Snowy Winter Elopement With Paragliding – JiaQi & Joseph

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Imagine travelling to a new country, a new continent AND seeing snow for the first time. Now imagine that this exciting adventure is also your elopement! That’s Jiaqi & Joseph’s story!

How did you get engaged?

We got engaged on Joe’s birthday around midnight with all the plans and surprises (Joe has planned) thrown out the window due to COVID-19. We were both in our pajamas and it was the most unexpected for Jiaqi. Yet the most loving surrounding – in our home & with Theodore (our dog).

Any funny stories leading up to your wedding day?

This was the first time we were travelling so far away from home and our first time in Europe. We have been surrounded by Asian hospitality since we were young and we realized things are very different as soon as we reached the 1st Europe country, Germany. We embraced the culture shock of European hospitality and the mature mentality of “everything it’s on you, ja!?”
Definitely something we will adopt moving forward!

How did you decide on your location?

We had been planning for an Elopement Wedding for quite some time. Joe has always envisioned us exchanging our vows and getting married in the woods, and mountains, with snow and a lake as a backdrop. Jiaqi has always been a fan of Sound of Music and Joe suggested that we give Austria a thought (not a common destination choice). With some research, we found Wild Connections Photography. After seeing some photos & chatting with Cat, we decided to have our wedding in Innsbruck because it felt right.

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

Information was limited as Innsbruck is not a common destination choice for most people from this region. It’s also difficult for us imagine the cold because it’s our first time visiting a country with 4 seasons. As such, we overpacked / packed some unnecessary clothing.

What is your favourite moment/memory from the day?

Everything! We loved every moment of it. From waking up at 4.30am (for Jiaqi; Joe didn’t sleep at all because he was too nervous), to getting ready, first look, walking in Old Town, in Cat’s car to the lake, hiking the “old people route” and get ‘judged’ by George (a 14yo Pug, who walked much faster than us!), our Vows & Rings Exchange, the picnic (our 1st time trying Alpen Tea with Elderflower Syrup with yummy gluten-free homemade banana muffin), first time seeing snow fall, shivering at Schlick 2000 (-10c??!!) and receiving so much love and well wishes from passersby.

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

We are glad that we Eloped! Our Wedding Day is all about us, not bound by any traditions, restrictions, or opinions. This is a day that we will remember till the end of time because we did it based on what feels right. We are also glad that we wrote our vows and it is something important to us. It is a promise and commitment to each other and the vows are private & intimate.

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

Joe: For the cold weather, dress appropriately!
Jiaqi: Put aside all the wedding norms and opinions. Just think of what resonates with you and as a couple. It is both of your wedding and that should be the only consideration factor.
Both: Enjoy the adventure

What was your favourite thing about working with Cat?

It took us very little time to get comfortable with Cat taking photos of us. Both of us are camera shy and turned Chandler (from F.R.I.E.N.D.S) whenever we are being photographed. Here are just some of the things we love about Cat:

  1. Professionalism: from the 1st email contact till post-wedding
  2. Preparedness: there are multiple contingency plans, locations, things to do and warm food for energy replenishment
  3. Attention to detail: small things we mentioned and Cat remembers e.g. we prefer candid shots, we are extremely uncomfortable to be photographed, our arrival schedule. Cat also observed closely on our body language and knows that we are tired ~mid-day and suggested a picnic!
  4. Bunny-fast: Even with bulky stuff to carry, to take care of us and to photograph us, Cat is fast! One moment she’s on your right, the next moment she’s gone! Looking at some of the photos, we wonder how and when she photographed us from so many different angles.
  5. Extra-mile: Thank you for taking photos of our 1st extreme sport as a married couple – Jiaqi enjoying every moment of it, while Joe contemplates his life choice!

Vendor Credits:

Hotel: Altstadthotel Weisses Kreuz
Hair & Makeup: Die Schminkerei
Dress & Suit: Ame Handmade SG
Hairpiece: khiû-moo
Vow books: By Dalbit
Pocket square: RibboNRusa
Nail art: Kosame
Rings: Cartier

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