The Ultimate Guide to Getting Married in The Swiss Alps
Getting married in the Swiss Alps is probably the most romantic and adventurous way a happy couple could tie the knot. We want to explore and explain this endeavor so you can understand what it takes if you’re thinking of getting married in the Swiss Alps. Let’s take a look, and by the end, you’ll be booking your tickets. We guarantee it!
Where Should You Be Getting Married in the Swiss Alps?
There’s more to it than just heading to a mountain when we say you should be getting married in the Swiss Alps. The Swiss Alps is a collection of mountains, which means you’ve got some choices about which one you actually want to get married on.
Here are some of our favorite options.
#1 – Davos
The Davos mountains are a small collection of roughly six mountains in total. The peaks include Jakobshorn, Parsenn, Madrisa, Pischa, Rinerhorn, and Schatzlap & Strela.
This is a place of adventure where the brave embark on intense mountain climbing, skiing, snowboarding, or in some cases, to get a tan! Almost all the mountains in the Davos Klosters overlook the town of Davos itself, meaning once you’re finished with the ceremony, you’ve got a beautiful Swiss town where you can rest and spend the remainder of your trip.
We had the pleasure of organizing a beautiful barn wedding in Davos, take a look!
#2 – Andermatt
Found in the heart of the Swiss Alps, the Andermatt is a breathtaking mountain range surrounded by mountain passes. It’s a mesmerizing place to go and see the rolling green hills, streams, and mountain peaks.
It’s an accessible area to navigate with many trail entrances you can get to from the road. But how you get there is irrelevant. What matters is the mountains themselves, and the rich landscape with lush meadows and forests is the perfect backdrop for any romantic celebration.
We organized an incredible winter wedding in Andermatt recently that just shows you why this is a must-see location!
#3 – Zermatt
The Zermatt mountains feature 38 summits over 4000m high, and they are a part of the Pennine Alps. Here you’ll find the Monterosa Massif, which happens to be the second-highest mountain range in Europe and the highest in Switzerland.
Most people know of the Zermatt mountains because of the Matterhorn, which is a notorious peak known throughout Europe. These mountains are breathtaking, to say the least. The area features world-class food, accommodation, and amenities to nature-lovers. It’s also just about the best place for anyone getting married in the Swiss Alps.
#4 – Wengen
Not only is it an incredible mountain range, but the village below is one of the best parts of the country to see during your time in Switzerland. Wengen is a village nestled in the mountains and has beautiful food, accommodation, and friendly locals.
The mountains themselves are everything you’d expect from a Swiss mountain range: stunning peaks, white snow, trees, streams, and a million shades of green make it straight out of a fairytale.
#5 – Eiger-Mönch-Jungfrau
In the Bernese Alps lie the Eiger, Monch, and the Jungrau. These are some of the most radiant mountains in all of Switzerland. It’s one of the most naturally beautiful mountains in the world and one of Switzerland’s finest on offer. These majestic mountains are perfect for an adventurous couple looking to make their wedding something special. It’s not an easy journey, but it’s one that is well worth it once you see the views.
#6 – Schilthorn Summit
This is a spot James Bond fans love to frequent. It was used in the 1969 feature film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and the Schilthorn Summit features a summit skyline bar and revolving Piz Gloria restaurant. It’s an incredible venue with a ‘view to kill,’ where you, your partner, and any guests you’ve brought with you get an unparalleled 360-degree view of the Swiss Alps.
Are International Couples Able to Legally Wed in the Alps?
The vast majority of European alpine countries do allow for non-European residents to get married. However, the real issue comes when you realize how complicated it can be in some European countries. We’re obviously only focusing on Switzerland and getting married in the Swiss Alps, so let’s have a look more in-depth at how they handle foreigners getting married within their borders.
You need to know that you’re more than welcome to deal with European bureaucracy independently. However, it’s better to have an expert handling the process. They’re keenly aware of what they’re doing, saving you time and preventing potential mistakes.
Some couples choose to sign the marriage license back in their home country and treat their elopement in the Alps as a symbolic ceremony, largely because if you’re not Swiss citizens, you’ll need to be lawfully resident in Switzerland during the time of your wedding.
What Documentation Is Required?
Just like getting married back home, you’ll have to provide some documentation to get the ball rolling if you’re getting married in the Swiss Alps. For starters, you need to prove you’re not already married, or if you were married before that, the previous marriage has been dissolved. This is referred to as ‘proof of civil status.’
Then you’ll both need to provide proof of identity documents and current residential status. These are documents you’ll only be able to produce in your home country, so make sure they’re sorted before hopping on a plane to a European country.
A major factor that often gets overlooked is having the foreign documents authenticated and marked with Apostille Stamps. This is how the Swiss authorities seek to recognize the documents as legitimate. No Apostille stamp means no legal wedding.
Finally, the documents provided cannot be older than six months and need to be original copies from the relevant bodies in your home country.
So to recap:
- Birth certificate and other forms of identification documents
- Current civil union status
- Proof of residence
What is the Procedure?
When you touch down in Switzerland, you’ll need to submit a marriage request form and provide the relevant documents to begin the process of getting married in the Swiss Alps. You’ll be able to find everything you need at the local civil registry office, which has all its information listed on the Swiss Federal Government website.
This process will require you both to prove you meet the requirements to get married in Switzerland. Then, the civil registry will review your applications and confirm the potential for marriage in their country in writing. This process can take up to five weeks. Once approved, you’ll have no less than ten days, but no more than three months, to get married in Switzerland.
You will need two witnesses present, and the ceremony must be conducted in the local language. If you’re unable to understand the language, you’ll need to get translators yourself.
Getting married in the Swiss Alps is one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that shouldn’t be overlooked. Even if you return home and have a ceremony with family and friends, the Swiss Alps will always be your special place, where you tied the knot. Best of all, you’ve got professionals like us at Blitzkneisser to help you pull off the elopement of the century. Take a look at some of our recent mountaintop elopements and let’s chat about how we can make this an unforgettable experience.
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