Dutch and I had the good fortune of meeting Michael and Silke two years ago in Laos on a kayaking trip in the northern part of a country that few people venture to. They were at the beginning of their year-long around the world tour and we were at the end of a month-long backpacking trip. We immediately connected as we took turns towing our 19 year-old guide (inexplicably wearing suit pants and a button down) in an inner tube behind our kayaks. As they worked their way around the world, Michael and Silke came to visit us in Philadelphia and soon after, invited us to visit them in Switzerland and photograph their wedding. We happily obliged.
The wedding festivities were split between the small village of Bachs (where Michael grew up and his parents still farm) and the majestic Rhine Falls where the reception was held in a castle towering above the falls. Bachs is in a beautiful valley near Zurich filled with lush farmland, orchards, and adorable villages.
After the apéro, we all hopped on a bus and headed to Rhine Falls (a huge, thundering waterfall…the largest in Europe) where we loaded into a tour boat that brought us right into the spray of the waterfall and across to the other side to climb the hill to reach the castle for their reception.
Michael’s best man, Phillip, did something really special. Michael’s aunt had given him Michael’s grandfather’s wedding suit that she had recently found, from the hat down to the gloves. Phillip snuck off during the reception to put the suit on and then returned to give a toast, as if he were Michael’s grandfather. It took a moment for Michael (and his mom), to understand what was happening, but the look of amazement and gratitude on their faces was obvious (even for us, not being able to understand a word of what had been said). It was a very touching moment. Michael’s grandparents had been married at this same castle overlooking Rhine Falls.
The after party was at a cool train station bar where we danced until 6 in the morning (that’s us in front of Michael and Silke below, a little blurry but still standing : )
We had such a fantastic time in Switzerland! In a few days I’ll post some pictures from the pre-wedding BBQ on the farm and our post-wedding hike in the Alps with the newlyweds.