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Matthew & Telima fell instantly fell in love with lake Eibsee in Bavaria when they were searching for locations for their intimate elopement in Europe. When they originally started planning, they were flying over from the USA to Europe to elope in the Alps. However a certain pandemic thew a huge spanner in their plans, and although they almost managed to make it happen in 2021, they decided to wait until 2022, as their dream was to have their closest family members there with them too. In the meantime, they also embarked on another exciting adventure, and moved from the USA to Portugal. The constant postponing of their wedding had really got them down, so when the day finally came around in May 2022, everyone wanted it to be the perfect day.
Most people dream of the perfect wedding day as being blue skies and sunshine. And especially when you’re planning an outdoor wedding in the mountains, you want good weather. So it’s not surprising that they were both a little concerned that on the morning of their wedding, they woke up to heavy rain. Being the eternal optimist (and checking the weather forecast), I tried to reassure them that it wasn’t supposed to rain all day. There were a number of storms passing, but there were also some gaps in between. As the rain continued, they started to accept it might not stop, and said they would just go with it, although I could tell they were a little disappointed.
Matthew & Telima really wanted to have a private vow reading, and wanted to do it somewhere high up. We got super lucky and managed to get a break in the weather as we headed up the mountain. We hiked out along the trail, and they chose a spot to say their vows and celebrate with some champagne.
Afterwards we headed back down to the valley and drove over to lake Eibsee to take some photos before their ceremony. However not long after we arrived the weather changed and a huge thunderstorm rolled in. Showing no signs of passing, we had to abort the plan of a lakeside ceremony, and headed back to the chalet for a ceremony under the shelter of the cabin roof.
They spent the rest of the evening in the warmth of their chalet, sampling some amazing local dishes cooked up by a private chef, and enjoying spending time together as one big family after having been apart for so long.
Top Tips For A Lake Eibsee Elopement
1. Sunrise is the best time to visit
Eibsee is one of the most easily accessible lakes in the Alps. It has a huge parking lot right on the edge of the lake, and an almost flat hiking trail that loops around it. During the day it gets really busy – and one of the most popular spots for photos is actually a nudist beach! Not only is sunrise one of the quietest times of day there, but that’s when the light is the most beautiful too.
2. Combine a visit to the lake with a trip up a cable car
If you’re planning a full-day elopement experience (which I really recommend), then after sunrise at the lake, head up one of Garmisch-Partenkirchen’s cable cars. Depending on the time of year, there are a few different options in the area (although if you’re coming in the shoulder season some of them may be temporarily closed for maintenance so check a few weeks before).
3. Be flexible
Mountain weather can be unpredictable, as this elopement shows. And that can make it a bit hard to have a concrete backup plan for. Instead, book a photographer who understands the mountains and knows the area, and be prepared to be a little spontaneous on the day and just go with the flow. That’s what Matthew & Telima ended up doing and it worked out perfectly!
4. Don’t try to plan in too much
Originally Matthew & Telima wanted to include a longer hike, visiting more locations, a picnic and also lunch in a mountain restaurant as part of their day. But on my recommendation, instead of focusing on doing more and seeing more, we planned to just take it slow and be fully present in the things that we did do, and it resulted in a more fulfilling experience. The day still flew by, but they had much more time to enjoy the locations they did visit.