Northern lights elopement - the ultimate guide

Dancing lights, eternal vows: the ultimate guide to your northern lights elopement


Best time to elope under the northern lights

November to March

Where can we see the northern lights?

Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Sweden, Finland are all great destinations to see them!

Cool piece of info

The northern lights are not only dancing in the sky, they are also moving from north to south every night!

Imagine standing hand in hand, beneath the celestial ballet of the Northern Lights, as you exchange vows in an ethereal glow that dances across the Arctic sky. Eloping under the Northern Lights isn’t just a ceremony; it’s a symphony of nature’s most enchanting phenomena, a backdrop so mesmerizing it feels as though the universe itself is celebrating your union. This spectacle of shimmering colors, from ethereal greens to vibrant purples, sets the stage for a truly unparalleled wedding experience.

Choosing to elope under the Northern Lights invites not just romance but adventure into the heart of your love story, offering a unique blend of intimacy and wonder. It’s a journey to some of the world’s most breathtaking landscapes, where the wild and the whimsical meet. From the secluded fjords of Norway to the untouched wilderness of Iceland, the promise of this luminous display beckons couples seeking an escape from the ordinary, a moment of love illuminated by the world’s most spectacular light show.

This guide is your compass to navigating this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, from choosing the perfect Arctic haven to ensuring every detail resonates with the magic of the aurora borealis. Welcome to your Northern Lights elopement, where your vows are not just spoken but felt, under the watchful gaze of the dancing lights above.

Elopement under the northern lights - ultimate guide

Understanding the magic behind the Aurora Borealis

The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are one of the Earth’s most magnificent natural phenomena, painting the polar skies with breathtaking colors. This celestial spectacle occurs when charged particles from the sun collide with atoms in Earth’s atmosphere, releasing energy in the form of light. This process creates a luminous dance across the night sky, with colors ranging from vivid greens to deep purples, each hue telling a story of its own atmospheric tale.

When and where to plan a northern lights elopement

The best times to witness the Northern Lights are during the colder months, from late September to early March. During this period, the nights are longest in the polar regions, providing a dark canvas for the lights to display their ethereal beauty.

Where to plan a northern lights elopement - Iceland


With its dramatic landscapes of ice and fire, Iceland offers a stunning backdrop for the Northern Lights. Prime viewing spots include Thingvellir National Park and the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.


The northern town of Tromsø, known as the Gateway to the Arctic, offers some of the best chances to see the Aurora, along with the Lofoten Islands, where the lights reflect off the open sea.

Where to plan a northern lights elopement - Norway
Where to plan a northern lights elopement - Finland


Finnish Lapland, especially around the area of Rovaniemi, provides a magical setting with its snow-covered forests and cozy glass igloos, perfect for aurora watching.


Abisko National Park, with its unique microclimate, boasts clear skies and excellent visibility for Northern Lights viewing.

Where to plan a northern lights elopement - Sweden
Where to plan a northern lights elopement - Canada


The Yukon, with its pristine wilderness, offers spectacular views of the Aurora. Other notable spots include Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories and Churchill in Manitoba.

Alaska, USA

Fairbanks, situated under the “Aurora Oval,” where aurora activity is concentrated, provides a high chance of sightings.

Where to plan a northern lights elopement - Alaska
Where to plan a northern lights elopement - Greenland


The town of Kulusuk and the area around Ilulissat Icefjord offer dramatic icy landscapes under the Northern Lights.


The Kola Peninsula, particularly around Murmansk, lies within the Arctic Circle and is an excellent location for aurora enthusiasts.

Where to plan a northern lights elopement - Russia
Where to plan a northern lights elopement - Scotland

Scotland, UK

The Shetland and Orkney Islands, as well as the Scottish Highlands, occasionally offer glimpses of the Northern Lights during strong solar activity.


The Faroe Islands, though more of a challenge for sightings, can offer unique views of the Aurora against rugged landscapes.

Where to plan a northern lights elopement - Denmark

Each of these destinations not only provides an opportunity to witness the Northern Lights but also offers unique landscapes and experiences, making them perfect for an unforgettable elopement adventure. Choosing the right location and time is key to aligning your special moment with the awe-inspiring display of nature’s greatest light show.

When to plan your northern lights elopement

When to plan your northern lights elopement

Embarking on an elopement under the Northern Lights requires not just a sense of adventure but also strategic planning to align your special day with nature’s schedule. The elusive nature of the Aurora Borealis means that timing and season play crucial roles in maximizing your chances of witnessing this spectacular show.

Best Season for the Northern Lights

The Aurora Borealis is most active and visible during the colder months, from late September to early March. This period, known as the Aurora Season, coincides with longer nights in the Arctic regions, providing a dark sky necessary for the lights to be visible.

