Planning an Elopement in Switzerland
There’s no doubt about it, planning an elopement in Switzerland has to be one of the most romantic, yet adventurous ways to get married. This post is for any couple looking for a comprehensive guide on how to elope in Switzerland.
As your Switzerland elopement photography and videography team, we're laying out exactly what steps you need to take to elope in Switzerland, where you should get married in Switzerland, your Switzerland wedding budget, and everything else you may want to know!
What is an Elopement?
Depending on whom you talk to, you’re likely to hear a lot of ideas about what an elopement is or isn’t. One of the reasons it’s hard to pinpoint a definition is because elopements come in a variety of experiences and sizes.
We’ve seen couples elope just the two of them, or surrounded by close friends and family. Some couples get married in the mountains, while others explore a city. Elopements can be a single-day adventure, or spread over multiple days and places.
Ultimately, an elopement is a type of wedding that allows couples to strip away all the preconceived ideas of what people believe a wedding should look like, and instead opt for building an experience full of connection and intention on the day they say, ‘’I do’’
Reasons to Elope in Switzerland
If you’re looking for a reason to elope in Switzerland, we've got *seven* that we're sharing below! Keep reading to find out why you should get married in Switzerland.
The Swiss Alps
It goes without saying, the Swiss Alps are all the reason you need to elope in Switzerland. 60% of the country is mountainous, meaning there’s no shortage of jaw-dropping views.
There are over 1,500 beautiful lakes to get married at in Switzerland. Many of these glacially-fed lakes shimmer brilliant blue, and offer great opportunities to swim, paddle, and relax. Some of our favorite lakes in Switzerland would have to be the Brienzersee, Bachalpsee, Oeschinensee, and Seealpsee.
Switzerland is home to over 40 glaciers, making for an epic elopement backdrop. The largest of Switzerland’s glaciers, the Aletsch Glacier, holds over 11-billion tons of ice. We've compiled a guide on glaciers you can’t miss in Europe, so you should check that out!
The Best Skiing in the World
It’s no secret that Switzerland is home to some of the best skiing in the world. If you’re looking to hold an adventurous ski wedding, be sure to check out Mürren, Zermatt, and St. Moritz.
Incredible Food: Swiss Chocolate and Cheese
If you love food like we do, Switzerland offers an amazing variety of chocolate and cheese (but we wouldn’t suggest mixing the two). Both are made from high-quality dairy sourced from alpine-dwelling cows. Just imagine enjoying a warm fondue during your celebratory wedding dinner.
Another reason to plan an elopement in Switzerland is that the country is centrally located to some of Europe’s most beautiful scenery. Within a few hours of central Switzerland, you can visit Chamonix, France; Milan, Italy; or the famous Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. After your destination wedding in Switzerland, there’s no shortage of nearby honeymoon spots nearby.
Switzerland is the Best Place to Elope in Europe
We'd have to argue that Switzerland is one of the best places to elope in Europe. There’s no shortage of stunning scenery, romantic places to stay, and things to do.
Unique Wedding and Elopement Activities in Switzerland
For adventurous couples, Switzerland offers no shortage of unique elopement activities to make your day unforgettable. Here are a few of our favorite adventure elopement experiences available in Switzerland.
Overnight in a Swiss Mountain Hut
Across the Swiss Alps, you’ll find traditional mountain huts and berghotels (mountain hotels) nestled deep in lush valleys and atop mountains. Huts can range from rustic to lavish, and offer a unique way to experience the mountains. Two of our favorites include Berghotel Obersteinberg and Berghaus Diavolezza.
If you’ve dreamed of soaring up close to the mountains, paragliding is an activity you’ve got to try. Throughout Switzerland, you’ll find companies that offer tandem-paragliding experiences so you and your partner can go with a professional guide. Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland is one of the best places to go for a thrilling ride.
Helicopter Weddings in Switzerland
For those who want to see and go places, few can, opting for a helicopter wedding excursion may be a perfect choice. Helicopter flight-seeing tours occur all over Switzerland, but some of the most scenic destinations are around Zermatt and Interlaken. Chartering a private helicopter for weddings generally costs between 1,300-1,800 CHF ($1,500-$2,000 USD). You can check out our helicopter elopement guide here.
