Very few people know Frankfurt like Bettina Funke-Redlich, the founder of esteemed events company ‘Atelier l’arrangement’. For over a decade, she has helped couples unlock the city’s potential as a wedding destination, planning and executing events that become the talk of the town. In an exclusive interview, she reveals what it is that makes Frankfurt, and Villa Kennedy, a special choice for wedding celebrations.
Can you tell us a little about how you got into wedding planning, and what you enjoy about your job?
I founded the Atelier l'arrangement 20 years ago and have been designing and organizing extravagant weddings for discerning couples ever since. Back then, there were hardly any wedding planners in Germany, so I experienced the whole boom of the wedding industry. I have remained true to Frankfurt and the Rhine-Main area to this day and plan most of my weddings here.
My weddings are the combination of conceptual ideas and extravagant realization – because I live and love special locations, noble lifestyles and tasteful interiors. The most beautiful moments of every wedding for me are when I see the happy eyes of the bridal couple and the satisfied guests.
Frankfurt is often seen as a financial hub, its romantic credentials sadly overlooked. What is it about this city that lends itself to weddings?
It is worth looking behind the façade of the modern skyline, because there are so many romantic places in Frankfurt. The city has many beautiful and important churches – for example, the cathedral where German emperors were crowned. When it comes to exciting backdrops for photoshoots, there are many: the Palmengarten, the Iron Bridge or a romantic boat on the Main, to name but a few.
Additionally, Frankfurt is located in central Germany and has a large, well-connected airport, so it is very easy to reach, a factor especially important to couples with international guests.
What are the advantages of choosing Villa Kennedy for a romantic celebration?
I have been planning weddings for over a decade for Villa Kennedy and I still think to myself "Wow, it's so beautiful here!”. I especially love that it doesn't give you that hotel feeling. The historic part of the building – with its Ludwig Erhard salon, fireplace room and winter garden – really gives bridal couples the feeling that they’re inviting their guests home.
The Villa is an oasis in the middle of the big city with a beautiful, green inner courtyard; a real insider secret that even many Frankfurters do not know about. The balustrade, inner courtyard and arcades are ideal for civil wedding ceremonies and the salons and ballroom for wedding parties up to 200 persons. Besides the special settings, there’s also the special service. During the entire planning period and on the wedding day, I am at the couples' side as a professional and experienced wedding planner, as is the entire Villa team.
Can you share a little about your favourite Frankfurt wedding to date? What was it that made it so special?
I have planned over 150 weddings in this beautiful hotel and each was unique. Yet one in particular lingers in my mind, a Christmas wedding which took place in the fireplace room and adjacent salon during the Advent season. The whole Villa was bathed in a sea of lights, with thousands of small candles decorating the courtyard and rooms. An oversized (edible) gingerbread house and extravagant Christmas tree added to the festive atmosphere.
What would you recommend wedding guests see or do before or after the nuptials to experience Frankfurt?
My tip is to explore Frankfurt on foot. I prefer to stroll from Villa Kennedy along the banks of the Main River to the Iron Bridge, which offers my favourite skyline view, then cross to the Römerberg and the New Old Town. The best view of the city can be had there from the cathedral’s tower, and to get back, simply stroll across the bank and train station districts.
In between, visit the Kleinmarkthalle and taste of the famous Frankfurter Kranz cake. For a convivial evening, I recommend the idyllic Sachsenhausen district with its cider pubs, traditional and multicultural stores. If you have more time, you can also visit beautiful districts like the Nordend with Holzhausenpark, the Palmengarten, or one of the trendy museums.
Which trends should brides-to-be look out for in 2021?
For 2021, everything will become more luxuriant. Especially flowers. Hip are large floral arrangements with full petals and hanging plants. Drinks are becoming more glamorous again; spectacular Champagne pyramids are back in fashion. Special attention should be paid to light; with clever illumination, every room can have a special atmosphere. I always recommend the golden-amber colour. This beautiful, warm tone makes it seem like hundreds of candles are burning. Just amazing!
If you could plan a dream wedding at Villa Kennedy, what would it include?
Weddings are my great passion. For me, every wedding is a dream wedding. Whether very small or very large, in the salon or in the garden, with a helicopter or a rickshaw, in the church or a civil ceremony – I stand in every ceremony with goose-bumps and am very excited – even after 20 years and over 500 weddings.
Discover how we could make your wedding unforgettable at Villa Kennedy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org