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Planning an Elopement in Germany
If you’re a couple wanting to get married in a place that’s not only stunning but also full of adventure, look no further than eloping in Germany, specifically, the Bavarian Alps. From rolling hills dotted with castles to sparkling alpine lakes and rocky mountain tops, the landscape comes straight out of a fairytale.
We moved to Germany from America’s Pacific Northwest region, and we're convinced this place can’t be beaten when it comes to elopement destinations. Keep reading the guide below to find out everything you need to know about eloping to Germany in 2023/2024 and planning your Germany destination wedding!
What is an Elopement?
Depending on whom you talk to, you’re likely to hear a lot of ideas about what an elopement is or isn’t. One of the reasons it’s hard to pinpoint a definition is that elopements come in a variety of experiences and sizes.
We’ve seen couples elope just the two of them, or surrounded by close friends and family. Some couples get married in the mountains, while others explore a city. Elopements can be a single-day adventure, or spread over multiple days and places.
Ultimately, an elopement is a type of wedding that allows couples to strip away all the preconceived ideas of what people believe a wedding should look like, and instead opt for building an experience full of connection and intention on the day they say, ‘’I do’’
Why You Should Consider Eloping in Germany
You’re probably wondering, “Why does Germany make such an incredible place to elope?”. Don’t worry-we’ve got that all covered for you! Trust us, Germany is definitely a place you should consider holding your adventurous destination wedding
We might be biased since we live here, but the Bavarian Alps are one of Germany’s most underrated features. While many people hear the word, “alps” and picture Switzerland or France, Germany also has a slice of these incredible mountains. The German alps are less well-known than their more expensive neighbors. Rolling green meadows, countless alpine lakes, and craggy snow-capped peaks make the German Alps an incredible place to elope with beautiful scenery.
Exciting culture and history
If you love history and architecture, Germany excels in that department. Germany has hundreds of enchanting towns that seem to come straight out of a fairy tale. Nuremberg, located in the German state of Bavaria is particularly well known for its charm. Wherever you choose to have your elopement wedding in Germany, you won’t be disappointed by the sites!
It's the perfect honeymoon destination
Since you’re already getting married in Germany, why not opt for a honeymoon in Europe while you're at it? Germany is not only a great honeymoon destination, but it also makes visiting Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and many other countries so easy to do!
Unique and adventurous activities
If you aren’t sold yet, here’s another reason you should consider eloping in Germany: Germany has endless unique and adventurous activities for just about any couple!
Unique Germany elopement activities can include
- Brewery tours
- Wine tasting tours
- Visiting the Oktoberfest, or one of the many other festivals that take place throughout the year
- Relax at one of the many upscale day-spas or saunas before the big day
Adventurous Germany elopement wedding activities can include:
- Hiking through alpine meadows
- Climbing a Via-Ferrata with a guide
- Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP) on an alpine lake
- Visiting a mountain-top via one of the countless cable cars in Bavaria
Can You Elope in Germany?
After reading about how epic getting married in Germany is, you may be wondering, ''Can I get married and elope in Germany as a foreigner?''. Yes, you can! The logistics of getting married and eloping in Germany vary depending on your nationality, so we'll outline the main options below.
How can I get married in Germany?
If you’re traveling abroad and would like to get married in Germany, there are a few things you need to consider. Generally, only residents of Germany (or the EU) can get legally married, but anyone on a tourist visa can still hold a symbolic ceremony. Below you’ll find an outline of what you need to consider as a foreigner for civil, religious, and symbolic wedding ceremonies in Germany.
The Best Places to Elope in Germany
Germany has endless location options for your elopement wedding. From mountains to forests and castles to the countryside, below we've listed the best places to get married in Germany. This list isn't comprehensive though. In fact, each of our couples gets a custom Germany location guide built based on their elopement wedding vision.
If you plan on holding an elopement with guests or a micro wedding with guests, we'd be happy to suggest some planners that can help you secure a small, picturesque venue for your wedding.
Elope in the Bavarian Alps
You will love getting married in the Bavarian Alps if you want beautiful ceremony locations and an outdoor adventure. After summiting over 150 peaks between 2020-2022, we can say with confidence that the German Alps are where it is at!!! Below, you’ll see some of the best regions of the Bavarian Alps to get married in.
