The Tre Cime di Lavaredo trail is a stunning and easy access place to get elopement photos in the Dolomites. From late June to mid September, you can drive straight up to the Tre Cime trail and Lavaredo Rifugio from Cortina d’Ampezzo. There is a €30 toll road fee to the upper parking lot, but a short 15-20 minute walk will take you past the hut and straight to the scenic viewpoint. It’s easy access, jaw-droppingly gorgeous, a fabulous spot to explore.
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The popularity and easy access of this trail make it an insanely busy location. You will be competing with day hikers, overnight trekkers, rock climbers, mountain bikers and other athletes and travelers for the same trail. If you want relative privacy and don’t want your experience overwhelmed by crowds, plan to have your tre cime elopement photos at sunrise.
If you want the most stress free and flexible option, book a night in one of the two nearby Rifugios. You will wake up right under Tre Cime and won’t need to stress about parking.
Did I mention the trail is busy? If you want to have the best chances for empty(ish) trails, plan your elopement photos in the middle of the week. Avoid July and August, as they are extremely busy! Make sure you avoid the long weekend holidays as well – Germany, Austria and Italy have a lot of public holidays in the months of May and June. If your date falls near one of these, you’ll see a lot of travelers and people on the trail.
Mountain weather is wild – it’ll rain heavy and consistently the entire day, then abruptly stop right before sunset, like in this June 2022 Tre Cime elopement. Or, it’ll forecast heavy rain for the afternoon, but a brilliantly clear morning like this Seceda Dolomites elopement. You can’t be too discouraged or obsessed with the weather forecast when in the Dolomites. You just have to be prepared.
A little rain is actually not a deal breaker, and neither are cloudy skies! For midday photos especially, clouds are ideal. The light is softer and more even on your skin, and everything has a softer look.
When the weather is too dangerous to go out in (lightening, hail, thunderstorms, extreme wind/cold/heat etc.) you’ll want to plan a backup shooting location nearby. I recommend Lago d’Atorno just to the south; you will be at a more comfortable elevation close to restaurants and parking, and can quickly make the drive to Tre Cime if things clear up.
If it continues to drizzle a bit, don’t forget how romantic those wet photos will look. Make sure to bring umbrellas and rain jackets, and a change of dry cloths, and embrace the aesthetic! Low clouds look beautiful and add atmosphere in ways clear skies just can’t.
Bring a way to protect your hairstyle against wind and humidity. A hat or beanie is no good, the hoodie of your rain jacket is okay in an emergency, but a stylish silk scarf or shawl will protect your hair the best. It’s not something people often think about until it’s too late. If you have longer hair or curls, you’ll want to protect them from frizz and tangles. Practice loosely wrapping your hair before your elopement photos so you can throw it over your hair if the wind picks up! Even if it looks silly, remember it’s more about function than form.
Having your elopement photos in the Dolomites means you’ll be laying up and down a lot. Most couples don’t hike the entire time in their wedding gear. They change in and out of it a couple times for certain parts of their day, like for their vow ceremony or first look. To make things easy, I recommend having on some bike shorts under your dress or suit pants. One, they double up as shape wear pretty well, and two, they allow you to get in and out of your pants or dress on the trail without stripping down to your underwear.
For dresses, they add some anti chafing relief and give you an extra layer in case you need to hike your dress up for a high step!
As for the rest of your layers, make sure they are moisture wicking and quick dry. Whatever you normally wear for exercise or hiking is ideal. Avoid layers with buttons, straps or other design elements that make it hard to get in and out of.
An elopement photographer is a very intimate part of your day, and they can make or break your Tre Cime elopement experience. Choose wisely. Pick someone you vibe with, who makes you feel supported, relaxed and seen. Your photographer may just be the only other person with you on this important day!
I recommend video chatting with multiple photographers and choosing the one you feel most at ease with. You’ll really “just know” when you find the right fit.
If you want someone local to the Dolomites, trained in wilderness medicine, full of dad jokes and possibly part mountain goat – hey, stranger, let’s talk about it! I’m Mariah. I live in the Austrian Alps and Italian Dolomites and these peaks are my playground, gym and office.
My Tre Cime elopement packages start at €4,900. To find out more about what’s included in my packages, check out my packages and pricing page here.
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