How To Plan a Winter Elopement or Intimate Wedding in Norway
A winter elopement or intimate wedding in Norway can be very romantic and magical for several reasons. Norway’s winter landscapes are breathtakingly beautiful, with snow-covered mountains creating a fairytale-like backdrop for your elopement. Norway is also one of the best places in the world to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). Experiencing this natural phenomenon during your elopement will create an unforgettable and romantic atmosphere. In addition, winter is the off-peak tourist season in Norway, meaning you’ll likely encounter fewer crowds and have more secluded and private locations for your elopement. However, eloping during winter comes with challenges, such as colder weather and limited daylight hours, so it is important to plan properly and be prepared. As a local wedding photographer living in Northern Norway and being used to long and cold winters, I am going to share my best tips and tricks so you can have a comfortable and memorable winter elopement in Norway.
Table of Contents
Go straight to the part you are interested in.
- Why a Winter Elopement or Wedding in Norway is amazing!
- Where are The Best Locations in Norway for a Winter Elopement?
- When is the Best Time of the Year to Visit for Your Winter Elopement?
- What Activities Can You Do in Norway for a Winter Elopement?
- Have a Backup Plan
- Plan Your Day for the Best Light
- Keep Everything in One Place/Venue
- How to Dress to Keep Warm
- Prepare Your Guests (if You Have Any)
- Serve Hot Drinks
- Take Breaks from the Cold
- Meet Your Local Elopement & Intimate Wedding Photographer
Why a Winter Elopement or Wedding in Norway is amazing!
Choosing a winter elopement or wedding in Norway can be a magical and memorable experience for couples who are looking to tie the knot in a unique and stunning setting. A true arctic experience! Norway is known for its natural beauty, and the winter months offer a particularly stunning landscape. From the snow-capped mountains and frozen fjords to the colorful Northern Lights dancing in the sky, the scenery in Norway during the winter is truly breathtaking. In addition, winter weddings in Norway often have a more intimate and romantic feel, with fewer crowds and distractions. This can be a great opportunity to plan a unique and personal ceremony that reflects your relationship and style. Finally, the winter landscape in Norway provides endless opportunities for stunning wedding photos. From snowy forests and mountains, frozen lakes to cozy firesides and traditional Norwegian cabins, you’ll have plenty of beautiful backdrops to choose from.
Overall, getting married during the winter in Norway can be a beautiful and memorable experience that you’ll cherish for years to come. Whether you’re looking for a unique setting, intimate ceremony, or a chance to celebrate with loved ones, Norway has it all.
Where are The Best Locations in Norway for a Winter Elopement?
Norway offers a variety of stunning locations for a memorable winter elopement. Here are some of the best places to consider:
Known as the “Gateway to the Arctic” and a prime location for viewing the Northern Lights, Tromsø offers a magical winter backdrop with its snow-covered landscapes, fjords, and vibrant city lights.
These picturesque islands are famous for their dramatic mountain peaks, fishing villages, and stunning seascapes. The Lofoten Islands provide a unique and remote setting for a winter elopement.
The Fjords of Norway
Hardangerfjord, Geirangerfjord and Sognefjord are all known for known for its breathtaking views and snow-covered mountains.
When choosing a location, consider your preferences for scenery, activities, and accessibility. Keep in mind that winter weather conditions can vary greatly from on location to the next, therefor it’s advisable to work with local photographers who are familiar with the area and can help you navigate the logistics of your winter elopement.
When is the Best Time of the Year to Visit for Your Winter Elopement?
The best time of the year to visit Norway for a winter elopement typically falls between late November and early March. During this period, you’ll have the best chances of experiencing snowy landscapes, the Northern Lights, and a true winter wonderland. Here’s a breakdown of the different aspects to consider during this time frame:
Snow and Winter Scenery. Norway is often covered in snow during the later winter months, so from January to March is when you can expect the most consistent snow cover in many regions.
Northern Lights. The Northern Lights are most visible during the winter months when the nights are long and the skies are dark. The peak months for Northern Lights and a winer landscape are from December to March. And remember you have to go above the polar circle if you want to see the northern lights.
Daylight Hours. Keep in mind that the farther north you go in Norway, the shorter the daylight hours will be during the winter months. However, this can also enhance the romantic and cozy atmosphere of your elopement. If you’re looking for a balance between snowy landscapes, activities, and relatively longer daylight hours, late February or March is an excellent choice.
Temperature. Be prepared for cold temperatures during a winter elopement in Norway. Average temperatures can range from -4°C to -10°C (25°F to 14°F) in many regions. Proper clothing and preparation are essential to stay warm and comfortable.
What Activities Can You Do in Norway for a Winter Elopement?
Norway offers a wide range of activities for a memorable winter elopement. Here are some enchanting activities you can consider to make your elopement truly special:
Northern Lights Viewing. Embark on a Northern Lights tour to witness the mesmerizing dance of colors in the Arctic sky. This natural phenomenon creates a magical and romantic atmosphere for your elopement.
Husky Sledding. Experience the thrill of mushing your own team of huskies through snowy landscapes. This adventurous activity allows you to explore the wilderness together and bond with these incredible dogs.