Getting married in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
Garmisch-Partenkirchen has to be one of our favorite wedding destinations in Bavaria (and Europe!). Even better, Garmisch-Partenkirchen is conveniently located just 90 minutes south of Munich. The town sits in a valley surrounded by multiple mountain ranges and also offers stunning views of the Zugspitze, Germany’s tallest mountain. There’s a year-round cable car that runs to the top of the Zugspitze, for any couple that wants to have the opportunity to get married on the peak.
Garmisch-Partenkirchen is centrally located to a number of quaint towns like Oberammergau, great hikes, and a few castles. Garmisch-Partenkirchen has it all when it comes to beautiful wedding locations.
Elope to Berchtesgaden National Park
Berchtesgaden National Park is known for its fjord-like scenery and could be easily mistaken for Norway! For couples looking to have a little bit of everything, Berchtesgaden National Park is an amazing place to elope in. In Berchtesgaden, you can enjoy a boat ride across the famous Königssee, and hike to the picturesque Obersee. Other beautiful alpine lakes such as the Hintersee, or quieter Seeleinsee also make beautiful wedding locations.
Located just two hours southeast of Munich, and 30 minutes south of Salzburg, Austria, it’s easily accessible from either city and surrounded by both culture and jaw-dropping mountains.
The Allgäu region of the Bavarian Alps is one of the most beautiful areas in Germany and is home to the Allgäu Hochalpen (high-mountain) Nature Reserve. The Allgäu, known for its sprawling alpine meadows, colorful wildflowers, many lakes, and extensive mountain-hut system, is an adventure wedding paradise.
Reaching Oberstdorf, one of the towns most central to mountain access takes a bit more work to get to than some places, at nearly a two-in-a-half hour drive from Munich, but the drive is worth it. Because of its distance from Munich, it’s also less crowded than some other spots in the German Alps.
The Black Forest
The Black Forest is one of the most popular destinations to visit in Germany, and famous for its cuckoo clocks, folklore, thermal baths, and peaceful trails. If you’re looking to have a relaxed woodland wedding, the Black Forest is the perfect place. One stunning outdoor feature of the area is its numerous waterfalls, with Triberg falls being the largest, cascading down 163 meters and with 10 distinct drops. If you want to get married in the Black Forest, be sure to visit in the spring or fall when crowds are fewer.
Image Credit: Ilona Edich
Saxon Switzerland National Park
Saxon Switzerland National Park makes a great elopement wedding destination due to its unique features and still being a more “off-the-beaten-path” destination. The park contains the famous Bastei Bridge, arches, and canyons. Saxon Switzerland National Park has also become a climbing mecca. It’s safe to say, you could almost mistake it for a greener version of Sedona, Arizona.
Despite the park’s name, it is located in Germany and lies nowhere near Switzerland. Located just 60 kilometers from the city of Dresden and bordering the Czech Republic’s Bohemian Switzerland National Park, it’s an incredible area to experience both Germany’s natural wonders and its rich city life.
Image Credit: Kai Pilger
For couples looking to get married in Germany’s wine region, Cochem makes the perfect destination. Cochem sits next to the famous Moselle river and is surrounded by rolling hills and vineyards. If the wine isn’t enough, there’s also fantastic castles to visit at just about every bend in the river.
Burg Eltz, one of Germany’s most photogenic castles, is just a twenty-minute drive away from Cochem.
Wedding Castles in Germany
If you want to include a castle in your elopement wedding day, here are a few beautiful castles worth checking out. It's worth noting that most castles in Germany are heavily-touristed and may have some photography restrictions. If you'd really like to visit a castle, we'd suggest making it a smaller part of your day, and not the main focus. This will allow you to find privacy and seclusion during your experience.
If you want to get married at Germany’s most famous castle, Neuschwanstein, make sure to plan in advance. While you can’t actually have a wedding ceremony at Neuschwanstein, you can explore the castle grounds and have portraits done nearby. Neuschwanstein is one of the most visited places in Germany since people flock from all over the world to visit what is otherwise dubbed, “the Cinderella Castle” as Disney modeled its castle after Neuschwanstein. Neuschwanstein is best visited during the off-season of Spring and Fall. If you want a mountain top wedding by the castle, consider Tegelberg mountain, which has a hiking trail and cable car that leaves from nearby.
