After Being Forced to Reschedule, This Couple Stuck to Their Decision to Wed in Switzerland: "Special Things Are Worth Waiting For"

A private, post-ceremony motorboat ride was a highlight of their much-anticipated big day.

rebecca and jeffrey
Photo: Mailys Fortune

As a college senior at Cornell University, Rebecca Aker and her friends spent plenty of weekends at their favorite bar, Dunbar's—but one evening stands out. Jeffrey Rapp, a recent Ithaca College graduate, was back to bartend for the evening, and used his influence behind the bar to serve up complimentary cocktails to Rebecca. "I was delighted to get free drinks from a very cute boy whom I assumed I might never see again after graduation," says Rebecca. "I had no idea I was meeting my future best friend and husband. Those free drinks turned out to be absolutely priceless!"

Jeffrey proposed in December 2019, while the couple was en route to a New Year's celebration at his family's home in Lake Placid—capturing the moment with drone footage. "We decided to stop to stretch our legs," says Rebecca. "As I was throwing snowballs for our Labrador, Moose, Jeff was suddenly proposing to me with my mom's ring! It was exactly right. Just Jeff, Moose, and me."

After postponing their May 2020 wedding, Rebecca and Jeffery were finally able to celebrate with 82 friends and family members at Park Hotel Vitznau in Lucerne, Switzerland, on September 14, 2021. With the help of ToGather Weddings and Events, Rebecca imagined a wedding aesthetic inspired by the country's iconic blue waters and snow-white flora. "My vision was blue hydrangeas and white roses," says the bride—which her florist, Tabea Maria-Lisa, described as "a boy's baby shower."

But after Tabea "tweaked and embellished" Rebecca's ideas, they landed on lush garlands of foliage, pristine white blooms and textural, light blue hydrangeas, sprays of sapphire-colored berries, and complementary greenery. "She gave me everything and more!" says Rebecca. "It was spectacular."

With their families at their sides and Moose laying at their feet, the couple said their own vows by the water before celebrating with a private boat ride, a fireworks display, and a five-tier cake. But the best part was having all the people the bride and groom loved in the place they cherish most. "We were encouraged to reconsider a destination wedding, but I'm so glad we were able to have our dream [event]," says Rebecca. "Special things are worth waiting for."

wedding venue
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Home Away From Home

Lucerne, Switzerland, already held years of memories for Rebecca and Jeffrey; her family owns a home there, and the couple visited every summer while they were dating. "I'm happy to say that Jeff loves this beautiful mountainous hidden gem of a country just as much as my family and I do," says Rebecca. "It had always been my dream to get married there, and, thankfully, Jeff and his family loved the idea. As far as choosing the exact venue, the Park Hotel Vitznau is not only breathtaking, but it could also accommodate our guest list."

blue wedding invitation set
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Blue Mood

A bespoke invitation suite from Holly Hollon incorporated both letterpress and digital watercolor elements, including a custom crest with the pair's initials surrounded by vines and flowers and an illustration of their dog. Images of the lake, venue, and nearby destinations were displayed on a detailed map and throughout the suite. "There was a huge nod to the Swiss 'theme' of our wedding," says Rebecca.

the brides dress
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Her Gorgeous Gown

Rebecca didn't begin shopping for a wedding dress with a silhouette, designer, or style in mind. "I had no idea where to start!" she says. "All the blogs said to go to Pinterest, so that's what I did!" After noticing that most of the gowns she liked best were from Berta, she and five of her bridesmaids road-tripped to Miami for a designer trunk show. "We had such a fun day shopping together and I was lucky enough to find my wedding dress," she says.

bridesmaids dresses
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Hues of Blues

Rebecca chose Jenny Yoo gowns for her nine bridesmaids in two different shades of blue, Blue Bell and Ciel Blue. "I envisioned all my friends in one shade of blue, and then my sisters in a complementary blue-green shade," she says. "I also wanted my maid of honor to stand out, so we went on a special shopping endeavor to find her the perfect beaded blue dress. I love how all the dresses blended together to create a cohesive look."

groom getting ready
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Prints Charming

Underneath the groom's black Blank Label tuxedo, he donned patterned Swiss suspenders. His boutonnière comprised of a single white rose accented with a spray of berries and muted greenery.

the groom with the groomsmen
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Best Friends

The couple chose black tuxedos from The Black Tux for the groomsmen: "It was a simple, classic look that I was able to add some flair to with Swiss suspenders and colorful bow ties [from Dazi]," says Rebecca.