Planning Your Elopement Date

  • Avoid Full Moon Nights: Choose dates around the new moon phase when the sky is darkest. A bright full moon can wash out the Aurora, making it less visible.
  • Monitor Solar Activity: The strength of the Northern Lights correlates with solar activity. Websites and apps that track geomagnetic forecasts can help you plan around more active periods.
  • Consider the Weather: Clear skies are essential for Aurora viewing. Research historical weather patterns of your chosen location to select a time of year known for stable, clear conditions. Remember, though, weather is unpredictable; flexibility in your plans can make all the difference.
When to plan your northern lights elopement

Optimal Viewing Times

While the Northern Lights can technically appear at any time after dark, the prime viewing window is between 9 PM and 2 AM. This is when geomagnetic activity is often strongest, increasing the likelihood of a vivid display.

Extended Stays for Increased Chances

Given the unpredictable nature of the Aurora and local weather, consider planning a longer stay in your chosen destination. This not only increases your chances of witnessing the Northern Lights but also allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture and landscape, adding depth to your elopement experience.

A Final Note on Flexibility

While careful planning can significantly increase your chances of an Aurora-lit elopement, the Northern Lights remain a natural phenomenon beyond our control. Embracing flexibility with your plans, including being ready to adjust based on weather and Aurora activity, can help ensure that your experience is magical, regardless of the whims of nature. This adventure, set against the backdrop of the world’s most stunning light show, promises to be as unique and unforgettable as your love story.

Choosing the right photographer for your northern lights elopement

Capturing the ethereal beauty of the Northern Lights, alongside the intimate moments of your elopement, requires a photographer with a unique set of skills. Selecting someone experienced in nighttime and Northern Lights photography is essential to ensure that the magic of your day is immortalized in images that resonate with emotion and the mesmerizing dance of the auroras. Here are key tips for choosing your photographer:

How to choose your photographer for your northern lights elopement

Specialized Experience

Look for photographers who specialize in or have a strong portfolio of nighttime and Northern Lights photography. This niche requires understanding specific techniques to capture the vibrant colors and movement of the aurora against the dark sky, alongside the nuanced emotions of your elopement.

Familiarity with Your Destination

A photographer experienced with your chosen locale can be invaluable. They’ll know the best spots for capturing the Northern Lights and have a plan B in case of unforeseen circumstances, like inclement weather or unexpected changes in aurora activity.

How to choose your photographer for your northern lights elopement
How to choose your photographer for your northern lights elopement


The unpredictability of the Northern Lights means conditions can change rapidly. Your photographer should be adaptable, ready to capture stunning shots whether the lights are faint or dazzlingly vivid.

Technical Proficiency

Photographing the Northern Lights requires specific technical knowledge, including long exposure photography, noise reduction techniques, and the ability to balance the foreground illumination with the aurora’s glow. Discuss their approach and ensure they have the necessary equipment, such as a tripod and appropriate lenses.

How to choose your photographer for your northern lights elopement
How to choose your photographer for your northern lights elopement

Preparing for the Unexpected

A photographer experienced in this field will be well-versed in making the most of whatever conditions the night presents. Their expertise will ensure that, no matter how the Northern Lights appear, your photographs will be breathtaking.

Selecting the right photographer for your Northern Lights elopement is about finding a balance between technical skill, creative vision, and an understanding of the natural phenomenon you’re hoping to capture. With the right photographer by your side, the memories of your elopement under the aurora borealis will be as vivid and enchanting as the experience itself.

What to wear for your northern lights elopement

What to wear to elope under the northern lights

Layering is Key

Start with thermal base layers that retain heat without adding bulk. Over this, wear a stylish middle layer, and finally, choose an elegant outer layer, such as a tailored coat or a chic cloak, that complements your elopement attire while offering warmth.
Choose fabrics and silhouettes that move gracefully and photograph well in the wind, adding a dynamic element to your photos. Flowing dresses, tailored suits, and accessories like scarves can add motion and depth to your images.

Footwear for Function and Fashion

Opt for boots that are both warm and elegant. Look for styles that offer insulation, waterproofing, and grip for navigating snowy or icy terrain, without sacrificing the overall look of your elopement outfit.
If you’re planning to exchange vows outside, think about how long you’ll be in the cold and choose your attire accordingly. For longer ceremonies, consider incorporating thermal leggings or heaters into your setup.

Accessories as Accent Pieces

Hats, gloves, and scarves not only provide extra warmth but also serve as stylish accents. Consider items in colors that pop against the snowy backdrop or in luxurious materials like wool, cashmere, or faux fur. Custom elements, such as a bespoke wrap or an embroidered jacket, can keep you warm while adding a personal touch that reflects your unique style and the significance of the occasion.

Unique things to do on your northern lights elopement

An elopement under the Northern Lights offers more than just an opportunity to exchange vows; it’s a gateway to a world of romantic and adventurous experiences in the Arctic region. Complementing your special day with activities that resonate with the magic of your surroundings can elevate your elopement into an unforgettable journey. Here are ideas to inspire a deeper connection with each other and the enchanting landscapes around you.

