Switzerland is THE Winter Wonderland
For the couple who dreams of a winter wonderland wedding, there’s truly no better place to elope than Switzerland. With dramatic alpine terrain, chalets dotting the landscape, and a fairytale feel everywhere you go, it’s one of the most enchanting winter settings on earth. Today, I’m sharing about Alfi and Emmanuel’s Switzerland elopement that I hope you love viewing as much as I loved capturing!
Alfi and Emmanuel are a wonderful couple from San Francisco, practically the other side of the world from Switzerland. Oh, and Alfi is originally from the Philippines and hadn’t been around snow much, so it was quite the adventure for her! Now, let’s get into the details of this beautiful and epic Switzerland elopement.
Day 1 – The Beauty of the Swiss Alps
We had two days to capture Alfi and Emmanuel’s elopement so we started bright and early at sunrise on day one. The fresh blanket of snow created the perfect, peaceful setting for them to share their vows in their native Filipino language. It was a love-filled, meaningful moment that was so unique to them as a couple. Alfi looked like a real-life snow princess and Emmanuel was just as radiant as he admired his bride.
The charming towns were emptier than usual since ski season hadn’t officially begun. Without tourists bustling around, we had all the time and opportunities we wanted to capture these classic Swiss scenes. But we had a lot of ground to cover with all the views and experiences Switzerland has to offer. So, after getting some shots at our first location, we hopped on a train to one of my favorite places, Lauterbrunnen.
I think visiting Lauterbrunnen should be on everyone’s bucket list. With its stunning valley of 75 waterfalls, every view looks like it could be out of a storybook. In fact, Lauterbrunnen inspired J.R.R. Tolkein’s imagery of Middle Earth! We snapped some incredible shots framed by a church and a waterfall near town and then explored the surrounding area. It didn’t matter which way we turned, we knew we wouldn’t be disappointed by this incredible part of Switzerland.
Alfi and Emmanuel were fun, easy-going travel partners who braved the cold like champs at every photo stop. I love these moments we captured by the lake and mountains, such beautiful spots that we found as we explored without an agenda.
As evening approached we headed to Grindelwald, another must-see town in Switzerland about 20 minutes east of Lauterbrunnen. We took a few more pictures before ending the day with pizza and pasta, indulging in the famous cheese that those Swiss cows have to offer.
Day 2 – The Perfect Swiss Cultural Experience
I’m so glad we had two days to celebrate Alfi and Emmanuel’s elopement because there was so much more to see. Day two began with a hike to a cluster of old lodges surrounded by these insane, snow-capped peaks. Then, we traveled by train to our next destination, awe-struck by views of the Swiss Alps out the windows the whole way there.
Now for one of my favorite parts of this trip, a classic Swiss picnic in a historical hut. We made our way to the spot where my friend Marlies Garbani had arranged for Alfi and Emmanuel to enjoy one of her immaculate Swiss picnic meals. She had the whole spread ready for them: homemade croissants, jams, tea cookies, and champagne. It looked like a scene from a fairytale.
After the picnic, we stumbled upon a beautiful wooden sled while poking around a barn behind the hut. We knew exactly what the next set of wedding pictures should be, and they were possibly the most fun pictures yet! Alfi and Emmanuel let their inner kids come out, having the time of their lives sledding in their wedding clothes. I absolutely loved witnessing their adventurous, fun-loving spirits in action.
At the end of each run, Alfi had to empty her dress of all the snow that piled up from speeding down the hill. She wasn’t bothered though, those snow pants fit just fine under her wedding dress. 😉
Alfi and Emmanuel had one more Swiss experience with a traditional, candlelit fondue dinner. Because what’s a Switzerland elopement without fondue? It was cozy, snowy, romantic, and so very Swiss — the perfect ending to a perfect trip celebrating this winter wonderland wedding.
Alfi and Emmanuel’s Switzerland elopement was a beautiful picture of what marriage is — a leap of faith into the unknown, being open to new things, and enjoying everything that makes your person perfect for you. I’m beyond grateful that I got to photograph their elopement and spend such valuable time with them in one of the most enchanting destinations on earth. Cheers to Alfi and Emmanuel on their marriage that I’m sure will be just as fun and adventurous as their elopement!
“When I thought about my dream wedding, I never thought it would be just Emmanuel and I. But an elopement turned out to be the perfect experience for us. With the crisp winter air and everything covered in white, is there anything more magical than getting married in the Swiss Alps? I don’t think so. But what made our adventure even more perfect were the laughs, the hikes, and the whole experience we had with Nate. I’m still over the moon about how everything just fell into place and ultimately transformed into something better than we had ever envisioned. It was a day we will forever cherish.” -Alfi