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For many couples, one of the most exciting parts of planning their elopement is choosing the perfect place to get married. You may already have an idea of what that looks like - standing atop a mountain, watching the sun go down as you share your first toast as a newly married couple. Others aren’t sure where to start, but they know wherever they elope, it’s going to be epic! No matter where you are at in those initial planning stages, this post is sure to give you some major wanderlust as I share 40+ ideas for the most-breathtaking, best places to elope in Europe.
I made this list based on my experience of living + working as an adventure elopement photographer in Europe and the passion I have for sharing my backyard with others.
Most Beautiful Places to Elope in the World
No matter where you go, there are pretty places to elope, but I’d argue, some of the most beautiful places to elope in the world are located in Europe. Elopement destinations in Europe can include everything from quaint villages to sprawling wildflower meadows to towering mountains and crystal clear beaches. From castles overlooking lakes to hotels you can see the Northern Lights from, Europe has countless spectacular elopement locations.
Where Can You Elope in Europe?
The beauty of a destination wedding is that you can elope anywhere in Europe! Elopements allow you to skip the ‘’rules’’ and tie the knot in a way that feels true to you. There are two common ways to elope in Europe. You can get civilly (legally) married in Europe, or you can hold a symbolic elopement ceremony.
If you choose to hold a symbolic ceremony (non-legally binding wedding) during your Europe elopement, the location possibilities are truly endless. While you may need to get permission from the landowners of the location you’d like to visit, overall, there are very few restrictions on where you can celebrate a two-person ceremony. If you plan on inviting guests to your elopement, you may require arranging a venue that has seating, can arrange food, etc.
Can You Legally Elope in Europe?
If you’d like to have a civil ceremony, you can also legally elope in Europe. Legal marriage laws and requirements vary from country to country, so if this is a priority to you, you’ll want to consider this early on in the planning process. Some countries, for example, only allow legal marriages to take place if one or both partners are residents of the EU. Other countries allow legal ceremonies to take place, but the paperwork may take 3-6 months to fill out.
When considering a legal elopement ceremony in Europe, a great place to start is inquiring with the consulate of the country you’re hoping to get married in. They generally have a list of the required paperwork and can help point you in the right direction.
Legal elopement ceremonies are typically required to take place in a designated location, such as a civil registry or town hall.
If you’re traveling from abroad and would like to keep things simple, I’d suggest getting legally married in your home country, either before or after your trip. Then, you can focus on creating a meaningful symbolic ceremony during your elopement day, without any restrictions or timeline constraints.
The Easiest Place to Elope in Europe
If you’d like to proceed with planning a legal elopement, Italy, Austria, Norway, Iceland, and Denmark are some of the easiest places to elope in Europe. This is because these countries don’t require you to be a resident of the country (or EU) and the amount of time required to process the paperwork averages 6 weeks or less.
Some common legal paperwork required for legal elopements in Europe include:
- Passports of both partners
- Birth certificates
- Documents verifying both parties are not currently married to another person (certificate of no impediment)
- Financial Statements
These documents may need to be officially translated into the local language of the country you plan to elope in.
Pro-Tip: If you’d like to make the easiest places to elope in Europe even easier, consider hiring a reputable service that helps organize and submit the required marriage documents for you.
The Top Epic Places to Get Married and Elope in Europe
Below you’ll find a list of the top epic places to get married and elope in Europe. These are the ideal destinations for couples who want their breath taken away!
Elopements in the Swiss Alps
The Swiss Alps are one of the best places to elope in Europe due to not only the jaw-dropping scenery but also the numerous adventurous activities available. Switzerland is a great wedding destination also because of its central location, making travel throughout the rest of Europe a breeze. A few reasons Switzerland is my favorite elopement destination in Europe include the mountains tower so high you feel like you’re exploring the Himalayas, the sweeping alpine meadows, and a plethora of locations that are accessible from minimal amounts of hiking to advanced treks that feel truly wild. In just about any season, Switzerland has something phenomenal to offer. I have an in-depth guide about eloping in the Swiss Alps that you can read here.
Elope to the Bavarian Alps
The Bavarian Alps, located in Southern Germany, are one of the most underrated but beautiful places to elope in Europe. For couples that love to hike, Bavaria has a diverse landscape of lakes, craggy peaks, waterfalls, and rolling green meadows just waiting to be explored. While many vacationers flock to more well-known parts of the alps, the Bavarian Alps remain a hidden gem for adventure elopements in Europe. I feel lucky to call Bavaria my home and love sharing it with others! If you want to learn more about eloping the Bavarian Alps, I have a free guide you can find here.
Austrian Alps Elopements
The Austrian Alps sprawl across the majority of Austria and are another beautiful place to elope in Europe. Austria offers lofty peaks, deep green valleys, year-round skiing, idyllic cow-filled pastures, and so much more. Eloping in Austria can look like stepping onto the set of, ‘’The Sound of Music’’. If you want beautiful views and rustic charm, the Austrian Alps may be your perfect elopement destination in Europe.
