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A comprehensive guide to eloping in Europe

Craving a romantic, intimate ceremony away from prying eyes? Eloping in Europe offers the perfect blend of Old-World charm and modern amenities for an unforgettable adventure. With its breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural tapestry, and seamless travel logistics, Europe provides an idyllic backdrop for exchanging vows.

From the rugged fjords of Norway to the sun-drenched vineyards of France, this comprehensive guide unveils the best destinations and elopement packages Europe has to offer, ensuring a personalized, sustainable, and truly magical experience.

Rocky Landscapes: Norway and the Faroe Islands

For couples seeking an intimate, off-the-beaten-path elopement, the Faroe Islands and Norway offer breathtaking rocky landscapes and a sense of adventure. The Faroe Islands, a remote Danish archipelago between Norway, Iceland, and the UK, boast dramatic cliffs, waterfalls, and charming villages – perfect for a secluded ceremony.

  • To elope in the Faroe Islands, couples need a Notice of Marriage from the capital at least 4 weeks prior, and ceremonies are officiated by a mayor or minister.
  • Top spots include Saksun Church, Lake Sørvágsvatn, Fossa Waterfall, Bøssdalafossur Waterfall, and the village of Saksun.
  • Summer offers the best weather and up to 19 hours of daylight for an extended celebration.

An example Faroe Islands elopement itinerary could include:

  1. A private waterfall ceremony
  2. Exploring nearby canyons
  3. A sailboat adventure to a secret village or offbeat island

With stunning natural beauty and ease of organizing a legally binding ceremony, the Faroe Islands offer a dreamy, unexplored landscape for adventurous couples seeking exclusivity.

Alpine Wonders: Switzerland, Austria, and the Dolomites

For couples seeking a fairytale elopement amidst awe-inspiring alpine scenery, the Swiss Alps, Austrian mountains, and the Dolomites in Italy offer a breathtaking backdrop. The Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage site, boast stunning locations like Braies Lake, Seceda, Cadini di Misurina, Val di Funes, and the iconic Tre Cime (Three Peaks).

While legal marriage in the Dolomites requires specific documentation at the nearest town hall, many couples opt for a symbolic ceremony after getting legally married at home. Elopement packages in the Alps cover proposals, elopements, honeymoons, and photoshoots, with the Dolomites offering an intimate no-hike wedding at Lago di Braies for $6,900.00, spanning 1.5 days to multi-day adventures.

Switzerland’s glaciers, peaks, and waterfalls make it an idyllic elopement destination for non-residents seeking a legal marriage. Austria, though lacking famous spots like Lago di Braies, offers a diverse range of mountain locations for an unforgettable alpine elopement.

Coastal Charms: Ireland, Scotland, and Croatia

For couples seeking a romantic coastal elopement, Ireland, Scotland, and Croatia offer breathtaking scenery and rich cultural tapestries. Ireland’s rugged Cliffs of Moher, the Ring of Kerry, and the Giant’s Causeway provide stunning backdrops for intimate ceremonies. Scotland’s Isle of Skye, with its fairy-tale landscapes, and the picturesque villages of the Highlands offer a sense of seclusion and enchantment.

Croatia’s Adriatic coastline boasts charming towns like Rovinj, Dubrovnik, and the islands of Hvar and Brac. Couples can exchange vows amidst ancient fortresses, secluded coves, or on a private yacht, surrounded by crystal-clear waters and stunning sunsets.

DestinationHighlightsLegal Requirements
IrelandCliffs of Moher, Ring of Kerry, Giant’s CausewayMarriage license, residency requirements
ScotlandIsle of Skye, Scottish Highlands, Loch LomondMarriage schedule, residency requirements
CroatiaDubrovnik, Hvar, Rovinj, private yacht ceremoniesMarriage license, residency requirements

These coastal destinations offer a blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and romantic ambiance, making them ideal for couples seeking an unforgettable elopement experience.

Cultural Delights: France and the Netherlands

For couples seeking an elopement steeped in cultural richness and romantic charm, France and the Netherlands offer an enchanting blend of urban sophistication and natural beauty.

France’s diverse landscapes, from the dramatic Alps and Pyrenees to the sun-drenched beaches of the south, provide an array of breathtaking venues for intimate ceremonies. Top destinations include:

  • Paris, the City of Love, with its iconic landmarks and charming cafés
  • Provence, renowned for its lavender fields, vineyards, and picturesque villages
  • Auvergne, a hidden gem boasting volcanic landscapes and medieval towns
  • The French Alps, offering majestic mountain vistas for a fairytale elopement
  • Corsica, a Mediterranean island paradise with crystal-clear waters and rugged cliffs

While legal elopements for foreigners are not recognized in France, couples can opt for a symbolic ceremony and have a legal wedding back home. Elopement packages in France often include photography, videography, travel guidance, planning, and styling to create a personalized, unforgettable experience.

French Elopement PackageCost
2-Day Elopement in Paris€3,500
3-Day Provence Elopement€4,200
5-Day Alpine Adventure€6,800

The Netherlands, particularly Amsterdam, offers a unique blend of romance and adventure for elopements. Couples can exchange vows amidst the city’s iconic canals, historic architecture, and vibrant culture. Elopement packages in Amsterdam often include personalized planning, photography, and opportunities to explore the city’s charming neighborhoods and local experiences.


Q: What steps should I take to legally elope in Europe? A: To elope legally in Europe, you’ll need to meet specific requirements which vary by country. For instance, in France, Italy, or Greece, foreigners can marry legally but may need to provide proof of residency for a certain period, such as 30 days in France, before the wedding. Additionally, the ceremony typically needs to occur inside the town hall of the chosen city.

Q: What is the most romantic destination to elope to in Europe during the winter season? A: For a winter elopement in Europe, Northern Finland and the enchanting region of Lapland are highly recommended. Lapland offers an excellent opportunity to witness the Northern Lights and provides a well-supported setting for a magical, snow-laden wedding day.

Q: Is it necessary to keep an elopement a secret, or should you inform people? A: Eloping today often means having a smaller, more personal wedding rather than a large traditional one, and it does not need to be kept secret. To avoid offending family members, it’s best to inform them about your elopement plans in person.