August 10-11, 2018 | Canton of Schwyz, Switzerland | Photography by Zoë Photographia
Five years ago, when I relocated my photography business to the Huntsville area, I was desperately looking for a consistent second shooter. Someone I could train to shoot like me, think like me and offer my clients the same comfortable approach during their wedding day. I prayed many, many prayers for God to place this person in my life. Little did I know He had much bigger plans for me than just a second shooter…He had a best friend for me.
I met Irene just over three years ago at her sister, Emily’s, wedding that I was photographing. At the end of the night, just before the sparkler send off, Irene mentioned that she’d love to really learn photography and shadow me on an upcoming wedding if I was willing. Later that night, as I was importing my memory cards from the day, I thought back to what Irene had said to me and realized maybe this is the person I’ve been praying for. Long story short, I messaged her that week, we met for coffee and I immediately started training her on photography basics which quickly grew to the specialized art of wedding photography. She’s been by my side ever since and blesses my business and my life with more than I could have ever imagined.
She recently had the amazing opportunity to photograph her dear friend’s wedding in the breath-taking country of Switzerland. I was completely blown away when I saw her images and immediately decided they needed to be shared with the world. Since she doesn’t have her own blog (yet!) I offered her some space on my little corner of the internet so that these photos could receive the attention they are due. I will now turn this post over to Irene so she can tell you the story of the beautiful wedding behind these amazing photographs…
By Irene Kennedy of Zoë Photographia:
When my brother & I decided to backpack through Europe the summer after I graduated College, I never expected to meet someone who would become one of my best friends! Irene & I met in a hostel in Athens, Greece. We quickly became friends & had so much in common like having the same name.
Irene is a flight attendant for Edelweiss Air. Not only does her job take her to some pretty amazing places, but it also led her to her husband, Manuel! The two met through mutual friends on a trip to the Maldives! This seems only fitting because they are the most adventurous couple I know!
From the moment I saw Irene & Manuel together, I knew he was the one for her. It makes my heart so happy to see these two together!! They are like family to me & I feel so honored to have been there to photograph their Swiss wedding weekend!
Irene & Manuel’s wedding weekend was straight out of a fairy tale. It started on Friday with a civil ceremony surrounded by their closest friends & family in Hagenwil Castle located in the Canton of Thurgau. After a light reception and toast at the castle, Irene & Manuel left in a horse drawn carriage – a surprise from her sisters! We all then traveled two hours to a mountain house in the Canton of Schwyz to stay the weekend & ended the evening with a pasta dinner. We woke Saturday morning to gorgeous weather of warm sunshine and cool breezes and breathtaking views of Lake Lucerne. Irene and Manuel chose to have their church ceremony at a stunning church in Riemenstaldin, the village where Irene’s father grew up. Light aperitifs were shared at Restaurant Kaiserstock down the hill from the church giving extended friends & family a time to celebrate and give their wishes to Irene & Manuel. Their wedding day ended in a tent under the stars with a dinner at the mountain house where close friends and family shared in traditional activities of dinner, games, & sweet renditions to the bride & groom.
Before dinner, we took a cable car to the top of Mountain Lidernen. The views left me speechless! It was the perfect place for bride & groom pictures!!
Irene fell in love with Nashville the first time she visited back in 2012! It was only fitting that she have a piece of the South with her on her wedding day – a lace wedding dress! Irene & her sister, Cornelia flew in last fall to shop for wedding dresses, and Irene said YES to the dress at The Something Blue Shoppe!! This past Spring, Irene came back for dress fittings & Christy, the amazing seamstress, completely transformed the top of her dress to give her the dress of her dreams!
Manuel’s mother & father mailed wooden hearts to guests before the wedding asking that we decorate them to shower them with hearts at the wedding! His father hand crafted a wooden tree for all the hearts to hang & surprised them with it at their dinner reception!
Irene’s aunts and uncles surprised them with cow bells right before midnight!! The cow bells are an old tradition of the canton of Schwyz, where Irene’s family is from. It is said to be done in order to chase away bad spirits on one hand and to herald a new chapter of life on the other.
Irene serenaded wedding guests with her accordion while her sisters accompanied her.
Irene’s sister, Prisca is a chef. She surprised Irene & Manuel with the most delicious & personalized wedding cake! Prisca added little personal touches to their cake like a motorcycle for Manuel’s love of riding, gorillas for their honeymoon to Zanzibar & a safari in Uganda, & an Edelweiss Airplane!