There’s just something about alpine scenery. I don’t care if it’s snow-capped or sunlit, sprinkled with wildflowers, or twinkling with Christmas lights, the Alps are spectacular at any time of the year. Of course, the landscape is very different depending upon the season.
So which backdrop would you choose for your wedding day? A classic winter wonderland, or a perfect blue sky?
Unfortunately, when the sun is shining, the crowds are out in force. Likewise, when the snow is falling, the ski resorts are packed with visitors. In peak periods it can be hard to find a private spot without a few tourists as wedding guests. And when the temperature drops, so do your chances of a panoramic, outdoor wedding ceremony. So how do you get the balance just right?
Well, today’s couple managed to have their cake and eat it too. I invite you to read on and discover exactly when is the perfect time for a mountaintop elopement in Bavaria . . .
As told to BWB by Vanessza of Peach Perfect Weddings.
Joana and Kensen are an adventurous couple from Luxembourg who love the outdoors and unique experiences. They have always imagined a fairytale wedding in a breathtaking location, so an intimate elopement next to the Alps was the perfect choice for their big day.
The Wedding Destination – Schwangau in Bavaria, Germany
The wedding took place in the heart of Bavaria, close to the famous Neuschwanstein Castle. The pair married in a small town called Schwangau. Schwangau is one of the last towns along the ‘romantic road‘, a popular scenic route that winds its way through the picturesque countryside from central Germany all the way down to the Bavarian Alps.
Joana and Kensen exchanged their vows by a beautiful rustic wooden hut high up on the mountain, surrounded by nature.
When is the Best Time of Year for a Wedding in Bavaria?
The couple had their heart set on an outdoor elopement in a season when the surrounding landscape would be in its most colorful state. It was decided that October would be the perfect month. The weather is still good enough for an outdoor ceremony at this time of year, but you can also start to see the alpine forests and the open fields changing into a dreamy autumn palette that’s just stunning for wedding photos.
As it turned out, the weather could not have been more perfect for the bride and groom, with a beautiful sunny day and a light autumn breeze.
Planning a Wedding in the Bavarian Alps
The couple had a clear vision for their wedding day – just the two of them up on top of the mountains.
As they were already legally married, Joana and Kensen envisaged a personal and meaningful symbolic ceremony followed by a romantic picnic. The pair worked with Peach Perfect Weddings to handle the logistics of reaching the mountaintop hut and also to obtain permission to use the venue. And of course, they wanted their wedding photos to highlight the gorgeous scenery at their wedding location. Photographer Allane Milliane and Videographer Aneta Lehotska were more than happy to oblige, capturing the wedding celebration and also the scenic hike back down the mountain afterward.
Incorporating German Wedding Traditions
The couple followed the lovely German wedding tradition of drinking from a Nuremberg Wedding Cup during the ceremony. The cup, also known as a German Wedding Cup, is double-ended with a swiveling cup at one end and a hollow dress at the other. This allows both the bride and groom to drink from the cup simultaneously. The custom is centuries old and is said to be a symbol of love, faithfulness, and good luck.
The Wedding Day – A Blissful Bavarian Elopement
The couple started their wedding day with breakfast in their room and a quick pre-wedding photo shoot as they got ready. They then took the venue’s minibus up the mountain to the cabin along with their celebrant and the venue’s florist. Once there, the florist quickly arranged the beautiful floral arch and the ceremony was ready to begin.
Joana and Kensen exchanged their vows on a wooden platform just outside the cabin, with the forested hills of Bavaria and the Alps in the background.
Right after the wedding ceremony, the couple took some time for a photo and video shoot to capture their stunning surroundings, before a scenic picnic lunch just for two. This was followed by a hike back down the mountain, and then to a meadow with stunning views back toward Neuschwanstein Castle.
Weddings at Neuschwanstein Castle
You may not be familiar with the name Neuschwanstein Castle, but it probably looks familiar to you . . .
Neuschwanstein Castle was actually the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle, so it’s little wonder that this is one of the most famous, and most visited castles in all of Europe. In fact, up to 6,000 people visit the castle per day in the summer season. (Something to be aware of if you prefer to avoid the crowds on your wedding day!).
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to marry inside the castle, or even in the grounds of the castle. However, the castle is still a popular backdrop for couples who get married in the beautiful Hohenschwangau Valley below. Or, like Joana and Kensen, many couples just choose to capture some wedding photos with this iconic ‘fairytale castle’ in the background.
Advice for Other Couples Planning a Bavarian Wedding or Elopement
Each season has its own beauty, so you really can’t go wrong and you will always have a beautiful backdrop for your wedding or elopement in Bavaria.
I would definitely recommend choosing a weekday for an outdoor wedding, as there are fewer tourists at this time. Bavaria is famous for its unpredictable weather, but there are always little gaps between the short rain showers where your ceremony can take place. Besides, having rain on your wedding day brings you good luck and signifies that your marriage will last!
The best thing to do on your wedding day is to explore the stunning nature around you. There are hundreds of tracks and hidden spots waiting for you to discover. The location where Joana and Kensen got married is also called the ‘Lands of Castles’, so there is certainly a lot to see here.
One final piece of advice is to rent a car because it is extremely difficult to get a taxi 24/7 in Bavaria’s smaller towns.
Joana and Kensen’s Bavarian Wedding Vendors
Wedding Planner: Peach Perfect Weddings
Wedding Photographer: Allane Milliane
Wedding Videographer: Aneta Lehotska
Marriage Celebrant: Alexandra Klein
Wedding Venue: Das Rübezahl Hotel – Schwangau, Bavaria, Germany
Find more German Wedding Vendors in our BWB Destination Wedding Directory