10+ destination ideas for a winter elopement

10+ of the best winter elopement locations in the world

While some find it too cold to be enjoyed properly, others regard winter as the most beautiful season, offering all kinds of adventure and entertainment. The latter is the same group of people who wish to tie the knot in some of the dreamiest winter elopement locations!

Personally, I can see why couples are bewitched by the snowy idyll this period provides. The snow-covered mountains, bleach-white meadows, the smell of hot chocolate, and pristine, serene landscapes are all factors that contribute to the enchanting element this season brings about. Plus, since this period is far less frequently traveled by tourists, you will have more opportunities to enjoy your special moment all by yourselves. So, no by-passers disturbing your idyllic setting!

And while preparing for your winter intimate love affair might demand some more extensive planning, saying your “I do’s” in the white-washed scenery will provide an unmatched experience. 

So, if you’re looking for the most perfect winter elopement locations, check my suggestions below. I’m sure that at least one of them will inspire you to dream about having your picture-perfect ceremony there. 

1) Norway

First on my list of winter elopement destinations is Norway. If you and your partner have been long-time admirers of its dramatic coastal fjords, rocky cliffs, tall mountains, and stunning coastal views, then this is the place you should definitely consider. 

Norway is quite a big country with a relatively low population, meaning that there are tons of breathtaking locations that are yet to be discovered. Due to its predominantly mountainous scenery, you will have the opportunity to find a place that will replicate the most popular tourist destination, and allow you to escape the crowds. Some of the best winter elopement locations I’d recommend include Aurland, Lofoten Islands, and Hardanger. 

And apart from all the gorgeous landscapes it provides, Norway also offers plenty of opportunities to indulge in winter activities. You can pretend you’re a polar explorer and use dog sledding or snowmobiling to reach your ceremony location, or pledge your love while cruising the Arctic waters. Even if you don’t want to combine adventurous exploring with the unique event of celebrating your love union, you can still try these activities after your ceremony is finished. Explore the popular Oslo markets, become familiar with the Sami culture, try the best seafood specialties, and more.

But one of the things Norway (along with the rest of the Nordic countries) is so famous for is the light display on the skies, known as polar lights, or Aurora Borealis. To be able to see this magical natural occurrence, consider planning your trip to the northern side of the country between the months of November through March. This is definitely something that will make your love affair an even more special experience. 

2) Sweden

Sweden is yet another beautiful destination if you wish to elope in the winter. If you’re familiar with at least some of the many folk tales, you are probably already aware of the mystical impression tied to this country. 

This Nordic country has thousands of islands and inland lakes, a wide expanse of green forests and snowy mountains, rich cultural and historical landmarks, as well as the unique opportunity to have the polar lights witness your special occasion. In other words, Sweden offers some of the best winter elopement locations, which guarantee an escape like no other, some of which are the Swedish Lapland and Stockholm.

Apart from the long list of beautiful destinations, this winter idyll will also allow you to try lots of adventurous activities. Other than hunting the bewitching northern lights, you can also try dog sledding, sightseeing, or spotting the unique arctic wildlife. In addition, you and your partner are bound to take on a mouth-watering journey, since Sweden is widely known for its delicious culinary delights!

Deciding to travel from December to March will provide you with the convenience of having a hassle-free journey. This is the period when the country is completely covered in snow, and when you’ll have the unique chance to witness lots of wintry traditions. Choosing a destination that allows for complete privacy will also provide an opportunity to design an event that completely matches your vision and needs. And is there a better feeling than being able to crown your love in your top winter destination, surrounded by all the scenic beauty, in a way that you’ve always envisioned it to be?

3) Denmark

My next winter elopement destination suggestion is Denmark. In fact, this is the easiest country to plan your sweet escape to, because it has very relaxed rules when it comes to getting married there. 

Picture this: you and your partner are exchanging your vows at the now-covered coastal area, or sharing your heartfelt emotions in front of a snow-capped castle; these are just a couple of versions of how will your winter ceremony look like if you choose Denmark as your destination.

Being continuously ranked in the top three happiest countries worldwide, Denmark makes a worthwhile travel destination, and one of the best winter elopement locations. The land of Vikings is very popular for its rich history and vibrant culture, along with the long list of places you can have your special event. 

The winter here lasts from October to April, giving you more freedom and independence when it comes to picking the timing that will work for both you and your partner (and your small group of guests, if you decide to invite any). Once you decide on the date, don’t forget to consider the distinctive light and darkness schedule. Namely, in the depth of winter, the sun can rise as late as 9 am and set as early as 3:30 pm, giving just a small timeframe to plan your getaway itinerary around. But worry not, because as long as you stick to your schedule, you’ll be able to experience all the beauty this remarkable destination offers.

