April 26, 2020 / Wedding & Elopement Films
AUSTRIAN ALPS WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHER - Winter Elopement in Lake Achensee
Tentative as first snow reluctant to land,
we move again toward the other,
remember the chill,
the pleasure of complete cover
"First Snow" - M. Maddox
ANAFI WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHER
Do you remember your first snow? They say that the first snow is like the first love. And what could be better than experiencing an emotional love story in the majestic Austrian alps on a snowy winter day? Back in January, I had the pleasure to travel to Tirol in Austria and meet two kind adventurous souls. They had invited me to be their Austrian Alps Wedding Videographer and tell the story of their intimate winter elopement on the banks of Lake Achensee. Emily and Edward are both from the UK. They live a life fueled by their shared passions, one of which is snowboarding. This is what pushed them to plan a destination wedding in the Austrian Alps.
The couple decided to plan a winter escape in the mountain villages of Jenbach in Tirol, to enjoy snowboarding and, at the same time, to hold an intimate adventure elopement in the Austrian Alps. Just the two of them exchanging vows. While their more “traditional” wedding was planned for later in the year. The decision to elope in the Austrian Alps was very special for them, as the winter landscape of the mountains is very symbolic for both of them and representative of their characters. I was delighted to be there and tell the story of their minimalist winter wedding on the banks of Lake Achensee.
If you haven’t already enjoyed my other elopement videos in Iceland, Santorini, or Marrakech, I suggest that you go have a look. But first, press play right above and watch this emotional elopement video in Lake Achensee.
Austrian Alps are an Amazing Destination for an Incredible Winter Wedding
The Alps stretch across 8 countries of central Europe, making them the largest mountain range in Europe. They also exhibit the highest peaks on the continent. Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Slovenia and Switzerland have each their own part of the mountains, making each region a site of distinct beauty and interest. Although being very touristic, the mountain regions in most of these countries carry on with a traditional way of life, where farming and woodcarving have a prominent place in the economy of the region.
If you travel to Austria, Salzburg and Innsbruck are two cities of artistic heritage that you must visit. At a very short distance from Insbruck you can access amazing spots of the Austrian Alps. Alpbach, Zillertal, Jenbach are no more than half an hour drive and there are spots there that feel like heaven on earth for ski and snowboard fans. There are indeed some top class winter sport centers.
I flew to Munich from Athens and from there the Austrian border is only one hour and a half drive. When I reached the Austrian Alps and my airbnb in Jenbach it was snowing quite heavily. But on the two days that followed we have witnessed amazing weather and I got to explore the white landscape a bit more. Austria offers a perfect mix of connection with nature, relaxation and sophistication. You can find both intimate and worldly places to have a vacation or celebrate a special occasion. The sheer beauty of the landscape of the alps is that it combines the magic of winter mountains, with picturesque valleys and enchanted lakes. It truly is one of the best places to plan an adventurous wedding in Europe and I feel fortunate to be able to work there as an Austrian Alps Wedding Videographer.
Lake Achensee a dream location for an elopement in the snow
Lake Achensee near Innsbruck is the largest lake in Tirol. A spectacular emerald green landscape in the Achen valey, parting two mountain ranges. The Karwendel mountains lie in the western part of the valey, and the Brandenberg Alps overlook the eastern banks. Embraced by nature, the lake has very clear and clean waters, of almost drinking quality, and the deepest level reaches 133 meters. Whilst in summer people can enjoy windsurfing in Achensee, the winter landscape there is definitely more moody and becomes almost mystic with the morning fog.
The lake is a spot that is often crowded by tourists. Be it in summer for hiking or in winter for skiing and snowboarding. However, Kate, the founder and head wedding planner for The Destination Wedding Co, managed to organize a very private elopement ceremony for Emily and Edward on the banks of lake Achensee. The location is truly breathtaking, and with the snow and winter landscape we all felt connected with nature. The day after the elopement, I have visited back the lake in early morning and watched the sunrise there. The morning fog created a unique cinematica ambience that kept me fascinated. Lake Achensee is definitely a stunning location for planning an intimate destination wedding in the Austrian Alps.
