Planning a big wedding can feel like a giant burden. That’s why more and more couples are choosing to do things differently. Taking the leap and deciding to elope can be scary. But it can also be exciting and liberating. If your wedding is truly intended to honour your unique connection, it’s only right that how you get married reflects the intentional life that you are creating together. Over the past 5 years, I’ve supported couples from all over the world to take the path of adventure and elope in some of the most beautiful places in the world. Being based in Europe, I’m going to share with you the best places to elope in Europe, whether you’re looking for snow-capped mountains, dramatic coastlines or completely unique adventures.

Best Places To Elope In Europe

If you are looking for inspiration on where to elope in Europe, then I’m confident you’ll find your dream location here. Europe has so much to offer, from the Arctic north to the Mediterranean south, you’ll find endless options for epic scenery and unforgettable adventures.

Elopement in Lofoten Norway by Wild Connections Photography

 

Top 10 Elopement Locations In Europe

With over 5 years of experience photographing adventurous weddings and elopements, and a lifetime of travelling to remote locations around the world, here are my top 10 best places to elope in Europe:

  1. Dolomites, Italy
  2. Austrian Alps
  3. Lofoten Islands, Norway
  4. Faroe Islands
  5. West Coast, Ireland
  6. Highlands, Scotland
  7. Iceland
  8. Lapland, Finland / Sweden
  9. Swiss Alps
  10. Lake District, England

Elopement locations in Europe, a couple stands underneath a waterfall in Tirol, Austria

 

Best Mountain Elopement Locations In Europe

If your dream is to say your wedding vows to each other whilst standing on the top of a mountain, the following locations are some of the best mountain elopement locations around Europe.

Tyrol, Austria

In the heart of Tyrol in Austria (also written as Tirol) is the city of Innsbruck, known as the capital of the Alps, where alpine scenery meets historical European architecture. Tyrol is home to many of Austria’s top ski resorts in the winter and has incredible hiking, mountain biking and climbing in the summer season. With its own airport and rail connections from across Europe, Innsbruck is easy to reach, but difficult to leave (because you’ll never want to go home).

Dolomites, Italy

There’s a reason the Dolomites are a UNESCO world heritage site. This mountain range sitting near the Austrian border in the northern Italian Alps are unique and characterized by their highly distinctive rock formations. This area is home to world-class hiking, skiing and climbing, and boasts a number of crystal clear mountain lakes.

Click here for a Dolomites Elopement Guide

Bernese Highlands, Switzerland

Also known as the Bernese Oberland, this area of the Swiss Alps is in the Jungfrau region. Tourists travel from across the globe to see the famous Staubbach Falls and the lush alpine meadows of Lauterbrunnen and to stand at the foot of the iconic Eiger and the Jungfrau mountains.

Bavarian Alps, Germany

Situated in southern Germany, the Bavarian Alps are perfect for couples looking for picturesque alpine villages with painted houses, green meadows and great mountains for hiking. You’ll also find the iconic Neuschwanstein castle just outside the small border town of Füssen.

Tatra Mountains, Poland/Slovakia

The Tatra Mountains form a border between Poland and Slovakia and are designated as national parks in both countries. Because both countries lie in the Schengen area, it’s possible to hike from one country to the other without any border checks.

Julian Alps, Slovenia

The Julain Alps are Slovenia’s highest mountains, stretching all the way to the Italian border. They are home to many stunning mountain lakes, incredible hiking in summer and great skiing in winter.

A ski and snowboard wedding in Austria by Wild Connections Photography

 

Ski & Snowboard Elopement Locations

Some of the best ski resorts in the world are in Europe, so you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to picking a location. These ski resorts combine that classic ski town feel with stunning scenery and world-class pistes. And if you’re extra adventurous, you can reach even more stunning and isolated locations by ditching the lifts and ski touring or split boarding into the backcountry for a completely private adventure.

