Four years after meeting at acting school in West Hollywood, California, Nico Kunz proposed to Kayleigh Gilbert at sunset on the top of a mountain in Switzerland, where they currently split their time between Europe and the United States. “It is a mountain top we can see from our home in Switzerland, which is so very special,” smiles Kayleigh of the memorable location. “It was the most incredible, magical moment of my life.”
When deciding where to host their nuptials, Kayleigh and Nico invited loved ones to join them in South Africa, as most of their guests would have easy access to the location. Since they were planning from afar, assembling a team of wedding professionals to carry out their vision was of the utmost importance. “Once you allow yourself to hand [everything] over to them, it can be a rather seamless process,” the bride shares of the planning, which her mother and sister-in-law – who live in South Africa – were involved.
When choosing her wedding attire, Kayleigh desired an entirely custom bridal look. Thus, she visited Panache Bridal of Beverly Hills to work with designer Sahar Fotouhi of Panache Atelier on not one, but two custom wedding dresses. The ceremony gown was absolutely stunning, with a strapless bodice featuring corset-style boning and a dramatic skirt, which she paired with a custom veil. After the first dance, Kayleigh changed into a halter-neck gown with sheer details and elegant lace, along with a striking low back.
“There was a moment on the dance floor when all my loved ones from all over the world were dancing with absolute joy... and I just couldn’t believe how blessed we were.”
On the day of the ceremony, she made her grand entrance on the arm of her father, who donned a traditional kilt to honor their Scottish heritage. Guests were seated atop black chairs facing the idyllic spot for the vow exchange, which let the beauty of the venue’s natural landscape shine through floor-to-ceiling windows. One of the couple’s very best friends, Savannah, officiated the heartfelt service. “It was more of a blessing,” muses Kayleigh. “Once I reached the end of the aisle, we took a moment to take a few deep breaths together as a group to bring ourselves into the here and now. It was wonderful.”
Once the bride and groom were pronounced husband and wife, loved ones transitioned to the wedding reception space. “We knew we wanted earthy, natural tones,” shares the bride of the décor, noting they wanted the magnificence of the venue to speak for itself. Guests were seated at Ghost chairs surrounding modern tables decorated with low arrangements of blooms accented with candlelight. To bring in some “sensuality and depth,” hints of burgundy were married with the earthy tones and greenery to fit the couple’s desired aesthetic.
As they wanted to share a large part of their lifestyle with their loved ones, 110 guests enjoyed a vegan fine-dining menu for dinner, followed by slices of a rustic “naked” cake featuring three vegan flavors: pistachio orange zest carrot cake, lemon curd poppyseed cake, and dark chocolate raspberry cake. Since games are popular at Swiss weddings in lieu of solely speeches, the reception included a few presentations by the pair’s friends and parents, as well as games and dancing. “Our guests loved it!” confirms Kayleigh.
Grateful to their families, Kayleigh and Nico wouldn’t change a single thing about their big day. “There was a moment on the dance floor when all my loved ones from all over the world were dancing with absolute joy and freedom and love and ecstasy – and I just couldn’t believe how blessed we were to have all my worlds come together in one place,” reminisces the bride of the special time in her life when loved ones from South Africa, Switzerland, Scotland, and America were all in one place celebrating their love.