Snowshoeing. Explore Norway’s pristine winter landscapes on snowshoes, traversing snowy trails and discovering hidden spots that are perfect for your elopement ceremony or photoshoot.
Skiing and Snowboarding. Enjoy skiing or snowboarding together and capture stunning moments against a backdrop of snow-covered mountains.
Ice Fishing. Share a quiet and reflective moment while ice fishing on frozen lakes. It’s an opportunity to connect with nature and each other in a serene and unique setting.
Winter Picnic or Campfire. Create a cozy and intimate atmosphere by having a winter picnic or setting up a campfire. Toast marshmallows, sip hot cocoa, and enjoy each other’s company in the crisp winter air.
Other Adventure Activities: If you’re an adventurous couple, consider activities like ice climbing, snowmobiling, or even trying ice swimming for a truly unique and memorable experience.
Have a Backup Plan
No matter when you are eloping or getting married in Norway, you should always have a backup plan. And this is especially important during the winter months. Be prepared for weather issues, travel delays and so on. Always have a back-up plan, or maybe two!
Plan Your Day for the Best Light
The days are short during the winter and in Northern Norway we have Polar Nights, meaning the sun is below the horizon in December and January. However, that does not mean it is dark all day. On a clear day we have around fours hours of beautiful soft light, in addition to blue hour, which makes for the most stunning light. If you want to have the most light during your ceremony, go for an earlier ceremony time. Otherwise, just embrace the darkness and get creative with different lightning, such as lanterns and bonfire, and go out for epic wedding portraits under the stars, or if you are lucky, under the northern lights.
Keep Everything in One Place/Venue
Bad weather can make for really bad roads, and if your are really unlucky, closed roads. So try keeping your ceremony and reception at the same place, or close to one another to avoid getting stuck in a car somewhere.
How to Dress to Keep Warm
Choose the Right Wedding Dress & Suit
When choosing your dress, remember the environment you are getting married in. During winter it is very important to not only choose a dress that is beautiful, but also practical. The last thing you want is your day to be ruined because you were too cold. Try choosing a dress from a thicker and warmer material, such as velvet or lace, and opt for a long-sleeved dress. For suit, go for a suit made from varmer material such as wool or cashmere.
Layering is key when it comes to staying warm in colder temperatures. Knowing how to layer and which layers to choose is going to be hugely important to ensure your wedding experience is comfortable. As a base layer, I highly recommend wearing wool or fleece leggings underneath your wedding dress/suit. You can also add on veils, faux fur, capes and shoulder shawls to keep varm and this will also look beautiful in your images. Keep your hands varm with mittens or gloves. When taking portraits outside, bringing a blanket is a great way to keep varm and also makes for really cuddly portraits.
Don’t Forget Winter Boots
Use a par of winter boots when you are outside during your ceremony and portraits. No one will be able to see them under your dress anyway and you will be so much more comfortable keeping your feet warm. Remember to choose a pair of boots with a good grip, so you don’t slip and fall on ice or snow, and leave some extra room in your boots for thick wool socks.
Hand & Body Warmers Will Be Your Best Friend
Body warmers are a must and will keep you warm (or at least warmer ;)). I recommend having several for yourself, and also extra to pass out to your guests.
Prepare Your Guests (if You Have Any)
If you are having guests, really make an effort and prepare them for the environment and encourage them to dress in varm clothes. Give them information on how to dress in your wedding invitation and remind them again before leaving for your wedding. You don’t want guests that are cold and grumpy at your wedding. Have both body warmers and blankets that you can offer to them and perhaps a nearby tent where they can go inside if they think it is too cold during the ceremony.
Serve Hot Drinks
Serving your guests and yourself a hot chocolate or a hot toddy can make a huge difference in the cold, and will be appreciated by everyone.
If the temperature is low, take breaks indoors after your ceremony. This will prevent red noses and cheeks on your pictures. The same goes for when taking your portraits. Go outside for a bit and then have a break inside. You could also light a fire outside to get warm, which makes for great and creative wedding images.
By following these tips & tricks, you can help ensure that you have the best winter wedding possible and that you and your guests stay warm and comfortable.
Meet Your Local Elopement & Intimate Wedding Photographer
I am Maria & I love the winter!!
Why choose me?
Local Expertise. As a resident of Northern Norway, I have an understanding of its hidden gems and secret spots. I’ll guide you to the most picturesque locations that perfectly encapsulate the winter wonderland you’ve always dreamed of.
Personalized Storytelling. Your elopement is a chapter in your unique love story. I take the time to get to know you, your journey, and your vision. This personal connection allows me to tell your story authentically, ensuring that your photos reflect the real you.
Artistic Vision. I approach each elopement as a work of art, blending creativity and technical expertise to create images that evoke emotions and tell a compelling narrative.
Comfort and Trust. I understand that your elopement day is incredibly intimate. My friendly and unobtrusive approach ensures that you feel comfortable, allowing me to capture candid moments and genuine emotions effortlessly.
Full-Service Experience. From scouting locations to helping with logistics, I’m here every step of the way to make your elopement seamless and stress-free. You can trust me to capture every detail, big or small.