Kitzbühel, Austria

Zermatt, Switzerland

Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

Chamonix, France

Zillertal, Austria

Val Gardena, Italy

Wengen, Switzerland

Ötztal, Austria

St. Moritz, Switzerland

Check out this post for a guide for planning your ski wedding

Hiking Elopement In Austria

 

Hiking Elopement Locations in Europe

If you live for the outdoors and love to explore new locations, a hiking elopement can be an amazing way to get married. And if you are looking for a really unforgettable experience, why not stay overnight in a mountain hut in the Alps, or wild camp in Norway, and say your vows as the sun rises.

Stubai, Austria

Alta Badia, Italy

Lofoten, Norway

Glencoe, Scotland

Snowdonia, Wales

Geirangerfjord, Norway

Kaunertal, Austria

Grindelwald, Switzerland

Isle of Skye, Scotland

Hardangerfjord, Norway

Check out this guide for how to plan a backpacking elopement

And this real multi-day hiking elopement in the Dolomites

A climbing elopement in the Dolomite mountains of Italy. https://rifugiokostner.it/en

 

Best Places To Elope In Europe For Climbers

If you live for the send, why not consider taking your belaytionship to the next level and tie the knot in one of Europe’s best climbing destinations. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist the puns). These locations are not only incredibly beautiful, but they also have some awesome sport and trad climbing, deep water soloing, bouldering and via ferrata options.

Dolomites, Italy

Mallorca, Spain

Kalymnos, Greece

Sicily, Italy

Siurana, Spain

Jurassic Coast, England

El Chorro, Spain

Corsica, France

Arco, Italy

Gimmelwald, Switzerland

Innsbruck, Austria

Peak District, England

Lofoten, Norway

Check out this via ferrata climbing & hiking elopement in the Italian Dolomites

An elopement wedding in Saksun in the Faroe Islands by Wild Connections Photography

 

Adventurous Elopement Locations In Europe

You want to go somewhere wild, remote and completely unique for your elopement? How about some of these wild places for unforgettable experiences, from snorkelling with orcas and possibly spotting a polar bear, to taking to the skies at sunrise in a hot air balloon. Here are some of the best places to elope in Europe if you’re looking for a once in a lifetime adventure:

Greenland

Svalbard, Norway

Faroe Islands

Troms og Finnmark, Northern Norway

Orkney Islands & Shetland Islands, Scotland

Cappadocia, Turkey

An elopement at Lago di Braies in the Dolomites by Wild Connections Photography

 

Lake Elopement Locations in Europe

This list was hard to write, as there are so many incredible lakes around Europe. Especially in the Austrian Alps and the Dolomites, I know of so many more, but I didn’t want to share their exact names and locations here as I keep them secret and only share them with my couples. But here are a few of the most famous ones that are definitely some of the best places to elope in Europe if you want to be by the water.

Lago di Braies, Italy

Achensee, Austria

Lake Garda, Italy

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Interlaken, Switzerland

Berchtesgaden, Germany

Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Derwentwater, England

Grainau, Germany

Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

Hallstatt, Austria

LGBT Winter elopement in Tyrol Austria by Wild Connections Photography

 

Best European Winter Elopement Locations

Perhaps you’re not so keen on skiing or snowboarding, but you do love the idea of a winter elopement surrounded by snow. Depending on where you visit, there are so many activities you can include in a winter elopement, such as snowshoeing, dog sledding, northern lights hunting, winter hiking or snowmobiling. And of course, at the end of it all, you get to snuggle up with your love in a cosy ski chalet or perhaps a geothermal spa or sauna. Here are the best places to elope in Europe during the winter:

Innsbruck, Austria

Lapland, Finland

Tromsø, Norway

Reykjavik, Iceland

Lapland, Sweden

Zermatt, Switzerland

Chamonix, France

Rock formations of the coast of Ibiza

 

Beach & Coastal Elopement Locations in Europe

Beach weddings have a bad rep, but there are some incredible locations across Europe for dramatic cliffs, turquoise waters and beautiful beaches. Here are my top pics for the best places to elope in Europe if you’re looking for stunning coastlines:

Ibiza, Spain

Algarve, Portugal

Corsica, France

Santorini, Greece

Madeira, Portugal

Vik, Iceland

Amalfi Coast, Italy

West Coast, Ireland

Cornwall, England

Groom in a kilt and bride in a dirndl at multicultural wedding in Innsbruck by Wild Connections Photography

 

City Elopements In Europe

If you want to include some of the best of European city culture into your elopement, why not consider the following cities:

Amsterdam, Netherlands

London, England

Salzburg, Austria

Stockholm, Sweden

Venice, Italy

Copenhagen, Denmark

Cinque Terre, Italy

Vienna, Austria

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Elopement locations in Europe, a couple stands underneath a waterfall in Tirol, Austria

 

Is It Legal To Elope In Europe?

