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Booking a helicopter tour for your wedding or elopement in the alps is a thrilling way to see and explore in a way that few people do. In this post, Im outlining some of the most important information you need to know to plan your helicopter wedding. To give you the best information out there, I reached out to four helicopter companies based in the alps for their advice. Additionally, I include some of our own wedding-specific tips and tricks.
If you and your partner dream about soaring high above the mountains and saying your vows in a unique and exciting environment, this post is for you.
What is a Helicopter Wedding?
A helicopter wedding is exactly what it sounds like. Helicopter weddings are a type of wedding where a couple chooses to incorporate a helicopter ride into their wedding day. There are a variety of ways to make a helicopter tour a part of your adventure wedding.
Some of these include:
- Arrive at your wedding in venue in style via a helicopter entrance
- Taking a helicopter flightseeing tour
- Using a helicopter as transportation to a mountainous location for an intimate vow reading and elopement portraits
Why You Should Book a Helicopter Wedding Flight
The biggest reason you should book a helicopter wedding flight is that it allows you to get married in total privacy.
When choosing a wedding location, there are often three major things to consider:
- How accessible is the location?
- How popular is the location?
- What is the scenery like?
Most of the time, you have to pick two out of these three things to prioritize. Generally, locations that are easy to access can be busy. Helicopter wedding flights are the exception to this rule. A helicopter wedding allows you to access stunning scenery that is not only secluded but also easy to get to.
Besides the fact that helicopter weddings allow you to achieve the location trifecta, they are also a really cool way to do something totally different and adventurous on your wedding day. Taking a helicopter on your wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Where to Go for Your Helicopter Wedding
In the alps, you’ll find four main regions that are perfect to go for your helicopter wedding. Each of these destinations has not only jaw-dropping landscapes but also companies that regularly provide wedding helicopter charters.
Switzerland Helicopter Tours
Switzerland boasts some of the most dramatic scenery in Europe, and a helicopter tour among the Swiss Alps is an amazing way to experience the country’s beauty. In Switzerland, you can find helicopter charters scattered throughout the country. One of the most beautiful regions is Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland. Here, you can take a 30-minute scenic flight that lands on a glacier and also catch sight of some of the most iconic peaks in the world. Be sure to check out the company, Helikopterflug.ch, if you’re looking for an experience like this.
Italian Dolomites Helicopter Tours
The Italian Dolomites, famous for their craggy spires and unique terrain are an out-of-this-world spot for a wedding helicopter tour. Something that sets the Dolomites apart from other locations in the Alps is the ability to book a sunrise or sunset helicopter tour. Additionally, in the Dolomites, helicopter tours are able to land at some of the mountain huts situated high above the valleys. To learn more about booking a helicopter tour in the Italian Dolomites, I suggest checking out Elikos Helicopterservice.
Chamonix, France Helicopter Tours
Chamonix, France, is home to the Alps highest mountain, Mont Blanc, and creates a stunning backdrop for helicopter tours. One of the main flightseeing operators in Chamonix, Chamonix Mont-Blanc Hélicoptères, offers tours that range from 15-30 minutes in length. In France, it’s illegal to operate flights that land at various locations, so they only offer panoramic flightseeing tours.
Austria Helicopter Tours
Austria is a gem, full of sweeping mountain views and numerous glaciers to be explored. In Austria, there are countless locations you can charter a wedding helicopter tour from. It should be noted that Austria is home to several national parks, which can create additional flight restrictions. Keep this in mind as you choose a spot to book a tour out of. Two of the most scenic flightseeing regions include St. Anton and Kitzbühel. Hubschrauberflug.at is a great place to check out as you start planning your Austria helicopter tour.
Types of Helicopter Tours
Helicopter tours are offered as a number of different types of packages. Here are the most common types of helicopter tours you can book.
Flightseeing Helicopter Tours
Flightseeing helicopter tours are helicopter tours geared towards those wanting to enjoy a group-aerial experience with up to four or five other guests onboard. Flightseeing tours generally last anywhere from 15 minutes to 60 minutes of airtime. These types of tours have set routes they take, depending on the amount of time booked. Because flightseeing helicopter tours normally take place with other sight-seers, I generally don’t recommend them for wedding flights.
Photography Helicopter Tours
Photography helicopter tours are designed for hobbyists and professional photographers alike to capture the world from a totally different vantage point. People may book these tours for their own personal photography, or to get footage for a short film. Photography helicopter tours are also designed to take place around golden hour, where the best light is available for shooting in. Another aspect of these tours is that sometimes the flight takes place “doors off” to allow a photographer to shoot with unobstructed views of the landscape.