Eloping in the French Alps
The French Alps, located in Southeastern France, are nothing short of epic. Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in western Europe lies partially within France and can be seen prominently from the charming town of Chamonix. In the French Alps, you can be surrounded by sweeping vistas, high alpine lakes, and craggy spires all while enjoying local cheese and wine. If you want to learn more about eloping in the Alps, I have an Alps Elopement Guide that covers the unique attributes of eloping in various regions here.
Italian Dolomites Elopements
While you’ll find mountain ranges throughout Italy, some of the country’s most notable has to be the Italian Dolomites, located in Northern Italy. The Italian Dolomites are famous for their jagged spires and unique ridgelines, unlike anything else out there. What I love about elopements in the Dolomites is the wide range of unique scenery easily accessible by high-mountain passes, the incredible food, and epic activities available. One unique adventure you can have in the Dolomites includes trying your hand at hiking a via ferrata, a type of hike secured by metal rungs, ladders, and cables you climb along while harnessed in.
Eloping in Slovenia's Julian Alps
For a truly off-the-beaten-path elopement in Europe, consider visiting the Julian Alps in Slovenia. Bordering Austria and Italy, you’ll find this unique corner of the alps. The Julian Alps and Slovenia are known for waterfalls, mountains, and a host of water activities such as paddling the crystal clear Soča River or exploring Lake Bled by boat. The Julian Alps are not only a beautiful elopement destination in Europe but also more budget-friendly than neighboring countries.
Elopements in the Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are the best place to Elope in Europe if you want Iceland vibes, all while avoiding the crowds associated with Iceland. Owned by Denmark, this set of islands has a bit of everything - epic coastlines, breathtaking waterfalls, amazing hiking, mountains, lush green valleys, and loads of sheep (in fact, sheep outnumber people 2:1 in the Faroe Islands). The Faroe Islands still remain a quiet elopement gem, and the perfect destination for couples who want a destination that’s both quaint and spectacular.
Elope in Iceland
Iceland, one of the most popular elopement destinations in Europe, is famous for a reason. Iceland elopements are renowned for their legendary scenery, whether it’s black sand beaches, glacier-filled lakes, or volcanos. Elopements in Iceland are a great destination for a multi-day adventure as you explore everything from mountains to expansive waterfalls. If you are dreaming of an Iceland elopement, brace yourself for adventure, as this Europe elopement destination is known for its wild weather across the epic landscape.
Eloping in Norway
Norway is the best place to elope in Europe if you want to go where the mountains and the ocean meet. In Norway, you can elope under the summer midnight sun, or wait until winter and stay out watching the Northern Lights dance across the sky. From quaint fishing villages to long scenic drives and mesmerizing fjords, the scenery of Norway is wild and epic. In Norway, you don’t have to choose one type of scenery, considering the close proximity to a variety of diverse landscapes. While traveling to Norway can be a bit more time-consuming than other destinations due to its vastness, the trip is more than worth it and really allows you to immerse yourself in untouched nature.
Elopements in Sweden
An adventure elopement…in Sweden!? While most don’t immediately think of Sweden while considering breathtaking destinations across Europe, it’s definitely a spot that can’t be missed. In Northern Sweden, you’ll find numerous national parks, rugged coastline, glaciers, and a landscape that looks like a cross between Alaska and Scotland. From day hikes to backpacking, it’s a gorgeous area to elope for a variety of outdoor ability levels. Sweden is a great elopement destination in Europe for couples that want to really get away from it all and get married in a totally different way.
Elope in Finland's Lapland
Northern Finland and the remote region of Lapland is one of the best places to elope in Europe if you’re planning a winter elopement. Lapland is known as one of the ideal locations to see the Northern Lights and has a solid infrastructure for experiencing a magical, snow-filled day. Not only can you stay in luxurious accommodation with glass roofs that allow you to look up at the night sky, but during the day you can see reindeer, go dog sledding, or enjoy cross country skiing across the pristine landscape. Lapland is an elopement paradise for winter-loving couples.
Scotland is growing in popularity as a beautiful elopement destination in Europe, and with good reason! Scotland’s famed Isle of the Skye boasts rolling green mountains, castles, coastline, large lakes nestled between the hillsides. Another gem of Scotland? The sparkling white sand beaches and, albeit cold, crystal clear water. Scotland is a great place to elope in Europe for couples that would prefer to get married in an English-speaking country while still getting a taste of a different, exciting culture.
Elope in Croatia
If you love the thought of a beach elopement, but still want to be surrounded by nature, look no further than Croatia. What I love about Croatia are the numerous beaches you can hike to. The rocky coasts of Croatia are dotted with olive trees, and the blue water below beckons you to meander down the trail for a peaceful escape. Croatia is a great destination for beach elopements, because it’s much quieter than Italy and Greece, despite offering similar scenery and equally wonderful shores.
