It’s always a special treat to shoot someone’s wedding outside of the UK. A new world of colour awaits and the scenery is both inspiring and challenging.
Victoria and Fabian’s wedding was in Fabian’s home town of Vella and I decided to do the 11 hour drive from Sussex down through France so I could enjoy the scenery as I went. I arrived a few days early too so I could explore!
I had this vision of blue skies, cows and rivers of chocolate but the first couple of days were really overcast and misty. When you’re in the mountains certain areas have microclimates and I was worried about the weather for their wedding. I couldn’t see more than 100 metres in front of me at certain points!
Thankfully though, come Saturday the weather had cleared up and I headed in to Ilanz where VIctoria and her bridesmaids were getting their hair and makeup done before heading back to Vella to get ready.
It was really nice to be able to bounce between Victoria and Fabian during prep. Vella is a small village and you can drive through the middle of it in minutes.
Once Victoria was ready I scooted over to Pleif Church where everyone was waiting and the service began .Afterwards there was a surprise sunflower arch waiting for them to walk through before the more formal family photos took place.
Coming up was the important bit. Victoria and Fabian wanted to capture the surroundings in their photos so I’d done a lot of pre wedding research about how to nail this part of the day.
It’s hard to appreciate the absolutely massive scale of your surroundings in a visual sense realtive to two humans in front of you. Big mountain range + tiny people. Getting the two to work together visually is tricky but we nailed it. We did almost lose Victoria down the mountain at one point and I almost passed out because even though I can run around perfectly ok at a wedding in the UK with the bouquet, a load of kit and other things… I assumed it would be the same here.
But at 1.2 kilometres above sea level there’s a distinct lack of oxygen and I hadn’t been there long enough to acclimatise. Doh!
We went into the old part of town as well as the fields for the more epic shots and then headed over to the Hotel Restaurant Central in Obersaxen.
I arrived there a fair bit in advance so waited outside for them to arrive, Victoria and Fabian were in a London Black cab with all the other guests arriving by bus. I first knew they were arriving as you could hear the horns tooting from around the corner!
We spent the rest of the day there, with some Chinese lanterns in the evening and dancing until around 4am. (I hit the hay at 3am, it was getting messy)!
Their wedding was in August and now, as I’m writing this in December, it’s really a special thing to be able to reflect on their day. I really seem to attract the right kind of people into my world. From the moment I arrived in Switzerland I was welcomed and spoiled rotten by their family. I was handed chocolate, honey, beer and was welcomed into every part of the proceedings. From the Apero before the wedding, the rehearsal and the location scouting with Fabian as well as a shoot the day after. These made the whole weekend super special and memorable.
It’s wonderful to look back and know I made some new friends that day and long may we stay in touch!