Do you love the idea of hiking out into the wilderness to say your wedding vows? Hiking elopements can be really beautiful and intimate, but just because it’s an elopement, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a fair bit of planning involved. Just as weddings involve some planning, so do hiking tours, and a hiking elopement means you’ll going to need to plan both at once. As a leading adventure wedding photographer in Europe, here are some tips for planning your awesome hiking elopement.

5 Tips For Planning A Hiking Elopement

A climbing elopement in the Dolomite mountains of Italy.

Plan Your Route

Firstly, think about what kind of route you want to do. Would you prefer an out-and-back hike or a round trip? Are you hoping to just do a short hike, for a few hours, or a longer point-to-point hike over multiple days? Is your route accessible in all weather conditions or do you need a bad weather back-up plan?

Accommodation & Luggage

If your hiking elopement is part of a multi-day trip, are you planning on hiking on your wedding day with all of your gear? Perhaps you want to start off and end your wedding day in the same accommodation so that you can hike with minimal equipment for that 1 day and leave your luggage back at a hotel or campsite. Also think about where you want to spend your wedding night. Do you want to camp under the stars or would you rather spend the night somewhere a bit more luxurious?

Terrain & Experience

Sometimes elopements are a great excuse to finally do that bucket list trip you’ve always wanted to do. Just because you’ll be on cloud 9 because you’re getting married, doesn’t mean you’ll suddenly be able to easily tackle more challenging terrain than ever before. Don’t overlook your own personal safety and try to tackle something that is beyond your ability and experience. You want your wedding day to be unforgettable for a good reason, not for an unexpected mountain rescue call-out. 😉

Time Of Year

Planning a hiking elopement means you are at the mercy of nature and the elements. Depending on the route you are wanting to do, you’ll need to check when the trails are accessible. Some routes may be accessible all year around, but may require specialist equipment such as crampons if the route is prone to snow and ice in the winter months. If you’re planning on hiking from hut to hut, you’ll also want to make sure you find out if all the huts are open and book ahead to guarantee your place as beds can be limited.


Hiking to Everest base camp or Kilimanjaro might sound exciting, but high altitudes mean there is a potential risk of AMS (mountain sickness/altitude sickness). Especially if you have never experienced high altitudes before, you won’t know how your body will react, and sometimes even the fittest athletes can suffer badly. If you are planning on trekking high altitudes for your hiking elopement, make sure that you leave time in your route planning for acclimatisation. It’s also important to make sure you know how to recognise the symptoms and are prepared to turn back if things aren’t going as planned.

Of course, it’s also important to make sure you that whoever is accompanying you on your adventure is also equally experienced and prepared for the challenges that you might face on your hiking elopement. If you’d like to chat with me about your hiking elopement in Europe, drop me a message here and let’s chat!

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Tips for planning a hiking elopement pinterest graphic by Wild Connections Photography

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