Beautiful Lakes to Elope to in Europe
- Plansee, Austria
- Eibsee, Germany
- Königssee, Germany
- Lake Bled, Slovenia
- Triglav Lakes Valley, Slovenia
- Walensee, Switzerland
- Bachalpsee, Switzerland
- Gardasee, Italy
- Lac Blanc, France
- Lovatnet, Norway
- Jökulsárlón, Iceland
Breathtaking Mountain Elopement Locations in Europe
- Grindelwald, Switzerland
- St. Moritz, Switzerland
- Zermatt, Switzerland
- Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
- Zillertal, Austria
- National Park Hohe Tauern, Austria
- Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
- Aurland, Norway
- Kvalvika Beach, Norway
- Mt. Brennisteinsalda, Iceland
Epic Glacier Elopement Destinations in Europe
- Aletsch Glacier, Switzerland
- Gornergrat, Switzerland
- Hohe Mut Alm, Austria
- Mer de Glace, France
- Jostedalsbreen, Norway
- Buarbreen, Norway
- Vatnajökull, Iceland
- Heinabergsjokull, Iceland
Picturesque and Quaint Elopement Locations in Europe
- Ehrwald, Austria
- Berchtesgaden, Germany
- Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
- Engelberg, Switzerland
- Val di Funes, Italy
- Saltoluokta, Sweden
- Sliabh Liag, Donegal, Ireland
- Isle of the Skye, Scotland
Serene Beach Locations in Europe
- Maderia, Portugal
- Lubenice, Croatia
- Keem Beach, Ireland
- Capri, Italy
- Amalfi Coast, Italy
- Cinque Terre, Italy
- Milos, Greece
- Santorini, Greece
How to Choose the Best Location to Elope in Europe
As an American adventure elopement photographer living and working in Europe, here are my top 4 tips for choosing the best location for your Europe elopement.
I include additional insider advice for building your perfect elopement experience in the exclusive 100+ page elopement guide my booked couples receive.
Many couples choose a destination elopement in Europe because they want to experience something unique and different from their everyday life. Scenery can play a huge role in this, especially for adventure elopements. When deciding on a destination or region for your Europe elopement, be sure to keep in mind what types of scenery you’d like to see and whether your location offers that.
Sometimes, deciding on what scenery you want to have can feel hard to narrow down. A few things to keep in mind include:
- Ask yourself what places you’ve loved visiting previously. What was it about that place that made it special?
- Is there a type of scenery that makes you feel alive?
- Do you love cliffs, or are you afraid of heights? What about forests? Would you prefer green, grassy slopes or rocky, rugged mountainsides?
- Do you want to see wildlife?
- How wild do you want your location to be? Do you want a location that is totally free of man-made structures, or does the idea of villages and farmland sound charming? Maybe you love the combination of fine architecture and awe-inspiring landscapes.
Don’t forget, when choosing the best place to elope in Europe, you don’t have to pick just one! Many areas have a variety of scenery close by, and you can opt for a multi-location elopement in your chosen destination.
Another important factor when selecting where you’d like to elope in Europe includes considering how accessible you’d like your location to be. Some places may require 2-3 hours of driving from the nearest airport. Others are best accessed by ferry ride. If you decide to elope in Scandinavia, the stunning northern destinations may require more flight time than elopements taking place in Central Europe.
Beyond reaching your elopement country, the day-of location accessibility also matters. Do you want to hike, or would you prefer to walk less than a mile to reach your spot? How much privacy do you hope to have? Does your elopement location require taking a cable car or a road that is closed during certain hours? The more easily accessible your location is, the more people you’re likely to share the view with. There are ways to get around this, such as eloping at sunrise, taking a helicopter tour, or other unique modes of transportation.
I help every booked couple build a custom location guide based on the vision they have for their Europe elopement. I take into consideration factors like these, so I can advise you accordingly, and you can have the experience you’re dreaming of!
Time of Year
One easily overlooked detail is planning the right time of year for your Europe elopement. For example, I find many couples that would like to elope in March or April, because they’d love to get married in the Spring. Where I live, that’s still ski season, and spring doesn’t set in until mid-May or later. Others like the idea of getting married during August, but don’t realize that it’s one of the busiest times to tie the knot, and finding privacy can be difficult. Shoulder seasons can have limited accessibility due to road closures.
Choosing the right time of year based on your chosen destination is key to unlocking everything your Europe elopement location has to offer. Have questions? I’d love to hop on a consultation call and help you get started. You can contact me here.
For the majority of couples, eloping isn’t about getting married in the cheapest way possible (although saving money is always a plus). The couples I work with put great care into crafting an unforgettable, awe-inspiring experience.
There are a lot of ways to save or splurge, on your elopement day, but selecting an area that allows you to indulge in the parts of your day that matter to *you* is definitely worth taking into consideration.
Some of the best budget-friendly elopement destinations in Europe include: Croatia, Montenegro, and Slovenia.
Some of the most luxurious places to elope in Europe include: Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland.
I want to Elope in Europe - Where Should I Go?
Did you get to the end of this guide, brimming with ideas and having a hard time narrowing down where to go? Or maybe, something caught your attention, and you are ready to get this party started!?
Now’s the perfect time to reach out! I’d love to hop on a free consultation call and help make your dream a reality. You can contact me here.