Small weddings are on the rise as couples seek to make their weddings a more personal and intimate celebration. Lonely beaches are very popular, but what could be dreamier than getting married on a mountaintop, surrounded by all of nature’s glory? Mountain weddings make a unique alternative to the standard beach destination wedding.
I meet with Tanja and Andreas, a young Tirolean husband and wife photography team specializing in outdoor weddings and other adventures. They plan, execute, photograph and film unique mountain weddings in Tirol and beyond. They have been helping over 150 brides and grooms with the behind-the-scenes details of their big day. Their full service wedding company is named “Blitzkneisser”, which means ‘quick on the uptake’ in Tirolese dialect. Tanja and Andreas are there to handle every detail and ensure that it goes off without a hitch—which truly makes sense, as many of their customers do not live in Tirol and only come to visit once, on the day of their marriage.
Tanja and Andreas, how do you throw a mountain wedding?
“The couple says their vows in a unique and stunning mountain venue, mostly on a mountaintop. There’s only the four of us, the couple who ties the knot and we two with our cameras. It’s all about saying “I DO” in complete privacy atop a gorgeous mountain location. It’s a nuptial ceremony, a wedding ritual and no formal registration. The couple has married at the registry office in advance,” explains Tanja.
Does that mean the couple celebrates without their nearest and dearest?
“No, the wedding reception has nothing to do with the ceremony. We take the bride and groom to the mountain, usually early in the morning or in the evening, when the light is best for photography. We always have to walk to get to the mountaintop. The hike is included in our calculated wedding time,” says Andreas. “The reception is held after the completion of the ceremony down in the valley, with as many people as the couple has invited. Some celebrate their new union just in twos, while others leave immediately and travel back home. It’s entirely up to the bride and groom how the whole occasion flows. Every wedding is inherently diverse—because every couple is different.”
Do you really handle everything?
“Yes, full service planning is exactly how it sounds, from start to finish. We handle everything, from the ceremony site to restaurant reservations, professional photography, fresh florals, music, officiants, celebrants and licenses, cake, decorations and transportation. We even help with finding the right wedding attire if needed. We have an amazing team of vendors in Tirol, who will ensure everything happens according to plan so the couple can relax and enjoy their special day. Many of our couples come from abroad. We have organized the wedding for a bride and groom from New York, for example. There is a lot of complexity involved, especially when planning at a distance, thus it’s a great advantage for them if we handle the whole planning process,” explains Tanja.
What is your process when a couple first contacts you about planning their wedding?
“Most of the time, the people contacting us do not live in Tirol, so we try to have a conversation with them via Skype or Facetime right away to better understand what it is they are really looking for. We want to get to know them as this is important to make the wedding truly about them and their personalities. After that, we are able to respond with a proposal that more closely matches what they expect. For us, it’s about listening to every one of our wedding couples and making sure that it is their unique vision and story that is being told in a really beautiful way on their wedding day. We generally end up falling for the couples we work with,” tells Andreas. “We even have been chosen godparents of one of our couple’s first baby, which is quite an honor for us,” adds Tanja. Apart from shooting wedding couples, Tanja is also specializing in newborn photography.
Which Tirol mountain tops are the perfect places to elope?
“The Zillertaler Alps or the summit of Blaser Mountain. And nothing can beat the 2,300-meter peak of Hafelekar in the wintertime,” Andreas answers.
In the wintertime?
“Yes, winter weddings are trending. Mountain wedding venues have a cozy feel that’s particularly appropriate during the colder-weather months. Snow adds drama and mystic allure.”
Snow and cold in a wedding dress?
“This has never been a problem so far. We bundle up with some appropriate cold-weather gear, like snow boots, hot tea and hand warmers. The wedding dress is protected from the snow in a daypack. Having arrived at the wedding locale, we can take the dreamiest newlywed portraits. A blanket of white creates enchanting photos—and in between shoots, bride and groom tenderly warm each other.”
Have you ever had to cancel a wedding because of rain?
Tanja and Andreas think about it. “No, never ever. If the forecast says rain on the wedding day, we take proper precautions leading up to the big day, so there’s no need to fret about an impending thunderstorm. We always have backup plans, like doing the ceremony at another time of the day or on another day. Moreover, there’s something inherently romantic about bad weather. Instead of fretting over a rain, we try to tell our wedding couples to enjoy the warm, magical, idyllic atmosphere of the day. If they see we aren’t bothered by the unexpected weather, they are more inclined to relax and enjoy their once-in-a-lifetime celebration, too!” Browse their Portfolio to see examples of their work.
What about physical shape? Are all couples able to bag a peak?
“Of course, we talk about the hiking challenge in advance. If bride and groom are not willing to reach a mountaintop on their two feet, we choose a location where we can drive almost to the top, such as Fügenberg Mountain, for example. With different ceremony spots across the country, we are sure to find the right option for every couple.”
What has been your biggest event planning challenge?
Andreas recalls a very special event: “A couple from Germany had opted for a ceremony spot that was far away from the wedding reception venue. It would have taken too much time to get there by car, so we organized a helicopter flight, which was pretty cool. However, for me, each wedding couple is a splendid representation of their unique background, passions and life journey—and it’s a pleasure to create an amazing wedding day for their perfect love story.” Tanja nods in approval.
Tanja and Andreas have known each other since childhood and married recently.
They specialize in intimate weddings for the adventurous at heart and strive to create unique and memorable experiences for their couples.