About Getting Married in Switzerland
Getting married in the Alps is a dream for many people, whether it be in the shadow of the stunning Alpine peaks or amongst the vineyards and meadows of the valleys.
However, the logistics of organising a wedding can be stressful enough in your home country, never mind having to negotiate the rules and regulations of a foreign culture! Here we answer some of the most common questions relating to getting married in Switzerland.
Planning a wedding
Do I have to be a resident to be legally married in Verbier?
Not necessarily. If either or both of the engaged couple (whether Swiss or of foreign nationality) live in Switzerland then the application can be made at the Registry Office of either's commune of residence. If neither of the couple live in Switzerland the application must be made at the Registry Office in the district chosen for the marriage celebration, or through an authorised representative.
Best time of the year to get married
Since Verbier is known for the spectacular views and the outdoor activities intertwined with mountain culture most couples choose to have outdoor wedding in order to take advantage of the backdrop. The best weather is usually from the end of June to mid-September. There is a higher chance of having good weather, but this does not mean rain is not possible even in mid-July! A back-up plan is always advisable. Also, be careful not to pick your wedding date on a Swiss bank holiday; wedding ceremonies can not take place on Sundays or bank holidays.
What about a winter wedding? When is the best time?
Winter weddings are becoming more and more popular amongst ski and snowboard enthusiasts. Getting married on skis, sleigh rides, dog-sledding, or snowshoeing are a unique and romantic way to celebrate a wedding in the Alps. The best time for a winter wedding in the Alps is January or March, avoiding the crowds and higher prices of the school holidays, Christmas and New Year.
Wedding ceremonies for non-residents
The good news is you can get married in the Catholic or Protestant churches without being a resident of the town. You do need to show proof however that you are already legally married before the priest can perform the religious ceremony. Most couples choose to marry legally in ‘secret’ in their home countries and save the religious or symbolic ceremonies to share with their family and friends in Switzerland. Only civil marriages are legally recognised in Switzerland; the civil marriage takes place at a Registry Office and a religious ceremony may follow the civil event.
Symbolic wedding ceremonies
This is very popular amongst non-religious couples who still wish to have a meaningful wedding ceremony uniting their promises to one another as husband and wife. If you are looking for a symbolic ceremony rather than a recognised religious ceremony then there are no legalities required.
Unique experiences to incorporate
The possibilities are endless! A few ideas are the bride and groom paragliding to the ceremony, getting married on top of the Mont Blanc with the wedding party arriving via helicopter, exchanging vows on a glacier, incorporating alphorn players and traditional folklore music into the day, gospel choirs, brass bands, reserving a private altitude restaurant high in the mountains, walking through a forest to a restaurant with torches and snowshoes...
A wedding planner can take away the stress of organising your big day in a different country - where geography, language, and logistics can all get in the way … with their help, your dream wedding will run so smoothly, you really will be able to relax and cherish every moment, safe in the knowledge that behind the scenes someone else has taken the stress out of putting together a flawless and memorable event.
Get in touch with local wedding photographers or videographers.