What a stunning Zermatt wedding this was to photograph! Gabrielle & Dan did not exactly have the best weather for their wedding day, we did, however, manage to get some cool photos working against some pretty harsh conditions.
The day before the wedding I met up with Gabrielle and Dan and went for a ski to check out the snow conditions and scout for locations. Not realising how good Dan was on a snowboard until he hit the big Kicker (jump) pulling off a huge backflip before riding off like it was normal. With this in mind, I could picture Gabrielle stood next to the kicker and Dan upside down above her, which would have created an awesome portfolio image.
On the wedding day, we did half a run through the snow park and as you can see from the photos the visibility was shocking, plus it was raining which made the run in really slow and the landing not that great, so we thought it was not the best idea to try it out. We headed up to the restaurant to dry out and in the hope that the weather would lift, and an hour or so later it was just as bad, so having visited Zermatt quite a few times I knew the Furi ski area would be below cloud level and we could create some amazing photographs with the Zermatt valley below us.
We couldn’t have timed it any better going up the Furi lift, as the rain was just easing off leaving us enough time to grab some photos before we were engulfed in the biggest cloud heading up the mountain. With photos in the bag and the lifts about to close we headed back down the mountain and finished off near the river that runs through Zermatt. This was when we got the first glimpse of the magical Matterhorn mountain.
Here are a few words from Gabrielle and Dan about their experiences from this Summer Zermatt wedding.
Living in American you have some amazing ski resorts, why did you choose Zermatt for your wedding?
To be honest we absolutely love to travel and wanted to do something “out of the ordinary”. Daniel (groom) and I have been to many resorts in the Northeast for skiing/snowboarding, and Daniel has traveled out West on occasion. It is common for our family and friends to travel across the country to resorts throughout the U.S., we wanted to do something different, and somewhere neither of us or our family/friends has been before.
Of course, when we decided we wanted our special day to be between just the two of us, it allowed us to be open to any and all locations we could think of. Daniel’s only stipulation was that he wanted to be able to snowboard on our trip and the idea just transpired from there. Where could you find a better place to ski/snowboard than the Alps themselves?
The ability to ski/snowboard on the summer slopes and come down off the mountain to enjoy a hike in the green countryside seemed like the best of both worlds.
Was it hard planning a destination wedding in Zermatt from America?
The difficult part was really just planning for the unknown. Having never been to Switzerland before, it is easy to worry about every little thing falling into place. For us, it seemed to work out perfectly and was extremely helpful that everyone we were in contact with spoke English fluently so there was no language barrier.
Why did you choose a Summer wedding in Zermatt over a winter wedding?
We chose a “summer” wedding over a winter wedding so that we may be able to enjoy both the slopes and the countryside. We are quite adventurous and love to enjoy all the outdoor activities. Choosing a “summer” wedding (back home we would call it “fall/autumn” when the leaves begin to change color and it gets a little bit cooler out) was the best of both worlds. We had the chance to get up early, ski/snowboard till midafternoon and then come back down into the valley of Zermatt and hike some of the beautiful trails that surround the town.
Why did you choose Paul Keppel Photography as your Zermatt wedding photographer?
When searching for wedding photographers we had quite a few choices to select from. The initial reason we contacted Paul Keppel Photography was for the very professional appeal of his website. The photographs had almost told a story about the wedding day and he seemed to truly care about the families he was capturing. His photographs also had amazing composition, lighting and keen detail to the surroundings. Many of them were taken in natural settings and everyone regardless of the scene/weather seemed to turn out just perfect.
His photograph of a previous wedding in Zermatt also seemed to stick in our heads. When we did a google search of Zermatt wedding photographs, it was by far the best one that appeared.
We were so glad Paul Keppel Photography was able to book for the date requested and made the whole process simple and worry-free.
How many nights did you stay in Zermatt?
We stayed in Zermatt for four nights and then traveled to Lucerne for four nights.
Bride: What advice would you give to future brides planning their wedding in Zermatt?
Don’t worry about the small stuff. For months prior to the wedding, I was so worried about every little detail from wondering if my make-up/hair, dress and shawl would look just perfect in every photograph throughout the day. Turns out none of that worrying even mattered.
Everything just seemed to fall in place and the photographs turned out beyond amazing.
Just enjoy your day, roll with whatever unexpected things may arise, and your happiness will shine through in your photographs.
Groom: What advice would you give to future grooms for their Zermatt wedding?
If you have your own skiing/snowboarding gear and plan to hit the slopes for more than a couple days, bring your own gear! It will save you quite a bit of money.
What’s the best thing about getting married in Zermatt?
The best thing was just being surrounded by beauty at all times. Even though our wedding day was ironically the only rainy day out of our trip, the photographs turned out perfect. We were very lucky to have found such an amazing photographer to work with us, and the weather and produce wedding photographs that ourselves, family and friends have been raving about.
By working with the natural lighting and landscapes, Paul was able to produce photographs that look like they are out of a movie set (as most of our family and friends thought).
Any top tips for a ski wedding in Zermatt?
As Daniel noted, if you plan on getting in a lot of skiing/snowboarding, you may want to bring your own gear.
In regards to the wedding day, just remember to roll with whatever weather the day may bring. You will be in good hands with Paul Keppel so just embrace and snow/rain as it will probably make your photographs even more amazing and special to look back on.
P.S. for the brides out there, don’t worry about your dress! Trust me, I was terrified of “ruining” my beautiful gown but I must admit the coolest thing ever was the feeling of my wedding gown trailing behind me, gliding from side to side on the slopes while my new husband and I carved up the Alps. You will probably get the dress cleaned and packaged anyway after your big day, so have fun with it! It will make your photographs that much better.
Did you source anything from the village for your wedding?
We did, from Zermattflowers. We stopped by the night before to request a simple bouquet. They threw in a boutonniere and had it ready for us within a half hour. Such sweet staff that they had there. But do be careful as they need to have flowers shipped in weekly, that if you are having a big wedding, that you order ahead.
What would you have changed if you could do it again?
Although we wish we chose any of the other beautiful sunny days that week, instead of the one with rain/snow, we honestly would not have changed a thing.
The very first picture Paul Keppel Photography showed us (the sneak peek) our jaws dropped. We even said to one another that if that was the only good photo taken all day, we would be happy. (Of course, we were extremely pleased with the whole album once that arrived-the photographs honestly seemed to keep getting better as we scrolled through)
What’s the best thing about being married?
The best thing about being married is knowing that we both will always have each other to share all these adventures with in the future. Hopefully quite a few more traveling adventures to beautiful countries and places like Zermatt but also the day-to-day adventures of being together in life.
As usual, here is a selection of favourite of Dan & Gabrielle’s beautiful Zermatt wedding. Please feel free to share on social media, or leave a comment.