Fairytale Weekend: First Time in Vienna, First Time at a Ball!

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Winning Starwood’s Vienna Film Ball auction meant I’d be walking the red carpet my first night in the city! The auction had listed a red-carpet walk, a champagne reception, a seated dinner and awards ceremony, and dancing into the wee hours. So Shawna and I immediately thought about it from a Hollywood perspective.

Keri Shawna Vienna Film Ball

Well, we did end up walking a red carpet, but not exactly like we expected, and that turned out to be a good thing. The evening started with an extended champagne reception at the hotel with other guests at our table (10 in total).

A friendly (and rather influential group including a billionnaire, a model, a government official, etc) they filled us in on the Vienna ball scene. About 300 balls a year, with distinct themes. The point being to hang out with friends and make new ones. Very different from the Oscars-esque event we’d expected.

Vienna Film Ball 2014 Ticket

Vienna Film Ball 2014 Program

When we did arrive at the ball, it was through a side entrance and up a lot of stairs. But at least they were covered in red carpet. And there was the opportunity for us to relive our muay thai days for the camera.

Keri Shawna Red Carpet Punch Vienna Film Ball

The event was held in the historic City Hall, a building pretty enough in itself to be a site-seeing stop. We had great seats, at table in front, only two from the stage which meant we had a great view of the happenings and celebrities.


Performances included a famous violinist and a slightly less awesome performance of American rock n’ roll songs by Austrian legend Peter Kraus.

Vienna Film Ball 2014 Violinist

Daryl Hannah came up to receive an award and though we didn’t see her, Susan Sarandon was rumored to be in attendance (and staying at our hotel!)

Vienna Film Ball 2014 Daryl Hannah

Dinner was pretty tasty!

Vienna Film Ball 2014 Appetizers

Vienna Film Ball 2014 Surf n Turf

And followed by a Debutante Dance to open the Ball.

I’d figured I’d be a wall flower for the ball since I’ve had little practice with the Waltz, but everyone wound up in congregating in the cigar and cocktail lounge which featured a modern dance floor.


At midnight we both turned into pumpkins, too jetlagged to keep going, but it was a truly awesome experience. What a rare opportunity to “experience the local culture” and meet interesting people.


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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world. www.twitter.com/klatravel


  1. Denise L

    March 19, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    What a fun experience! You are now part of Viennese society.

  2. RMF325

    March 19, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    You both looked great! Sounds like a very fun evening. Anytime you get to be in Vienna is a guaranteed good time; gorgeous city.

    • Keri Anderson

      March 19, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      Thank you! I loved my time in Vienna and cant’ wait to go back.

  3. Jenny

    March 19, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Looks like so much fun! What else is there to do in Vienna and how does it compare to other European cities?

  4. Barb

    March 19, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    What a fabulous opportunity! And thanks for the wonderful report.

  5. maggy

    July 17, 2014 at 1:11 am

    My mother inlaw and my daughter share my dream of going to Vienna for a long weekned and dance at a ball. How can I realize this dream? This is a girls weekend adventure as my husband does not dance my mother in law lost her husband several years ago, and my daughter in presently not dating. So if we go do we have to hire professional danceers? Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

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