Yes, and no. Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this question, as there are a lot of factors that come into consideration. Where you are your partner live, your nationalities, where you want to get married and your gender identities all influence whether you can get legally married in your chosen location or not.

However, what many couples choose to do is avoid all of the stress and bureaucracy of trying to plan the legal part of getting married abroad is to take care of the paperwork at home, and make their elopement in Europe a day that is focused on the emotional and spiritual connection they share and the deeply personal promises they are making to one another in their wedding vows.

Can We Bring Friends & Family To Our Elopement?

Absolutely! Not all of the couples who choose to elope do it alone. In fact, around 50% of the elopements I photograph have anything from 2 to 10 close friends and family with them to share in their celebrations. The awesome thing about elopements is there are no rules. So if your dream is to have a completely intimate, “just us” experience with your partner you can do. But if you want to bring your favourite people to be your witnesses, you can absolutely do that too!

The most important thing is to make the decision based on what you want, and how you imagine the perfect day, and not to invite people just because you feel pressured to do so. After all, isn’t that why you are choosing to elope? Escaping the pressure and the obligations to plan a traditional wedding in favour of doing something that feels more authentic to you.

 

Europe Elopement Packages

If you want to elope in Europe, but you don’t know where to start, then booking an elopement package for Europe can help you ease the stress of planning. As a European adventure and elopement photographer, I’ll help you to create the most unforgettable plan for your elopement day. I’m so much more than just your photographer. Together we’ll find the perfect location for your elopement and create a blueprint for how you can have the most epic day ever.

My elopement photography packages range from €2850 to €6000, and include my support throughout the planning stages as well as being your adventure buddy on the day of your elopement and capturing the whole day in an unobtrusive and candid way.

How many hours is an elopement and how many hours should you book a photographer?

It’s perfectly normal for couples who plan a traditional wedding want the whole day captured, and I believe that you deserve to have the whole of your elopement captured too. Your elopement day is just as important as a big wedding with 200 guests. It’s the day you will celebrate as your anniversary for the rest of your lives, and when everyone asks about your wedding day, you’ll tell them the whole story about the whole adventure.

Hiring a photographer for the whole day is not about having a full day photoshoot where you are constantly posing for photos. It’s having someone there to document the whole story so that you can relive all the memories every time you look back at your photos. It’s the reminders of the small moments like helping each other get dressed as well as the big ones like saying your vows to each other in a location that takes your breath away.

Cat Ekkelboom-White by Gina Walkowiak
Photo by Gina Walkowiak

If you are looking for additional planning support, I work closely elopement planner Nadia from Amulet Events who can help you coordinate everything from your travel to taking over the booking of your other vendors so that all you need to do is turn up and have the best day ever. Her elopement planning packages start from £950.

Schedule A Free Consultation Today

 

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Europe is such a special place to elope to, and thank you for writing such a comprehensive post from your expert point of view Cat

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Thanks so much Laura! Thanks to French Wedding Style, I’ve found some great elopement locations in the French Alps!

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Cat, the images are absolutely stunning – how could a couple possibly not want to elope to Europe after reading this. There is something for everyone here, no matter what type of elopement they are looking for. Well done.

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Thanks so much, Lynne. Yes, aren’t we lucky to have so many amazing elopement locations right in our backyard.

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Soooo much amazing advice in this post and I love all the elopement wedding locations suggested! An elopement beach wedding is on my bucket list!

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Really interesting and useful article, although we didn’t elope when we got married, we did travel to the French Alps for our ceremony so I highly recommend exploring Europe’s fab destinations. Thanks Cat.

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