Credits to: Ricardo Palazzolo
Written by Peach Perfect Weddings for Brides on a Mission. Peach Perfect Weddings is a small team of talented local planners who offer destination wedding packages to couples wanting to have an elopement, vow renewal, of intimate wedding in Europe.
Switzerland sure is a popular holiday destination where adventurous backpackers, couples, and families dream of spending a week or two for a summer or winter vacation.
However, it has not gained too much traction as a wedding destination, and we just wonder why. This landlocked paradise at the center of astounding European countries is arguably one of the most beautiful of all, and you can see nature in all forms right inside its territory.
Why get married in Switzerland?
There are plenty of reasons to get married in Switzerland, and it’s more than just the scenic views and astounding nature. Let’s take a look at what this romantic European paradise offers to couples who love destination weddings.
Credits to: Cramarts by Marc Lüthi
Elopement opportunities in the great outdoors
There are countless scenic places to elope within the Swiss borders that you’ll never run out of unique options to tie the knot. You can have a ceremony for two along a lake, an intimate wedding outdoors in a nature resort, or an exchange of vows in a breathtaking mountain lodge.
Just pick the best season to tie the knot in Switzerland so you can have an outdoor wedding without fear of unkind weather. Late spring and the whole summer are usually the best seasons to tie the knot here.
The months of May to August are the best time to schedule a Swiss wedding in a breathtaking lakeside villa or a rugged mountain lodge near the Alps because of the wonderful play of colors outdoors and the dwindling down of tourist visits this time of the year.
Unparalleled winter adventure
Tourists from around the globe flock to Switzerland to have a wonderful winter vacation. Unlike other European destinations, tourist visits rise dramatically when December arrives, and it’s for a good reason.
Ski slopes and resorts in Switzerland are some of the best in the whole world, guaranteeing a winter adventure like no other. Just imagine having a winter wedding in the Swiss Alps with snow-capped mountain peaks in full view! This unique ceremony is reserved only for the most adventurous couples who want nothing less than extraordinary for their big day and are willing to hike in ski suits to reach a breathtaking ceremony spot.
Even after the ski adventure, couples will enjoy the view of the snow-capped Alps for their wedding reception and honeymoon. You may also join in the fun during the winter festivals and lively night markets in a quaint Swiss village.
Sophisticated urban lifestyle
Switzerland is known as a posh destination with the highest quality of living. The urban cities of Zurich (considered to be the most expensive city in Europe), Geneva, Basel, and Neuenburg are only some of the most sophisticated cities in Switzerland.
They offer luxury wedding experiences in their luxury hotels, idyllic vineyards, and astonishing castles. Although located in the city, these modern venues open up to scenic nature views of lakes and mountains.
Proximity to other European countries
Being surrounded by beautiful European countries is probably the best thing about Switzerland. If you’re dreaming of a Europe-wide exploration for your honeymoon, getting married in any Swiss location will be an advantage.
All Swiss borders are connected to Germany, France, Italy, Austria, and Slovenia. You can literally reach these European countries via train in a matter of hours. How convenient is that?
Amazing Swiss destination wedding locations
Now you’re probably expecting to know the most recommended spots for a Swiss elopement. We’ve now come to that part, so let’s explore your options for wedding venues in Switzerland.
Lakeside wedding locations
Do you know that there are over 1500 lakes inside Switzerland? This makes it a perfect destination for couples wishing to have a dreamy lakeside ceremony somewhere in Europe.
Your options for this type of wedding range from outdoor lakeside spots, hotel gardens overlooking a lake, restaurants, castles, and private villas. Most of them are exclusive venues that you can rent for the day, and many offer in-house catering and accommodation so you won’t have to leave the venue from the ceremony to your honeymoon.
Some of the most astonishing Swiss lakes are those bordering Germany and Austria, offering views from three Swiss cantons, two German states, and one Austrian state.
Mountain elopement spots
Aside from lake weddings, elopements on the mountaintop are among the best kinds of weddings in Switzerland.
Swiss mountain villages are dotted with nature resorts and lodges with outdoor spaces offering views to the Alps. You can say “I do,” literally above the clouds! Some of these elopement venues offer overnight accommodations so you won’t have to look for another hotel or inn to stay for the night. Some have in-house chefs who can prepare your food for the wedding reception.
Just take note that mountain locations usually have the most unpredictable weather so it’s best to be prepared. Look for a venue that offers indoor options so you can have a weather-proof ceremony or just enjoy the drizzle for your adventure wedding.
Credits to: MaLove Photography
Modern city hotel weddings
Swiss cities are dotted with modern hotels providing VIP and high-end services to their guests. We’re particularly in love with hotels in Zurich with observation towers for a dreamy elopement overlooking the beautiful cityscapes and mountains.
We also adore city hotels in Geneva just beside the lake while some are walking distance from train stations and leisure attractions. You can expect three things from these city hotels for weddings – the best views, amazing regional cuisine, and modern facilities for comfort.
Historic castles for fairytale weddings
Last but not least are historic castles set in different Swiss regions. Most of them are a fusion of history and modernity because of their decades and centuries of existence and the renovation that took place to provide modern comforts to their guests.
Wedding castles in Switzerland range from medieval buildings in rural settings, organic castles along Swiss lakes, historic structures surrounded by vineyards, and fairytale castles with panoramic views. Most of these elegant venues can be rented exclusively for your special day.
Challenges of tying the knot in Switzerland
Surely, there are many reasons to ditch a traditional wedding at home and just tell everyone that you’re flying to Europe to have a destination wedding in Switzerland. But before you book your plane tickets, be prepared for the challenges of getting married in a Swiss location.
