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Lauren & Jeremy’s elopement day was a day of perfect winter magic. Their morning was spent exploring a frozen mountain lake, and in the evening, they warmed themselves up with mulled wine under the Christmas tree lights at the Christmas markets in Innsbruck.
Lauren & Jeremy were supposed to be having a big wedding back in the USA. Not long after they had finished paying for their wedding package, during the height of the pandemic, their wedding venue filed for bankruptcy. However, while they mourned the money they had lost, they both saw it as a blessing in disguise. During the planning, they had both realised that a big wedding wasn’t really what they wanted, but felt like it was too late to change their mind. So when everything was cancelled, they were given permission to do things just how they wanted.
However, even after choosing to elope, it wasn’t plain sailing for this couple. Planning an elopement in the middle of a pandemic had it’s challenges. In the months leading up to their trip, the borders opened and closed, multiple times. They hoped everything would be ok for them to travel, but nothing was 100% certain.
Then around 1 month before leaving for their elopement, Jeremy was diagnosed with cancer. Two weeks before their trip, he had surgery, but his doctors made sure that he would be recovered in time for them to go on their big trip to Europe. Thankfully they got the news that the surgery was successful, and that he wouldn’t need radiation or chemotherapy, and they got ready to head to Europe.
Just as they landed in Europe, rules started to tighten again as Covid numbers started to spike. With many countries, including Austria announcing that they would be closing their borders again, Jeremy and Lauren wanted to take the next train from Budapest to Innsbruck. Except there was one other rather big problem. The airline had lost their bags – with their wedding clothes inside. With only 72 hours before Austria went back into lockdown, it was a matter of waiting and praying they bags would arrive soon. 24 hours later, they had their bags and they headed to Innsbruck.
Their elopement was moved forward by two days, the last day before Austria went back into lockdown. But the stress of not just the last few days, but also the last few months just melted away on the day itself. Their elopement day was fun, relaxed and filled with adventures and exploration. The next morning, they jumped on a train that was leaving Austria, and headed to Switzerland for the rest of their honeymoon.
Tips for Eloping At The Christmas Markets in Innsbruck
The Christmas markets in Innsbruck can be a fun location to visit as part of your elopement. There are lots of stands selling mulled wine and other hot drinks, traditional food and lots of stalls selling hand-made crafts and decorations.
The Christmas markets (Christkindlmarkt or Weihnachtsmarkt in German) run during advent, usually starting from the end of November until Christmas eve.
If you would like a Christmas markets elopement in Innsbruck, it’s important to be prepared for crowds, especially if you are visiting at the weekend. During the week they can still be busy, but less crowded than Friday-Sunday. If you want to take photos with the glow of the lights, but without total darkness, go around 3pm, as it’s dark by 4:30pm in December.
Photography: Wild Connections Photography