Moose also joined the wedding party as the ring bearer. "He wore a fancy Swiss leather dog collar embossed with gold metal edelweiss," says Rebecca. "He looked quite handsome and was a perfect gentleman."

couple first look
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Berry Nice

Rebecca's bouquet of white roses and light blue hydrangeas was accented with deep blue berries, vibrant foliage, and hand-dyed silk ribbons.

wedding on the water
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On the Water

The waterfront ceremony space was anchored by a square floral frame, which stood at the end of a petal-covered aisle. Greenery-wrapped posts suspended garlands over the guests, framing the couple as they said their vows. "Tabea did an incredible job creating a garden feel," says Rebecca. "Lots of greenery plus plenty of florals, with an emphasis on white roses and blue hydrangeas."

the wedding ceremony begins
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So in Love

Rebecca's oldest brother, Lance, officiated the couple's ceremony, during which the bride and groom exchanged their own vows. "It was a generally secular ceremony with splashes of religion that we felt were important to us," says Rebecca. "Jeffrey is Christian and I was raised Jewish. To honor my Jewish heritage, I had my mom read the 7 Hebrew Wedding Blessings (in English), and Jeffrey broke the glass after we exchanged vows and rings."

Moose walked down the aisle with the bridal party and settled between Rebecca and Jeffrey during the ceremony.

the couple on a boat
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The New Mr. and Mrs.

During the cocktail hour, Rebecca's parents surprised the couple with a private boat ride around the lake—an experience the newlyweds cherish—and a release of white doves.

wedding appetizers
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Light Bites

Park Hotel Vitznau provided a selection of four appetizers during the cocktail hour; all were the chef's choice.

wedding escort display
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Peak Effort

The couple named their reception tables after the mountains that surround the lake; they displayed seating assignments via a custom illustrated sign that marked the entry of the reception space.

the wedding reception
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Room With a View

Inside the ballroom, an overhead floral installation accented the sweeping landscapes, while low florals, blue taper candles, ivory linens, and blue table runners created a cohesive aesthetic.

table rose arrangement
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Coming Up Roses

Blue-and-white plates in varied patterns added whimsy to the place settings, while gold flatware, blue glassware, and blue linen napkins in a simple knot tie offered a dose of relaxed elegance.

reception menu
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On the Menu

The dinner menu featured romana salad hearts with apple balsamic vinaigrette; homemade truffle ravioli with fava beans, artichokes, and parmesan foam; creamy poultry soup with truffled dumplings; and beef filet or salmon as an entrée. Rebecca and Jeffrey described the reception dinner simply as "really, really, really good!"

the wedding cake
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Sweet Stuff

A five-tier cake offered guests their choice of flavors—lemon vanilla, raspberry and Champagne, or chocolate—while a figurine of the couple's dog sat next to a waterfall arrangement of white-and-blue flowers. Other desserts included tarte au citron, chocolate caramel tarts, fruit tarts, and apple crumble tarts.

couple first dance
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In Perfect Harmony

Rebecca and Jeffrey's first dance song, "Jackie and Wilson" by Hozier, was an easy choice for the groom. "Jeffrey didn't have too many super strong opinions about our wedding plans, but when I asked if he had any thoughts on what our first dance song should be, he announced that he'd picked it out years ago," says Rebecca. "I thought it was so sweet and fully accepted his choice."

During their reception, Rebecca changed into a sparkling Berta gown with a plunging neckline and draped bodice, while Jeffrey opted for a white smoking jacket and dance floor-ready sneakers.

fireworks display
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A Night of Celebration

As the evening went on, Rebecca's parents had one more surprise for the couple: "The most amazing fireworks I have ever seen," she says. "It was just another way for my parents to express their shared excitement and joy with us, and it was absolutely breathtaking."

wedding portrait
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Photography, Mailys Fortune Photography
Venue, Catering, and Cake, Park Hotel Vitznau
Wedding Planning and Event Design, ToGather Weddings and Events
Flowers, Tabea Maria-Lisa
Videography, 2Become1
Stationery, Holly Hollon
Calligraphy, Amber Rosenberg
Music, K-Trio Jazz (ceremony and cocktail hour); Kudos Sound (reception)
Rentals, Maison Options
Bride's Gown, Berta
Bride's Shoes, Christian Louboutin
Hair and Makeup, Sinem Yavsaner
Bridesmaids' Dresses, Jenny Yoo
Groom's Attire, Blank Label Clothing
Groomsmen's Attire, The Black Tux
Groom's Accessories, Stubbs and Wootton slippers; Dazi bow tie
Lighting, Spark Events
Transportation, Bucher Travel
Fireworks, Feuerwerkszauber
Photo Booth, Photobooth System
Weekend Coordinator, Alexandra Wales

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