On Sunday, May 31, Tom Findley and Sarah Johnson of Tallahassee, FL were wed in front of friends and family in a lovely Swiss mountainside ceremony, grossly inconveniencing everyone who attended the affair.
“I’ve always wanted to see the Alps,” says Findley’s 62-year-old mother, Betty. “I just never pictured it involving renting a motorized scooter for my elderly father.”
Guests were astounded by how visually breathtakingly inconvenient the couple’s location choice was. When asked why they chose the Switzerland location in spite of having both lived in the Tallahassee area most of their lives, the bride and groom explained that they “thought Switzerland was pretty.”
“Then we thought, ‘Whoa, what if we got married in Switzerland?!’” says Johnson. “A real dream come true.”
The couple also clarified that “nobody” in either of their families or friend circles is from or has ever even visited Switzerland, and that several people missed the nuptials after being delayed in Iceland.
“I guess volcanoes have plans all their own!” says Findley, with a chuckle.
The dress was custom designed and hand-beaded by the bride’s beloved aunt (who does not have medical clearance to fly), then transported to the Swiss location via what should have been the groom’s carry-on, but ended up as checked luggage with an additional baggage fee. The bag carrying her veil (made of six feet of Chantilly lace), and shoes (blue Christian Louboutins) was also checked, for an additional fee.
“It was a bit bumpy, but hey, that’s weddings for you!” says the bride, while looking up how to recover her grandfather’s lost bag of diabetes supplies. “It wasn’t perfect, but it was us.”
The groom wore an Armani tuxedo, but had to remove the jacket midway through the ceremony after a significant amount of sap dripped onto his shoulder from one of the “fairy trees” serving as the couple’s altar.
Guests were told to come “dressed to impress,” looking sleek and sharp in their black tie attire at the base of the mountain, though many became noticeably fatigued and regretful of their footwear choices as they hiked up to the ceremony site.
“I shouldn’t be doing this at my age,” said the groom’s grandmother at the beginning of the ascent. “I’ll be lucky if I don’t collapse a lung.” She did, in fact, collapse both lungs.
“We miss her dearly,” says the groom now, looking at a framed picture of his grandmother. “But she died doing what she loved: watching me get married.”
As a string quartet played guests to their seats, whispered comments among the crowd included, “I can’t believe they made us fly all the way to Switzerland,” “I had to use up my last vacation days on this,” and “I hope they don’t expect a gift after what I spent on airfare.”
Dinner was served at twilight, where guests were given a choice of Zurcher geschnetzeltes, Papet Vaudois, or Rosti Valaisanne. “Good thing I still had half a sandwich from the airport,” says one unidentified uncle. “Thanks, Delta.” Alcoholic beverages were prohibited due to the location’s status as a Swiss National Park, and at the end of the wedding guests were also asked to carry their trash with them out of the park to be disposed of in proper waste receptacles.
“We saved so much on hired help!” says the bride’s father. “Totally made up for walking through a patch of stinging nettles.”
As night fell over the reception, the bride and groom left to drive themselves back down the mountain in a pearl-white Range Rover. Guests were handed mason jars filled with lightning bugs as wedding favors, and left to fend for themselves in traversing the winding trails of the forest, assisted only by their jars of bug light. At press time, most of the wedding party had made it back down the mountain.
“We’re looking forward to reliving this day for years to come,” says the bride. “Or at least until that bear lets Aunt Jeanne out of its den.”