How to elope in Switzerland

- The ultimate guide to plan your Swiss mountain elopement

By Malin Ovesson Megdiche - elopement wedding photographer Switzerland, Sweden & worldwide destinations

Best elopement wedding photographer Switzerland Sweden. Photographe marriage Lausanne. Bröllopsfotograf Malmö Ystad österlen

Why should you even elope / get married on a mountain in Switzerland?

Breathtaking landscapes

Switzerland has some of the most beautiful views on the planet. And not only that, you can find jaw dropping lakes, waterfalls, forests, vineyards and national parks. And all that together with the ancient wooden houses, cobblestone city-centers and chalets makes Switzerland an amazing place to elope and starting the first day of the rest of your lives. 

Amazing ski resorts

If you like skiing you might want to do a winter elopement and take the opportunity to also ski and enjoy the snow and great hotels that the many of the Swiss ski resorts can offer. For example Verbier, Zermatt, Gstaad, St Moritz, Davos, Andermatt, Engelberg, Adelboden, Chamonix etc. The French might complain but Chamonix it’s so close to the border that it’s borderline 😉 

No need for permits

Generally to elope in Switzerland you don’t need any permits if you are not planning to set up something bigger or in very popular  places. 

Get away from the crowds

In the US eloping on a mountain or in a National Park is very popular, you need permits to book the most popular spots. There will be a line to wait for your few minutes to take a picture. If you elope in Switzerland it’s very likely to have the most amazing views just for you if you follow my recommendations. 

Breathtaking alpine lakes

Switzerland has some of the most breathtaking alpine lakes on the planet. Period. I have helped couples doing SUP on them, trash the dress, a boat tour or just a little swim after the champagne. There are even lakes where you can do a bon fire in the evening. It’s simply stunning. 


What's the best time to elope in Switzerland?

Summer elopement

If you want to plan a hiking elopement summer and autumn are the best times. Perhaps you want to avoid the most busy period in July – mid August? In June most areas are accessible appart from the higher trails. And end August to September you still have usually amazing weather and hiking possibilities. If you want to have mild sunsets and sunrises summer is your thing. 

Winter elopement

December to April is the good time if you like snow. If you are sensitive to the cold try to avoid December – February. If you want these magical snowy landscapes that’s the time when you are most likely to have that. In Zermatt you can ski all year round and of course you can always visit the glaciers if you want a mix of hiking and snowy experiences and views. Here are some tips of how to make your winter elopement successful

Spring elopement

End of April to the beginning of June is the least good time to go if you want to have mountain views as a lot of areas, hotels and installations in the mountains are closed at that time. At that time you would perhaps rather do a city elopement or in a vineyard typically like the scenic area of Lavaux. You can still decide to go high like for snow like in Zermatt where a part of the area still is open or take a helicopter tour to a glacier and then enjoy the flowery spring meadows on a lower altitude. 

Autumn elopement

Some lower areas in the mountains might still be amazing and accessible, sometimes until beginning of November. It’s a little bit of a chance taking though as you never know exactly when the first snow fall comes (usually around October) in the mountains. You might need to rent snow shoes…

Switzerland in autumn is great though as you have much less people around and amazing glowing landscapes with it’s orange larches (depending on area – do check with your planner/photographer where to go) . The larches glow most of the time around October. It can be a little risky to go that late as you never know in advance when the first snowfall will come. September can be a good compromise and a generally mild month but the first colder periods might come at that time so be prepared for really chilly mornings and evenings. 


How to get to Switzerland

Switzerland has 2 international airports – Zurich & Geneva. If you plan to do a roadtrip and visit several locations it could make sense to fly into one and out from the other. If you are just going to one area you can pick the airport that is the closest. But nothing is very far in Switzerland. 

How to get around when in Switzerland

The public transport system is working seamlessly and is very comfortable. If you just go to one or two spots that’s what I would usually recommend. Check out the Swiss Travel pass and CFF/SBB for timetables and  informations. 
If you have a lot of luggage and want to roadtrip to many remote mountain locations it’s more convenient renting a car. But keep the speed-limits (talking from experience)

The best places to elope in Switzerland:

Zermatt / Matterhorn

This is the most well known mountain in Switzerland, for a reason. The Toblerone shaped mountain is truly majestic and the town of Zermatt one of the cutest little mountain villages. To elope here you need a little higher budget. If you have a lower budget and still want to elope here, I have some ideas of how to cut costs and still have the magical morning view of Matterhorn on your most happy day. Read more about Zermatt elopements.


