How to elope in Switzerland / infos and packages for an adventure elopement
TIPS. VENUES & LOCATION IDEAS
Switzerland is an evergreen country that must be visited a few times to fully appreciate its beauty. It’s a very mountainous country, where the Alps truly show their uniqueness in varied landscapes, ranging from the Lake Geneva all the way to the summits on the borders of France.
Eloping in Switzerland will definitely be an adventure to remember. You will find that there are plenty of options exchanging your vows on a secluded mountain with a view, and sleep in luxurious accommodations all over the country. This guide will help you to plan your elopement in Switzerland, with tips, tricks and location ideas. Let’s dive in!
Let’s dive in…
First, let’s be sure we’re talking about the same thing:
What is an elopement?
When a couple is madly in love and wants a “just them” wedding day without being the center of attention, avoiding family drama and all the stress that comes with planning a big wedding, they can instead plan an elopement. This kind of wedding is very intimate. It only involves a handful of people (or nobody at all!). It’s a beautiful, elegant, adventurous wedding with a vows exchange on top of a mountain, in a beautiful landscape, in a deep forest, or in the simplicity of a backyard. The main goal is to allow the couple to be able to be themselves, without having to worry what family members or society dictates a wedding day should look like.
If you are not a Swiss citizen or resident, YOU CANNOT legally get married in Switzerland. Switzerland also doesn’t allow same-sex marriage (there is another legal status for same-sex couples but they can’t marry). The best way for you to elope in Switzerland, is to first have your official marriage in your home country. You would then make your elopement day special, so that it would be considered to be your wedding day. Many couples who elope in Switzerland choose to do it this way. It is still an awesome adventure to plan that offers the opportunity to select a variety of backgrounds for the elopement. Since there is no need to be at a certain place at a certain time to sign official papers, the sky is the limit!
Why you should plan an elopement in Switzerland
This is definitely the main reason why you should choose Switzerland for your elopement. The Swiss landscapes are absolutely jaw dropping. You will be surrounded by mountains, snowy peaks, deep forests, blue lakes, waterfalls and ancient chalets. Switzerland is a very picturesque country that will fill your adventurer’s heart with landscapes you will remember forever.
Like many European countries, Switzerland has a rich history that is reflected in its local architecture. Its towns (and even the biggest cities) are absolutely gorgeous. They feature little narrow streets with ancient half-timbered houses and little shops you will enjoy discovering. You will also have the opportunity to taste delicious Swiss food, like cheese fondue, rostis, malakoffs, etc.
Amazing ski resorts
If you’re going to visit Switzerland during the winter season, don’t forget to pay a visit to one of its many ski resorts to enjoy some amazing opportunities! The Alps are widely known for their great ski resorts (Morzine, Tignes, Verbier, Megève, Zermatt, Andermatt…). Therefore, if you like to ski, don’t miss out on this excellent opportunity!
The best locations for an elopement in Switzerland
Zermatt (and the Matterhorn)
Zermatt is a very famous ski resort that you can only reach by train (yes, you read that right). The Glacier Express is a short train ride away from this car-free town that offers an amazing view of the Matterhorn (have you ever seen a packet of Tobblerone chocolate? It features the Matterhorn!). Every season is an amazing opportunity for your elopement in Switzerland, if you choose Zermatt. It offers something different for every month of the year!
Since it is not very accessible, the Ticino region is well-known to visitors. This is why it is one of the best regions to visit for your elopement in Switzerland. It is calmer and wilder than the other areas. It has many hidden gems and the mountains of Ticino boast beautiful scenery and hiking opportunities.
Switzerland National Park
The only Swiss national park is full of amazing wildlife and hiking trails that are perfect for your elopement in Switzerland. You will enjoy some amazing views of the forests and (sometimes snowy) peaks, as well as jaw-dropping panoramas over the nearby mountains.
Plan carefully, if you want to visit Lauterbrunnen. It is a very popular touristdestination. You will understand the reason very quickly: imagine an ancient Swiss village nestled in a huge valley with dozens of waterfalls. This is Lauterbrunnen. You will have an amazing opportunity to exchange your vows with a view of the village by taking one of the many trails that go to the nearby peaks.
