Living in Switzerland and being of dual-nationality, Lake Lungern proved to be the perfect location for Nathalie and Anthony to escape their home in the city and embrace a week-long celebration with family and friends in the mountains; all of whom had travelled in from the UK, France and Switzerland to join them.
“Welcome to the commune!”
…were the words I heard as I made my way up the drive to Bruder Klaus Haus, our residence for the next few days, and the location for the ceremony as well. It could not have been more appropriate a description…
EVERY last person was busy preparing for the big day itself, and each one with a great big grin on their face too. In every direction friends were busy either pruning flowers and crafting decorations; stringing up paper lanterns and laying the tables; or else assisting with the great big communal lunch that was about to be served, and minding the children… and my word, there were a lot of children!
It was a hands-on affair for sure, but the bubbly was flowing and it was clear to see that everybody wanted to play a part in making this celebration so memorable; and they did.
The next morning followed with a sunrise over the mountains, and after a swim in the lake it was time for the wedding. Guests gathered together in the shade along with the company of a local cat, and we waited for our bride to arrive with her dad. Nathalie had spent her childhood years playing all summer long in Lungern village with her brother, going on long walks in the mountains, and swimming in the crystal clear water next to her parents’ cabin. It was an incredibly nostalgic day, as we were able to share her childhood holiday home with so many of her friends and with Anthony’s family too.
The order of the day was ‘colour’ and Nathalie certainly didn’t disappoint in her choice of outfit – she looked utterly resplendent in a bold jewel coloured two piece with leopard print accessories. This was definitely one of the brightest weddings of the summer for me, and a good excuse to adorn myself with hair flowers! We even giggled together over our matching sparkly nail polishes!
The ceremony began, and we shared the story of how Nathalie and Anthony had first met over 20 years ago in London. It was a tale full of cheekiness and laughter, but accentuated with the honest and endearing sentiments that they had shared with me during in our first meeting over Skype. After 20 years, N&A had certainly been on a journey through life together, and had learnt so much along the way. It was wonderful to reflect on the changes that had inspired their growth as a couple, and to look back on the moments that have now shaped them both as individuals too.
Part of that journey included the welcome arrival of their two gorgeous sons, so we were keen to involve them in the blessing. Eldest son, Leon, helped with binding the hand fasting chord around his parents’ hands, before Nathalie and Anthony read out their personally written marriage vows, and exchanged their wedding rings. It was a very special moment as Leon tied the chord and then held it up proudly for everyone to see! The four colours chosen for the ribbons represented each member of the family, bound together now as one.
After the marriage blessing, we took a quick break (for more bubbly!) and then returned to the clearing for the next part of the service – Leon and Etienne’s Naming Ceremony.
This time, we shared stories of Leon and Etienne’s journeys so far, and the qualities of their character that make them both so unique. We discussed the origins of their names and the bond they share as brothers; before each chosen ‘Guide Parent’ gave an individual reading telling of their own commitment to the role they now play in the boys’ lives as well.
It was an incredibly emotional moment in the ceremony, as each Guide Parent declared their love for the two boys, and made a promise to share in the life of them all as a family. There were a lot of tears and hugs shared throughout!
At the end of the service, everybody gathered for the final symbolic ceremony of the day – a sand blending.
True to form, it involved lots of colour too, as Nathalie and Anthony, Leon and Etienne, and all four guide parents were assigned a bottle of brightly coloured sand, which were then all poured into one great big hour glass together.
The 8 layers of coloured sand symbolise how all eight people have been joined together forever in this moment, and each year on the anniversary of their ceremony Nathalie, Anthony, and the boys will turn the hour glass once again.
With every year that passes, the eight coloured sands will continue to blend more intricately, and the pattern inside will become more complex, and more beautiful; just as their relationships will continue to evolve, and the bond between them all will grow stronger with every new memory that is shared…
Congratulations to Nathalie and Anthony, Leon and Etienne!
With a great big thank you and full photography credit to Mindy Coe Photography for the use of these images, which I am sure you will agree are just a little bit marvellous!
Follow the links to find out more about the different types of ceremony that Samantha offers, or get in touch to find out how you can have Samantha join you for your destination wedding abroad!