A quick word regarding our setup. My inexpensive dress was from a website and is actually two pieces – a skirt and a beaded top. It was usually stuffed in a small drawstring bag with Matt’s suit. We didn’t carry the bag everywhere, especially the first day exploring a location. On days we did carry the bag and find a good spot for a picture, we would literally throw on our wedding clothes over whatever we were wearing. Finally, we almost always carry a tripod and remote clicker when we travel as photography is a hobby for both of us anyways.
Plaza de España
We woke up before dawn and walked from our hostel to the Plaza de España. We had visited the day before, in the late afternoon, and it was bustling with tourist groups, screaming kids, and pushy street peddlers. But at that moment, in the first rays of sunlight, it was completely empty. We changed into our wedding gear and had only taken a couple of beautiful shots when disaster struck – our camera died! It was poor planning on my part – after a few too many beers the night before I had forgotten to charge the battery in preparation for the morning. I quickly resigned myself to defeat but Matt jumped straight into action. He wrapped the strap of our Nikon camera around his iPhone and secured it to the tripod. Then he used the timer built into the camera app to take the shots above. Both are still among our favorites from the project.
It was a little past midnight and cold out – not the type of cold that is remedied with a heavy jacket. It was the kind of cold that makes phones die in a matter of minutes. A cold that seeps into your hands through heavy gloves, and makes your nose feel like it’s going to turn to ice and break right off your face. It was negative 26 degrees Celsius, to be exact. We set up the camera only a couple of feet from the door of our Airbnb cabin and ran inside to warm up in-between shots. The shutter had to stay open for 20 full seconds to capture the northern lights, so during those 20 seconds I couldn’t move or even shiver. It wasn’t fun, but honestly I think the Northern lights can mesmerize anyone in a matter of seconds. Of course we were cold – we aren’t crazy people – but we were on top of the world in the middle of nowhere watching a spectacular light show hosted by Mother Nature herself. Magical would be an understatement.
We awoke at dawn in Rothenburg, Germany to awful weather – clouds and thick fog that blocked any semblance of sunlight. We decided to take a stroll around the small town anyway. Waking up early is our favorite way to see a popular tourist destination – fewer people and the morning light can make for truly magical moments. Sometimes, however, the weather doesn’t cooperate and that’s just the way it is. So when we arrived at the iconic spot above (said to be inspiration for Pinocchio) we decided to take some shots for fun despite the weather. A couple of shots in a cat leapt from nowhere and playfully attacked the tulle on my dress! Unbeknownst to me, Matt continued pressing our remote clicker while we played with the cat. The little cat was playful, but wouldn’t stop eating the tulle on my dress and eventually threw up (a small amount) onto the dress itself! All we could was laugh.
The most common question we get for this photo: is this photoshopped? No, but it looks so unbelievably perfect that even I can’t believe it’s not. We woke up one beautiful October morning in Zermatt and took a train up a popular mountain that resides next to the Matterhorn. It was perfect outside – blue skies for as far as the eye can see – except for a small ring of clouds that refused to leave the top of the mountain. After a scenic 20 minute train ride, we hung out at the top of the mountain for long while simply admiring the view with a hot chocolate (or two). We decided to hike since the conditions were absolutely beautiful, it wasn’t even cold outside! Luck was with us and as we were rounding the corner about an hour into the three hour hike the clouds finally parted and for a brief five minutes we could see the top of the Matterhorn. I have never changed into my dress so fast! In the picture, I am still wearing my jeans and snow boots under my dress. We only got a chance to take five pictures before the clouds surrounded the top for the rest of the day.
Bio: Tessa Juliette is the co-founder (along with husband Matt) of travelwheretonext.com, a blog that chronicles past and present travel adventures along with how-to guides for certain countries and other travel advice the couple wishes someone would’ve told them. Tessa’s mission is to convince others who are reluctant to travel for any reason – lack of funds, reluctance to travel solo, or simple fear of the unknown – to overcome apprehensions, plan an adventure within any budget and seek out new experiences. You can also follow her and her new husbands beautiful photos and adventures over at @travel_wheretonext .