening was Jessica’s brother Sam’s speech. “Jess’s dad, Robert, passed away in February [of] this year,” the groom shares. “In 2021, when we realized he was quite sick and would struggle traveling to Europe, we decided to have our civil wedding in the Philippines. Even so, he wasn’t feeling well enough to give a speech back then but said he would save it for the 2022 Salzburg wedding…It was an absolute surprise to us when in the middle of Sam’s speech, he pulled out a letter that Robert had written before he passed. It was his speech he would have given at that very moment…There was no dry eye in the room.” After the toast, the song “You’ll Never Walk Alone” played—the anthem of Robert and Moritz’s football club, Liverpool.
Understandably, Jessica stepped out for a second to have her makeup fixed after shedding more than a few tears. Then, Moritz said a few words and invited guests into the party room to continue the festivities with deejay sets by Sam, Gerard Cancio, and Mikahil Schemm. At midnight, currywurst was served.
The next morning, the bride found herself sandwiched in-between her sister, her sister’s husband, and their son. “On the rug was Moritz, using my wedding dress as a blanket, my brother, using my second dress as a pillow, and Nico on the couch all snuggled up,” Jessica remembers. “It was perfect.”