A young married couple smiling

The Wedding Party

Celine Hoes-Hummel and Tijmen Hoes (left) celebrated their five-day dream wedding at Badrutt’s Palace, set against the spectacular backdrop of the Engadin. Words by Lucie Muir

Ever since she was a baby, Celine Hoes-Hummel and her family have spent Christmas and New Year at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel – a home-away-from-home that played a key role in her life including her romantic engagement and stunning August 2022 wedding to husband, Tijmen Hoes.

One year later and speaking from their beautiful Amsterdam home, the couple are delighted with how their breathtaking five-day wedding played out. Indeed, judging by the way their eyes light up when recalling their favourite moments, it is clear they enjoyed every magical minute in a place that Celine, and now Tijmen, hold so close to their hearts, and a relationship that started with her parents, who are long-standing guests at the hotel. 

A young, newlywed couple
Celine and Tijmen enjoy cocktail time in the Renaissance Bar

The engagement

Celine, who oversees the global partnerships for fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger, and Tijmen, who works for a private equity firm, both grew up in Zeist in The Netherlands. They both attended the same high school, but were not aware of each other until Tijmen’s last year. “I didn’t notice her, but I’m sure she noticed me,” he jokes. Some years later in 2010, the pair met by chance in a popular local bar in Zeist. As Celine says: “That was 13 years ago and that’s how our love story began.”

Fast forward to their engagement. The couple spent the summer of 2020 in Florence. “It would have been nice to propose on our 10-year anniversary, especially as I had organised for a hot air balloon to land in our hotel garden and then fly us over the Tuscan countryside.” Celine interjects: “I thought you were going to ask me then and was shocked when you didn’t!”

Tijmen continues. “Celine is very structured and loves planning. She thinks ahead and always wants clarity. I knew she would be expecting a proposal that day, so I consciously made a grand gesture without making the proposal to throw her off track a little before I made the official proposal some months later at Badrutt’s Palace.”

A flower filled garden next to a lake
The breathtaking garden setting looking out to the lake

Thankfully, his tactics paid off. “We were staying at Badrutt’s Palace with our families and then Tijmen said, ‘The weather is not so nice tomorrow, so why don’t we skip skiing and have a chilled day, just the two of us?’ remembers Celine. “The next morning, we ordered breakfast and it arrived with all my favourite things along with a flower and a note saying, ‘Will you join me for a date day today?’

“We then had this gorgeous walk around the lake, came back, had coffee and I was thinking, ‘Okay, so that’s our morning done,’ but Tijmen encouraged me to keep my coat on and led me outside. That’s when I saw the horse-drawn carriage waiting for us. The staff had prepared a hamper with our favourite foods, and he proposed inside the carriage. It was 20 December 2021.”

A bride and groom at Badrutt's Palace Hotel
Dinner at La Coupole – Matsuhisa

The wedding plans

For the newly engaged couple, it was only natural to want to tie the knot in their beloved Badrutt’s Palace. They even included a note in their wedding invite about the hotel and its unique location. “We lived in different cities before we finally ended up together in Amsterdam,” says Celine. “Meeting in St. Moritz, and at the Palace, was one of the few places that felt like this constant throughout our love story. It’s a very special place for both of us,” she says.

Wedding day preparations soon began with the help of the hotel’s events team, which included Gian Müller, Executive Assistant Manager at Badrutt’s Palace. “We like to be in control and did a lot of the planning ourselves, but it was so nice to have a partner who you fully trust,” says Tijmen. “We knew that everything they organised would be done flawlessly, and they were really good at thinking of things that we hadn’t considered, without having to discuss all the details with us.”

As for the look and feel of the wedding, the pair wanted to create a setting that was luxurious but not flashy, and which felt classy and intimate. This was the only destination where they felt they could achieve this thanks to the hotel’s philosophy and their wonderful relationship with all the staff. For instance, Celine can remember as a child baking cookies with her sisters in the kitchen with Stefan Gerber, Executive Pastry Chef. And he made a delicious lactose-free cake especially for Celine.