Worth noting: While some bloggers and photographers may recommend ''off the beaten path'' spots to get quieter views of Neuschwanstein, these locations cannot be legally accessed, require jumping over barriers, and are damaging to the surrounding environment.
Burg Eltz is another incredible castle to get married at in Germany. The castle is dramatic and offers sweeping views of the vineyards, and the Moselle river. Burg Eltz is quite popular and should be visited during quieter times of the day such as sunrise, or during the off-season. Burg Eltz is closed for part of the year, and does have some restrictions involving photography since it's privately owned.
Hohenzollern is a unique castle surrounded by stunning countryside. What makes this castle unique, is that the best views are found from the panoramic hilltops overlooking the landscape. Hohenzollern Castle makes the perfect elopement location if you want to include light hiking in your day, lush forests, and fairytale vistas.
If you're looking for a destination that is not only beautiful but also allows civil and symbolic ceremonies, look no further than Schloss Callenberg. This fortress sits upon a small hill overlooking the countryside, surrounded by greenery and well-manicured grounds. For a large wedding ceremony, this castle is a regal location to get married at.
If you’re having an elopement wedding in Germany, including a castle as part of your day is far easier than you think. While some castles are busy or require renting a large venue, there are stony castle ruins you can get married at while avoiding having a big production.
Wedding Venues in Germany
If you want to include friends and family in your intimate German wedding, there are a multitude of small wedding venues to choose from. For example, in the Bavarian Alps, there are beautiful huts located throughout the mountains that offer event services and make for breathtaking ceremony locations. Some restaurants nearby lakes also double as wedding venues and can make the perfect spot for your micro-wedding or elopement. There are so many venue possibilities for your destination wedding in Germany, even for group sizes of 8-25 people.
What Time of Year is Best to Get Married in Germany?
Summer is one of the best seasons to get married in Germany, we’d argue, due to the largest number of locations and activities being available. We especially love June for its vibrant wildflowers. But, each season has its benefits, which we’ll share below. We've also included a month-by-month breakdown of the best times to elope in the German Alps.
Winter Weddings in Germany
Winter weddings in Germany are a snow lover’s dream. In particular, Bavaria is full of spectacular ski destinations for an adventure wedding. For non-skiers and snowboarders, you can try your hand at ice skating across one of the many frozen lakes or sledding down one of the many groomed sledding paths. Enjoying the luxurious saunas and wellness spas for a more relaxed wedding experience is also possible. While Germany does not get as much snow as its neighbors in Austria and Switzerland, if you time things right, you can elope in a winter wonderland.
Pro-tip: While snow can fall just about any time of year in Germany’s mountains, your best bet at seeing snow will be in January and February.
Spring Weddings in Germany
Depending on what part of Germany you choose to elope in, Spring can be a really nice time to get married. Most regions are lush and green by late-May, making low-altitude locations perfect. Waterfalls also are running fuller from the recent snowmelt. If you’re hoping to have a hiking elopement in the German Alps, you’ll need to wait until early to mid-June at the earliest.
Pro-tip: Some places are still ski-able in May if you want to combine the beauty of Spring with the fun of winter. Spring weddings are best from mid-May to mid-June.
Summer Elopements in Germany
Summer is the perfect time for a hiking elopement or Germany destination wedding. By late June and early July, just about every trail is fully melted out and alpine wildflowers are in full bloom. In the valleys, the lakes become perfect for swimming in. While summer is Germany’s high season, the list of potential elopement experiences are endless due to the beautiful weather. Germany’s mountains are generally mild in temperature at higher altitudes, meaning the heat isn’t something you have to worry about as much.
Pro-tip: Get married on a weekday to find the most privacy during your elopement day.
Fall Weddings in Germany
Fall in Germany can be a bit unpredictable for weddings, with everything from snow to a summer-like climate. If you choose to have a German wedding during autumn, consider whether or not your desired location will be accessible in the off-season. Some spots, such as castles, are the ideal location for a fall wedding because it is a quieter time of year. If you’re coming to Bavaria for your elopement, keep in mind that the Oktoberfest is happening from mid-September to the beginning of October and draws crowds from all over Europe + the world. Be sure to book accommodations early if you want to visit around this time of year.
