Samantha and Adam married in St. Moritz, a ski resort town in Switzerland’s south-eastern Alpine region. The couple chose Switzerland since Adam’s mother is Swiss, and it’s where Adam proposed. Samantha, being a florist herself, decided do do her own flowers and decor for their destination wedding and pulled it off with aplomb. Sam and Adam tied the knot at a tiny Gothic chapel with a fresco-covered interior dating from the 16th century, before heading to Hotel Waldhaus am See for their reception. Kyo Morishima Photography captured their big day.

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HOW THEY MET

“Adam’s father and mine were best friends, so I knew Adam when I was little. Many years later, I took a trip to Hawaii, and got in touch with Adam. He showed me around and we toured the whole island together for a week. I cried when I had to go home. We planned to meet again a month later, and ended up traveling back and forth between New Jersey and Hawaii in a long distance relationship. Eventually we had to decide whether I was going to move to Hawaii, or Adam was going to move back to New Jersey. His mom and sister are in New Jersey, so it made more sense for him to move back home. Adam’s mom is from Switzerland. One day, on a trip to Switzerland to visit Adam’s family, we went hiking. We brought cheese and a bottle of wine and sat down next to a stream for a picnic, and that’s when Adam proposed to me.

DESTINATION DECISION

We considered getting married in Hawaii, New Jersey, or Switzerland. However, when I saw the little church in Switzerland where we eventually had our ceremony, I couldn’t stop thinking about how sweet and quaint it was. It seemed like the right place for us to get married. Adam’s uncle in Switzerland played a really big role in planning our wedding. He’s an ex-pilot so he’s really good with logistics and schedules. He’s the one who booked the horses and carriages that carried us to and from the ceremony, and helped us communicate with the hotel and organize the rooms. We chose the hotel where we had our reception because it is a hotel where Adam’s family has been vacationing for many years. We knew the restaurant was excellent.

PLANNING

I planned the entire wedding via email and phone conversations. The band was the hardest vendor to find. There aren’t many jazz bands in Switzerland and not many musicians spoke English. My mother-in-law was the one who finally booked them. Adam and I own a florist shop so I wanted to do the flowers myself. I contacted my wholesalers here in the U.S. to see if anyone could help me get connected with a wholesaler in Switzerland. One of them gave me a contact and I had a lot of back and forth conversations to find what I wanted. During the month of August, Switzerland doesn’t allow any outside flowers to be imported into the country, so everything had to be Swiss-grown. That meant I couldn’t get some of my favorite tropical flowers.

Our wedding was on a Saturday, so on the Wednesday before our wedding, we left early in the morning to drive the four hours from St. Moritz to the flower wholesaler, who had set aside things he thought I’d like. The hotel let us borrow their van. We had to get buckets, purchase the flowers, cut them, condition them, put them in water, and even squeeze some of them into the mini-fridge in our hotel room. I wanted a rustic mountain look, so we used a lot of birch, tree branches, and succulents, in addition to many white flowers, because I love white. We used white roses, lilies, hydrangeas, agapanthus, orchids, lots of moss branches, and of course, edelweiss. I couldn’t buy any wholesale gardenias, which is my favorite flower and the name of my flower shop, so I bought a gardenia plant from a greenhouse and cut flowers off the plant to make Adam’s boutonniere.

ADVICE

My advice to any bride planning a destination wedding is: make sure you have plenty of time, patience, and flexibility. You need extra time to communicate with people because of time differences and language barriers. My favorite part of the wedding was the ceremony, because it was so intimate and personal. We had 75 guests and I had a nightmare that everybody wouldn’t fit in the church. But in the end, everybody fit- it was standing room only though. The pastor was wonderful. Even though he had only met us shortly before, he really tried to get to know us and personalise the service. He chose English songs for people to sing during the ceremony, which made it a lot of fun because everybody was participating together.

However, working with the pastor also resulted in the kind of miscommunication that is probably inevitable when you are planning your wedding halfway around the world with people who speak a different language. The pastor organised all the musicians at our ceremony. We wanted alphorn players to play as our guests arrived at the church, and I wanted the organist to play “The Sound of Music” as I was walking down the aisle. The pastor asked me if we wanted the bells to ring before the ceremony, or afterwards, and I told him afterwards. Somehow our signals crossed, though, and in the end everything happened at once at the end of our ceremony: the bells were ringing, the organist was playing “The Sound of Music,” and the alphorns were blowing. It was VERY loud. But very happy. It was a beautiful wedding.”

Photography:  Kyo Morishima Photography | Ceremony Venue: Fex-Crasta Chapel | Reception Venue: Hotel Waldhaus am See | Flowers: Gardenias Floral | Cake: Hanselmann Chocolatier | Musicians: Y Jazz Band | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Groom’s Suit: Brooks Brothers | Wedding Rings: Blue Nile

One Response

  1. Vanessa Hodge

    It felt so nice and lovely to hear all about your wedding from how beautiful souls met to a piece of advice. Switzerland is so serene and gorgeous destination not only for holidaying but for celebrating and hosting the very big day of life.

    Reply

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