Imagine whizzing above alpine meadows side-by-side with your partner, flying past some of Switzerland’s most majestic scenery. You can do exactly that on a zip-lining tour at the First Flyer in the Jungfrau Region. At spots like this one, you can reach speeds of over 50 m.p.h. (80 km)-talk about getting your blood pumping! Zip lining is a great, adrenaline-boosting activity for any couple looking to level up their wedding day experience.
Rent a boat
Switzerland has no shortage of opportunities to enjoy its countless lakes. Whether you get out and explore via a hot tub boat (yes, we’re serious!); a guided kayak tour, or on a romantic rowboat ride, there are so many ways to soak up the scenery.
Visit the Jungfraujoch
The Jungfraujoch is home to Europe’s mountain railway station and a breathtaking way to experience the Swiss Alps. At the top of the station, you can access an observation deck, ice palace, and good eats.
Marriage in Switzerland as a Foreigner
After reading about how epic getting married in Switzerland is, one big question you may have is, ‘’Can I get married in Switzerland as a foreigner?’’. Yes, you can!
If you’re traveling abroad and would like to get married in Switzerland, there are a few things you need to consider. Generally, only residents of Switzerland can get legally married, but anyone on a tourist visa can still hold a symbolic ceremony. Below you’ll find an outline of what you need to consider as a foreigner for civil, religious, and symbolic wedding ceremonies in Switzerland.
Places to Elope in Switzerland
Where are the best places to elope in Switzerland? Whether you’re looking for a romantic castle along a lake or views of the Swiss Alps, or maybe even some palm trees (yes, you read that right!), you’re bound to find it. Here are some of the top places to plan an elopement or destination wedding in Switzerland. If you want more information about the best places to get married in Switzerland, we have a blog with 25 gorgeous locations here.
Appenzell, Switzerland Elopements
Appenzell, Switzerland is one of our favorite elopement destinations in Switzerland. Appenzell makes an unbelievable elopement destination if you dream of eloping among steep grassy mountainsides, waterfalls, sparkling blue lakes, and idyllic countryside. Truly, there is no place like it!
Interlaken, Switzerland Elopements
Interlaken, Switzerland is located between Lake Brienz and Lake Thun, making it a picturesque spot for your destination wedding. Interlaken makes a charming area with its numerous castle wedding venues and mountain views in every direction.
Elopements in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
The Lauterbrunnen Valley is a fairy tale wedding location. Lauterbrunnen is known as the most beautiful valley in the world, and home to 72 waterfalls. The cliff faces surrounding Lauterbrunnen are nearly 400 meters tall at some points! If you want a full overview of eloping in Lauterbrunnen, check out this post. In 2024, we are opting not to photograph elopements in Lauterbrunnen. We've found the crowds really impact our couple's overall experience.
Elope in Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne, Switzerland is a stunning town (and area) to elope if you want to experience not only the Swiss Alps but also the charm of old lakeside towns. Lucerne is one of those destinations that offers numerous opportunities for the adventurous, and those looking to enjoy something more lavish.
Getting Married in Zermatt
Zermatt, home to the iconic Matterhorn, has to be one of the most spectacular spots to get married in Switzerland. Year-round, Zermatt makes a perfect wedding destination with its endless skiing and hiking. For those who are looking for a relaxing wedding destination, Zermatt also offers plenty of easily accessible elopement locations via train and cable car.
Elopements in Engadin, St. Moritz
Engadin is a region in Switzerland that has it all. From glacier views, while hiking and skiing to extravagant day spas and wellness resorts, Engadin, Switzerland is a luxury destination wedding location.
Switzerland National Park
Located within Engadin lies Swiss National Park (Schweizerischer Nationalpark), the country’s largest protected area. The Swiss National Park has also received the status of being a strict nature reserve.
Ticino, Switzerland Weddings
Palm trees...in Switzerland? The Italian-speaking region of Ticino is growing in popularity as a whimsical wedding destination. Lugano, one of Ticino’s towns, is even known as Switzerland’s Monte Carlo. Ticino is famous for its vineyards, sparkling blue rivers, and fantastic hiking.
Destination Weddings in Zurich
For couples that love the city, a wedding in Zurich offers a nice blend of beautiful “old-town” charm while also being located along lake Zurich. Zurich is also not far from nature, offering numerous hiking options for couples who want to adventure on their wedding trip.
