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8 Top Pre-Wedding Shoot Locations in the Lake Geneva Region
The hills are alive and the sheer beauty of the lake will make you weep tears of joy.
Land of chocolates, cheeses, glistening lakes, majestic mountains and Rolex watches, Switzerland has got to be the one country you can create a complete bridal album comprising everything from picturesque landscapes to historical landmarks and nostalgic old towns. Best of all, you don’t have to travel hours to each destination to achieve picture perfection, because you’ve got a world class transportation bus and rail system to take you everywhere in precision time.
For ah-mazing photos, we suggest staying in the Lake Geneva region – home to the largest lake in Switzerland, flanked by breathtaking mountains, not to mention countless cathedrals, castles, museums, and a well-known wine district to boot. This area was also home to the likes of Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn, Charlie Chaplin and rock legend Freddie Mercury, who opened a recording studio in Montreux.
Depending on your preference for scenery, Lake Geneva’s landscape will change dramatically at the turn of the seasons. For a green, floral-filled backdrop, head to the region in Spring. Need a guide to more picturesque locations? We singled out the following eight must-shoot places for your Swiss portraits.
Jardin InstinctifJardin Instinctif
In the heart of the Grangettes nature reserve at the eastern end of Lake Geneva lies this fairy tale-like garden. You’ll be greeted with an enchanting landscape of greenery interspersed with unexpected sculptures made from old scrap metal or pieces of drift wood. Various plants and flowers in all colours blend together to form a magical sight and release a wonderful scent especially in the morning and evening. We especially love the meandering wooden bridge that adds an air of romance to photos. As this is a privately-owned garden that relies solely on donations to maintain it, we suggest that couples email [email protected] in advance to request permission to shoot.
Chillon CastleChillon Castle
A must-visit is Chillon (say shee-yon) Castle, a medieval fortress with over 1,000 years of history built on a rocky islet on the lake next to Montreux – home of the Montreux Jazz Festival. Now a museum to ancient relics, the most intriguing part of the building is its underground lair which has taken prisoner to some well-known people like poet Lord Byron. It’s certainly one of the most scenic places in Switzerland with stunning lake and mountain views framing the turrets of the castle. The best views of the building are captured outside and in front of it, rather than inside.
Lavaux wine countryLavaux vineyard in autumn
A vino-loving couple would relish the thought of traipsing around the quiet town of Lavaux – the largest wine region in Switzerland that’s been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007. Home to 800 hectares of numerous locally-owned and operated vineyards, the best wedding photos are the ones with a view of steep hillside terraces that turn a romantic golden glow at sunset.
Les Pléiades mountainLes Pléiades mountain
This is perfect place to run through field and sing “The hills are alive!” Unbeknownst to many, the fields of Les Pléiades mountain (near the town of Blonay) are home to gorgeous fields of wild white narcissus flowers from mid-May to the beginning of June. There’s a bit of walking along a trail to reach the fields from Les Pléiades or Lally train stations, but we promise you it’s worth it!
Morges: The floral wonderlandLes Portes des Iris at Château de Vullierens
Everywhere you turn, you’ll find troughs of colourful flowers planted along the boardwalks and pathways of all the towns in Lake Geneva. To get a full dose of flower power, do visit Morges, which hosts the annual Tulip Festival to mark the return of spring. You’ll find a hundred thousand tulip varieties and other colourful blooms on display at the town’s botanic gardens called Parc de l’Indépendance.
One of the prettiest properties in Morges is Château de Vullierens. Over the years, it’s become a popular tourist haunt for its iris gardens and larger-than-life art sculptures. From late April to July, head there to pose against the backdrop of 400 varieties of irises on four hectares of gorgeous property, with a colourful collection of tulips too. Some of the sculptures make great props too! FYI, the adjoining 16th century farmhouse called Les Portes des Iris is also an idyllic setting for a romantic wedding that overlooks the alps and Mont Blanc.
The Old Town of LausanneLausanne with Notre Dame Cathedral in the background
Lausanne is the second largest city on the lake with the biggest retail district in the Lake Geneva region. This beautiful city has a charm of its own, particularly in the old town district where the steep cobblestone streets make perfect backdrops for your bridal portraits. Make sure you get a nice shot against the city’s famous Notre Dame Cathedral.
The Fork of VeveyFork of Vevey
Unlike the busier cities of Geneva and Lausanne, Vevey is the quiet, underrated little sister that oozes quaint charm and sophistication. It’s romantically known as the Pearl of the Swiss Riviera for its pristine beauty. The promenade comes to life on weekends with joggers, families walking their dogs, couples sitting on the rocks by the water, and friends sipping wine at cafes while enjoying the mountainous view, and the famous giant fork in the lake, courtesy of Nestle’s food museum, Alimentarium. Right in front of it, you’ll also find a statue of Charlie Chaplin, who called Vevey his home to the very end. Any spot along this promenade will give you a memorable shot.
Les Diablerets villageLes Diablerets
This mountain resort town (90 mins by train from Vevey), which sits at the base of snow park Glacier 3000, is littered with quaint timbre chalets dressed with ornamented facades and flower-filled balconies. In the summer, the fields are dotted with little yellow flowers, and when set against the neatly arranged cottages and babbling brooks, Les Diablerets reminds us of Hobbit Town in Lord of the Rings. In the winter, the snow-covered resort, equipped with restaurants and specialty shops, becomes a romantic wintry wonderland, like North Pole without the elves!
Note: While general photo taking in Lake Geneva Region is allowed, couples who want to shoot in a museum, garden or castle for extended periods are advised to request permission in advance.
Featured image: Lavaux Vineyard at sunset