Eloping at sunrise with Matterhorn as the backdrop is truly magical!

Lauterbrunnen / Grindelwald / Wengen

The Lauterbrunnen valley is the most known valley of Switzerland. In the region you also have the breathtaking mountains of Jungfraujoch, Eiger and Breithorn. There are amazing spots all around with Hardergrat, Schynige Platte, Murren Schilthorn etc. With a little hike you can also reach the breathtaking lake of Bachalpsee. This region offers almost everything both in terms of activities, landscapes and altitudes and it’s easy to replan if the weather is not going your way. Read more about elopements in the Interlaken area 

Lake Luzern / Vierwaldstättesee

If you want to elope in the Norwegian Fjords, but in Switzerland, this is your spot. There are many epic hikes and views that will just take your breath away. 

Montreux / Vevey / Lausanne

If you want amazing views over the Geneva lake the mountains of Vaud are very accessible with the old train from Montreux or with a short hike. This area is great for spring and autumn elopements. This region fits those who loves wine as after your mountain adventure you have the whole region of Lavaux to test wine and visit the amazing Castle of Chillon and much more. 


Oeschinensee is a turquoise mountain lake with enormous mountains around. Very similar (or more beautiful?) to the Moraine Lake of the Banff National park in Canada.  
With Bachalpsee and Fälensee probably the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland. Read more about Oeschinensee elopements

Verbier & 4 Vallées

Verbier is rated the best ski resort in the world two years in a row now (2021 & 2022). And it’s not for nothing. If you are a free rider this is the place to go. Perhaps you want to plan your ski elopement here? There are a lot of amazing afterski options to choose from if that’s your cup of tea. And of course a lot of epic mountain views. Check this cool snowboard elopement in Verbier out. 

Creux du Van

If you want to do it short and sweet or if you don’t want to sweat on your wedding day this is the place for amazing views without a long hike. It’s also great in spring as it’s on a low altitude so snow usually melts early. 

How do I choose elopement location?

Definitely trust your photographer/planner about this (me). It all comes down to which landscapes you are dreaming of, what activities you like, wishes and if you have special limitations in movement (or your guests). Once you have signed the contract and paid the retainer you will get a questionnaire to fill in. Then I will present locations that fits exactly to your needs. There are many magnificent spots outside of the most known areas. 

How to elope in Switzerland

Getting married on a Swiss mountain is a dream for some! But how do you do it? Well, I start with the bad news – you can’t. Legally you HAVE to sign the papers in the town house. In Switzerland there is no other way to marry legally. 
The good news – who cares? I have plenty of ideas of how to include a quick stop at the town house for the paper stuff on your most amazing day of your life. Read more about elopement timeline ideas.
Unless that it’s really important to you to have the date of the signed papers and the ceremony on the same day, I do recommend you to sign the legal papers just before you leave your home country. It’s the easiest and cheapest option. Then we do all what REALLY matters here! It’s still your vows, rituals, the exchange of rings and all around that that is the most important and what will create memories for life. It’s HOW you promise the rest of your life together. A lot of people actually just do a commitment ceremony (or love ceremony) if they don’t want or need the legal binding. 

How to do a religious wedding ceremony in Switzerland

The same thing applies if you want to have a religious wedding. It is not legally binding but perhaps it means more to you than the actual legal paper. This is a consideration to take if you want your commitment ceremony to be religious or not.
Read more about elopement timelines and how to include a quick stop at the town hall during your elopement wedding in Switzerland HERE.

It's your wedding day! It deserves to be special!


Unique places to stay during your elopement wedding (and honeymoon?)


The igloo-dorf you can find in the following locations – Zermatt, Davos-Klosters, Gstaad. This could be a special place to organise the ceremony as well as they also have a restaurant and bar within the igloo village so everything can be catered for. 

Hotel Romantica Zermatt

This 3 star hotel might be the best value hotel. It’s simple but genuine Swiss old style chalets that are just adorable with a beautiful garden attached and friendly staff. 