Get married in Lausanne
For a bit of French flair on your wedding day, consider heading to Lausanne, which sits on the shores of Lake Geneva. From Lausanne, you have views of both the Swiss and French Alps. Additionally, you can find numerous chic, upscale wedding venues to meet your celebration needs.
Amazing Wedding Venues in Switzerland
Blausee Hotel and Spa
Located adjacent to the crystal clear Blausee (“blue lake”), and within a nature park, the Blausee Hotel and Spa is a picturesque venue for your intimate wedding. The venue offers catering and lodging.
Have you ever considered getting married in an igloo? At Iglu-Dorf Zermatt, you can do exactly that. Get married with the Matterhorn in view, then cozy up in a romantic igloo for the night, complete with your own private hot tub.
At El Pradiso Mountain Club in St. Moritz, you can tie the knot high above the mountains, whether it be a private, two-person ceremony or a large gathering of up to 300 people.
In the chic town of Gstaad, you’ll find Wasserngrat, a gorgeous mountain venue offering hand-tailored wedding packages for your wedding day. Wasserngrat offers the perfect setup for small to moderately-sized weddings.
Berggasthaus First is the ideal adventure wedding venue with some of the best views in Switzerland. To reach the venue you’ll take a cable car from Grindelwald. At the top, you have not only an incredible place to say your vows, but also the chance to exit in style via zip lining, paragliding, or sledding.
Schloss Schadau is a wedding castle dream, located right near some of the most dramatic scenery in the Swiss Alps. Sitting at the shores of Lake Thun, Schloss Schadau is an elegant wedding venue for couples wanting some flair on the wedding day.
When to Elope in Switzerland
Eloping in Switzerland is beautiful any season, but here’s what you need to know about when is right for you. We've also included a month-by-month breakdown of the best times to get married in Switzerland.
Winter Weddings in Switzerland
Winter weddings in Switzerland are a fantastic time to take advantage of skiing, ice skating, or sledding along the world’s longest groomed track. Getting married during the winter also is a great excuse to stay at a cozy chalet in the mountains and relax in your own personal hot tub or sauna.
Spring Weddings in Switzerland
Switzerland’s spring climate widely varies, so be sure to plan appropriately for your wedding. By late May, you can expect many of the lower alpine regions to be melted out and green. Higher up in the mountains, the ski season is still going. Late spring is a fantastic time for a lakeside Switzerland wedding, as the blue colors are the most vibrant from the glacial melt during this time. The snow-capped mountains of the Swiss Alps are also unforgettable in the spring.
Summer Weddings in Switzerland
Summer is our favorite season for Switzerland weddings. By this point, the wildflowers are in bloom, all the hiking trails are open, and the weather is beautiful. Switzerland’s high alpine regions have generally mild temperatures during the summer months, but it’s not unheard of to experience a handful of 30 °C/86 °F days. Summer is a great time to explore, and Switzerland’s many glaciers sparkle deep blue. Afternoon thunderstorms aren’t uncommon during the summer months, so planning a morning-elopement can be a good choice.
Fall Weddings in Switzerland
Early fall is one of the best-kept secrets for planning a wedding in Switzerland. By this time, the busy tourist season has slowed down, but the weather is still nice (and drier than summer). If you are hoping to book a venue, autumn also can be an easier month to secure a date. If you want to catch vibrant fall colors, the middle of October are best. This is when the larches change from green to vibrant yellow and orange. It's absolutely INCREDIBLE!
Some of the best spots in Switzerland to catch fall colors during your wedding include:
- The Aletsch Forest
Key Steps to Planning Your Switzerland Elopement
Ready to start planning your elopement in Switzerland? Below you’ll find our simple process for making your Swiss Alps elopement a reality. As part of your Switzerland elopement photography and videography team, my husband and I are here to help you throughout each step.
We recommend couples allot 6-9 months to plan their Switzerland elopement or destination wedding. It is possible to plan on much shorter time frames though, and we've helped couples make their adventure a reality in as little as two weeks.
Choose an Elopement Date
Before you can dive deep into planning your Switzerland elopement, one of the first things you need to do is set a date. Setting a date will allow you to start booking the vendors that can help make your dream come to life!