Pro-tip: If fall colors are important to you, be sure to plan ahead of time where you’ll get the best foliage since some parts of Germany get more pigmentation than others.
How to Elope in Germany
It's easier than it sounds to elope in Germany. As part of your Germany elopement photography and videography team, my husband and I are here to help you throughout each step. Below you'll find our simple process for making your Germany adventure elopement a reality.
We recommend couples allot six to nine months to plan their destination wedding in Germany. It is possible to plan on much shorter time frames though, and we've helped couples make their adventure a reality in as little as two weeks.
Choose an Elopement Date
Before you can dive deep into planning your Germany elopement, one of the first things you need to do is set a date. Setting a date will allow you to start booking the vendors that can help make your dream come to life!
Book Your Germany Elopement Photographer and Videographer
Hiring your Germany elopement photographer and videographer is one of the most important steps in the planning process. The right photographer or photo/video team will be a key player in helping guide you through the process of getting married abroad. They’ll also be sure your day is not only documented beautifully but also that you have the experience of a lifetime.
As Germany’s leading adventure elopement photo and video team, we specialize in helping couples craft unique, awe-inspiring, outdoor-centered wedding experiences. We know the alps like the back of our hands (seriously, we’ve done 150+ peaks in just the last three years), and use our expertise to help you each step of the way. If you're up for an adventure, contact us now!
Visualize What You Want Your Germany Adventure Wedding to Look Like
If you don’t have a vision of what you want your Switzerland elopement to look like yet, that’s totally ok! This step is where you’ll really want to start thinking about what is most important to you as a couple, and how you want to honor that on your intimate wedding day.
Whether it’s spending the night stargazing before catching the sunrise from a beautiful location and exchanging vows, or enjoying breakfast in bed before a morning-first look, and afternoon helicopter tour, the possibilities are endless.
Our booked couples receive an exclusive guide that goes over prompts and questions that can help them find clarity in the dreaming process.
Pro-Tip: During this step, you may realize you have a dream so big, you need a little outside help. This would be a great time to book an elopement planner in Germany, which we will work in conjunction with.
Decide on an Elopement Location in Germany
Choosing your elopement location in Germany is an exciting task that we love helping couples with. When choosing a location, you’ll want to consider:
- What time of year are you eloping in?
- How popular is the location?
- Are there any restrictions on the location?
- What time of day has the best light?
Your Germany wedding photographer (hey, it’s me, Christine!) will have advice for all of this. Location scouting is one of my biggest strengths (beyond taking stellar photos and making sure you have an amazing experience). This is something I help our booked couples extensively with.
I have a helpful resource you can find here about how to choose the best mountain elopement location.
Book Your Germany Travel and Lodging
Now that you know where you’re eloping in Germany, it’s time to book your travel and accommodations.
How to Get to Germany
Germany is a major travel destination, making it easy to get to from any large airport. Germany has 16 international airports you can fly into. If you’re planning an elopement in the Bavarian Alps (what we specialize in!), you’ll want to fly into the Munich Airport. Munich is a 60-90 minute drive or train ride from most elopement locations in the German Alps.
Traveling Pro-tip: Sometimes flights are cheaper to the Innsbruck, Austria Airport. Innsbruck is a similar distance from the German Alps as the Munich Airport.
Getting Around Germany (Trains and Buses)
Like most countries in Europe, Germany has an extensive train and bus network that makes traveling quite simple. We still recommend getting a rental car, at least for the elopement portion part of your trip though, since it makes getting around Germany a breeze. You’ll find this especially true in the mountain regions of Germany.
Lodging in Germany for Your Wedding
Germany offers a wide variety of lodging options, from upscale hotels and ski lodges to quaint bed and breakfasts in the villages. Airbnb and similar rental property options are also popular. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s a place where you can relax and isn’t too far from your elopement location.
Lodging Pro-tip: Choose a location with great natural light and that is clutter-free for the best getting-ready photos! If you want a “first-look” where you’re staying, also keep in mind what scenery is nearby and how everything will look.
Book Your Germany Wedding Vendors
Are you booking more than a photographer and videographer for your Germany wedding or elopement? Some couples may opt to include a wedding celebrant/officiant, hair and makeup artist, a private chef, or maybe even a mountain guide.
