Jessica has been recognized as a preferred vendor to work with by her industry peers, earned TheKnot.com’s Best of Weddings award 9 times, and been inducted into TheKnot.com Hall of Fame. Jessica is a multi-award-winning photographer, a leader in her industry, and an educator to up-and-coming photographers through her Embark Retreat.
Fairy Tale castles are what dreams are made of right?? The ‘Mad” King Ludwig II had such a love for them he was also nicknamed “der Märchenkönig” (The Fairy Tale King)…..and his castle Neuschwanstein inspired one of my favorites, Walt Disney when he was designing Disneyland. Getting to combine my love for wedding photography, sparkly crowns and castles was a dream come true. Add to that beautiful sunshine, crisp white snow and an international love story and this bucket-list wedding photo shoot was a dream come true. If you’re planning a visit, this website is great: https://www.hohenschwangau.de
For those that may have missed Part 1 (and the origin story) you’ll want to scroll back up and check it out:
After shooting in the snow-covered field down below Neuschwanstein castle and Schwangau, we drove to park near the ticket center and prepared to hike, yes hike up a mud-covered road 5 kilometers up hill. To say that Manuel & Madison are rockstars is an understatement! Add to that being in a wedding dress (and snow boots!) and it was 20 degrees AND she was wearing a tiara AND it took about 40min. I was impressed. Sometimes the hike up the hill is worth it and we just kept telling ourselves how EPIC it was going to be! That and all the tourists were saying hello, looking sideways and genuinely curious to see a princess bride walking up to the castle!
What we weren’t prepared for when we finally made it to the top was for the entire front of the castle to be COVERED IN SCAFFOLDING. What.!?!?!?! Crap. No worries, I know a great spot on the other side as you’re walking to the Marienbrücke bridge….so we headed that direction and guess what….barricades and a fence. The trail was snowed in and they’re “not allowing access” to tourists. What. the. what. I see people climbing over the fence and telling me the way is safe, just not plowed. Ok, so, how do we get a bride in a poofy wedding dress over a fence, right?! Madison read my mind and gave me a flat no. Plan B, start taking photos along the castle wall and around the side when we have breaks in the crowd?!? Good, but not epic.
We found a second route to the bridge – a steep, snow filled ‘road’ and you guys, we hiked up it! Madison was determined to help me get the “EPIC” shot and I can’t thank her & Manuel enough! It was definitely an adventure and I’m pretty sure we burned 5,000 calories in 2 hours. When we finally reached the corner I’d previously been to, just in time for the sun to come out and illuminate everything I squealed….having my couple and the castle with the same exposure was something I had been hoping for…. a rare moment of photography bliss! I asked tourists to move and we had about 4 min. to get “the shots”. I’m so thankful we did!! Take a look at some of my favorites from Part 2 of our adventure and make sure to come back next week for Part 3, behind the scenes!
BOOO. This is typically a gorgeous entry way into the castle with huge wooden doors and beautiful red brick. It’s the view you mostly see in famous photographs (taken by air, FYI.)
On our walk back down to Plan B, we saw this Hofbrauhaus! Maybe next time I’ll stop in for some yummy Bavarian bier! Prost!
The snowy walkway to the bridge provided some beautiful shaded light, so we stopped for a quick mini shoot with these two as the focus!
We made it to the top!
“Hey Madison – can you twirl your wedding dress like a princess? Yeah, like that – awesome!”
The gorgeous Cordelia crown up close – loved how it caught the light! You can find it and others here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/EdenLuxeBridal
The view directly behind me looking down at the town of Schwangau and Hohenschwangau – King Ludwig’s family castle he grew up in and lived most of his life in.
Also….you see those cars to the bottom left corner? That’s where we parked and WALKED up to this area. Dedication.
One of many groups of tourists from all over the world who wanted selfies with our princess bride!! These girls were from Paraguay!
Some winter wonderland wedding bouquet inspiration for you! I gathered trees and greenery from the forrest and paired it with red and pink flowers I found at the train station flower station!
Wedding Photographer/Florist/Coordinator/Dress & Bustle expert/Travel Agent aka Wedding Expert!
Thanks for following our adventure! There’s still one more blog post with some more amazing crowns and some “behind the scenes” photos coming soon!
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Jessica Frey is an award-winning, Texas Hill Country-based international wedding photographer committed to delivering a high-quality experience complete with stunning and joyful images.