Isole Di Brissago Wedding Film | Switzerland | Bettina + Martin
Where do I begin? I have been fortunate enough to visit many places in the world, yet I found myself speechless many times this past July as I visited Switzerland for the very first time. Bettina found my work on YouTube and sent me a kind note about the films I have created and mentioned that she wished I could come film her wedding. She had no idea if I would even be able to travel. The second I saw the email I quickly googled the location, ‘Isole di Brissago,’ and after seeing just three photos knew that I wanted to be a part of this celebration. We began preparations. This one would be a little different for me. It was going to be complicated because the ceremony would all be in German.
The time finally came to head to Europe for the wedding. I flew into Zurich on a Thursday morning and spent that whole day soaking up scenery along the countryside as Bettina’s siblings, Gabriella and Michael gave me a tour. We quickly explored Zurich, drove through the amazing lakeside city of Lucernce and looked out on everything from up in a caslte. We then stopped high above Lungern to look at its emerald green lake. After this we wove our way down through the Alps, taking the back road, so as to show me what so many people miss along the highway. It was awe inspiring. We finally made it to our destination, the small town of Brissago, just west of Ascona, both of which sit on Lake Maggiore. Brissago is just a mile from Italy. I met Bettina and Martin and the rest of their families. We went out to an Italian restaurant for dinner and I tried to pretend I knew what was being said.
The next day we took a boat over to the island the wedding would be held at to get a lay of the land. I was able to use this time to capture some shots of the island with the drone. Isole di Brissago is home to a fantastic hotel, restaurant, and diverse botanical garden with plants from all over the world. It is a truly special place. Bettina and Martin got dressed up and we headed back to Brissago for the ceremony that officially made them man and wife. This was followed by a brief party and then a trip in a Rolls Royce up up up the hillside to have dinner at Osteria Borei, a small family restaurant that Bettina and her family visited often through their childhood. It has always been a big part of their lives when coming to the lake. It is the perfect place to look down upon the lake, with Isole di Brissago resting in the middle, Ascona’s lights twinkling in the background, and the mountains beyond that. Spectacular.
Saturday was the big day. After another great breakfast at Hotel Rivabella where they practically bring you everything in the kitchen, I took a ferry to the island and started shooting. Rain was in the forecast. You could see dark clouds up in the hills surrounding us. Would they ruin the day? Bettina and Martin got ready in their rooms and as time passed they needed to make a decision, inside or out. They took a chance and stuck with the plan to have the ceremony outside and it paid off. Right as the ceremony started the sun broke out and the rest of the day was as gorgeous as you could have imagined. The ceremony was held in a small walled-off garden on the south side of the island. A still pool sits in the middle of the garden. The ceremony was held at the far end of the garden, just past the pool. I have no idea what was being said during the ceremony, and never will… but I know it was emotional because the two of them were crying quite a bit, especially when Bettina’s older sister gave a speech. After about 45 minutes of speeches and other rituals, they exchanged rings, kissed, and celebrated together.
After a cocktail hour up at the Hotel, we set out to get some shots of the two of them. This was quite an easy thing to do with such an amazing location, with fair weather, and a beautiful bride and groom. The reception to follow was unlike any I had been a part of. The Swiss love food and they love taking their time enjoying each other’s company. We could learn a lot from them and the pace at which they live their lives. I told them that over here it is a mad dash to cut the cake so that the people that don’t want to be at the wedding can grab a slice and then leave. The reception started at 6 and the first dance did not happen until after midnight. That is 6 hours of dinner, games, speeches, and other events before even starting the music. It was really nice to take it easy and enjoy the evening. There was no stress. It was just the perfect way to spend the evening with all your family and friends around you. Martin surprised Bettina with a little presentation explaining where he had been all those nights when he was coming home late after work. He had been creating a huge live-edge dining room table for their future home, something Bettina always wanted, but never thought they could afford.
After shooting some people partying and dancing I got on a ferry back to town and got to my room around 2am. They were still going strong. I found out the next day that they were up until 5:30 to watch the sunrise.
I had very high hopes for this trip and the wedding film that would come from it. Those expectations were all exceeded in every way. They treated me like family and involved me with everything they did. They made sure I was taken care of at all times. The scenery was outstanding. The food was as fresh as possible. The cities charming. The mountains were grand. The sky was more blue. I will be going back. Next time my wife will be along for the ride!
Screengrabs from the Isole Di Brissago film:
Isole di Brissago Wedding Details:
Venue: Isole Di Brissago
Accomodations: Hotel Garni Rivabella au Lac
Rehearsal Dinner: Osteria Borei
Shoes and Clutch: Jimmy Choo
If you are planning your own spectacular wedding in Switzerland, or elsewhere in Europe, I would love to hear all about it and discuss the possibilities of me creating a film for your special day. Please send me a note and we can go from there!