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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.
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:
- Dolomites, Italy
- Tirol, Austrian Alps
- Lofoten Islands, Norway
- Faroe Islands
- West Coast, Ireland
- Highlands, Scotland
- Lapland, Finland
- Swiss Alps
- Lake District, England
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.
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).
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 are 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.
Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Val Gardena, Italy
St. Moritz, Switzerland
> Check out this post for a guide for planning your ski wedding
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 Valley, Austria
Alta Badia, Italy
Isle of Skye, Scotland
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.
Jurassic Coast, England
El Chorro, Spain
Peak District, England
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:
Troms og Finnmark, Northern Norway
Orkney Islands & Shetland Islands, Scotland
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
Lake Garda, Italy
Lake Bled, Slovenia
Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
Lake Bohinj, Slovenia
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:
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:
Amalfi Coast, Italy
West Coast, Ireland
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:
Cinque Terre, Italy
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.
> Read more about how to include your family & friends in your elopement
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 €5000 to €15,000, and include my support throughout the planning stages as well as being your hiking guide and photographer for 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.
If you are looking for additional planning support, I work closely elopement planners Nadia from Amulet Events and Jlenia Costner.
> Read more about why you should consider hiring an elopement planner
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