Europe is full of incredible places to see, but you already know that, don’t you? So how do you pick? These 5 fundamental points will help you consider the most important points.
This is crucial because sometimes our wanderlust gets away from us. Maybe that Scandanavian winter wonderland looks dreamy, but how well do you handle the cold? It’s best to be very honest with yourself about the kind of weather and temperatures you feel best in. There’s nothing worse than choosing a location, only to arrive and realize you hate the cold, or melt in the sun like a candle.
If you want warm, dry and sunny weather, be conscious that places like Scotland, Norway, the Faroe Islands and Iceland aren’t reliable locations for that. More than likely, it’ll be overcast, rainy, windy and chill.
If you want a Tuscan, Croatian or Greek elopement mid-summer, be prepared to sweat. Are you okay with your hair and makeup running? Is your suit cool enough to handle the soaring temperatures? Be realistic about the weather and do your research regarding climate and *especially* the time of year you’ve chosen.
Finally, seasons and latitudes affect climate greatly. Before you pull the trigger on a location, look into what the temperatures and weather patterns are for that time of year.
Rule of thumb? Mountains in late June to early October. Avoid mediterranean locations in July and August.
Not many people consider that elopement locations can be lumped into these two categories. When figuring out how choose an elopement location, you both need to consider which types of places are most authentic to you and your personalities. It’s easy to get romanced into a city elopement in Paris, only to realize it’s loud, crowded and people are staring at you. Likewise, more remote locations might be difficult to get to, or lack the amenities and vendors you need.
Be realistic about what’s most important and comfortable for you, and choose a location to match.
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Do you thrive in situations with a lot of people?
Do you find crowds, traffic and nightlife exciting, rather than overwhelming?
Do you vibe with consumer focused environments?
Do you prefer spending your Friday nights dancing and socializing in bars or clubs?
Do you gravitate towards you own city’s downtown area?
If you answered no to may of these questions, then fist bump, because you’re just like me and prefer the sounds of silence.
If you answered yes to many of these questions, then also fist bump, because an urban elopement may be for you.
For the former, consider elopement locations which are more nature focused, heavy on landscape and scenery and natural wonders. For example: the Dolomites or Austrian Alps
For the latter, consider elopement locations which are urban, trendy and maybe even a bit glamorous. For example: Paris, Milan, Vienna, Innsbruck – or a medieval German castle
If you don’t have a date yet, no worries! Even just choosing a season is a big step in narrowing down how choose an elopement location. Similar with choosing places with weather you like, season plays a large role.
Summer in Europe is extremely crowded and prices for hotels and services surge in July and August as the continent takes its summer holidays.
Winter can be beautiful in the Alps, but grey most everywhere else. Summer in the alps can be hot and stormy. However, the long days means you can fit a lot into your day. Late September and early October in the Alps makes for incredible fall colors, while June often has colorful alpine blooms.
Remember that mountains and high altitudes can be chilly ALL year long (not just from October to May).
What do I mean by accessibility? I mean: how easy your location is to get to.
Not all locations are created equal in terms of ease of access, privacy and cost. You can usually only pick two.
For example: a jaw dropping view right off a highway, or a short 30 minute hike from a parking lot won’t be a great option for those who value privacy. It will be packed, likely from sun up to sundown. People might literally be lined up for the same shot. This is alright for a quick detour or photo-op, but I don’t recommend it for a commitment ceremony or vows.
In contrast, something very private with easy access will be expensive. This is where helicopter tours are a great option. While expensive, it will whisk you to remote places most people will never see. If you can afford it, do it.
Lastly, for the physically fit and adventurous, I’ve got good news. If you‘re willing and able to put in the work, you can get to remote locations at no cost. For those who like to hike, welcome to the backwoods! You’re likely to be the only ones around.
Even better news? An all day or 2 day elopement can incorporate all 3, making for an incredibly diverse elopement experience.
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When choosing an elopement location, it’s super important to think about your timeline. For full day and 2 day elopement timelines, there is much more flexibility. However, with only 6-8 hours, you’ll find you need a location with a lot to see in a small area. Driving an hour or more between locations won’t be possible. In very mountainous areas, remember drive time tends to be longer because of the winding and steep roads.
Island locations and archipelagos (think Azores, Madeira, Faroe Islands, Sardinia etc.) have a lot of different geography packed into small geographical areas. They can be great options if you like to see a lot in a limited time frame.
I definitely recommend a full 10 hour or multi day elopement for the best experience. These longer timelines are much more flexible and relaxing.
Remember, this is a once in a lifetime event and a great time to cross some things off your bucket list. Have fun with the process of narrowing down locations, and don’t be afraid to dream big.
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 is easier when you know where to look. Therefore, hiring an experienced elopement photographer is crucial. I specialize in the type of wedding you’re bravely choosing, so don’t sweat! I totally get it, and I want to make your elopement the most memorable, joy-packed day imaginable.
If you find this article helpful, then let’s talk! I’d love to help you plan the most amazing elopement ever.
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