Emma Godfrey

Destination family pre-wedding | Zermatt


Destination wedding photography

I would love to photograph more destination weddings, the idea of the sand between my toes appeals a lot! But I do shoot a lot of destination weddings in Switzerland. Zermatt is a favourite of both mine and my couples, so I was delighted when Kiriko and Brian chose me to record their special day.

A wedding in the Alps can be a brave choice. In the mountains you never know if the weather will suddenly take a turn for the worse and your stunning views are reduced to thick cloud (beautiful for soft portrait lighting). Kiriko and Brian chose Switzerland as their wedding destination because they love and understand the mountains. They were prepared for the cloud and, as it was, we had stunning views for their pre-wedding session and it was touch and go for the “jour-J”.

Family pre-wedding photo shoot

Not all my international couples can manage a pre-wedding shoot, and we end up putting together a bespoke wedding collection to fill their needs. But if a couple can fit it into the schedule I – and my clients – highly recommend it. Coming all this way, it is nice to have images of the two of you in ‘normal’ clothes, doing something you love to do together.

For Kiriko and Brian the focus was family and hiking. Their families had travelled to meet in Switzerland from Texas and from Japan. It was the first time many of the family members had met and so the couple had arranged lots of ice-breaking activities to help everyone get to know each other. High up on the list was an easy hike to Stellisee and time for some informal family portraits as well.

Fun in the mountains

The day before the wedding, we took the funicular up to Sunnegga followed by the télésiège to Blauherd. My aim was to document the candid moments as well as take some group photos as I was sure that this would be more meaningful, and a better record of the day in the end. 

Kiriko and Brian were so much fun to work with, their joy was infectious and kept everyone going through the slight breathlessness of altitude. Jumping photos can sometimes look contrived but for these two it sums up their incredible energy and joie de vivre. Add in a mountain song from the father-of-the-bride and you have a perfect start to a wedding.

Even though this was a destination wedding for Brian and Kiko they chose to keep their pre-wedding session, scheduling it for the day before. It was a great way to get to know one another and capture some more laid-back moments. It was also really nice to include their families as everyone had come such a long way for their wedding in Switzerland. 

I offer a number of options for couples who would like to have some informal portraits together. This can be included with your wedding photography as a day before or day after session, or as a session on its own to celebrate an anniversary, a special holiday or just because! To find out more about couples portrait photography in Zermatt, by lake Geneva or your favourite place in the Alps, get in touch and start a conversation.

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