Book Your Switzerland Elopement Photographer and Videographer
Hiring your Switzerland elopement photographer and videographer is one of the most important steps in the planning process. The right photographer or photo/video team will be a key player in helping guide you through the process of getting married abroad. They’ll also be sure your day is not only documented beautifully but also that you have the experience of a lifetime.
As Switzerland’s leading adventure elopement photo and video team, we specialize in helping couples craft unique, awe-inspiring, outdoor-centered wedding experiences. We know the alps like the back of our hands (seriously, we’ve done 150+ peaks in just the last three years), and use our expertise to help you each step of the way. If you're up for an adventure, contact us now!
Visualize What You Want Your Day to Look Like
If you don’t have a vision of what you want your Switzerland elopement to look like yet, that’s totally ok! This step is where you’ll really want to start thinking about what is most important to you as a couple, and how you want to honor that on your intimate wedding day.
Whether it’s spending the night stargazing before catching the sunrise from a beautiful location and exchanging vows, or enjoying breakfast in bed before a morning-first look, and afternoon helicopter tour, the possibilities are endless.
Our booked couples receive an exclusive guide that goes over prompts and questions that can help them find clarity in the dreaming process.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, at the bottom of this guide, we have multiple elopement days blogged that include real timelines, helpful info, and more.
Pro-Tip: During this step, you may realize you have a dream so big, you need a little outside help. This would be a great time to book a Switzerland elopement planner! If you want to know more about hiring an elopement planner, we have a free guide you can find here about hiring an elopement planner.
Decide on an Elopement Location in Switzerland
Choosing your elopement location in Switzerland is an exciting task that we love helping couples with. When choosing a location, you’ll want to consider:
- What time of year are you eloping in?
- How popular is the location?
- Are there any restrictions on the location?
- What time of day has the best light?
Your Switzerland wedding photographer (hey, it’s me, Christine!) will have advice for all of this. Location scouting is one of my biggest strengths (beyond taking stellar photos and making sure you have an amazing experience). This is something I help our booked couples extensively with.
I have a helpful resource you can find here about how to choose the best mountain elopement location. We’ve also blogged 25 of the best places to get married in Switzerland.
If you are planning an elopement with guests or a micro wedding, you may want to consider hiring a wedding planner to help with securing a venue or permission to hold your ceremony at specific locations.
Book Your Switzerland Travel & Lodging
Now that you know where you’re eloping in Switzerland, it’s time to book your travel and accommodation.
How to Get to Switzerland
Switzerland is a major travel destination, making it easy to get to from many large airports. Switzerland has 7 international airports you can fly into, with Zurich typically having the best connections.
Getting around Switzerland (Trains and Buses)
Like most countries in Europe, Switzerland has an extensive train and bus network that makes traveling quite simple. We still recommend getting a rental car, at least for the elopement portion part of your trip though, since it will make getting around mountainous regions much more efficient. We've also found car rentals to be more budget-friendly than public transportation.
Lodging in Switzerland for Your Wedding
Switzerland offers a wide variety of lodging options, from upscale hotels and ski lodges to quaint bed and breakfasts in the villages. Airbnb and similar rental property options are also popular. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s a place where you can relax and isn’t too far from your elopement location.
Lodging Pro-tip: Choose a location with great natural light and that is clutter-free for the best getting-ready photos! If you want a “first look” where you’re staying, also keep in mind what scenery is nearby and how everything will look.
Book Your Switzerland Wedding Vendors
Are you booking more than a photographer and videographer for your Switzerland wedding or elopement? Some couples may opt to include a wedding celebrant/officiant, hair and makeup artist, a private chef, or maybe even a mountain guide.
Vendor Pro-Tip: We provide every booked couple with our exclusive English-speaking vendor suggestion guide.
Plan Your Elopement Day Activities
Activities are what help make your Switzerland elopement into an experience! This is a great time to consider what small (and possibly) big things you may want to do to level up your day. Some activities may include reading letters from family and friends, stopping by a mountain hut for lunch, renting a boat, going for a swim, stargazing, embarking on a helicopter tour, or booking a guided via-ferrata tour.
Once your locations are selected, and activities booked, this is the time to put it all on paper and build a timeline of your Switzerland wedding. That way, you know there’s room for everything. We’ve helped countless couples build custom timelines of their adventures (including multi-day ones!).