What to do on your northern lights elopement - snowshoeing adventure

Snowshoeing Adventures

Traverse the pristine snow-covered landscapes together on a snowshoeing adventure. It’s a peaceful way to explore the Arctic wilderness, offering moments of tranquility and breathtaking views, perfect for reflection and connection.

Husky Sled Rides

Embrace the thrill of gliding across the snow on a husky sled ride, an iconic Arctic experience. It’s not just an adventure; it’s a way to immerse yourselves in the local culture and the majestic beauty of the winter landscape.

What to do on your northern lights elopement - husky sled
What to do on your northern lights elopement - outdoor dinner

Gourmet Outdoor Dining

Arrange for a gourmet meal to be served in an outdoor setting, whether it’s a picnic beneath the auroras or a fireside feast in the snow. This combines the delights of fine dining with the raw beauty of the Arctic environment.

Stargazing Night

With the clear Arctic skies, a stargazing night can be a magical addition to your elopement experience. Wrapped in blankets, with warm drinks in hand, gaze up at the stars and perhaps catch the mesmerizing dance of the Northern Lights.

What to do on your northern lights elopement - stargazing

Incorporating these activities and experiences into your Arctic elopement not only celebrates your union but also deepens your connection to each other and the extraordinary setting you’ve chosen. Each adventure, from the serene to the exhilarating, weaves into the tapestry of your love story, making your elopement not just a day to remember, but a journey of a lifetime.

Capturing the moment

Choose the Right Photographer/Videographer

Technical Considerations for Northern Lights Photography

Planning for the Perfect Shot

Northern lights elopement packages and pricing

All my packages include:

  • From 1-2 locations to a full 7 days honeymoon and elopement adventure photography coverage
  • Custom planning by a travel agent and elopement planner with:
    • A list of 3 to 4 location recommendations based on your vision
    • Complimentary transportation for your day(s)
    • Concierge service for vendors, accommodation, restaurants, you name it! And the option of having it all included in your package
    • Help with anything related to accessibility, permits and rules
    • A printed “how to elope” guide with everything you need to know
    • A custom timeline for your day(s)
    • The possibility to get legally married by your photographer (we’re all US ministers!)
  • Online gallery you can share with the world
  • Travels feels to anywhere in the world are already included!
  • Starting at $10.750
(no inquiry needed)

And what about the austral aurora?

The Austral Aurora, or Southern Lights, is the southern hemisphere’s captivating counterpart to the Northern Lights, offering a mesmerizing light show against the night skies over the southernmost reaches of the globe. This natural phenomenon occurs when solar winds interact with the Earth’s magnetic field and atmospheric particles, creating vibrant streaks of color that dance across the sky. Visible from high southern latitudes, in regions such as Tasmania, New Zealand’s South Island, and Antarctica, the Austral Aurora transforms the horizon into a canvas of glowing hues, ranging from soft greens to deep purples. Witnessing this celestial spectacle is a truly magical experience, offering a unique perspective on the beauty and wonder of our planet.

Conclusion: Embracing the Aurora

Choosing to elope under the Northern Lights is to step into a realm of unparalleled beauty, where the earth meets the cosmos in a display of celestial wonder. It’s a declaration that your love is as vast and profound as the night sky, illuminated by the ethereal dance of the aurora borealis. This adventure is more than a ceremony; it’s a journey into the heart of the wild, a testament to the bold and the brave, the romantics who dare to dream differently.

As you embark on this path, remember that the journey itself is as significant as the destination. The Northern Lights, with their unpredictable nature, remind us to embrace the moment, to find joy in the spontaneity of life and love. Your elopement under these dancing skies is not just about the vows you exchange but the memories you create, the silent promises made under the watchful gaze of the aurora, and the shared laughter in the face of the Arctic chill.

This guide has aimed to illuminate the path to your Northern Lights elopement, offering insights into planning, capturing, and celebrating your love in one of the world’s most magical settings. Yet, beyond the preparations and practicalities lies the true essence of your adventure—the sheer wonder of beginning your married life together under a canopy of light, surrounded by the raw beauty of nature.

To elope under the Northern Lights is to choose a start to your marriage that is as unique and vibrant as the lights themselves. It’s a celebration not just of your love for each other but of your shared love for the extraordinary, for experiences that transcend the ordinary, and for moments that leave an indelible mark on your hearts.

As you move forward with your plans, let the lights guide you, not just across the sky, but in your lives together. May the glow of the aurora borealis light your way to a future filled with love, adventure, and the beauty of the untamed world. Here’s to the couples who choose the wild, the wonderful, and the whimsical. Your Northern Lights elopement awaits, a beginning to a love story that promises to be as breathtaking as the spectacle that unfolds above you.

Your go-to resource: the Aurora NOAA app

Discover the magic of the Northern Lights with the NOAA Aurora app, your ultimate guide to catching nature’s most spectacular light show. With real-time forecasts and visibility maps, this app is a must-have for anyone chasing the auroras. It simplifies space weather, ensuring you never miss a moment of the celestial dance. Embrace the adventure with NOAA Aurora in your pocket, and make your Northern Lights dreams a reality.

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