Written By Jayne
Elopement Location Inspiration
Featured Travel Locations
If the idea of getting married in the Italian Dolomites lights a fire in your soul — or was already on your elopement bucket list — and the dates I’m there align with when you want to get married, all of my travel fees are waived! My dates for the Dolomites are currently flexible in the month of September 2023. Want to come with me? Let me know ASAP.
Before I get to the GOOD STUFF, I wanted to tell you about my featured locations. A featured location is somewhere I already have plans to be. If the dates I’m there align with when you want to get married, all of my travel fees are waived! (A $1,000 savings!) So yeah, you could technically count this as a reason to shuffle the budget and fit in an epic activity on your big day. That’s enough cash for a private chef, a private helicopter tour, or even a massive upgrade to wherever you’re staying!
Written by the wonderful Sam Tatro of Undiscovered Path Home
The Italian Dolomites are known across the world for their breathtaking beauty, wild scenery, rolling meadows, and mountain huts. When you’re surrounded by these towering mountains, wandering through an Alpine field, you can be your truest and most authentic selves. Eloping in the Dolomites is honestly the most romantic and adventurous location, and if you and your partner want that intrepid experience, look no further than a Dolomites elopement.
As an adventure elopement photographer, it really doesn’t get any dreamier than capturing my couples, smiling and happy, with such unbelievable backdrops. If you’re considering a Dolomites elopement, there are a few things you need to think about. That’s why I’ve put together this complete guide to planning an epic elopement in the Italian Dolomites.
The Dolomites are so beautiful that it can be difficult to pick just one place to elope. If you want someplace wild with an epic backdrop, you will absolutely find your elopement location in the Italian Dolomites.
If I had to write about all the most photogenic and breathtaking spots in the Italian Dolomites, this blog post would be around 5,000 words (at least)! But, in an effort to save your time, I’ve narrowed it down to some of the most insane spots for your Dolomites elopement. But if none of these sound just right to you, don’t hesitate to get in touch and we can find THE spot. So, without further ado, the shortlist:
The Tre Cime di Lavaredo area is absolutely stunning, but it’s only accessible during the summer season. You can reach the area by paying for a toll road, or taking a cheaper bus. Once you’re at the top, you’ll find countless beautiful hikes and photogenic areas. Consider stopping at the Rifugio Auronzo as a jumping off point (but don’t miss their amazing food!). From there, you can take a variety of different trails to some gorgeous locations.
You can even link up with one of the other Rifugios (Rifugio Auronzo, Rifugio Lavaredo, Rifugio Locatelli) if you’re planning a multiple-day trip. If you do plan to sleep up there, we can get a head start before the tourists arrive and take some amazing photos. Word of warning: if you do plan to visit one of the rifugios, make sure to book months in advance. These popular little huts have very limited space and they book quickly.
If you love romantic alpine fields and rolling hills, Alpe di Siusi is PERFECT for you! This area is the largest high-altitude Alpine meadow in Europe, and it offers miles and miles of unparalleled views. If you want to elope in this area, we can plan to take a cable car up the mountain and pick a location in the meadows. This area is a great option if you want something beautiful, but you don’t want to do anything more than light hiking. Some of the more popular trails can get busy, but there are ways to avoid that of course! I can’t even explain how beautiful this place is, so you’ll have to take my word for it.
You may never see any place as unique and totally unreal as the Seceda Ridgeline, an absolutely mindblowing spot in the Italian Dolomites. The peaks along this trail jut out in front of you like some ancient earthquake, frozen in time. Eloping along the Seceda ridgeline (or one of the many other nearby trails) will make for one of the most unbelievable and most special moments of your lives. This area, especially in summer, is truly one-of-a-kind. To get to this area, we’ll need to take the Ortisei-Furnes gondola followed by the Furnes-Seceda cable car, all starting in Ortisei.
Located in the Bolzano region of the Italian Dolomites, this natural park extends from the Val Gardena valley to the Val di Funes valley and the Alta Badia. This breathtaking area offers just about any scenery you can imagine, but I’m especially partial to their rolling hills and alpine meadows. There’s simply nothing as magical.