Austrian Alps Wedding Videography: The Story
When Emily and Edward met a few years back on a night out with friends in the UK, it was clear that there was some kind of chemistry between them. They discovered to share common passions, as travelling and snowboarding. They complement each other nicely and their relationship is rooted in the fact that they laugh a lot together and share common moments of fun both as companions and as partners in crime. Edward is more of an extrovert personality, while Emily is a bit more reserved. They really support one another, pushing each other to reach their dreams together. Their common special connection to winter sports, mixed with their passions for travelling, makes the Austrian Alps the perfect location for their destination wedding.
Fun fact: before eloping in Austria, Emily and Edward had already scheduled to hold a more traditional wedding ceremony with more guests and social acquaintancies later in 2020. The wedding has been now postponed due to the unfortunate situation of the world pandemic of COVID-19, so this intimate elopement video in the Austrian Alps gained even more symbolic value for them.
Eloping On The Austrian Alps: Lake Achensee Winter Wedding
I met Kate, the wedding planner, online and we have kept in touch. She liked my personal storytelling approach to wedding videography and referred me to the couple to capture their minimal winter elopement. Everything was set and I was going to be their wedding videographer in the Austrian Alps. We all met in person in Alpbachtal the night before the elopement. We had dinner together, chatted about everyone’s story and we all felt a connection. We became friends. Connection and empathy is really an important factor in the way I work. Not only for capturing better an intimate love story as a wedding videographer without being intrusive, but also for spending quality time together as humans and for becoming really a part of the story that you got to tell as a creative artist.
The weather conditions were difficult the day before their ceremony in Lake Achensee. Heavy snow and thick fog in the evening. However, on the day of the elopement, we had the most amazing winter weather. Everything covered in white and sun with partial clouds. We couldn’t ask for more!
There were no guests apart from myself, Shelly Mantovani the photographer from Toast Photography, Victoria Farr the hair and make up artist and and the planner’s team. We started the day in Alpbach, where we had a short shooting session before heading all to Zillertal in the amazing Zillertal Sportresidenz resort. Steve the owner from Roamer Vans was our amazing driver and assistant for the day.
Austrian Alps Elopement: Getting ready in Zillertal
The Zillertal Sportresidenz is situated just few minutes away from the multi-award-winning Ski-Optimal Hochzillertal and Spieljochbahn ski areas. It usually is a paradise for golfers with it’s course, but everything was covered in white! The resort has reserved their penthouse Suite for the couple to get ready and for their intimate dinner.
The light inside the room and the view from the windows were truly stunning. Both Shelly the photographer and me felt fortunate to have such light to document the bride and groom preps. I am really glad the couple accepted my suggestion to have an intimate shooting session before getting ready to depart for the ceremony in lake Achensee. Once again, it is the advantage of working close together with the couple for an elopement or an intimate wedding and of establishing this strong connection between us that can make possible to capture all these authentic moments on picture and film.
Before dressing up in wedding attire, the couple had a cup of tea. It was another opportunity to relax together and to enjoy the magnificent view of the majestic white mountains from the window. Emily wore a large white shirt with her initials from the Own Studio. For me and Shelly it was the moment to capture the elegantly minimal stationery from Lou Paper in pastel earth tones. Kate set up the table for the intimate dinner.
While Edward got ready and started writing down his vows, Emily had her hair and make up done in another part of the room. Victoria did an amazing job with the make up, using light and seamless tones that suited well the minimalist and intimate character of the day. Emily looked amazing in her Chantel Lauren wedding dress from Ghost Orchid Bride. To cope with the cold during the afternoon outdoors ceremony she had a polyester faux fur to cover her shoulders.
An intimate elopement ceremony in the Snow on Lake Achensee
Lake Achensee is a bit more than half an hour drive from Zillertal. We left the resort with sunlight but it started snowing again while driving to the lake. The temperature also got colder. We arrived and walked to the banks of the lake. It was freezing.
