Elopement Weddings Post Coronavirus

by | Jun 13, 2020

Elopement-Style Wedding or Destination Wedding? It may not feel like it right now, but the world will soon be your oyster again and YOU have the choice to change your story!

The Coronavirus pandemic has already led many engaged couples to postpone their wedding, whether this was due to official restrictions on large gatherings, or the fear of the impact of Covid-19 on friends and family – particularly the older generation.

But amid this uncertain and often disappointing time, the Coronavirus has also led many couples to rethink completely. Rather than dwell on lost opportunities, they have changed their mind on what they even want for their wedding.

The lockdown on our lives may have overshadowed many wedding plans but it has also made people question what is important. It’s given us more time to reflect on previous choices; it’s led to a shift in our mindset and ideals, and in some cases it’s given couples the opportunity to re-imagine their previous vision for their wedding day.

“Stay Positive because better days are on their way”

Sure, some couples will still want to simply lift up the day they’d planned in its entirety and move it to another date, lock stock and barrel. But I’ve also noticed from client enquiries coming my way through email, Instagram and Facebook, that many engaged couples are now weighing up the possibility of a destination wedding to get away from it all when allowed.

Some are even considering an ‘elopement’ style wedding.

So, let’s have a look at some of the options open to you and some tips to help you along the way. As you’ll see, there are many options and all are exciting, unique but most of all, about love.

A Destination Wedding with just a few of your closest friends

I live in the mountains in Switzerland, which must be one of the most romantic and picturesque places to get married.

Can you picture yourself in these beautiful settings?

Think amazing landscapes with spellbinding snow-capped Alps, beautiful luscious green alpine meadows, rivers winding down through forests and into the valleys and beautiful clear blue lakes. It reminds me of one particular wedding I filmed last year of Ian and Brandon.

They fell in love with the Jungfrau Region, where I live, and decided to make the most of the whole area for their wedding celebrations spread out over a weekend with just a handful of close family and friends who joined them all the way from Chicago in the US.

I’ll leave the story of their Swiss destination wedding here …

Tip: With this type of wedding make sure you choose suppliers who can help you plan your stay, perhaps arrange some excursions and who have local knowledge and contacts. That will ease the amount of planning you need to do and ensure you have the best experience as possible.

A simple lakeside blessing

Jess & Cory ‘eloped’ to Switzerland from Australia and enjoyed a lovely intimate wedding ceremony at Lake Blausee with just me, a photographer, the wedding celebrant and a handful friends and family to act as witnesses.

Photo by Stefan Hellberg

A few more of their friends joined them later here in mountain village of Wengen at the Sunstar Hotel when they enjoyed a traditional Swiss meal of Raclette and Fondue in the authentic mountain Grillkota Hut.

The Sunstar has now installed another really amazing feature and the utmost of intimate ways to dine and celebrate your elopement day with the quirkiest of meal spaces!

Tip: When working in an intimate environment I recommend you always consider using a photographer and videographer who have worked together before or find a videographer than can offer you images too. This is a new service I offer at Story Of Your Day.

Just the Two Of Us

I love the humorous discussion of the word ‘elope’ in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary. It says:

‘Elope’ has historically meant ‘to run away secretly with the intention of getting married usually without parental consent’. But it has also meant—and still means—’to escape’. Elope also appears to have become shorthand for ‘small destination wedding’, ‘wedding that is not financially insane’ or ‘wedding that allows us to not invite all the people we would rather not invite’.

I guess the traditional idea of an elopement may apply to some even more than in recent years. Those engaged couples who feel they’ve waited too long as it is to get married and they just want to ‘run away’ from it all and get wed quickly as soon as they can.

But an elopement can actually take shape in several forms. It could be just the two of your sharing your vows, an informal blessing or ceremony with just a handful of guests or a combination of the two, where you have some elements of the day alone and share other parts with those most important to you.

Whichever way you do it, I see elopements as all about Love. Intimacy. Romance.

Exchanging Personal Vows

Another of my favourite intimate weddings was that of Elaine and Alex.  They celebrated their official wedding at Villa Villette in Cham, Switzerland – overlooking Lake Zug.

But the following day they came here to Wengen in order to share their private vows with one another… something they did not get a chance to do during the main wedding day celebrations.

While Alex was quite shy and concerned about losing the intimacy of this moment with a videographer around, his concerns were allayed on the day as I kept my distance and allowed them to feel totally alone on the Männlichen, close by to the North Face of The Eiger.

Tip: Try to find a supplier who can work with you to make sure you get the best out of the situation. Elaine and Alex shared their personal vows on a beautiful sunny day and didn’t commission a photographer at all because they wanted to keep it simple. I shared still images for them with their film.

Second Ceremony Elopements

Scaling down your wedding doesn’t always have to mean an elopement! It can also mean holding a traditional ceremony at home but having a personal ceremony abroad. I have a couple scheduled to do just that later this year who hope to travel over from the States to have their elopement at Giessbach Falls on Lake Brienz.

But last year, that’s what Abigayle and Callum planned for their wedding in Sorrento.  Many of their friends were able to make the journey to Italy but for those that couldn’t they hosted a wedding celebration party back home a few weeks later. Two parties, two sets of guests and Abigayle got to wear her dress twice too 🙂

Here’s a ‘Staccato Story’ of their beautiful wedding at Villa Antiche Mura in Sorrento.

Escaping after lockdown

After all this lockdown on life and travel, maybe your family will want to get away from it all – so a destination wedding is a great idea to plan now before the best suppliers get booked up.

I film weddings all over the world but Rebekah and Jarrad’s wedding at the Liostasi Hotel in Ios last summer was superb.

Tip: If you’re having a destination wedding then I also recommend you have a pre-wedding shoot as well to make the most of your photographer and videographer. I love these so include them in my destination wedding offering. Here’s what Rebekah and Jarrad’s looked like:

Digital Wedding Invite

And finally – are you now not getting married until next year but want to get away from it as soon as you can?  Planning on scouting around venues or revisiting the location you’ve booked already?

Well it’s time to get excited NOW… after all you have waited long enough!

Then here’s an idea … have your videographer film a pre-wedding shoot as soon as you can and then you can use it as a digital invite.

Amy and Leo visited Wengen this winter season, just before the lockdown, and we had some fun on the slopes. All being well they’ll have their wedding here this summer too!

Tip: If this is something your videographer can’t do you can also try doing this yourself and then ask your videographer to edit something fun together. Just ask them to advise on the filming and most importantly HAVE FUN!

The most important thing to remember in all of this is that you have a lifetime together to look forward to, so make sure you invest in your memories!


If you want some advice on planning for your wedding next year, then check out this blog post about booking NOW to avoid the disappointment of missing out on the best suppliers.


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