Vendor Pro-Tip: We provide every booked couple with our exclusive English-speaking vendor suggestion guide.
Plan Your Elopement Day Activities
Activities are what help make your Germanyelopement into an experience! This is a great time to consider what small (and possibly) big things you may want to do to level up your day. Some activities may include reading letters from family and friends, stopping by a mountain hut for lunch, renting a boat, going for a swim, stargazing, paragliding, or booking a guided via-ferrata tour.
Once your locations are selected, and activities booked, this is the time to put it all on paper and build a timeline of your Germany wedding. That way, you know there’s room for everything. We’ve helped countless couples build custom timelines of their adventures (including multi-day ones!).
Gather Any Necessary Wedding and Travel Documents
The documents you may need to bring for eloping can really vary, depending on where you travel from. Some documents you may need for your elopement include:
- Drivers Licenses
- Confirmation of booked flights
- Hotel/Lodging confirmations
- Any legal documents needed if you plan on having a civil ceremony
Pro-Tip: Be sure to have a list of everything you need, print out the documents, and keep them together in a folder. If you’re flying, be sure these stay with your carry-on luggage.
Elope in Germany
Your elopement wedding in Germany is here! After all of your dreaming and excitement, it’s finally happening. Soak up every second and remember- these memories will last forever. Your photographer and videographer (oh hey!) will be sure you have amazing photos to help document the experience.
What Does it Cost to Elope in Germany?
The average cost of holding a traditional wedding in Germany is around €17.000 for a sixty-erson event (approx $18,000 USD). If you're planning an elopement or micro wedding though, the standard cost is closer to €9,000 (approx $9,500 USD). This cost covers the expenses associated with food and lodging for two nights, wedding attire, photography coverage, marriage licenses, and more.
Below, you’ll find some approximate numbers of the cost of eloping and getting married in Germany (based on the expenses of two people). Please note, these numbers don’t include flights and transportation costs, since these can widely vary, depending on where you’re coming from.
Despite the standard budget, there is still a lot of flexibility in how much couples spend on getting married in Germany.
For example, some couples may find wedding attire that costs less than €200 and suits them perfectly. Others may opt out of having professional hair and makeup since they’d rather do it themselves atop a mountain. When it comes to desserts, Germany has no shortage of bakeries, and it’s easy to pick up a few slices of delicious, already-made cake for under €15, or get something custom-made for well over €300. Lodging can range from cozy mountain chalets to luxury wellness resorts.
When choosing how much to spend on your Germany elopement, make sure you invest in what’s most important to you. Whether it’s photo and video, having your dream dress or custom-made suit, or splurging on cable car tickets to the top of Germany’s tallest mountain, don’t be afraid to create the day you’ve always dreamed of.
At the end of the day, how much or how little you choose to spend on your elopement in Germany won’t matter. What will count is how you choose to intentionally connect with your partner and honor what you value most.
Germany Budget Elopement Cost
The cost of a budget elopement in Germany is €4,370
Expenses may include:
|Marriage License (free for symbolic ceremonies!)||€0-€100|
|Hair + Makeup (DIY)||€0|
|Food and Drinks||€150|
|Photographer (2-4 hours coverage)||€3,000|
Germany Standard Elopement Cost
The cost of a standard elopement or micro wedding in Germany is €8,825+
Expenses may include:
|Marriage License (free for symbolic ceremonies!)||€0-€100|
|Hair & Makeup||€350|
|Food & Drinks||€300|
|Small Wedding Cake||€150|
|Photographer (8 hours coverage)||€5,800|
Germany Luxury Elopement Cost
The cost of a luxury elopement or micro wedding in Germany is €20,700+
Expenses may include:
|Marriage License (free for symbolic ceremonies!)||€0-€100|
|Hair & Makeup||€450+|
|Food & Drinks||€400+|
Germany Wedding and Elopement Packages
Are you ready to start planning your elopement or destination wedding in Germany? If so, why not start with your Germany elopement photographer and videographer? You can view our Germany wedding packages here, or contact us to get a more detailed pricing guide.
We help guide each couple through the eloping process and make sure they get the epic coverage their day deserves.
Are you ready to have the experience of a lifetime?
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