Prince Maximilian of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg weds Franziska Balzer in Germany

The picturesque town of Bad Laasphe, in the Siegen-Wittgenstein district of Germany, set the scene for Europe's latest lavish society wedding. The exquisite flowers adorning the gates of the local church, the colorful glamour of the 150 guests, and the parade of luxury cars were the unmistakable clues that there was a big event in store: the wedding of Prince Maximilian of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and his bride Franziska Balzer.

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Prince Maximilian and Franziska Balzer tied the knot in a romantic ceremony in Bad Laasphe Photo: Getty Images

Prince Maximilian, son of Prince Otto Ludwig Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, and Franziska had been married in a civil ceremony last November in Munich. The August 6 religious vows were the culmination of months of intense preparations to ensure that the the big day would be nothing less than a fairytale.

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Franziska's wedding gown was kept top secret until the last minute, when the bride arrived wearing a very modern look with a touch of timeless elegance: a cropped silk jacket worn over a dress with a transparent floral lace bodice and A-line skirt. For the new Princess, a Bulgari tiara finished off the look, with her veil trailing behind.


The beautiful bride, who wore a Bulgari tiara with her gown Photo: Getty Images

After the church ceremony, guests gathered at a hilltop fortress that looks straight out of a storybook, 12th century Wittgenstein castle.

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One guest, the groom's sister, Princess Lilly zu sayn Wittgenstein, posted photos from the gorgeous day on Instagram. She captioned one snap of the newlyweds: "My Max and new sister Franzi! #thewittgenstones ! I love you guys!!! #love #family #summermagic2016."

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This summer has been a fantastic one for society nuptials,with the wedding of Lady Charlotte Wellesley, the daughter of the Duke of Wellington, to American-Colombian billionaire business tycoon Alejandro Santo Domingo leading the list of lavish ceremonies seen this season.

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