“After spending a couple years embroiled in the process of wedding planning for a larger affair, we have decided to throw the big event out the window and take off to Bavaria to elope. We are flexible with the specific day, but we are shooting for two weeks of folks festivals that take place around mid-August in Garmisch-Partenkirchen to maximize the braids/lederhosen/dirndl/beer swilling good times! Do you have any availability to be flown out to capture the day and drink some german brews with us?”
That’s how it all started. My reply was almost instantaneous with a “Yes, please! I will gladly document your wedding and drink some German brews with you!” Over the next few months, Melanie and I talked back and forth to discuss logistics to make it happen. Serena was brought on as the official photographer, as I concentrated on making a memorable film of the day. Serena and I both adore intimate elopements and what could be more romantic than eloping in Bavaria, the land of Grimms’ fairy tales?
Serena and I arrived on a Tuesday in Munich. After navigating the train system, we arrived in the city center for lunch. To our surprise, Melanie & Farhang passed us by as we were eating! We ended up traveling together by a combination of train and bus to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Each of the towns retain their own distinct character: Garmisch has a modern feel, while Partenkirchen has retained its old-world Alpine village vibe. The funny thing about Melanie & Farhang is that, when they met five years ago, they both shared their dreams of getting married in Garmisch one day. This fondness for the town brought them together and for them both to finally be there was an amazing moment to witness. We capture a lot of weddings with lovely editorial details, but Melanie stated that their wedding would be simplistic. It would be about the culture and place that we were in. The breathtaking views, wonderful locations that were rich with history, and the traditions of the people – those were their “details.” In a world filled with picture-perfect, object-driven pinterest boards and social media outlets, it was a moment to step back and realize how profound that is for them and their story.
On Thursday, we headed up Wank Mountain with Melanie & Farhang for them to exchange their vows. To reach the top, we took a cable car, which provided some breathtaking views. Below, one can see Garmisch-Partenkirchen and, in the distance, the Zugspitze rises at 2,962m. As Melanie & Farhang exchanged their heartfelt vows, it was difficult not to think how incredible it was. Just seeing the two of them and the true beauty of the mountain top scene is an image we will never forget.
After Melanie & Farhang exchanged their vows, we ventured around Bavaria with their tour guide Jake. Jake, an American transplanted in Germany, filled us with knowledge about local historical landmarks and the towns making up Garmisch-Partenkirchen. We were honored to be along for the ride as not only a photographer and cinematographer – but as friends.
At the end of the day, we headed to Garmisch for the town’s beer festival. Melanie & Farhang wanted to make the strangers and friends they met that night their “wedding guests.” We were immersed in a culture filled with fun-loving people, lederhosen, beer, and songs performed with whips and accordions.
To think that two strangers, now friends, would fly us across the Atlantic to document their wedding day is unfathomable. Thank you Melanie & Farhang for allowing us to be apart of your wedding day and to let us share those experiences with you.