LGBT alpine lake elopement in Austria by leading elopeemnt photographer wild connections photography

Alpine Lake Elopement in Austria – Ally & Nancy

Disclaimer - Some posts on this website contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase using my links, which I'll almost certainly use to buy more skis and climbing gear.

Ally & Nancy’s alpine lake elopement in Austria was the perfect lesson in how to have a relaxed and meaningful elopement day. During the planning stages, we had discussed a more challenging hike, but in the end they chose an easy hike to one of my personal favourite locations in Tirol. Instead of trying to fit in as much as possible on the day, they wanted to really focus on slowing down and taking everything in.

The morning had an air of calmness to it as they helped each other get ready in the chalet. It was only when it came time to get dressed that they moved into separate rooms, with their friends helping them with the final details. Getting dressed separately meant they could have a first look, which took place in the meadow behind their chalet.

The main part of the day was spent hiking to a stunning alpine. Once at the lake, Ally & Nancy chose a beautiful spot away from the trail for their vows. We all stood back to give them privacy for this part of their day, but right near the end, a group of local school kids on an excursion emerged from the forest and started shouting congratulations from across the trails. This usually quiet location became full of cheers of well wishes for a few moments. It rather broke the stillness and silence, but it did also make everyone giggle. Then everything went back to being calm and quiet again.

After their vows, it was time for a picnic around the other side of the lake, with the feast that their friends had carried all the way up for them. They sat, ate cake, drank champagne and laughed and told stories with their friends. Then when they were ready, we went for some exploring around the lake.

The day finished as relaxed as it started. Once we’d finished exploring at the lake, we hiked back down and drove home for a quick freshen up before dinner in a local restaurant. The itinerary we had could have been squeezed into a half-day, but stretching it out over the whole day was so relaxed and just made everything feel so much more intentional and considered. But don’t take my word for it, I’ll let Ally & Nancy share their experience too:

How did you get engaged?

Nancy surprised Ally with a proposal along a snowy bank of the Tennessee river in Knoxville, Tennessee. Ally spent fond early years of her life near the river and it felt special to ask her to start a new life chapter next to something old and familiar. Ally expected to be the first to propose though, so she was very surprised! Two days later, Ally proposed to Nancy in her favorite meadow on her family’s farmland in Virginia. She chose the meadow because Nancy always talked about the meadow as her peaceful place, the place that felt the most like home. So we both said yes to building home with each other in very special places!

What is your favourite moment/memory from the day?

We really loved our first look. The moments before waiting to see each other were filled with so much exciting anticipation, so that the moment we saw each other genuinely felt like fireworks. We also loved all the quiet moments in between our vows and picnic and photos on top of rocks, where we looked at each other and smiled.

How did you decide on your location?

We knew from the start we wanted to elope in the mountains, and the Alps have been on our must visit list for some time. A few google searches into possible locations for elopements in the Alps brought us to Cat’s website! Since Cat is based in Austria, it made good sense to go where she is and trust her local knowledge in helping us find a spot that was quiet and beautiful. We decided on the Obernberger See because it had a perfect mix of mountain lake, Alpine, and mountain peaks, with just a little bit of incline for the hike. The chapel also offered a cool piece of architecture as a backdrop for our “I do” moment. It was perfect!

Any funny stories leading up to your wedding day?

So two stories come to mind. The second, because it’s silly and a specifically queer experience lol.

We spent the week before our elopement in Vienna and Salzburg, and it was a blast! We planned lots of ventures and site seeing. But our day in Salzburg didn’t go as planned because of rain. We got stuck in a downpour in the horse gate entrance of the fortress Hohensalzburg. Lucky for us, there was a cafe a few meters away. We sprinted through the rain, but all the tables were taken. So we grabbed beers and sprinted back to the horse gate, sat on a window sill, and drank a beer in the rain. It was unexpected, simple, and glorious—kind of like all our best moments as a couple so far!

The second story – After a night at the ballet in Vienna, we stopped at the bunny stand for a Käsekreiner. Someone cut us in line, and two quite attractive guys waiting for their food laughed and said that was common in Vienna. They came over and helped us order in German and exchanged pleasantries about travel and classic Viennese food. They asked what brought us to Austria, and we shared we were getting married! An awkward pause, then they asked “to each other?” Ally informed Nancy afterwards that the guys were disappointed we were marrying each other and not them. It was a close call, but a bit of (apparently) flirting didn’t deter us from still saying I do.

What were the biggest challenges you faced in planning your elopement?

Planning the elopement was not that strenuous for us, and Cat was super helpful in giving us recommendations and planning the timeline for our day. The biggest challenge was probably that we moved across the U.S. three weeks before we left for Europe. There was a lot of shuffling to get things settled before we left, and not much sleep along the way, but we made it!

Is there anything you are really glad you did? Or didn’t do?

We are really glad we planned for a full day with Cat. Nothing felt rushed, and we had time to really enjoy each phase of the day. We also are really glad we talked through the type of day we wanted with Cat before deciding on a location. We were able to pick the perfect length of hike that was enjoyable and allowed us to stay comfortable in our gowns. We are glad we didn’t chose a different way to get married and that we didn’t choose a different photographer. Cat really made the day super special.

What advice would you give to other couples planning their wedding?

It was helpful for us to think about how we wanted to feel on our wedding day and plan from there. It can be easy to plan for certain things because they may be expected of you or seem epic. But we hope couples can plan for a wedding day that makes them feel celebrated above all else, and any other good vibes they want to experience!

What was your favourite thing about working with Cat?

All the things. Cat is thoughtful and thorough, communicates with you throughout the process, makes sure you have what you need and want, and takes really, I mean REALLY, breathtaking shots of your special day(s). But the cherry on top was probably her disposition and humor. We appreciated how laidback Cat was with us and how she made us feel comfortable and celebrated.

What wedding planning resources did you use whilst planning your elopement (if any)?

We used Cat’s blog for insight into what hiking elopements could look like, and what wardrobe would work well for what we wanted to do. We also used instagram, Pinterest, and The Knot for inspiration on dresses, hair, and flowers.


Nancy’s Dress – Mori Lee
Ally’s Dress – Jenny Yoo
Flowers – Blumen Tau
Apartment – Apartment Wiesenhof, Patsch

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.