Glacier hotel in Grindelwald

This little cute luxury boutique hotel has rooms with your private outdoor jacuzzi with view. Perfect for a special treat for the night after your elopement in the Grindelwald area. 

Villa Honegg by Lake Lucerne

Villa Honegg Luxurious hotel has the spa-infinity-pool with the most amazing view of Switzerland. This hotel can host both small luxurious elopements and big weddings. 

The Whitepod - the eco luxury hotel in Valais

Staying in a Whitepod could be perfect if you are eloping just the two of you and just want a fun and different room with a view. In summer the cows might pay you a visit and there is a mini-spa in the middle of the little pod-village.

Aescher guesthouse in Appenzell

the Aescher guesthouse has magnificent views and is “stuck” cliff and very “instagramable”. It is a typical cute Alp-chalet. 
Zermatt wedding

Can you get married in Switzerland - rules and laws

– You need to be over 18 
– Neither of you can already be married
– People subject to guardianship must have the consent of their legal representative
– You can not marry your siblings, half siblings, parents or grandparents. 
– Since 1st June 2022 same-sex marriage are legal in Switzerland (yay!) 

How much does it cost to elope in Switzerland?

The average cost of a luxury elopement:

Photography/planning   7000 – 10 000 CHF
Live music  800 – 1500 CHF
Wedding dinner/person 200-300 CHF
Bouquet 200 – 500 CHF
Floral decorations 5000 – 8000 CHF
Symbolic ceremony organisation 3000 – 4000 CHF
Helicopter tour  700 – 1500 CHF
Transportation 200 – 400 CHF

The average cost of a mid-range elopement:

Photography/planning  4000 – 7000 CHF
Wedding dinner/person 100-200 CHF
Live music 400 – 700 CHF
Bouquet  50 – 200 CHF
Floral decorations 2000 – 4000 CHF
Symbolic ceremony organisation 1500 – 3000 CHF
Transportation 100 – 200 CHF

Budget elopement in Switzerland:

I do NOT recommend to save money on THE most important day of your life, but if you have no choice, you have to!

Photography/planning  2500 – 4000 CHF 
Wedding dinner/person 80 – 100 CHF 
Bouquet  50 – 100 CHF 
Transportation 50 – 150 CHF


Can you get elope in Switzerland as a foreigner? (legally)

I start with saying that I do recommend you to sign the legal papers in your home country before arriving in Switzerland. It’s both easier and cheaper for you. But if it’s important  for you to sign the papers and do the ceremony on the same date these are the main things to consider and prepare: 

Every canton has their own procedure (like everything else in Switzerland) and in most cantons/communes you need to plan ahead to be sure to have enough time. Check with the local municipality where you plan to elope what timeline they have. Some cantons may require a document providing proof of the capacity to marry and/or proof of the recognition of the marriage by the couples home country. 

You have to submit an application for preparation of marriage at the Registry Office in the town where you want to get married. 

You also have to sign a special declaration of conditions for the marriage, you declare that you meet the requirements for the marriage, and that the documents presented are correct. This declaration has to be signed personally at the Swiss Embassy in your home country.

Other documents that you need to provide in original: 

Birth certificates for both of you not older than 6 months. 

– Valid passports (and residence permits if applicable)

– If one or both of you are divorced or widowed, you need to provide the divorce certificate or death certificate for the deceased spouse. 

– If you want to change names you need a deed poll of change of name with apostille. 

– If you have children together you need to provide their passports and birth certificates 

– Additional documents may be required. Always contact the local Civil Registry office in Switzerland (Zivilstandsamt / office de l’état civil / l’officio dello state civile)

– The ceremony will be in the local language and you will need to secure that you can understand what is said with someone translation if needed. 

For more in depth information visit the official Swiss federal page

Checklist for your elopement wedding in Switzerland

1. Brainstorm what you want your wedding day to look like

Share a bottle of wine (or tea) with your partner and dream up what’s the goals of your wedding day can look like. The goal is to have an overall vision. It’s not about details or realistic plans, just about dreams. What do you want to feel and who do you want to share it with. Favourite season, and activities, and what memories do you want to create. 

If you book with me you will get a questionnaire to fill in and I will help you in every step, from picking the locations, activities, timeline and guiding you, not only through the process but through the day of your elopement as well. 

