Helicopter Elopements in the Alps – A Full Planning Guide for 2024

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Helicopter weddings and elopements are quickly becoming one of the most adventurous ways to explore the incredible scenery of the Alps. If you want your elopement day to be filled with excitement and adventure, but you don’t want to hike for miles, then a helicopter wedding might well be the perfect adventure for you!

What is a Helicopter Elopement?

A helicopter wedding, or helicopter elopement, is an adventurous type of wedding day that involves traveling by helicopter. This might include a scenic helicopter tour, arriving in style at your wedding or for most people, landing in a remote location with nobody else around for a private ceremony and epic photos.

Helicopter arrives to collect the wedding party from their private mountain chalet

Why Consider a Helicopter Elopement?

Many couples are choosing to include a helicopter in their elopement as a way to make their wedding day a one-of-a-kind experience they’ll never forget.

Taking a helicopter is the perfect way to reach a remote location in the Alps for a completely private elopement experience that doesn’t involve hiking for hours. And with the added bonus that you’ll see some incredible sights on the way there and back too.

Helicopter weddings are a great option if you are planning your elopement during high tourism season in the Alps (July & August) as this is one of the best ways to escape the crowds.

Best Helicopter Elopement Locations in the Alps

Choosing where to go in the Alps for your helicopter elopement might be the hardest part of all, just because there are so many stunning places.

Helicopter elopements in the Dolomites

Helicopter weddings in the Dolomites are one of the best ways to experience this incredible region in northern Italy. Most couples combine a sightseeing flight with one or two landings, allowing them to experience the best of the Dolomites. Popular landing locations include iconic spots such as Seceda, the remote alpine lake of Lago Coldai, or the rocky landscape of Averau.

In the Dolomites, helicopters are restricted on where they can land, with very limited options within the province of South Tyrol in the summertime (in the winter they have more landing locations here) but plenty of options in the province of Belluno.

Helicopter flights in the Dolomites are operated by Elikos Helicopter Service

Helicopter wedding to Lago Coldai in the Dolomites

Helicopter Elopements in Austria

Helicopter weddings in Austria haven’t really taken off yet (oooh that’s a bad pun), but they are possible to do and certainly shouldn’t be overlooked. Flights can take you over mighty mountain peaks, crystal-clear alpine lakes, and stunning glaciers.

For helicopter weddings in Austria, SennAir Helicopters have bases in Zell am See, Innsbruck, and Salzburg.

Bride and groom hiking in the mountains of Tyrol for their adventure elopement in Austria

Helicopter elopements in Switzerland

It’s no secret that Switzerland is home to some of the most iconic mountains in the Alps, possibly even in the world. Switzerland offers many options for a helicopter elopement, however do expect this to come Swiss price tag included 😉

For helicopter elopements in Switzerland, visit SwissHelicopter.ch

Helicopter elopements in Germany

Helicopter weddings in the Bavarian Alps are a little tricky. While it is possible for a sightseeing flight over locations such as the Zugspitze and the famous castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, most flights take off from Munich, Innsbruck or Kempten, which may be quite far from where you are staying if you are planning your elopement in the heart of the Bavarian Alps.

For more information visit Helicopterflights.com

Can Helicopters Land Anywhere?

In many areas of the Alps, commercial helicopter flights can fly to a lot of locations, but they can’t simply land wherever they want. Protected areas such as national parks and nature parks are no-fly zones. There can also be restrictions in place in some areas for the times of day or even the times of year that a helicopter can land, and these can change from year to year. Your helicopter company will be able to give you a breakdown of your options on where is possible to land.

Types of Helicopter Tours

Sightseeing Tour

A sightseeing tour (also known as a “flightseeing” tour) is a scenic flight where you get to see the Alps from above. A lot of the helicopter companies have group flights that you can join, or you can pay a bit more and book a private sightseeing tour.

On a sightseeing tour, you are usually picked-up and dropped off at the same location, or you’ll start and finish at the local airfield, with no in-between landings.

Heli Skiing & Ski Transfers

In the winter time, many of the helicopter companies in the Alps operate heli-skiing trips. In some areas this is flying you between different ski areas, or working with a local mountain guide for more extreme backcountry skiing access.

Helicopter Transfer

Forget a normal taxi service – this is a helicopter taxi. If you want to arrive at your wedding venue in style, they you might be looking at booking a helicopter transfer. This is a flight from A-B.

Bespoke Tour

What most couples choose for their helicopter wedding is a private, bespoke tour. This means you get a helicopter just for you, and you can combine a sightseeing flight with landing in one or two breathtaking locations.

Bride in groom looking at the view on a helicopter tour of the Dolomites

What Time of Year is Best for a Helicopter Elopement?

In theory, a helicopter elopement can take place at any time of year. But there are several factors that you’ll want to consider when choosing the date for your elopement.

In winter and in spring, there is still a lot of snow in the mountains. There may also be many ski lifts in operation that restrict where the helicopter can land.

During the summer and the fall, you generally have the best conditions for flying with the heli. The mountains are free of snow, the high alpine pastures are lush and green, and often the wildflowers are blooming. In the fall you also have the changing color of the trees, especially the larches in the Alps.

You’ll also want to look at when the main tourism seasons are in the area that you are hoping to visit, as this may affect the availability and prices of accommodation and your options for other things to do during your stay.

For a more in-depth guide on the Dolomites month-to-month, check out my comprehensive Dolomites Elopement Guide

How Far In Advance Do You Need To Book The Helicopter?

Because helicopter flights can be subject to last-minute schedule changes due to the weather, booking a year in advance isn’t necessarily an advantage. However as helicopter elopements become more popular in areas like the Dolomites, booking as soon as you know your wedding date, and when possible at least a month in advance is recommended to make sure that you can reserve your preferred date and time.