In terms of unique activities, you can visit the many snow-covered castles, enjoy the Tivoli Gardens park, and feel the cheery atmosphere surrounding the Christmas markets. And for the ultimate daredevils- take a winter dip in the freezing Nordic waters! This is definitely an experience that will make you elope in the winter in Denmark.

4) Scotland

Known as the land of all the brave, adventure-loving souls out there, Scotland is undoubtedly one of the best winter elopement locations in the world. It is the perfect destination for all those looking to merge the celebration of their love with the most unique and remarkable experience that they’ll remember for a lifetime.

The Scottish landscape is predominantly decorated by its rugged mountains, lush and mystical forests, deep, crystal-clear lakes, and plenty of medieval castles. Apart from the great landscape diversity and rich history, this country is also known for the amazing nature sceneries that become even more beautiful once the snow cover gently falls over them. With all this in mind, it’s no wonder that Scotland is one of the favorite locations for all who plan on having their sweet escape during winter.

If you’re in search of some adventurous activities to be doing there, know that this incredible place won’t disappoint. You can try the obvious- skiing, walking, or wildlife spotting, but know that Scotland can offer much more than that. Namely, you’ll have the opportunity to go on a whisky tour, cruise on Loch Ness lake, and watch the northern lights, among all else. 

It is really a magnificent destination that will help you create an adventurous experience out of your love celebration! Some of the locations that I recommend you visit include the Isle of Skye, Glencoe, and the Highlands.

5) Switzerland

Located in the very heart of Europe, Switzerland leaves a great number of couples who decide to elope in the winter completely awe-struck every year. This is mainly due to the fact that this country boasts some of the best natural scenery in the entire world. From tall mountain peaks and crystal clear lakes to cozy forest cabins and unique town layouts, this country will definitely make your elopement wishes come true. And even give you more than you’ve wished for!

Although you can’t get legally married here (Switzerland doesn’t allow non-residents to legally marry there), you can still have an official ceremony in your country and then travel for your dreamy getaway here. This will allow you to enjoy your day completely, and dedicate it only to celebrating the love you hold for each other, without any of the legalities. 

When it comes to choosing the most perfect Switzerland location, I suggest that you consider Zermatt, Grindelwald, and Lauterbrunnen, as well as the large number of lakes that can be easily accessed. 

And if you’re interested in indulging in an adventurous activity, know that this country has it all! Here, you can discover what world-class skiing feels like, ice-skate on various natural rinks, explore the magical Alpine towns, spend a night in an igloo, and more. 

And before you head home, don’t forget to reward yourself with the unique chocolate experience only Switzerland can provide! 

6) Austria

If you’ve hardly heard about Austria before, you’re not the only one. Unfortunately, this is one of the most underrated countries despite offering plenty of worthwhile locations and sceneries that will make for a dreamy winter elopement affair. 

Situated beneath the Eastern Alps in Europe, Austria is a magnificent place that combines the beauty of nature with history and culture in a very unique manner. Namely, this country is home to stunning lakes, picturesque mountain ranges, massive glaciers, and valleys full of flowers, which believe it or not, bloom even during winter! For those who are lucky enough to be familiar with it, the place is truly one of the most adventurous winter elopement locations.

Wondering what your elopement would look like here? Let me paint a brief picture for you: from exploring the unique cities and emerging in the centuries-long history to witnessing the clear alpine lakes and mystical forests – Austria can provide everything you need for the venture of your dreams. 

Some of the most popular places include Vienna, Tyrol, and Hallstatt, although many others await for you to explore. Apart from the beautiful locations, this country also offers some wonderful winter activities for you to try. You can go skiing and mountain hiking, relax in the thermal spas, go outdoor skating, or visit a husky ranch, among all others. For the ultimate adventurous experience, why not try merging one of these activities with the reason you initially traveled here- your love union? That way, you’re bound to have a truly unique celebration of your love.

7) Italy

Speaking of marvelous getaway destinations, Italy has a secure spot on my carefully-crafted list. And don’t you think for one second that this place is overrated! Although deciding to marry here demands that you’re well aware of a few international marriage laws, the experience is definitely one-of-a-kind.

Although Italy is a popular summer destination, this Mediterranean country’s wintertime is no longer less magnificent. It offers eye-captivating sceneries, cities bathed in history, and the unique opportunity to try all of the delicious foods that might feel like too much for the hot summer days.

Compared to a beach ceremony, winters in Italy can give you a unique chance to have a mountain ceremony. Surrounded by the white idyllic landscapes that the tall mountain ranges offer, you can pledge your eternal love to one another while at the same time caressing your adventurous soul. How cool, right?

Some of the winter activities you can do while you’re here include practicing winter sports, and visiting some of the popular (and not-so-popular) places to see how they look under the snowy blanket. All in all, Italy makes just as perfect a winter elopement destination as it makes a summer one.

