Vietnamese-Swiss couple holds wedding in the Alps

By Phan Duong   September 12, 2023 | 05:00 am PT
Vietnamese Nguyen Anh and her Swiss groom held their wedding ceremony where they first fell in love on long hiking trips together: in the mighty and dramatic Alps.

"I only fell for you after four months, but I fell for the Alps at first sight," Anh, 31, told Martin, 32, as she received his proposal on top of one of the most beautiful mountains in Switzerland last year in May.

"So, we'll hold our wedding ceremony there."

The couple started dating six years ago when Anh, who comes from the former imperial city of Hue, was planning to study abroad in Germany. They maintained a distant relationship until the beginning of this year, as Anh pursued her degree and then worked in Germany while Martin worked in his home country Switzerland. Anh then relocated to the Swiss city of Zurich as the couple started preparing for their wedding.

The couple were officially registered as husband–and–wife in the municipality of Zurich, Switzerland in January 2023. Photo courtesy of Anh and Martin

Nguyen Anh and Martin were officially registered as husband–and–wife in Zurich, Switzerland, in January 2023. Photo courtesy of Anh and Martin

The couple consequently took trips to explore different mountains in the Alps in preparation for their wedding. They figured out that there were few unique wedding venues in Germany, while throwing a wedding party in Switzerland would cost them and their guests too much on travel and other expenses.

They hit the top of a mountain in the Austrian part of the Alps in July last year, when, coincidentally, a couple was having their wedding ceremony at a restaurant there. They immediately decided that the restaurant would be their wedding venue as it looked over beautiful snow-covered mountains and picturesque hills and villages. It was also the least-expensive place they had researched, and its location was more convenient to travel to.

The wedding date was chosen for July this year, exactly a year from the date they decided the place where they would definitely eventually tie the knot. Anh instantly informed their relatives and friends and started preparing the wedding invitations. She ordered handmade cards from Vietnam and hand wrote the invitations for each guest instead of using printed cards to express her and Martin's personal appreciation towards the recipients.

She also took care of the decorations and wedding agenda.

"I initially wanted to decorate the venue with dried flowers, so I ordered a large proportion of them shipped to the venue," Anh said. "But the idea didn't work out as it turned out that it was hard to preserve them."

Anh’s father walked her down the aisle on her wedding day in July 2023. Photo courtesy of Anh

Nguyen Anh’s father walks her down the aisle on her wedding day in July 2023. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Anh

Martin was busy discussing the food with the venue provider and taking dancing classes in preparation for the couple's first dance session on their wedding day. He created a website to guide their guests on getting to the venue and booking their accommodation, and his parents participated in making a welcoming gate from flowers as well.

Anh's parents and her sister's family departed from Vietnam in the middle of July. They also helped the couple with their wedding preparation process, with Anh's mother carrying the bride's bouquet with her to the airplane to deliver it to Anh, while her father made wooden signs instructing guests to get to the wedding venue by hand after arrival.

"We had a lot of fun and stressful moments throughout the preparation process," Anh said. "Martin and I, as well as our families, got to know one another better thanks to them."

The couple's big day eventually came, with the attendance of 50 guests from Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland, and Vietnam.

Anh's father walked her down the aisle and gave her hand to Martin. The couple then exchanged their vows under the blue sky at the altitude of 1,700 meters.

Anh and Martin exchanging their vows during their wedding ceremony. Photo courtesy of Anh and Martin

Nguyen Anh and Martin exchanging their vows during their wedding ceremony. Photo courtesy of Anh and Martin

"I have always wished to have a partner that can explore the world with me," Anh said. "Your adventurous spirit has inspired me."

Martin said he loved how Anh was knowledgeable and always willing to learn new things, even when they were topics she did not like.

"Let's move forward in our lives, grow old, and experience new things everyday together," he said. "You are my dream come true."

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