A beautiful floral arrangement on a dining table
La Coupole – Matsuhisa

The celebrations

Set over five days in August 2022, the wedding began on a Wednesday with the arrival of both their families. Lunch was held in the garden in the same scenic spot where the ceremony was later held on Saturday. An intimate dinner was staged in the hotel’s wine cellar, which is also where Tijmen arranged their engagement dinner. During the evening, an opera singer performed, with the cellar’s acoustics enhancing the unforgettable experience.

The following day, the wedding party enjoyed a delicious lunch at the hotel. Later, sushi, sake and sashimi were served at the hotel’s La Coupole – Matsuhisa restaurant during a special evening with close friends who had come to St. Moritz from all over the world. Usually closed in summer, it was opened specially for the couple and their guests, who loved the Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine of renowned chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa.

Flower covered arches in a hallway
Beautiful floral arrangements in Le Grand Hall

On Friday, the couple and their family and friends hiked to Paradiso, the hotel’s chic mountain club and restaurant for lunch, returning by horse and carriage in homage to their engagement story. In the afternoon, the last of the guests arrived for drinks and pizza at Chesa Veglia, where strolling band The Phly Boyz moved between tables, singing and playing instruments. The atmosphere was electric, and it was not long before the party was in full swing.

On the eve of the wedding, Celine and her three sisters – her maid of honour and bridesmaids – had a sleep-over and awoke the next day to a breakfast of freshly made croissants, fruit and coffee. “The getting ready part of the day was so much fun,” says Celine. “My sisters and I all wore PJs that I had colour-coordinated to match our dresses. For example, the girls’ dresses were custom made in shades of blush, rose pink and lilac by designer Millia London.”

A grand dining table covered in wine glasses and roses
The wine cellar

Celine’s beautiful dress was by Elie Saab in Paris, and she made frequent trips to the French capital for fittings in the run-up to the big day. The bride even had the same dried flowers as in the boxed wedding invites stitched into her veil. Suits for the groom, his father and groomsmen were designed by Cifonelli, also in its Paris atelier. Little touches of grey from the groom’s waistcoat and tie were reflected in sartorial details throughout. Elsewhere, spectacular floral arrangements were created by Vincenzo Dascanio, one of the world’s leading flower designers. “I had Vincenzo saved for ever as I always knew I wanted him to work on my wedding,” says Celine. “He did the most incredible job of creating our wedding flowers, which were magical.”

Celine recalls the emotional moment she and her father walked down a white rose-lined garden aisle only to discover that he and Tijmen had arranged to have their dear friend, the Dutch conductor Jaap van Zweden, conduct the music during the ceremony. Afterwards, guests enjoyed a Champagne reception under blue skies followed by the wedding dinner in the hotel’s magnificent Le Restaurant and a spectacular party at the King’s Social House, famed for being Switzerland’s oldest nightclub.

Finally, as the wedding came to a close on the Sunday, guests had a goodbye brunch at Paradiso, taken there and back on old post buses.

People chatting at the top table at a wedding
The top table

Take time to enjoy it

So, what advice would they give to other couples who are considering a destination wedding? “Pick a place you have an emotional connection with – that makes everything so special – but also choose a venue that you know can organise and arrange everything that you dream of,” says Celine. “As a couple, it’s important not to have any stress. We were lucky to work with a fabulous team.”

Tijmen also recommends leaving some space in the schedule for guests and the wedding couple to relax. “Your guests will appreciate this, especially if you have a wedding spread over a few days,” he says. “It’s perfectly fine to have two- or three-hour gaps in the schedule for family and friends to really enjoy their time at the hotel or take a walk.

“We showed up a little late to events, which gave us time to watch everyone from a distance and soak up the atmosphere, rather than be at the centre of things all the time. Stepping away for just 10 minutes or so, knowing that the party would still go on without us, gave us the chance to look on and appreciate everything from afar, which was just so nice.”

A married couple walking down a grand hallway
The couple arriving for their wedding dinner in Le Restaurant

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