As a European country with mountainous landscapes, the weather in Switzerland can be a bit unpredictable. Spring and autumn months can change from lots of sunshine to a whole day of rain in just a matter of days.
You better be prepared if you want an adventure elopement in the mountains. You can pick mountain lodges with indoor areas for the ceremony should the rain threaten to ruin your day. If you still want to achieve the outdoor wedding of your dreams, you can bring umbrellas in case it drizzles.
Relatively higher cost than other European destinations
A little research on the cost of venues and accommodations in Switzerland will not hurt. You have to be prepared budget-wise if you want a wedding in this country that some consider as the most expensive destination in Europe. Unlike other European countries, prices here rise twice a year – during summer and winter. Both are considered peak seasons in Switzerland because tourist arrivals rise during the summer vacation and winter holidays.
Aside from peak seasons, there’s also a relatively higher fee to make your Swiss wedding legally-binding. You have to add these fees to your overall wedding cost.
Having said that, many couples don’t bat an eyelash about the cost of getting married in Switzerland because they know that it’s all worth it. The quality of services, beautiful venues, and astounding nature scenes more than compensate for the price of tying the knot in Switzerland.
Credits to: MaLove Photography
How much does a Swiss wedding cost?
Just so we can show you what it means when we say “relatively higher cost”, here’s a breakdown of expenses for a Swiss intimate wedding. Take note that these are all estimated prices from a destination wedding planner in Switzerland, but the actual cost may vary per season, per venue, and per vendor.
- Wedding venue rental – 3000 to 9000 CHF (Swiss Francs)
- Accommodation per night – 250 to 1000+ CHF
- Food and Drinks for the guests – 200 to 350 CHF/person
- Ceremony cost
- Legal – 300 to 500 CHF (documents and administration)
- Symbolic – 2000 to 3000 CHF
- Photographer – 3000 to 4000+ CHF
- Hair & Makeup – 700 to 800 CHF
- Flowers – 1500 to 4000+ CHF
- Musician – 700 to 5000+ CHF
- Wedding planner in Switzerland – 4000 to 6000 CHF
Where to start with wedding planning
There’s no rule book for planning a wedding in Switzerland, but if you’re traveling all the way from the US or Canada, it’s more practical to hire a destination wedding planner in Europe to take care of all the logistics, venue search, ocular visits, and vendor communication for your special day.
It’s not a walk in the park to set video calls with Swiss vendors, let alone personally visit venues in the quest to find a perfect location for your wedding. There’s also the language barrier to consider when coordinating with local Swiss vendors.
Nevertheless, here are some tips to set you in the right direction when planning either a DIY or a planner-guided Swiss wedding.
Search for wedding inspirations
The first thing to do is to scour the internet with real weddings in Swiss destinations. There are tons of them available for research just like this mountain resort destination wedding in Bern.
By checking out these real weddings, you will see the different Swiss locations and how they actually look like when set up for a ceremony. You will also get to see the types of decor and themes that fit a wedding in Switzerland best. Most of these resources even link to the actual vendors whom the couple engaged for their wedding.
Initial search for wedding vendors
Talking about wedding vendors, they are your fairy godmothers who will make your wedding dreams come true, that’s why it’s very important to find the perfect ones.
We believe that wedding coordinators, the photographers, and videographers are the most important elements of a destination wedding in Switzerland. Wedding coordinators will orchestrate and manage that special day, while the photo and video artists will capture the wonderful moments of your wedding.
Only these photographs and videos will remain to remind you of the memories of your special day in Switzerland, so you must pick the best ones.
When looking for wedding inspirations, check out the links to these wedding vendors’ work and reviews to help you make the right choice.
Get in touch with destination wedding planners
Having given all those tips for a DIY wedding, we still think it’s wisest and most practical to hire a destination wedding planner for your big day in Switzerland. There are just some things that you can’t search and investigate enough online. It’s still better to have an eye and ear in Switzerland who will do all the groundwork for you.
That’s the role of a wedding planner and more. Destination wedding planners in Switzerland also have the expertise to curate every moment of your special day, and the network of tested vendors whom they have worked with in the past firsthand, not to mention these wedding planners’ physical presence in Switzerland to check everything that the internet is not telling you.
Destination wedding planners also know the ins and outs of wedding requirements, possible challenges, and travel nuisance that foreigners need to prepare for when getting married here.
We cannot stress enough that a wedding planner-guided big day is a lot better than a DIY destination wedding in Switzerland. After all, your once-in-a-lifetime event is not something that you should risk in any way.
Credits to: Firehorse Photography
Bonus tips for wedding planning
Before we let you go, we have some bonus tips straight from destination wedding planners who curate weddings in Switzerland for a living. Make sure you take them by heart:
- Get married in Switzerland outside of the summer and winter peak seasons to avoid all-time high prices.
- Schedule your wedding day on a weekday instead of a weekend because venues and accommodations often offer better prices on these days. (Saturday weddings usually come at an additional cost.)
- Ask your wedding planner about the fees involved in a legal wedding in Switzerland and take their advice should they tell you to just have a symbolic Swiss wedding and have a simple legal ceremony in your home country.
- Scout for outdoor nature locations (lakes, mountaintops, etc.) that are free for public use to avoid venue fees. There are tons of them in Switzerland, and some are not visited by locals and tourists on weekdays.
Now that you have a starter pack in planning a destination wedding in Switzerland, don’t be afraid to take the first step. Your dream wedding is right at your fingertips if you make the right decisions and work with the right people.