Maybe you’re dreaming of something truly incredible for your elopement in Switzerland. If that is the case, Jungfraujoch is the answer. This observatory is perched on top of a peak in the middle of an ice sea. You can only visit it by taking a train to the highest train station in Europe. You can also sleep in the La Mönchsjochhütte, the highest snow hut in Switzerland at 3650m!
You can again only access this beautiful little town by train. However, it’s totally worth the trouble, since the views are absolutely amazing for an elopement in Switzerland!
Creux du Van
This horse-shaped rock formation seems to be out of this world! You can hike to the summit to get the best view on the “sentier des 14 contours”, a 14-kilometre long hike that will get you right where you can exchange your vows.
/!\ Please note: some people not used to high altitudes may get sick when visiting the mountains. Please make sure that you don’t have this problem. There are anti-sickness pills do exist but they are not very effective. One way to make sure you will be able to tolerate high altitudes is to take a short trip to a nearby mountain range (in the U.S. or your home country) and see if you get sick in high altitudes. If you do, this will also be the case if you visit Switzerland and its mountains. Therefore, plan carefully and if needed, plan a slower trip where you will go higher and higher each day.
The best time for an elopement in Switzerland
I will start with winter, since it is the main reason why Switzerland is famous. You will find plenty of snowy landscapes, amazing ski opportunities, delicious cheese specialties and many other perks, when you plan your elopement in Switzerland during the winter season. The Swiss are used to the snow and winter is truly the liveliest season!
In the spring, ski resorts are slowly shutting down and snow is melting at the lowest altitudes. This season may be a little dull, especially in March and April. May might be the best month to visit for an elopement in Switzerland, since the temperatures are warming up, spring flowers are blooming everywhere and the tourist season hasn’t fully begun.
Summer is a very popular tourist season in Switzerland, especially during the holiday break of July and August. The weather will be nicer (although you will still have storms) but there will be crowds of tourists everywhere. As a result, it will be harder to find a secluded place to exchange your vows.
If you’re planning on visiting Ticino, then fall is THE best season. Since there are larks everywhere, you will be able to enjoy an amazing display of colors, while driving or hiking around. Nothing is more beautiful than a mountain covered with red trees! The first week of November is the best time to enjoy the show.
What to wear for your elopement in Switzerland
Although elopements are generally thought to be laid-back and casual, this is not necessarily the case. Elopements can also be luxurious, delicate affairs and will require some special adjustments. Feeling beautiful while exchanging your vows and wearing something truly special for this moment might be something you truly care about. This is why this section will cover everything you need to know, when it comes to what to wear for your elopement in Switzerland.
Since Switzerland can get very cold, even in summer (and winters are very cold), you will want to pick something flowing yet long-sleeved and warm. You will find many designs that will allow you to have a beautiful, lightweight wedding dress, while not giving up on the necessary warmth for a wedding in the mountains. If you pick a short-sleeved design, be sure to always have another layer of warmth to add, if needed. During winter, layers are preferable to huge puffy jackets that won’t be photogenic. You can also bring a nice woolen scarf! Don’t forget that you’re going to walk in your dress (sometimes a lot!), so be sure you are comfortable.
For winter weddings, forget the idea of wearing nice wedding shoes: ski boots are the way to go! Don’t forget you’re going to do a lot of walking during your elopement (from 1 km to several kms, depending on where you decide to exchange your vows). Therefore, choosing vintage leather hiking shoes is always the best way to go! Hiking boots, in general, are great for adventure elopements. You can buy a pair, especially for your big day! Try to avoid flashy colors that might divert attention on your elopement pictures. Always choose shoes that you will be comfortable walking several kilometers in.
Just like the bride, don’t forget that you’re going to hike in the mountains in your suit. Therefore, make sure that it is comfortable and sturdy! You can select just about any style. Just be sure that you have an extra layer of warmth. Even if you’re eloping in Switzerland in summer: it can get cold can very quickly, especially if you’re having a sunrise or sunset ceremony. For a winter elopement, choose a nice jacket that will keep you warm in the snow!
