Having lived in Switzerland from autumn last year I have discovered some amazing reasons why Switzerland is the perfect location for a destination wedding.
Living in Switzerland has meant I am now in touch with many Swiss wedding venues and suppliers here and I wanted to share some of the places I have discovered in the past eight months in this amazing country.
Obviously, there are many, many amazing venues for weddings, elopements and locations for honeymoons but I’ve sifted through them and, right now, these are some of my favourite ideas to indulge yourself with…
Something Old… Waldhaus, Sils Maria
Just 10km from the bustling resort of St Moritz, in an unspoiled alpine village nestled on a hill in the forest high above Lake Sils, is the Waldhaus.
If you’re looking for an intimate wedding venue then the Waldhaus in Sils Maria might be the perfect place for you. This gorgeous family-run hotel is in the Engadine Region of Switzerland. The grand hotel was opened in 1908 and has remained in the same family for five generations and is steeped in character and warmth.
It sits above peaceful Sils Maria like a fairy-tale castle, surrounded by gorgeous views of gleaming lakes and impressive mountains.
Something New… The Chedi Andermatt
What could be more magical than getting married in the Swiss Alps?
Embedded into a high alpine landscape, the super-stylish Chedi Andermatt is accessible via three Alpine passes: the Oberalp Pass to the east, the St. Gotthard Pass in the south and the Furka Pass in the west.
With its unusual combination of Alpine chic mixed with Asian elements, the luxury hotel offers a wonderful retreat and would be perfect for an exclusive and beautiful romantic experience.
Something Blue… Lake Blausee
Many of the lakes in Switzerland are glacial lakes and have a most gorgeous blue colour … and there’s one which will really take your breath away. In fact. when I arrived to film a ceremony there earlier this year I couldn’t quite believe my eyes. Lake Blausee looked like it had been dyed the most amazing rich turquoise colour.
Imagine an intimate elopement wedding here – secluded, romantic and stress-free. Perfect.
Cory and Jess loved it too when they were looking for their perfect location for a wedding ceremony in May this year. The couple travelled with a small group of their closest friends all the way from Australia and they were not disappointed by this idyllic setting for their ceremony.
The highest venue for a wedding… the Jungfrau
I love living in Switzerland and the fact that every day I can take in the view of the Jungfrau (UNESCO World Heritage) from my chalet balcony. Morning, noon and night is always looks stunning on a clear day. So, if you’re looking for guaranteed snow and ice as the backdrop for your wedding, then how about the ‘Jungfrau – Top of Europe’.
Imagine making your views on the Jungfraujoch 3,454 metres above sea level with stunning views of the Swiss Alps. Many visitors to Switzerland say it’s the highlight of their stay. Even the journey up to Europe’s highest-altitude railway station is amazing as you pass by the north face of The Eiger. Just imagine the photos you’d get here.
The Sphinx observation hall and terrace is the perfect setting once you arrive for your ceremony and reception.
Quirky… two countries at Hotel Arbez
For a honeymoon idea with a difference how about a short stay at The Hotel Arbez, also called the Hotel Arbez Franco-Suisse, where you can sleep in two countries at once. The hotel straddles the international border between France and Switzerland in the tiny village of La Cure, which is itself divided by the boundary.
The entire building houses a hotel with a dining room, kitchen and several rooms bisected by the boundary.
Famous… the Schilthorn
By boat only… Grand Hotel Giessbach
I am so thrilled to be the recommended videographer for the Grand Hotel Giessbach. It really is an extraordinary wedding venue for so many reasons. Today, just as it was 100 years ago, the historical hotel is right next to the Giessbach Falls, high above Lake Brienz and surrounded by mountains, forests and alpine meadows. It’s a fairy-tale castle boasting a breath-taking view of the unspoiled landscapes of Lake Brienz.
In the summer months, the hotel offers the chance for many couples to get married there during a civil ceremony but in the winter, it opens for exclusive use only for weddings… catering for more than 140 guests in elegant sophistication.
One of my favourite things about the venue is that you can walk right underneath the impressive waterfalls, making a staggering backdrop for film footage on your day.
Most glamourous… Suvretta House
While Jungfrau boasts the title of being the ‘top of Europe’, St Moritz goes one better as ‘the top of the world’ and it oozes glamour and sophistication.
Claire and John had spent many ski seasons in St Moritz and it was one of the reasons why this gorgeous couple returned to St Moritz to be married at Suvretta House. And, just next to the hotel, there’s even The Chapel Regina Pacis nearby – perfectly located for the ceremonial part.
DIY dinner… Sunstar Wengen
Remember Cory and Jess, the couple from Australia, who came all the way over to Switzerland to get married at Lake Blausee? Well their ‘wedding breakfast’ was just as intimate.
Held at the grillkota hut at the Sunstar in Wengen, a beautiful car free Swiss ski resort (I live in Wengen so I am a bit biased, of course).
But the grill cabin at the Sunstar is the ideal location for small and intimate wedding groups to enjoy a barbecue evening or cheese raclette. Regardless of the cold weather, there is a snug and warm atmosphere inside the lovingly furnished cabin, which seats 8 to 14 people.
Most original… Iglu Dorf
Here’s an interesting idea… how about getting married or even spending your honeymoon in an igloo? There are five igloo villages in Switzerland I can recommend those in Davos-Kloster, in Engelberg near Trübsee Lake, in Gstaad, on Stockhorn and also near the Matterhorn. My personal favourite is the one above Zermatt where you can also take in the views of the iconic Matterhorn.
For obvious reasons, this isn’t a venue that’s available all year round but if you’re getting married in the winter months then it’s a really original idea.
If you’re looking for ideas to entertain yourselves and your guests on the days before and after your wedding there’s so many things to choose from depending on whether your wedding is winter of summer. Obviously, if it’s a winter sledging and skiing are no-brainer activities. Many resorts also have ice skating.
Whatever season your wedding, there’s so much to do – in the spring, summer and autumn there’s hiking and walking in the beautiful mountains and of course Switzerland is famous for its ice blue, ice cold lakes too … my favourite is Lake Brienz… but I fear it could be the coldest too – even in the summer it’s only about 14 degrees in temperature. In the winter there’s snowboarding, skiing and sledging.
If you’re thinking of having your wedding in Switzerland, please don’t hesitate to contact me because Story Of Your Day has teamed up with Switzerland Travel Centre – the Swiss tourism experts – and together we can help you make your dream wedding in Switzerland come to life.