Anna & Jon’s winter elopement in Hallstatt was one of the most intimate and romantic celebrations of love and their adventurous spirits. Nothing was going to stop them from saying their vows to each other outside in the snow. Not even a snowstorm!
Anna & Jon’s Winter Elopement in A Snowstorm in Hallstatt
Anna & Jon both went to the same college but they didn’t meet until they studied abroad in Australia where they were roommates and became really good friends. They stayed close friends after they moved back to the USA. When Jon asked if he could crash on Anna’s couch whilst looking for a job in LA, a few weeks turned in to 1.5 years of living together, rescuing 2 dogs and going on lots of adventures as friends. When Jon moved to San Diego, Anna couldn’t work out why she was so upset. After all, they were still just friends. The years passed, and Anna & Jon remained best friends, moving across the country but still keeping in touch and visiting each other often. After 6 years of being best friends, they both finally realized that they stronger feelings for each other than just friends, and a few months later Jon moved to NYC to finally be with Anna as more than just friends. Anna’s favourite part of this story isn’t just that she and Jon finally got together, but also that their dogs were reunited and continue to be the cutest best friends to each other (and Anna & Jon) to this day.
Anna grew up never really dreaming of being a bride or of a big wedding. And as got older this didn’t change. The idea of a big wedding simply didn’t excite her. As she & Jon got more serious and started to think of how they would want to get married, and the idea of a big wedding, with all the showmanship, not to mention the insane cost of it all, didn’t sound romantic or fun, so they knew they wanted to get married in their own way without the spectacle. In all of their adventures together, their most treasured moments happened when they were surrounded by the mountains. Before they were engaged, they had already booked a trip to visit Berchtesgaden, Hallstatt & the Dolomites from Christmas until New Year, so after Jon proposed, they started thinking of where they could elope. It was then that they found my Instagram page and they knew it was perfect. They already had a trip booked to Austria and immediately knew that it was there where they want to exchange their vows and rings.
When I asked them to describe their dream wedding day, they told me that they pictured themselves on the top of a mountain, standing in the snow exchanging vows and rings, drinking beers to celebrate, exploring on snowshoes and visiting the fairytale town of Hallstatt. They even said “if it’s snowing, we’ll take pictures in the snow.” So together with their wedding planner Nadia from Amulet Events, we started planning the perfect winter elopement in Hallstatt.
They chose the beautiful mountain hotel The Lodge on the Krippenstein mountain as their base for exploring. The day before their elopement was beautiful clear skies, so they decided to use that weather window to explore the snowshoe trails on the Krippenstein before the sunset, hiking out to a beautiful lookout with views down over Hallstatt and the Hallstättersee lake. We spent the evening together, playing cards and drinking beers as the wind outside picked up and brought in the snow. Missing their dogs, Anna & Jon shared pictures and stories with us about their adorable pups. Their videographers Isa & Natasha (aka Belle & Sass) happened to have their handsome whippet Kenzo with them at the Lodge, so it made Anna & Jon’s night when Kenzo joined them after dinner for cuddles. In fact, he even came back to visit on the morning of their wedding, as Anna & Jon decided he could be their emotional support animal for the day!
On the morning of their wedding, the epic mountain views from their suite had been replaced with a complete white-out. The Lodge was surrounded by clouds, and snow was falling pretty heavily outside. After a pretty short discussion, Anna & Jon decided that they had come to Austria to get married outside in the snow, and that’s exactly what they were going to do, weather be dammed! As Anna had her hair & makeup done, Jon sat with her playing cards and drinking prosecco. After helping each other to get dressed, it was time for their outdoor ceremony, but not before a quick beer at the bar for some Dutch courage.
Originally they had planned to have a celebrant to conduct their ceremony, but she had broken her leg a month earlier and wasn’t able to walk through the snow. After discussing whether or not to find a replacement, they settled on conducting the ceremony themselves. And personally, I think it worked out much better that way. As the stood in the snow, they each read their vows to each other. They quickly took gloves off to exchange rings and to celebrate they opened their “Mr & Mrs” hip flasks and toasted with some Austrian pine schnapps. As the embraced after their ceremony, Anna looked at Jon covered in snow and said: “This is how we’re going to look when we’re old, and you’re going to be a silver fox!“
After a quick warming up break in The Lodge, we all headed down in the cable car to explore Hallstatt. Even on a rainy day in December, the town was bustling with tourists, so Anna & Jon decided to have a quick look around but were pretty excited to get back to The Lodge to celebrate the rest of their evening in the warm sauna with some cold beers.
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