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Susan and Austen’s elopement in the Swiss Alps had spectacular scenery at every turn. From epic waterfalls, alpine lakes, sprawling meadows, and glaciated peaks, there was no shortage of breathtaking views. These two were up for anything, and I had such a blast photographing their elopement.
Elopement Day Timeline
Susan and Austen wanted to explore as much as they could, so we headed to two unique landscapes during their adventure. First, a stunning waterfall next to an alpine meadow. Afterward, a glittering mountain lake with spectacular views of the surrounding peaks.
- 7:00 am - Getting Ready
- 8:45 am - Drive to first look location
- 9:00 am - First Look. Take the cable car up the mountain.
- 9:15 am - Arrive at the top. Hike to the waterfall, take photos at the waterfall, and stop at a mountain restaurant for lunch.
- 12:30 pm - Cable Car back down to cars
- 1:30 pm - Drive to Location #2
- 2:30 pm - Arrive at the lake, gear up + cable car up
- 3:00 pm - Arrive at the top of the cable car station. Ride the alpine coaster. Snack break
- 4:00 pm - Hike to Overlook/meadow above lake
- 5:30 pm - Arrive at Overlook/meadow. Ceremony + champagne pop, snack break, photos.
- 7:30 pm - Change back into regular clothes and wrap up. Hike down to the parking lot
- 9:00 pm - Arrive at cars
Susan + Austen’s Switzerland Waterfall Elopement Highlight Video
Susan + Austen received a mini highlight film from their Switzerland waterfall elopement. You can check out their video below.
Getting Ready and a Jaw-Dropping Waterfall First Look
Susan and Austen kicked off their adventurous elopement day with a relaxed getting-ready. While Susan got her hair and makeup done, Austen ran a couple of errands and grabbed coffee and baked goods for them to enjoy. Outside, the sun shone brilliantly, and the weather was shaping up to be perfect, despite some forecasts calling for rain and storms.
Once Susan was done with hair and makeup, the pair changed into their wedding attire separately. Susan and Austen were planning for a first look in the valley, before taking a cable car up the mountain.
For many couples, a ‘’first look’’ is when it all starts to feel real! For Susan and Austen, that was certainly the case. There was excitement in the air.
Before we knew it, we were being whisked up a steep mountainside via cable car. Soon, a huge waterfall came into view. Water tumbled thousands of feet down the cliffside. It wouldn’t be long before we’d be standing right next to this powerful site.
At the top of the cable car, we hiked a short distance to some waterfall viewpoints. The trail meandered downward through cow-filled pastures. Cowbells and rushing water were the only sounds to be heard. It was idyllic.
Up close, the waterfall was even more beautiful, and the light spray of water felt refreshing under the hot summer sun.
After exploring the area and taking some photos, we hiked back up to a mountain hut for lunch. Then, we took the cable car back down the mountain.
Alpine Lake Elopement Ceremony and Adventure
Susan and Austen chose a beautiful alpine lake, the Oeschinensee for their elopement. The Oeschinensee makes a great spot, since it’s easily accessible via cable car, but also offers plenty of hiking for the adventurous. At the Oeschinensee, there are also some fun activity options, such as boat rentals, roasting s’mores, and riding an alpine coaster. Susan and Austen chose to ride the alpine coaster.
Once they had ridden the coaster, we embarked on a beautiful hike around the lake. The wildflowers were in full bloom, and the grass a vibrant green. It was lush. Eventually, we stopped at the perfect ceremony spot. It felt right to Susan and Austen. The deep blue lake glittered below.
Susan and Austen’s vow exchange was beautiful to capture in the serene evening light. Once they were finished, the two popped champagne, and we took some portraits. The sun would soon dip below the mountains. It was time to pack up, change into hiking attire, and head back to the cars.
By this time, we had the entire place to ourselves. Everyone had taken the last cable cars down. We hiked all the way down to the parking lot, exhausted, but stoked about what a spectacular day it had been.
Real Elopement Experience: A Review from our Couple
‘’Planning an elopement on a short-ish time frame on another continent can certainly feel stressful even if you choose to elope to help minimize the stress, but Christine was so so helpful in curating our day to exactly what we were looking for on our elopement day. From the first video chat to helping select options for locations and hikes to timeline arrangements, Christine has all her bases covered to help you through the planning process and to make your day the best for what you're imagining. Christine is incredible when it comes to planning a day that you dream of while still having amazing back up plans for whatever weather or cable car schedules have in store.
The day of an elopement can be full of excited energy (as it was for us!) and meeting a photographer for the first time on that day can feel a little extra stressful, but Christine was so prepared and professional that we felt immediately at ease. She made it feel like we were on a hike with a friend (who happened to be an amazing photographer!) which really helped us to enjoy our day. The day was jam packed with all the hikes and activities and travel we planned, but Christine helped everything move along smoothly. She has so many tricks up her sleeve from numerous weather apps to hike recommendations to guides for everything from attire (and how to pack it for a hike!) to activity recommendations.
Our elopement day and hikes were all we wanted it to be, and the images we received after just helped us to relive those moments. We loved the combination of the more portrait type photos (which still felt natural even though we are definitely not naturals!) to the images of us hiking or just being "us" with each other.
Above all, working with Christine makes it easy to see how much she loves helping couples create the elopement day that fits their dream. Our day was perfectly us, and we're so thankful to Christine for all the care and support she provided to help us have such a memorable day to start our marriage together.’’
-Susan + Austen
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