On September 24, 1954, Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer were married in a civil ceremony at Buochs, on the shores of Lake of Lucerne, in the parlor of the local mayor’s house. The next day, on September 25, they repeated their vows at a religious ceremony in a thirteenth century Protestant chapel bellow the mountain at Bürgenstock, presided over by Pastor Maurice Eindiguer. She wore a Pierre Balmain white organdie robe, a small crown of white roses and white gloves. Among the twenty-five guests were Mel’s children Pepa and Mark and his sister Terry; London Paramount chief Richard Mealand; and sir Neville Bland, a friend of Ella’s and former British ambassador to Holland. Best man Gregory Peck had to cancel due to his film schedule and was replaced by Fritz Frey. Freddie Heineken was an usher. James Hanson was invited but sent regrets.
For the rest of her life, Audrey would call Switzerland home. Bürgenstock was a town where doctors still made house calls and people took care of sick neighbors. “There is no place in the world where I feel so much at peace,” she would say. “It’s my very private stomping ground. I’ve become one of these people. We’re loyal to each other.”
After a four-day honeymoon near Bürgenstock, she and Mel enjoyed a week together in the Italian vineyard country never Cinecittà, where he was filming La Madre.