This natural park, located in South Tyrol, is not as popular as some of the other locations listed here, and that’s why it’s a great Dolomites elopement location. The area actually covers Alpe di Siusi, but the park keeps going (in fact, it covers more than 7,000 hectares!). There are few places in the Dolomites that are as green and beautiful as this region. Because of the high clay content in the area, there are an abundance of streams and springs in this park. In the spring, this area has some amazing wildflowers, too!
There’s nothing more adventurous than exploring the Alps! If you want to plan an extra special elopement day, consider some of these activities to bring you closer together:
One of the best reasons to elope in the Italian Dolomites? They’re beautiful at just about every season. However, everyone wants that perfect weather for their elopement. Weather in the Dolomites is heavily influenced by seasons, infrastructure like mountain pass roads, and access to gondolas. Of course, different foliage year round provides vastly different experiences with even a few months difference.
The summer season in the Dolomites is pretty short, like most of the Alps region. Summer lasts from the end of June to the end of August, though in good years it can last until mid September. Summer is the best time to elope because of the access to higher mountain locations. By summertime, the snow has melted from higher elevations and cable cars are operating, Plus, Rifugios (or Italian mountain huts) are open, too. The summer season also happens to be the busiest time of year, but it’s still the ideal time I would recommend for my couples. You just can’t beat the access and those gorgeous views!
Another great time of year to visit: fall. The fall season starts in September and usually goes until October and early November, depending on the year. If you love the changing fall colors, you absolutely have to visit in October. The larches changing to bright orange and yellow is just unreal! The only thing to keep in mind: if winter comes early that year, some roads may be blocked off. Some years, winter may come as early as late September and certain access roads will become inaccessible due to ice. In addition, certain cable cars and Rifugios will only remain open the first half of fall, depending on the weather.
It’s also possible to elope in the Dolomites in winter, but keep in mind that you won’t always have the same access as summer. Skiing in the Dolomites starts in December and the winter season lasts until mid-April. It’s the perfect time to elope if you plan to elope at a resort and spend a bunch of time skiing and snowboarding. Otherwise, I’d recommend another time. Just remember to plan your elopement around the elopement location and its access.
The cuisine in the Dolomites is heavily influenced by the farming in the region. That means corn, potatoes, pumpkins, mushrooms, barley and legumes make up many of the most typical dishes in the Dolomites. But you’ll also find plenty of dairy products like cheese, milk, and butter.
Looking to try the traditional cuisine? Here are some classic dishes:
Here are some of my favorite restaurants in the Dolomites to try out the best of the local cuisine:
If you’re searching for the perfect place to propose a toast and drink to your new marriage, consider these great bars and restaurants for a nice drink:
The Dolomites have some absolutely unbelievable luxury accommodations to make your elopement extra special. Sweeping views, high-end spas, secluded mountain destinations…These hotels may be some of the coolest, most romantic Alpine accommodations I’ve ever seen. Here are some of my favorite places for couples looking for that special, romantic spot to celebrate their love:
Unlike other elopement destinations, the Italian Dolomites aren’t super easy to access. That’s part of what makes them so special. To get to the Dolomites, you’ll need to fly into a nearby airport. The closest one to the Italian Dolomites is the Venice Airport. If you plan to make it more of a road trip, you can also fly into Munich or Vienna. In addition to the bigger airports, you can fly into one of the most regional airports in Treviso, Verona and Innsbruck (Austria). I’d recommend flying into Venice (Marco Polo) and taking a bus, private van, or rental car into the Dolomites. If I were you, I’d pick out a nice rental car. With a rental car, you have much more flexibility to explore the region and head off the beaten path.
I’d personally recommend getting legally married in the U.S. to make it easier on you both and then have the symbolic ceremony in Italy.
But if you want to legally get married in Italy, it’s not impossible – it just requires a lot of paperwork. You don’t need to be a legal resident to get married, but you do need to plan multiple months ahead. If you want to have a civil ceremony, you can have the civil ceremony in town halls, old castles, palaces, or other locations. Outdoor ceremonies will need to be approved by the local mayor or deputy. Every town has their own requirements.
You will need the following documents:
Eloping in the Dolomites is one thing, but exploring the region is entirely something else! If you want to spend time in the area and truly discover all the magical, hidden spots, consider these tips:
The Italian Dolomites are home to some of the most breathtaking mountain peaks, alpine lakes, and mountain huts in the world. If you want to elope in Europe, surrounded by unbelievable scenery, then you really have to add the Dolomites to your short list!
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