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In this blog, I’m sharing with you R+C’s rainy Swiss Alps elopement in the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Not only is it sure to blow you away, but it may even make you start wishing for rain on your wedding day! I’ll also be giving you some practical advice as you start planning your elopement (so don’t miss the last section of this post, ‘’Tips for Your Lauterbrunnen Elopement’’!
As a heads up, In 2024, we are opting out of photographing elopements in Lauterbrunnen. We've found the crowds really impact our couple's overall experience.
If you google a photo of Switzerland, the first images to pop up are of the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Tall, rocky cliffsides rise up above green meadows and a quaint town. An unbelievable 72 waterfalls tumble down the mountainsides, making it truly a sight to behold. Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald were the first places I ever visited in Switzerland seven years ago, and I can honestly say everything is even more beautiful than the pictures. This rings true for all the alps - photos can’t do it justice. You simply have to come and experience it.
When to Elope and Get Married in Lauterbrunnen
Deciding when to get married in Lauterbrunnen was an important part of the planning process. When R+C reached out to me last year about their plans for an early-Spring elopement in the Swiss Alps, visiting Lauterbrunnen stood out from many other options. This is because, by May, it’s typically snow-free. In the alps, snow can be found at relatively low elevations well into April and even early May. Lauterbrunnen makes a great shoulder season option when many surrounding mountains are still inaccessible.
During the summer, I don’t recommend spending too much time in the valley because it can get really busy. If you’re up for a hike, there are some great locations you can experience from above with more peace and solitude, though.
Lauterbrunnen Elopement Highlight Video
For R+ C's wedding, they also booked a Lauterbrunnen Elopement highlight video. You can check out their wedding video below.
Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen Elopement
R+C’s Lauterbrunnen elopement actually started out in Interlaken, where the pair had rented an adorable Airbnb. The weather was moody, with low clouds and light rain. Occasionally, the sun would break through, illuminating what was visible of the vibrant green mountainsides.
The two had planned to have getting ready documented before heading to the lakeside for a first look. Because their Airbnb was a studio, it did take some creativity on C’s part to avoid seeing R. R’s sister was traveling in Europe for a trip, so she joined in on getting ready by helping R with her hair and makeup. R’s sister is an HMUA, so it worked out perfectly!
Time flew by, and before we knew it, it was time to leave. I typically suggest most couples allow at least two hours for getting ready, and sometimes more, because it always takes a little longer than planned to pull together those final details before adventuring.
My husband, Scott, came with me on this trip, so he and C walked to the first look location shortly before us. After giving them a small amount of buffer time, me, R, and R’s sister left to meet them. Before their first look, R + C brought along some letters to read separately from close family. The anticipation was high.
When R tapped C on the shoulder, and he turned around, a flood of emotions hit them both. There were tears, hugs, and kisses. At that moment, a large boat also passed by, and everyone on board cheered! It was quite the moment. Sunshine had broken through thick clouds, making the Brienzersee (lake) sparkle.
After soaking up the excitement of finally seeing each other, it was time to head to Lauterbrunnen.
During the short drive to Lauterbrunnen, large water drops fell from the sky and the clouds darkened. Rain was coming. Luckily, we were prepared with jackets, clear umbrellas, and everything else needed to stay comfortable. Many couples express wanting to visit the alps because of how green everything is. What’s easy to forget is it’s so green because of the frequent rain. Learning to embrace the experience, no matter the weather, is key to having a great adventure elopement.
In Lauterbrunnen, we took some time to walk through town and just simply enjoy the views. R+C also made a stop at the bakery - throughout this part of Europe, there’s one on almost every corner. In the valley, layers of mountains would appear and disappear through the mist.
Initially, R+C had planned to exchange vows in one of the villages above the valley. Because of the thick, lowing lying clouds, we decided to pivot at the last minute, and instead, stay low. That’s the nature of getting married outdoors - sometimes you change plans. Many couples hire me because I specialize in alps adventure elopements - I know these mountains like the back of my hand, and I always have countless backup plans in mind.
Rainy Lauterbrunnen Wedding Ceremony
After deciding to change locations, I quickly suggested a different alternative I knew would be quiet with the wet weather. We hiked a short distance to a hillside overlooking the valley, next to a bench and underneath a large tree. Along the path, a curious cat came to greet us, which was really cute, especially considering R just got accepted into Veterinarian School.
R+C pulled their vow books from their packs and stood together underneath one umbrella. At that moment, time seemed to stand still. Despite the falling rain, nothing else mattered besides these two, and the love they had for each other.
Once R+C had exchanged vows, they each put on their rings, and we meandered back to the parking lot. Everything was quiet, as most people had gone inside to seek refuge from the precipitation.
Sunset Bridal Photos in Interlaken
To round out the night, we drove back to Interlaken for sunset bridal photos. There, we relaxed at the water’s edge and R+C shared a toast. The water and sky all blended together in varying shades of grey and blue, completely tranquil as the evening, and their elopement adventure wound down.
Tips for Your Lauterbrunnen Elopement
Planning an elopement in Lauterbrunnen? Here are a few things to keep in mind -
- Lauterbrunnen is a major travel destination and can get very busy. For fewer crowds, the best time to visit is during the shoulder seasons (May, Late-September to early October).
- The village of Lauterbrunnen is very small and often doesn't need more than 1.5-2 hours to explore.
- Keep in mind, the popular spot with the church in the background everyone takes a photo at typically has a line.
- If you want a similar vibe, but with more privacy and seclusion, Switzerland has thousands of waterfalls. There are many, beautiful, lesser-known valleys with equally beautiful falls worth exploring (especially if you’re up for a bit of hiking). I build every one of my booked couples a custom location guide with insider tips.
- The alps get a lot of rain. I always bring along clear umbrellas (the exact same ones you see in this elopement!) for that very reason. Rain jackets are your best friend.
- Being open to pivoting locations (particularly if it means staying lower in a valley when the thick clouds don’t lift), will help your elopement day go smoothly.
Real Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen Elopement Experience: A Review from our Couple
From our very first meeting with Scott and Christine we knew we had to work with them in planning our elopement. Our engagement was a year long and thanks to Christine’s expert knowledge and supreme organization, the planning process never felt stressful. Christine had in-depth questionnaires that allowed us to illustrate our vision and she was always more than accommodating to hop on video calls even though we have an 8hr time difference between us. She was responsive and open to anything! We knew Christine's and Scott’s number one goal was to give us the wedding day of our dreams and we always felt like their top priority. With any outdoor elopement, there are elements that are out of anyone's control. We had rain on our elopement day and at first, I was sad about it but we leaned on our faith in Christine and Scott’s superb preparation and ability to perfectly execute not only plan A, but plan B, plan C, etc. We knew that no matter the weather, we were in good hands! Our pictures were out of this world. We wish we could go back and freeze time on our wedding day but our photos will always allow us to go back and relive the happiest moments of our lives. Our experience with Scott and Christine exceeded all of our expectations.
-Rachel + Colton
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