8) Japan

For those visiting Japan to elope under the magnificent floral crown of cherry blossom trees- you’re missing out on so much! This country is, in fact, one of the best winter elopement locations, as it offers so many eye-captivating sights that will serve as the perfect backdrop for your ceremony. 

Don’t think that the snow cover will conceal all the beauty and mystery of this country; on the contrary- it serves to further embellish its warm and welcoming spirit and distinctive culture. When it comes to planning a romantic getaway to Japan, you need to remember that you’re bound to calculate the adventure aspect of it. 

This country offers some of the most beautiful natural treasures that will invite you to experience it fully. From visiting the popular ski resorts to bathing in the hots springs, or exploring some of the many winter villages that look like they’ve been taken out of a book – many places will make your winter elopement in Japan unforgettable. 

Although winters here are relatively short, lasting from late December to early March, with proper preparation, you’ll have plenty of time to get ready for and enjoy the celebration of your love union in the way you’ve always imagined it. 

9) New Zealand

Going along my list of beautiful destinations to elope in the winter, we’ve reached New Zealand. And this is the point when things begin to get a bit tricky. Namely, the seasons in this island country are completely opposite from those we enjoy here, meaning that when it’s summer here, it’s winter there, and vice versa. 

So, if you wish to plan a winter getaway there, it means that you’ll have to travel while it’s summertime in your country. But if your itinerary doesn’t allow for this, don’t worry. There are still plenty of ways to enjoy your winter ceremony if it’s summer in New Zealand!

From December to February, this country enjoys a lovely warm climate, giving you long days to plan and execute your celebration. The truth is, this place offers a little bit of everything- from turquoise waters and tall mountain ranges to fine-sanded beaches and serene lakes. Unsurprisingly, adventure seekers from all over the world decide to come here and tie the knot amidst one of the country’s natural treasures. 

In case it’s possible to switch your initial plans and reschedule your getaway to take place when it’s winter in New Zealand, here are some of the activities you can enjoy there:

  • You can go skiing or snowboarding in some of the most epic resorts in the country
  • You can take on a whale-watching adventure 
  • You and your partner can decide to include yet another celebration- the Maori New Year
  • Explore the unique wildlife 
  • For the ultimate adventure, you can take a dip in the cold ocean. This would certainly make your blood run faster through your veins!

And since all of these make such unique activities, why not make a combination of one of the list’s suggestions with your elopement and experience a truly unique way to celebrate your special day?!

10) Finland

Although winters in Finland are known to be dark and chilly, the snow-covered landscapes are so beautiful that they might take your breath away. And no, you can’t blame this on the cold!

Offering large expanses of dense forest, untouched nature, and distinctive wilderness, Finland is often compared to some of the bewitching places that are only mentioned in fantasy books. And how glad you’ll be to discover that all this can be found in a real, physical location!

For couples dreaming of an adventurous getaway, this country should be on the top of their winter elopement locations list. And once you get tired of exploring all the amazing locations, you’ll be able to relax in one (or more) of the two million saunas scattered throughout the country. This practically means that you have a chance to rest and unwind in every corner. Unbelievable!

When it comes to unique places and activities, I shouldn’t forget to mention the magical Aurora borealis. Finland is one of the handful of countries that can boast about being able to provide such an incredible experience, so make sure you don’t miss it out. And since winter is the best season to spot them, I’m sure you’ll have more than one opportunity to witness this natural wonder – or even elope, having these vivid colors as a bespoke backdrop!

Other locations that are worth paying a visit to are the Finnish Lapland, Helsinki regions, Lakeland, and the coast and archipelago. 

11) Germany

Last, but not least, we have Germany – another one of the top winter elopement locations you can visit that will offer the perfect setting and atmosphere for the getaway of your dreams.

Known for its hefty history, distinctive Bavarian architecture, and plenty of natural landmarks that will work their magic to satisfy your adrenaline urge, this country can proudly stand up to the rest on this list. Its rolling hills, curvy rivers, and dense pine forests are just some of the things that mark its beautiful landscape.

And although Germany makes a wonderful getaway location throughout the year, wintertime is known for enhancing the country’s natural beauty in a way no other season can. From snow-capped castles to white-covered forests, all of these provide idyllic locations for the destination ceremony of your dreams. 

Some locations that I suggest you visit during your stay in Germany include the Black Forest, the Bavarian Alps, the Rhine Valley, Wintersberg, and Dresden, among others. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice some winter sports there, just don’t forget to pack plenty of warm clothes.

Country by country, you’ve come to the end of my carefully-designed list of winter elopement locations. I hope that you’ll find my suggestions useful and that you and your partner will be able to turn your lifelong elopement dream into a reality. And if you’re looking for a professional to help you plan, execute, and on top of it all, photograph your bespoke affair, don’t hesitate to contact me. I will be honored to offer my services and expertise in curating an experience you’ll treasure forever!

10+ of the BEST destination ideas for a snowy winter elopement
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