Bride and groom stand hand in hand on the steep grassy hillside of the Seceda mountain in the Dolomites
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Dolomites Seceda Wedding With A Helicopter

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Seceda is one of the most famous locations in the Dolomites. The Seceda ridgeline is iconic, with the green meadows that rise up into jagged peaks that drop off dramatically into the Val di Funes on the other side. It’s also one of the most popular locations to visit, and with the easy access due to the cable cars, it’s not just avid hikers who can get there but anyone. And that means it can get busy, which doesn’t really make it an ideal location for an intimate elopement ceremony. But there are a couple of ways to have your dream elopement on Seceda while avoiding the crowds, which I’ll share with you at the end.

Megan & Christian’s Unique Seceda Elopement Experience

Megan & Christian wanted their elopement day in the Dolomites to be a truly unique adventure that intertwined their love story with traditional Dolomites scenery, food, and culture. I connected them with Jlenia, the best wedding planner in the Dolomites, who designed and created the most unique and incredible experience for them.

Their home base for the week was the gorgeous historic San Lorenzo White Deer Lodge hidden away on the mountainside. They wanted a chalet where they could stay with their family and they fell in love with the rustic charm and warm hospitality of the owners of the lodge.

Their elopement day was simple and intimate, as they wanted the ceremony to be the focus of the day, but every detail they did include was perfectly considered, from the alpenhorn wakeup call that Christian organized at 7am in the lodge to the subtle blue lobster details that were a key part in their love story and therefore had to feature in their wedding day.

Bride and groom lean against the front of a blue helicopter that's parked on the Seceda mountain in the Dolomites in Italy

Arriving by Helicopter

Megan & Christian had the idea of taking a helicopter to a stunning location for their elopement. They chose Seceda as their location for their intimate elopement ceremony because they fell in love with the green meadows in combination with the striking peaks and dramatic ridgeline.

Arriving in separate helicopters after a nailbiting tour of the dramatic Dolomites peaks, Christian waited on the Seceda ridgeline for Megan for the mountaintop elopement ceremony.

Megan walked down the Seceda ridgeline with her dad to their ceremony location to a recording of her singing & Christian playing guitar to Bob Dylan’s beautiful song Make You Feel My Love. They wrote their ceremony and vows themselves, with every family member reading an except chosen by the couple.

After their emotional ceremony, their family hiked back down to the Sofie Hut for post-ceremony champagne and canapes while Megan & Christian enjoyed the views of Seceda and Val Gardena just a little while longer before joining them.

We wrote our ceremony and were our own officiants, so the program and readings reflected our precise vision. The afternoon was utterly gorgeous (I mean stunningly picturesque), and we cultivated such a special and intimate moment. The vows were astonishingly powerful. Sitting down for dinner while listening to the traditional Alpine music, seeing the flowers from our bouquet hanging above us, and smelling the insanely delicious meal being prepared for us was unreal.

Megan – The Bride

The Details

Megan’s bouquet & Christian’s boutonniere were made from wildflowers by local florist Florales Atelier. And when they returned home that night, they found their dinner parlor decorated with the same wildflowers, hung intricately in bunches from the chandelier above the table.

Tips for Eloping on Seceda in the Dolomites

What Is The Best Time Of Day To Have A Seceda Elopement?

During the day when the lifts are in operation, Seceda is an extremely busy location, and for that reason I wouldn’t recommend it for an elopement. However if you are willing to embark on a little adventure, there are two ways of having an elopement ceremony here without the crowds.

The sunrise at Seceda is magnificent, with the sun rising behind the peaks. However, that means an early start, especially if you’re doing hair and makeup beforehand, and not all couples want to get up so early on their wedding day.

How To Avoid Crowds on Seceda

The more sustainable option to elope on Seceda and avoid the crowds is to stay in a mountain hut and hike up to the ridgeline. However the huts close to Seceda still are around 1.5 hours of hiking and are all fairly steep uphill, so this does mean an early start and hiking in the dark if you want to be up there for the sunrise.

The other option to enjoy Seceda without the crowds is to take a helicopter up there outside of the lift operating times (before 8:30 am or after 5pm) – and that’s what Megan & Christian chose to do. Since the lift closed at 5 pm, most of the day visitors were leaving when we landed just after 5. With the heli as trasport, we could arrive later, enjoy the beautiful evening light, have some champagne and food in the Sofie hut and fly back to their private chalet for a late supper before nightfall.

Sustainability & Leave No Trace Tips for Seceda

I’m not going to lie to you. Seceda is one of the most popular locations in the Dolomites, and that means it’s starting to show the effects of overtourism. But there are ways to minimize your impact if you do want to visit this stunning location.

  • Visit outside of the high summer season
    The cable car to Seceda is one of the first to open in May and one of the last to close in early November. July & August are the busiest months for the whole of the Dolomites, so try to come outside of these months to avoid the biggest crowds and minimize your impact.
  • Check the weather & trail conditions
    It’s important to understand this even though there’s a mountain lift up to Seceda, it’s still an otherwise un-controlled mountain environment. The European “health & safety” attitude very much puts the responsibility on you to understand that mountains can be hazardous locations. That means you should check the webcam to see if there’s snow and ice up there, not go close to the edges if it’s windy (even if it’s not windy in some spots) and check the forecast for thunderstorms which can roll in very fast, especially in the summer.
  • Respect the fences & stay on paths
    In 2023, almost all of the ridgeline was fenced off, and most of the locations you see in photos (including this elopement) are no longer accessible. Locals were getting fed up of the ground erosion destroying the meadows from people walking everywhere, and now they have fenced-in walkways in the most popular spots.

The Vendors

Photography – Wild Connections Photography
Elopement Planner – Jlenia Costner
Accommodation – San Lorenzo White Deer Lodge
Helicopter – Elikos Helicopterservice
Flowers – Florales Atelier
Hair & Makeup – Viki Aichner
Seceda Reception – Sofie Hut
Dress – BHLDN Milano
Suit – JB Clothiers

The Photos

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