Elope in the Austrian Alps
When Clarice & Tom planned their wedding, they knew the day should be very special. The two of them love getting up early on their days off to drive into the mountains and watch the sunrise from a summit. They also have many memories together with boat trips. The couple from England wanted their wedding day to reflect them and their relationship perfectly, so they decided to elope in nature, just the two of them. A few years ago, they were on vacation in Canada. The high mountains had enchanted them, so they planned a mountain elopement in Canada. Clarice & Tom had already chosen the perfect summit for their wedding vows at sunrise, and they had already booked the photographer to document this day for them. The anticipation rose every day when Corona turned the couples’ travel plans upside down. The entry regulations to Canada changed constantly, flights were canceled, and the situation did not seem to change in the next few weeks.Clarice and Tom began to look around for a plan B within Europe and soon came across the Alps in Austria and Switzerland. They were immediately impressed when they saw the photos of blooming alpine meadows, striking peaks, and idyllic alpine villages. And soon after they saw the first photos, they started dreaming about a mountain elopement in Austria. During their research, they also found our Elopement Photography website. We got so excited when we read the email from Clarice and Tom. From the first moment, we had a good feeling that this wedding was going to be a dream and that both of them were ready for any adventure. A few days later, they got in touch with us and said that they liked the idea of an elopement wedding in the mountains of Austria even better than their original plan to fly to Canada. We sent them a list of great locations all over Austria and Switzerland, helped them decide which activities they could do during the day, and created an optimal schedule. Clarice and Tom wanted to have their wedding day documented from sunrise to sunset, which we were pleased about, as we had two times the perfect light for photos and plenty of time for great activities.We were all sure that this day would be a dream. As the date got closer, Austria tightened the entry regulations, and Clarice & Tom were no longer allowed to come to us from Great Britain. However, this time, they did not allow themselves to be dissuaded from their plan by COVID restrictions. So they first flew to Poland, and after ten days in an EU country, they were allowed to cross the Austrian border without any problems. The weather also made it suspenseful. For weeks it has been raining every day, and even if a wedding for two has the benefit of being quite flexible and we could have postponed the date by a day or two, the two of them were already looking forward to this particular date. When Clarice & Tom arrived in Warth, the mountains were still hidden in thick fog, but the weather forecast promised sunshine for the next two days, for the first time in two weeks. When we met with Clarice & Tom to discuss the last details personally, we were all delighted that the time had finally come and that everything seemed to be perfect despite the hurdles. Two days later, the big day was here. We met at the Hotel Steffisalp at 2:30 a.m., where Bibi Rhomberg was styling Clarice since 1:00 a.m.
When Clarice’s styling was finished, we all drove up to the Hochtannberg Pass together, where we started our hike to the Höferspitze. The stars twinkled down from the clear sky above us, and we captured this dreamy landscape in photos right away before dusk fell.
The officiant Eva Roth and the makeup artist Bibi Rhomberg came to the mountain elopement, and so we all hiked through the night together.
When we reached Clarice and Tom’s place for their first look and the wedding ceremony, they switched from their hiking clothes to their wedding outfits.
Tom put on his suit first and then waited a little further down with his back to the bride. Bibi freshened up the bridal makeup and did some last touches to the hairstyle one last time before Clarice put her beautiful wedding dress on.
Then there was the unique moment when the two finally saw each other in their wedding outfit for the first time. As dawn turned the sky pink, Clarice went to meet Tom. When she stood in front of him, he turned to her and his reaction when he saw his bride for the first time was just so touching. You could see from afar how happy they were that this day was finally here and that they were standing on a mountain in Austria shortly before sunrise and saying yes in a few minutes.
Mountain elopement in Austria
Then the wedding ceremony for their mountain elopement in Austria could start. Eva had prepared an excellent speech and various rituals for the two of them.
At the start, Clarice and Tom build a Stoneman together.
Clarice and Tom have also prepared letters to lock in a wooden box and read together on the fifth anniversary.
After they sealed the letters, the officiant Eva had a surprise for the two of them. Eva got in touch with the families of Clarice & Tom, and their loved ones recorded voice messages with wishes for their future together, which Eva now played for them.
It was a great surprise. Even if you decide to elope alone, it’s nice to include the families. The fact that neither of them knew about it made this moment even more emotional.
Even in midsummer, it is still cool in the mountains before sunrise. When Clarice started to freeze, Tom gave her his jacket without further ado.
Tom tossed a coin to find out who should say yes to whom first and put on the ring. Even the coin has a meaning, Tom got it from his grandpa, and the coin comes from the year Tom was born. When the two of them have to make a decision, they have tossed exactly that coin since the beginning of their relationship.
Changing the ring wasn’t the last ritual they’d chosen for their mountain elopement. Next, they did a handfasting ceremony that Eva had prepared. Here three different colored ropes are knotted together. One rope symbolizes Clarice’s family, one Tom’s family, and one the new family they were now together. The ropes were wrapped around their hands using a unique technique. When the two stood there with their hands tied together, Eva played them more messages from their families. At this moment, the first rays of sunshine came through the clouds and ensured that the special atmosphere was even more unique.
After listening to the last message, they pulled their hands through the ropes and tensioned the string by forming a knot in the shape of the infinity sign.
As the grand finale of the free wedding ceremony at sunrise, Clarice and Tom read marriage vows they had written to each other. The interplay of clouds and sun created an even more beautiful lighting mood every minute, and this moment could not have been more beautiful—a wonderful emotional end to the wedding ceremony.
After that, they warmed themselves with a cup of tea that we had brought for them.
They even brought mugs with their names on them.
Then Eva and Bibi made their way back to the hotel.
We had something else planned for Clarice and Tom.
The two tied “Just Married Signs” to their backpacks, and then we hiked a little further towards the summit. When we arrived on the mountain ridge, we looked for a nice spot in the middle of the blooming alpine flowers, where the two of them had breakfast and enjoyed the incredible mountain scenery.
We used the fantastic view to take a few bridal photos before we slowly started the descent again. This time Clarice and Tom hiked the whole way down in their wedding outfits.
Back at the hotel, Bibi freshened up Clarice’s makeup. Then we said goodbye to her and Eva.
We drove on with Clarice and Tom to Lech to the Hotel Goldener Berg.
The idyllic mountain village is perfect for everyone who wants a civil wedding in the mountains, as the registrar is very flexible and lets you get legally married outdoors.
When we arrived at the hotel, everything was already prepared for the wedding. The hotel even had a surprise for Clarice and Tom. Shortly before it was time for the first kiss as a married couple, the staff of the Hotel Goldener Berg stood with white roses next to the bride and groom.
When the two were officially married, the champagne was ready to toast.
When the official part was done, Clarice & Tom could relax a little over lunch.
Then we drove back to the Hochtannbergpass. On the way there, we took the wedding cake that Renate’s cake design had delivered to Steffisalp.
Not far from the parking lot, we found a perfect spot where we spread out a picnic blanket on which the two of them sat comfortably and cut their wedding cake. They enjoyed their cake picnic with a beautiful view of the Kalbelesee, and when we all had enough of the delicious cake, Fabian brought the cake back to the car. Victoria used the time with Clarice & Tom until he returned to take a few more portraits and couple photos.
Our next destination that day was the Körbersee. The idyllic mountain lake was even voted the most beautiful place in Austria a few years ago. The alpine roses were in full bloom and provided an excellent backdrop for more wedding photos of this beautiful mountain elopement in Austria.
We explored the most beautiful places around the lake and were happy about the beautiful afternoon.