Private Helicopter Charters and Wedding Helicopters
Most wedding helicopter flights are done via a private charter. Many flightseeing companies offer private charters. These private wedding helicopter experiences are created for couples looking for an intimate, one-of-a-kind experience that’s catered to their individual needs. Private helicopter charters generally include approximately 30-60 minutes of flight time, and also may include a stop at a designated landing area. When you book a wedding helicopter experience, be sure to compare the amount of time allowed for stops, since you want to have plenty of time for exploring and photos.
Tips for Planning Your Helicopter Wedding
As you start planning your helicopter wedding, here are some tips to get you started.
How Far in Advance do You Need to Book a Wedding Helicopter Tour?
Booking a wedding helicopter tour can be done as soon as 2-3 days before your desired date. Tours aren’t generally booked far in advance because it’s a weather-dependent activity. Some companies do recommend booking three weeks out for guaranteed availability.
The Best Time of Year to Take a Helicopter Tour
Helicopter tours can run 365 days a year, but for weddings, I recommend taking a summer or early autumn tour. During this time of year, temperatures are more comfortable, there’s less snow, and conditions are more predictable.
The Best Time of Day to Take a Helicopter Tour
There are two times of day that are best to take your helicopter tour. In the summertime, morning helicopter tours are best because you can avoid afternoon thunderstorms in the mountains. During the autumn and winter months, afternoon helicopter tours can be better, because the weather is warmer late in the day.
How to Pick a Location for Your Helicopter Wedding
Most companies will have a list of locations you can pick from for your helicopter wedding. These lists have been curated to have some of the best scenery available. The company you choose to fly with will be able to answer your questions about the various destinations and help you decide where is best. They’ve been doing their job for years and will have the experience to make sure your time is unforgettable. If there's a specific place or type of scenery you’re interested in, be sure to express this early on in the booking process.
Some landing locations require special permits that can cost approximately $200 USD. These locations have to be reserved ahead of time, so be sure to plan at least one month in advance if you have your heart set on a specific spot.
If you want to learn more about how to choose the perfect mountain wedding or elopement location, you can check out an awesome resource here.
What to Wear for Your Helicopter Wedding
Helicopter weddings regularly take place at high altitude, so what you wear for your helicopter wedding is important. At altitude, conditions can be colder, windier, and you are likely to encounter snow, even in the summer!
Some things to consider bringing include:
- A warm, comfortable jacket that’s wind-resistant
- Sturdy footwear that will keep your feet protected from the cold and mountainous terrain
If you want the complete breakdown of what to bring for your adventure elopement, I have a free downloadable packing list you can get here.
Have a Backup Plan in Mind
Because helicopter tours depend heavily on weather conditions, it’s important to have a backup plan in mind in case your flight is unable to go, or if the flight location needs to be changed. Being flexible is also key, since sometimes your flight may not be able to leave at the scheduled time. Adventure weddings are often dictated by the weather, so like any activity, having a backup plan that you’re excited about will help create a seamless experience.
As adventure elopement photographers, I make sure to help my couples outline multiple locations, activities, and timelines, to ensure your day runs smoothly.
Helicopter Wedding Packages
Most companies offer a few different helicopter wedding packages that range in flight time and whether or not a mid-flight stop is included. Some packages also include drinks, snacks, and other amenities. To get specific helicopter wedding package details, I recommend reaching out to various tour operators in the areas you’re interested in visiting. Whether it’s a longer flight or more time to explore, it’s important to book with a flight operator that has packages to suit your needs.
How Much Does it Cost to Book a Wedding Helicopter?
Privately chartered wedding helicopter tours typically cost $1,500-$2,000 USD in the alps. This cost includes 15-30 minutes of flight time, and normally a short landing at a location. The tour also includes space for up to four, and sometimes even six passengers. Having the additional space is perfect if you plan to have a photographer or videographer along to capture the experience.
Longer wedding helicopter tours with more flight time or extended landings can cost upwards of $3,000 USD.
Helicopter Elopement and Wedding Coverage
As an experienced adventure photographer, I love helping you remember every epic part of your elopement wedding. If you want to know more about our helicopter elopement and wedding coverage, you can see an overview of my photography packages here. I’d love to be a part of helping you create an unforgettable experience.