Medieval castles, the Bavarian Alps, snowy winter lodges and the Black Forest – Germany has endless dreamy locations to get married. Germany is an ideal place to get married or elope with a small, meaningful wedding ceremony. For those passionate about nature, each other, and a good Hefeweizen, here’s a list of the best places to get married or elope in Germany!
Here are my top tips for Eloping in the German Alps area during all 4 seasons:
Berchtesgaden National Park is an impressive backdrop to get married in Germany. It’s a vast playground of alpine lakes, waterfalls, sprawling pastures and luscious green forests. Hands down: there are fewer places in Germany more impressive than here.
There are also options for a variety of wedding sizes. There are many lodges and luxury hotels which can support large groups of friends and families, all the way down to simple mountain top commitment ceremonies for just the two of you.
Also in the Berchtesgaden area lies the Königsee (or “King’s Lake”), the Hintersee and the Obersee. Each of these lakes provides impressive views, crystal clear water and enough adorable mountain cows to make your head explode.
Finally and maybe most importantly, this area is also lesser known to international tourists and a much more immersive “German” experience. It is located only 30 minutes from Salzburg, Austria. Therefore, it’s a great place to fly into and to place yourself between both countries for a honeymoon in the German and Austrian Alps.
My top three recommendations for eloping in Berchtesgadenerland are:
Garmisch Partenkirchen is *classic* Bavaria. If you’re a North American, chances are you’ve seen or heard of this area before–and for good reason. Garmisch is a hub of American tourism, and many of the businesses here cater to Americans and English speakers. It has a ton of luxury shops, restaurants and hotels, as well as some of the Alp’s best ski resorts.
It is also home to the Zugspitze, which is Germany’s tallest mountain peak. Whether for skiing or snowboarding in the winter, or hiking and sight seeing in the warm summer months, the Zugspitze cable car is a must.
Eloping in Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a timeless choice that can be crafted year round.
With that in mind, it is very crowded almost all year round. If you’re looking for a more off the beaten path option, Berchtesgaden National Park (above) is my recommendation. However, if you’re looking for a luxury adventure experience with all the bells and whistles, Garmisch is hard to beat. It’s a top destination for hikers, mountain bikers and skiiers. You’ll also find a number of luxury, 5 star hotels, spas and restaurants in the area.
Oberstdorf is home to the Nebelhorn, one of Germany’s tallest mountain peaks. The trails, lakes and accommodation in this area are world class. In Allgäu, you can find a number of wedding or elopement worthy locations. I strongly recommend the hikes in this area such as the Gaisalpsee, or sunrise cable car tours up to the Nebelhorn.
Just like Berchtesgaden and Garmisch, Allgäu is a popular tourism destination. Due to that, you won’t have problems finding hotels and accomodation, but I definitely recommend booking early. Füsse, the Alpsee and the famous Neuschwanstein castle are not far away either!
Burg Eltz is an 850 year old castle tucked away in a quiet valley just outside Koblenz, Germany in Rhineland-Phalz. It’s remained owned and operated by descendants of the “Eltz” family for 33 generations. It was recently renovated true to its original architecture, and it’s absolutely picturesque.
There are two ways to approach Burg Eltz: from a parking lot only a kilometer away, or by a 45 minute walk through the woods from the other side. The walk from the parking lot is easy to access and paved. The forest hike, however, will grant you top down views of the castle and a photo-worthy descent into the valley.
While large, formal wedding ceremonies aren’t possible here, Burg Eltz is a great place to catch the sunrise before the crowds arrive and create beautiful wedding portraits.
Whoa. This place…Most people have seen photos of Castle Neuschwanstein, it’s just about legendary. Although it’s actually one of Germany’s more modern castles (built in 1869), it is one of the largest and most elaborate. The castle is built into the mountains and looks over the Alpsee.
While beautiful, it is swarming with tourism (over 6,000 visitors per day in peak summer months!). I would recommend it only as a location for sunrise castle wedding photography. As an alternative, there are private guided tours available for couples. If you are wishing to coordinate the perfect fairy tale proposal, you can hire a horse drawn carriage and pop the question in the main ballroom. What a dream, right?
Maybe you’re less the Disney princess vibe and more the Corpse Bride aesthetic? Burg Frankenstein is the perfect spooky castle for edgy couples who like to indulge with a touch of the macabre. If you dig the idea of a Halloween wedding in a gothic dress, this place is for you.
Heidelberg in general is a vibrant, artistic city with a lot to offer. Burg Heidelberg is a popular spot for wedding and elopement photos and ideal for anyone who wants to explore one of Germany’s most charming cities afterwards. The castle itself is an eye-catching rust color, made entirely of the sandstone native to the area.
In the heart of Germany near Kassel is the Löwenburg castle. Like many things in the area, this castle suffered damage in WWII and is currently undergoing historic renovations. However, for purposes of photos, it’s a great place to elope as it has an artful appearance. If you are located nearer to Frankfurt, this castle is a more local option to say your vows in front of. It’s old, surrounded by green forest and has a ruinous charm straight out of Brothers Grimm.
Getting married or having your elopement in the Zauberwald (“Wizard’s forest”) makes for a truly lush, green forest elopement. Glacial rivers cascade down the alps into the Ramsauer Ache, a bright turquoise colored river full of white stones, gushing waterfalls and bubbling pools.
The Zauberwald is located near the Hintersee in the Berchtesgaden National Park. I honestly prefer this area over the Königsee as it’s quieter, more wild and has some of the best views around. The parking lots are easy to access, but can fill up before 9 if it’s the busy season. Get there early! It’s packed with beautiful spots for photos and since it’s more off the beaten path than the Königsee, you have a great chance of having it all to yourself if you show up early for sunrise.
The Black Forest is world famous, and for good reason. The area straddles the southwest corner of Germany and is a dense, green playground. It’s highest peak is the Feldberg at 1,493 m (4,898 ft), and to the east is the Titisee. There’s plenty of hiking to do in the summer and skiing in the winter!
The Spessart is a lush, green oasis located on the border of the German states Bavaria and Hessen. After living here myself for 3 years, I can say the area is uniquely beautiful and especially charming in the summer and autumn months. The fox gloves and ferns grow tall and thick and it’s a great location for a small ceremony or rustic wedding. While it doesn’t have quit the epic mountain views of the Zauberwald, it is peaceful, quiet and vast. It’s a great option for those who would prefer something low key at a hyper local German Gästhaus.
***Pro tip: try local favorites like “Apple Wine” or “Green Sauce” when out eating in restaurants – be sure to let me know what you think!
The region near Kaiserslautern is another example of Germany’s dense green forests. For those seeking beautiful forests between Frankfurt and Stuttgart, this area is hard to beat. Much like the Spessart, the forests here are thick but “close to home.” There are endless trails for hiking and mountain biking and it’s a great place for couples who want to be surrounded by nature, but not overwhelmed. The trails follow gentle, rolling hills and the area is calm and slow in comparison to high-tourism areas such as Allgäu or Garmisch.
Choosing an adventurous wedding is like charting unknown territory. Most likely, no one you know has done something similar, and the logistics and planning can feel overwhelming.
But don’t stress, I’m here to help.
Figuring out exactly where to get married or elope in Germany is easier when you know where to look. Therefore, hiring an experienced elopement photographer is crucial. I live in these areas and specialize in the type of wedding you’re bravely choosing.
If you find this article helpful, then let’s talk! Now that you know your main options, I’d love to help you plan the most amazing elopement ever.