Emily and Edward were both very laid back., joking and laughing as always. Apart from the vows they have exchanged, their symbolic ceremony also included a more spontaneous and improvised part: they recalled how they met each other and they confessed what they like the most in one another as a person. Notwithstanding they kept on smiling, there was excitement and emotion in the air, as the actual ceremony was held. It was definitely the emotional peak of the day. And emotion is always the key element that drives the storytelling in my films. So, I made sure to capture their reactions. Edward, shared with Emily, once again, how much he loved her. Everything looked so beautiful and connected with the raw beauty of the Austrian Alps.
When the Couple and Wedding Vendors become Friends
After the ceremony and a quick shooting session on the freezing banks of the lake, we all needed to warm up a bit. On our way back we stopped by a bar/restaurant to enjoy a cold beer and some fries by the fireplace. We exchanged views about our mutual passions and countries. It was a fun way to wrap up a very full day. But no one appeared to be tired as it felt we were hanging out with good friends.
I truly loved working with Emily and Edward as their wedding Videographer in the Austrian Alps, and they definitely represent the ideal type of couple that I enjoy working with. Emily, as a creative professional herself, left space and the artistic freedom for me to create something according to my own inspiration from the day, far from any cliches or stereotypes. It is the reason why I enjoy shooting intimate elopements, where you can get closer to the couple, understand their individual characters, and work together with them to capture all the elements that you judge necessary to tell their story.
I am very happy to have made new friends from the UK in this adventure elopement in Lake Achensee.
All the video frames featured in this article are part of the film. I always try to use a combination of frames from my videos, thumbnails and my pictures to tell the story.
Planning an elopement in the Austrian Alps
If you are planning a destination wedding in the Austrian Alps then finding an amazing team of professionals to help you pull it off is very important. Kate’s team at The Destination Wedding Co were very professional, organized and helpful with everything. I have really appreciated working as an Austrian Alps wedding videographer alongside such a serious and professional destination wedding planner.
Shelly Mantovani, the photographer, was also very professional and discreet with her photojournalistic style, while capturing Emily and Edward’s wedding in Lake Achensee. We were perfectly coordinated and we never got in each other’s way. As Shelly says, during a wedding a photographer and a videographer are dancing together. Hence, we should always do our best to make this dance harmonious.
I suggest that you check them out if you are looking for a destination wedding planner, or for a photographer for your wedding in the Austrian Alps. They are both great people and I would really enjoy working alongside them again in the future as an Austrian Alps Wedding Videographer.
Postponing your 2020 wedding due to the pandemic? Plan a winter elopement instead
The current unfortunate situation that we are all living due to the pandemic of COVID-19 has made us realize how fragile the balance in modern life is. This winter elopement in the Austrian Alps was held right before the outburst of the pandemic in most European countries. It might also be the solution for weddings in the era of social distancing.
My personal advice to the couples planning their weddings under the coronavirus threat is to plan an intimate elopement instead of a big wedding with many guests. Not only an elopement is the most authentic expression of your love to each other, that fully represents your personalities, it is also compliant with the rules of social distancing. Even if you pick a destination far away from your own country to elope, it might end up costing significantly lower than a traditional cookie cutter wedding in your home town.
Who knows? Maybe after watching this film and reading this story you may want to re-think your summer 2020 wedding at risk due to COVID-19, and plan a winter elopement in the Austrian Alps instead. If you are tempted by this idea, I would love to hear back from you.
Destination Wedding Video in the Austrian Alps
I feel really blessed to be a destination wedding videographer. To be able to travel to iconic places in Central Europe, and to tell the love stories of adventurous couples that decide to get married in the Austrian Alps. Be it in Kitzbühel, Lech, Zürs, Sölden, St. Anton am Aelberg, Mayrhofen, Schladming, Badgastein, Seefeld, Lake Achensee, Kaprun, Ischgl, Zillertal or many other dream spots. The Austrian Alps are full of amazing elopement locations! Feel free to check out some of my other destination wedding films, and don’t forget to check out my Wedding Planning Tips & Guides.
Are you planning to get married in the Austrian Alps or simply to elope there? I would be delighted to be your Austrian Alps wedding videographer. I am only a short flight away and can be there in a blink of an eye to tell your story. My passport is ready. Let’s start planning to create some magic for your dream destination wedding in the Austrian Alps, together.