What is the cost of an elopement in Switzerland?
HIGH – END ELOPEMENT
Travel to and from Switzerland: $3 000
5 nights in a high-end accomodation // $3 000
Elopement photographer // $6 000
Private chef or full board // $1 000
Officiant // $2 500
Florist // $500
Rentals // $500
Wedding dress and accessories // $4 000
Suit and accessories // $1 000
TOTAL FOR A HIGH – END ELOPEMENT IN Switzerland :
Travel to and from Switzerland: $3 000
5 nights in an airbnb // $1 000
Elopement photographer // $4 000
Food // $250
Officiant // $1 500
Florist // $200
Wedding dress and accessories // $2 500
Suit and accessories // $500
TOTAL FOR A BUDGET ELOPEMENT IN Switzerland :
Eloping in Switzerland – your checklist
Think about where you’d like to go
Switzerland offers many different landscapes, from the peaceful city of Geneva all the way to the peaks of the Jungfraujoch. Therefore, start with a region you’d really like to visit and go from there.
Pick a date
Picking a date will help you contact all your vendors to give them an approximate day. Be flexible, since some of your favorite vendors might not be available on your date, especially if it’s a Saturday. Try to pick a weekday instead!
Find more information about travel visas
You might need to apply for a travel visa to visit Switzerland. Please check your home country’s requirements before planning your travel!
Book your accommodation
Once everything is sorted out, you can start booking your accommodations. Visiting websites like Homeaway, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Airbnb and Hotels.com will help you find the best accommodation options in the region you chose for your elopement in Switzerland.
Find a place to exchange your vows
The vows exchange will be the most emotional day of your Swiss adventure, so make sure you pick a location that you will love Your photographer might be able to help you choose the best place based on tourist flows, sunrise and sunset hours, relief and many other factors. Therefore, don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Book your other vendors
You can elope in Switzerland with just the two of you. However, some couples still want to make this day extra special and add a touch of elegance with a fresh bouquet, a nice dress and/or suit, an officiant, vows books, etc. Make sure that you also book your vendors well in advance of the big day.
Plan your travel
Eloping in Switzerland CAN be the beginning of an amazing adventure. There is so much to see. You will be able to plan a whole road-trip around the country and discover a different landscape every day! Your photographer might be able to follow you on the whole trip to take couples pictures in the most amazing and jaw-dropping locations of the country.
Book your photographer
Elopement photographers in Switzerland are not very common. This is because elopements are not well-known in Europe, as they are in the United States. You must, therefore, choose wisely the person who will be following you and helping you plan your big day. Elopement photographers tend to be booked six to 12 months in advance,. It is important to contact the one whose work you love, to make sure that you will be a good match as soon as possible! Your photographer might also be able to help you choose the best location to exchange your vows, based on sunset times and locations. Therefore, choose someone who has experience shooting in Switzerland (like me!) to make sure you will have the best options possible!
Does Switzerland sound like your dream?
How to plan your peaceful elopement in Switzerland with me
SCHEDULE A NON-SALES CALL
Everyone truly hates sales calls (me included) Instead, we simply chat about what your dream day looks like to see if we’re a match!
BOOK YOUR DATE
We find the perfect date together and you’re officially booked!
i’ll plan your elopement
From itinerary planning to vendor suggestions all the way to helping you with permits, I plan everything.
LIVE YOUR ADVENTURE
You live a peaceful, meaningful wedding day on an itinerary that’s custom created just for you.
RELIVE YOUR TRIP FOREVER
I deliver your pictures and your choice of album from my collection, to remember this adventure, and share it for years to come.
Let’s plan your peaceful elopement
Where you can be you. Feel. Breathe in each other’s love.
Experience a place close to your hearts, or a bucket list dream.
Are you eager to start planning your elopement in Switzerland? I’m here to help you envision, plan and immortalize this beautiful adventure! Contact me now for a free consultation!