Hiking Elopement in Tirol – Hannah & Aaron

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Hannah & Aaron originally planned a small ceremony with their friends and family at a different location in Tirol. But one week before their date, Austria announced another lockdown, and things needed to be put on hold. They decided to reschedule for 6 months later, this time choosing to invite just one close friend to come along as their witness. Despite the gloomy weather, we spent the day exploring one of Tirol’s most beautiful valleys.

Here’s their story:

How did you get engaged?

We were hiking in the Oberpfalz in Bavaria, and Aaron popped the question while overlooking beautiful rock cliff formations in the middle of the forest. It was secluded and serene, exactly how we like it!

Any funny stories leading up to your wedding day?

Be advised: If you find your wedding dress at a flea market while travelling on the weekend, airport security may find it strange that you shoved a gown into your backpack to get it home across international borders.

How did you decide on your location?

We both love to be outdoors and we especially love the Alps. It’s really hard to have a bad time when you’re hiking amongst some of the most lush, verdant mountain sides and crystalline rivers in the world. We’ve been hiking in the Wipptal Valley before and the scenery is breathtaking. The only hard part was deciding exactly which trail to take, and Cat was a tremendous resource when it came down to that.

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

COVID was naturally the biggest hurdle to actually executing our wedding day plans. We originally had the date set to six months after we legally got married, but Austria went on lockdown just five days before we planned to drive down to Innsbruck. So we pushed the wedding off for another half year, to our one year anniversary, instead.

What is your favourite moment/memory from the day?

We both agree our favorite moment was reaching the highest elevation of the day and reading our vows to one another. Even though we waited to share our vows until then, we somehow managed to write nearly the exact same things. It was a true testament of our love and how well we trust and understand in each other that we think of the same promises to one another without discussing it beforehand.

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

We are glad we decided to still embark on the journey even with an unpredictable weather forecast. The rain ended up only being a drizzle and it made for some of the most spectacular fog around the mountains. When we look back on our wedding day, we won’t think of wet socks and mud, but rather the marmots and wildflowers and crisp cool air.

We are also glad we did not have family there with us. Although our families mean the world to us, we are both very active and the hike would have been challenging for close relatives. Instead, we got to enjoy our day how we wanted, and will provide time and space for our families to celebrate with us in the future.

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

Keep it simple! When you have less “have to dos” and more flexibility in your schedule, you can worry less about hitting all the marks and more about enjoying your time together. By limiting our expectations to just 1. going on a hike and 2. being present in the moment we took a chilly, overcast day, and made it the best wedding day we could have imagined.

If you’re planning to do an elopement or adventure-based wedding, choosing an activity should be based solely on what you actually like to do. We go hiking all the time, so this was a natural decision for us. But if you don’t like to hike, you should not spend such an important day walking up a mountain in your wedding dress and suit just for some good views. There are plenty of magical ways you can make the day special. Find what works for you!

What was your favourite thing about working with Cat?

Cat is incredibly flexible! After deciding to move the wedding date forward six months, our plans changed drastically and Cat didn’t bat an eye. She was attentive and thoughtful from the moment we reached out to her to begin planning for the big day. Thank you for all your hard work, Cat!

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

We used The Knot, but ended up really only using it to communicate with our friends and family about our plans.

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