Maggie & Cass are sheep ranchers from Wyoming in the USA. Neither of them really wanted a big, traditional celebration, and they wanted something more alternative and intimate. They opted to elope in Europe and after settling on Innsbruck in Austria as their elopement location, they only had one request – they wanted to spend the day exploring the local scenery and see as many animals as they could.
Innsbruck Austria Elopement with Sheep & Cows
The plan for the proposal was simple; beautiful ring, beautiful scenery, speak from the heart, and make it a surprise. We had been separated due to work for months, and any moment we could steal away by ourselves was special. The first day we had alone together we went on a day trip into the Wind River Mountains of western Wyoming. As we made our way down a small stream bed, we looked for tiny gemstones in the sand. The clear water fluttered with brook trout hiding beneath grassy banks, meandering through meadows of summer flowers. As I turned a sharp corner in the stream around some brush a few meters ahead, I shouted that I had found a gem. As she rushed around the corner to see what I had, I knelt, revealing the ring and asked her to make me the happiest man alive.
After a grueling eighteen hours of travel, we made our way to Munich’s Central train station. We had planned our entire trip using public transportation, and we just needed one final train connection to Innsbruck. Just picture: two somewhat naive American backpackers, with an extra suitcase of wedding attire, lost in Munich Central, 9:30 PM, during peak Öktoberfest. That first impression of Munich will never leave us, as we attempted to get directions from some energetic, although inebriated locals eventually missing a train or two.
A traditional wedding just seemed like a very expensive day of stress. Our relationship has always been incredibly intimate, and we wanted a fun day of adventure rather than a stress filled day of trying to please others.
We made a list of all the things we wanted out of a trip. The activities, the adventures, the sights, the animals and the food. After our list was complete we sat down with a globe and started doing our research on various countries. As we narrowed it down between several options, we found that the legal process of marriage in Austria is fairly straight forward, and transferring a marriage certificate is quite simple. Innsbruck is truly one of the most beautiful old towns of the Alps, and the energy is vibrant and powerful. The perfect destination.
The logistics of making sure all of our paperwork and needs were met before we arrived. Documents needed translated, filed, fees payed, etc. etc. A quality planner well versed in the process is worth the money.
After a beautiful legal ceremony in Innsbruck, Cat, our photographer, proceeded to give us the best day of our lives, the day we had been hoping for. As sheep ranchers, we wanted to be near sheep on our special day. Cat took us to a wonderful local sheep farm, where we proceeded to hang around with some pretty great and adorable animals, wedding clothes and all. It was such a warm and beautiful experience, one that we will never forget. Afterwards Cat again came through with some magic, taking us to a beautiful open hillside where the clouds broke and we could see all of Innsbruck and the mountains that surround it. There we quietly read our vows to each other, soaking in the sun and just appreciating the presence of each other.
Really ask yourselves and each other what you want out of the experience. Prioritize seriously, and don’t be afraid to shoot for the moon. Your wedding day doesn’t have to be anything that’s ever been done before, it just needs to be what you want it to be. Try an adventure!