C & D planned their whole helicopter elopement within 1 month of eloping in the Dolomites

What is the Best Time of Day for a Helicopter Elopement Flight?

The best times of day to plan your heli elopement is either in the early morning or in the late afternoon to evening, depending on the time of year.

In the hotter summer months of July and August, it’s not uncommon for thunderstorms to build up in the Alps. While many helicopter elopements still take place in the evening in these months, plans sometimes change at the last minute due to storms. If you want to have less risk of bad weather, an early morning flight is likely to offer more stable weather in the peak summer months.

In winter, spring, and fall, afternoon flights that finish around sunset are perfect. You get to land in a stunning spot in the mountains and enjoy the golden evening light of the sun setting while saying your vows.

Can A Helicopter Tour Still Take Place in Bad Weather?

Possibly. A bit of light rain or wind can still be ok to fly, but when things start to get stormy or clouds build up, which can happen a lot in the mountains in summer, then pilots need to decide if it’s safe to fly or not. Helicopter pilots fly by sight, so they need good visibility to be able to fly safely. Strong or changing winds also make it harder to fly, and can make the flight considerably less enjoyable for the passengers too.

If it’s really bad weather, then you will need to be prepared for plans to change. The pilot may have to cut the flight short, change the timings or cancel the flight completely. After all, safety is their primary concern.

How Long Does A Helicopter Elopement Last?

For many couples planning a helicopter elopement, while the helicopter flight is usually the highlight, it is often only a part of their day. They may also be planning to do a short hike together, be planning a first look or a romantic dinner after their helicopter adventure. The helicopter part of the wedding usually lasts for up to 4 hours.

A typical evening sunset helicopter elopement timeline might look something like this:

10am – Morning activities or relaxing
12:30 – Hair & makeup starts
3pm – First look
4pm – Helicopter departure
4:15 – First landing location & photos
5:30 – Depart for second location & sightseeing flight
6pm – Land at second location – sunset ceremony & photos
7:30 – Sunset & return flight to hotel
8:30 – Late dinner

Groom arrives at the wedding ceremony in the Dolomites by helicopter

Can You Have Guests At A Helicopter Elopement?

The simple answer is yes. You absolutely can. Most helicopters in the Alps can seat between 4 and 6 people. If you have more, you might need to have a second helicopter, or the heli may need to do multiple flights (don’t forget to include your photographer in the numbers too!).

Read this blog to see how M & C used two helicopters for their intimate wedding on Seceda.

Another alternative is to plan a multi-day celebration, where you celebrate one day with your family and friends in a location that you can access more easily, such as by road or cable car, and plan a second adventure day just for the two of you where you can fly with the helicopter and exchange private vows.

Learn more about multi-day weddings here

A small group of people stand on the edge of the Seceda ridgeline on the Dolomites in Italy for an elopement wedding ceremony by helicopter

Do You Need A Wedding Planner To Organise A Helicopter Wedding?

No, you don’t. You can contact the helicopter company directly to make the arrangements yourself. But I really, strongly, recommend having one.

On the last two occasions where I’ve had helicopter elopements, having a wedding planner quite literally saved the day.

One one occasion, the couple had two helicopters booked, so they could arrive separately with their families at the ceremony location, but the heli company only had one pilot available on the day. They informed the planner just hours before the couple were due to take off, and the planner worked like mad to get a second pilot. The couple, meanwhile, had no idea, and everything ran super smoothly.

On the other occasion, evening thunderstorms were forecast on the day of the elopement. While the helicopter company had confirmed it was still safe to fly, it wouldn’t be optimal conditions for a mountain wedding ceremony! With a couple of phone calls, the planner was easily able to reach all of the other vendors involved, and the whole wedding schedule moved forward by two hours. And thank goodness it did, because not long after we landed in our final spot that evening, the storm arrived and we had to run back to the helicopter and fly straight home. If we’d have still been running to the original schedule, it’s highly likely the flight would have been cancelled or cut short.

I work closely with local planner Jlenia Coster who I whole-heartedly recommend.

Still not sure if you need a planner? – read this post on why you might want to hire an elopement planner

Bride and groom put on headsets in the heli for their helicopter wedding in the Alps

How Much Does A Heli Elopement Cost?

The cost of a helicopter elopement will depend on a few factors – the location, flying time, number of landings, number of passengers and the overall time you have the helicopter for.

One of the most popular Dolomites helicopter elopement packages is the following:

  • 4 hour private helicopter booking
  • 1 hour total flying time
  • 2 landings (not including pick-up and drop-off)
  • Space for between 4-6 passengers (depending on the aircraft)

Cost of the helicopter – €3500

The most expensive part of a helicopter wedding package is the flying time, so if you are dreaming of a helicopter elopement but want to keep the budget in-check, then shortening your flight time to less than 30 minutes and choosing a single landing location is a great way to experience the adventure of a helicopter wedding without spending too much.

For shorter private flights with one landing, prices are closer to the €1500-€2000 range.

Full luxury helicopter wedding cost breakdown:

ItemApprox. Cost
4 Hour Helicopter Booking€3500
Photographer for a full day€9500
Luxury 5* Accommodation for 3 Nights€5000
Hair & Makeup€800
Wedding Planner€3000
Private Dinner€500
Couple return from helicopter wedding in the Dolomites in the rain holding umbrellas

Helicopter elopement packages

Are you ready for the most incredible experience yet? Start planning your adventurous helicopter elopement today!

I’ve been an adventure wedding photographer since 2015, specialising in elopements in the Austrian Alps and Dolomites. I’ve got a choice of packages starting with half day coverage to capture your helicopter wedding. You can find further details of my packages and pricing here.

Let’s do this!

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