Here is a blog post with more inspiration of what to do on your elopement day

3. Book your photographer / planner

Start with booking your guide and photographer (me 😉 ). From here I will help you to narrow down your possibilities and add concrete ideas to your vision. There are not a lot of photographers in Switzerland that are specialised in elopement weddings. If you consider other photographers, make sure they have done an elopement photography/planning education, that they know and have experiences in the area where you want to elope and that they have the right equipment needed for an outdoor elopement. 

2. Research possibilities and locations and how to elope in Switzerland

Get cosy again and take some time to research all your crazy ideas. 

– what are the local requirements, laws and permits

– activities, rituals and celebrations 

– weather, season and other difficulties that might change plans

4. Decide on date and location

For most elopements it’s better to elope during the off season, during the week at sunrise to have the unique spot just for you. Check local holidays. And start creating a timeline for your day. 

5. Book hotel and all other vendors

Build your timeline and book all activities, celebrations & ceremonies, restaurants / catering. 

6. Finalise all details

Finalise the timeline for your day, gather wedding attire and accessories, warm clothes and what ever is needed for the hikes and activities you are planning to do. 

6. The day before your elopement

Go through your list and make sure you have everything that you need for your day. Rings, vows, pick-nick, flower-bouquet, champagne, music, letters from family, clothes for the day etc. 

7. Enjoy the best elopement wedding day

Relax, enjoy the moment, have fun, let your emotions fly and soak in every moment with your partner. And don’t stress – if you relax and have fun with your partner, your day will be awesome and great photos will keep the memory alive forever. 


So does all this sound confusing and overwhelming? Do you still have questions about how to elope in Switzerland? No worries, I’ve got your back. I will of course take care of the photos. But not only that, I will support with the admin and organisation, if you need a wedding concept and styling I can create mood boards, find and coordinate other vendors such as florals, catering, finding officiant for a symbolic ceremony etc. Just let me know your dream and let’s dream together!

Do you want to experience an adventure wedding elopement like this? Contact me today.

Best Elopement wedding photographer Sweden Switzerland Europe. wedding location. Bästa bröllopsfotografen Skåne Malmö Lund Ystad österlen

This Post Has 27 Comments

  1. Lauren

    Malin, I LOVE this post!!! Such beautiful images, but I really love that you’re such an expert on eloping in Switzerland. You gave such valuable insight, thanks so much for sharing!!

    1. Malin Ovesson Megdiche

      Thank you so much Lauren! I really hope it can help couples to take the adventure to elope in Switzerland and Europe!

  2. Natalie

    Wow, this is AMAZING! You’ve put everything together so perfectly, I feel expertly prepared for eloping somewhere epic in Switzerland! Thank you so much!

  3. Ali Hebert

    Wow, such a helpful post! What an incredible place and love all the local suggestions! Gorgeous images!

  4. Jillian

    wow! BEAUTIFUL photography and very helpful information for those wanting to elope in Switzerland, what a dream!

  5. Saul

    I randomly stumbled across this. The images are absolutely breathtaking!! You have a real talent for what you do.

  6. Julia Lillian

    This post has so much amazing information and, WOW, these photos are stunning! This will be such a wonderful resource for your clients!

    1. Malin Ovesson Megdiche

      Thanks Julia, I do hope it’s useful information for anyone who would like to elope in Switzerland!

  7. April

    My jaw literally dropped to the floor! All of these special spots in Switzerland look so majestic and epic. I can’t wait for international travel to open up when it’s safe just so we can visit this beautiful country.

    1. Malin Ovesson Megdiche

      Hi April, I think we all miss travelling so much. And while we cant Switzerland is a good place to be “locked up” in. Happy to have you over when possible. xx

  8. Kailyn Haynes

    WOW!! This is amazing. I knew as soon as I started reading that this would be a jaw dropping blog, and it was! This is just a great, informative guide to eloping in such a beautiful location. What a time saver for your couples!

    1. Malin Ovesson Megdiche

      Thank you so much Kailyn, I am happy that you find it helpful! Hope you found some inspiration. xx

  9. Van Gachnang

    This is such an incredible resource!! Way to really lay out all the options for your clients, I’m sure they find a ton of value in your service specifically for things like this. Love it!!

  10. Brittney Hervey

    What a great guide of how to Elope in Switzerland! I want to book an Elopement package straight away!

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