Gather Any Necessary Wedding and Travel Documents
The documents you may need to bring for eloping can really vary, depending on where you travel from. Some documents you may need for your elopement include:
- Drivers Licenses
- Confirmation of booked flights
- Hotel/Lodging confirmations
- Any legal documents needed if you plan on having a civil ceremony
Pro-Tip: Be sure to have a list of everything you need, print out the documents, and keep them together in a folder. If you’re flying, be sure these stay with your carry-on luggage.
Packing for Your Switzerland Elopement
Are you wondering what else you need to pack for your Switzerland elopement? We have a free guide and downloadable checklist with tips and tricks you can find here.
Elope in Switzerland!
Your elopement wedding in Switzerland is here! After all of your dreaming and excitement, it’s finally happening. Soak up every second and remember- these memories will last forever. Your photographer and videographer (oh hey!) will be sure you have amazing photos to help document the experience.
The Top Mistakes to Avoid While Planning Your Switzerland Elopement Wedding
Here are some of the top mistakes we see couples make while planning their elopement in Switzerland, along with tips for what to do instead. Ultimately, hiring a Switzerland elopement professional can help you avoid a variety of planning pitfalls.
What Does it Cost to Get Married in Switzerland?
The average cost of holding a traditional Switzerland wedding is around €30,000-€40,000. If you’re planning an elopement or micro-wedding though, the standard cost is closer to €12.000/12.000 CHF (approx. $13,000 USD). This cost covers the expenses associated with food and lodging for two nights, wedding attire, photography and videography coverage, marriage licenses, and more.
Below, you’ll find some approximate numbers of the cost of eloping and getting married in Switzerland (based on the expenses of two people). Please note, these numbers don’t include flights and transportation costs, since these can widely vary, depending on where you’re coming from.
Despite the standard budget, there is still a lot of flexibility in how much couples spend on getting married in Switzerland.
For example, some couples may find wedding attire that costs less than €200 and suits them perfectly. Others may opt out of having professional hair and makeup since they’d rather do it themselves atop a mountain. When it comes to desserts, Switzerland has no shortage of bakeries, and it’s easy to pick up a few slices of delicious, already-made cake for under €15, or get something custom-made for well over €300. Lodging can range from cozy mountain chalets to luxury wellness resorts.
When choosing how much to spend on your Switzerland elopement, make sure you invest in what’s most important to you. Whether it’s photo and video, having your dream dress or custom-made suit, or splurging on a helicopter ride, don’t be afraid to create the day you’ve always dreamed of.
At the end of the day, how much or how little you choose to spend on your elopement in Switzerland won’t matter. What will count is how you choose to intentionally connect with your partner and honor what you value most.
Switzerland Budget Wedding Cost
The cost of a budget elopement in Switzerland is €5,470.
Expenses may include:
|Marriage License (Free for symbolic ceremonies)||€0|
|Food and Drinks||€250|
|Hair & Makeup (DIY)||€0|
|Photographer (4 hours coverage)||€4,000|
Switzerland Standard Wedding Cost
The cost of a standard elopement in Switzerland is €12,100.
Expenses may include:
|Marriage License (free for symbolic ceremonies)||€0-€350|
|Food and Drinks||€350|
|Hair & Makeup||€650|
|Small Wedding Cake||€300|
|Photographer (8 Hours Coverage)||€5,500|
|Videographer (8 Hours Coverage)||€3,000|
Switzerland Luxury Wedding Cost
The cost of a luxury micro wedding in Switzerland is €21,000+
Expenses may include:
|Marriage License (free for symbolic ceremonies)||€0-€350|
|Food and Drinks||€500+|
|Hair & Makeup||€1,400|
|Add-On Activities such as a helicopter ride||€1,500|
Switzerland Elopement and Wedding Packages
Are you ready to start planning your elopement or destination wedding in Switzerland? If so, why not start with your Switzerland elopement photographer and videographer? You can view our Switzerland wedding packages here, or contact us to get a more detailed pricing guide.
We help guide each couple through the eloping process and make sure they get the epic coverage their day deserves.
Are you ready to have the experience of a lifetime?
Hey, we're Christine and Scott, and there's nothing we love more than capturing rad couples’ adventures in the places and spaces that matter most. Love what you see on the site? Hit the contact button below to start making your adventure a reality!
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