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Have you fallen in love with the dramatic landscapes of Norway? Are you dreaming on getting married in the mountains or with views of the fjords, but you have no idea where to start? If you are wondering how to elope in Norway, then we’ve got you covered!
In this ultimate Norway elopement planning guide, three of Norway’s best elopement photographers give their advice on how to plan your dream elopement.
Meet Your Local Norway Experts
5 Reasons To Consider Norway For Your Elopement
- Untouched nature
- Authentic experience
- Big diversity in landscape (Fjords, mountains, woods, waterfalls and beaches)
- Very friendly locals (though shy)
- Lots of additional activities related to nature (Kayaking, Surfing, whale and eagle watching, icebathing/sauna etc)
Why Elope in Norway?
Christin: Norway truly is a destination like no other. With its majestic mountains, mysterious fjords and long summer nights, it draws you in and tempts you even further. This is why eloping in Norway should be on the top of your list. The nature is raw and untouched, which takes the experience to another level. Do you have to be the outdoorsy kind of couple to elope in Norway? Most definitely not. Part of what makes Norway magical is how accessible everything is. You can literally step outside your car into jaw-dropping scenery.
I would say the biggest plus about choosing Norway for your elopement is that it is still quite undiscovered by tourism. Unlike a lot of other places around Europe, Norway has not adapted to tourism, so when coming here you really get an authentic experience. Yes, we do have popular places and cruise liners docking, but the minute you start a hike or go to lesser known places you lose 80% of the masses. This is also why it’s good to use a local vendor. They know where to find hidden gems and also how to avoid the biggest concentration of tourists. Norway also has the freedom to roam, so not many places are off limits. Be sure to be respectful though, because a lot of places are private land and someone’s home.
Sophie: If you are still hesitating, there are my top reasons to consider Norway for your elopement:
✔️ You can have your ceremony almost anywhere you want. The right of access to nature is part of the country’s identity. It’s also protect by law and it’s call “allemansretten”.
✔️ You can have an intimate time without anyone else in stunning nature. Norway is majestic and there are many sublime places known only by locals.
✔️ You can find amazing cabins in the middle of nature for your first wedding night. The cabins blend very well with nature and offer a breathtaking view of the mountains, fjords, etc.
✔️ You are a lover of wide-open spaces, looking for privacy and tranquillity! You can be sure that Norway will give you all of this and more!
Planning Your Trip To Norway
How To Get To Norway
Christin: The easiest way to get to Norway is by plane. Depending on where you are coming from, most planes have a stop-over in a major city like Amsterdam, Copenhagen or London before arriving in Oslo. From there, depending on where in Norway you are planning on going, I would recommend three options:
1 – Continue with planes (most time-efficient)
2 – Train (Oslo-Bergen has been voted one of the most stunning train rides)
3 – Rent a car.
Although Norway has a good public transportation network, it mainly works best around the main roads and major cities. Most of the gems in Norway are found on sideroads and off beaten places, so having a rental car to get around once you touch base is highly recommended. Also, train is also limited to certain parts of Norway, so be sure to look into your destination and what corresponds.
Travelling Around Norway
Sophie: Trains, boats, roads and small airports, Norway has a fairly well developed network to see any part of the country. However, rugged landscapes and weather conditions can significantly extend travel times. So if you focus on a specific area, you will be able to see more than just the main attractions. I’m pretty sure you don’t want to rush from place to place and end up totally exhausted from your trip. And there’s so much to see and do wherever you go!
I can also understand the frustration of not being able to find out more. If you have the time and are ready for a road trip, you need to know what means of getting around are available to you.
Airlines In Norway
Sophie: You want to travel quickly from south to north/west to east Norway! The plane will be your best option. And good new, there are small airports that connect the different cities in Norway. Here are the local airlines to travel in small city around Norway during your trip :
- Scandinavian airlines
- Norwegian Air Shuttle
Norway By Train
Sophie: If you want to experience a comfortable ride by train inside Norway, you can find these 2 companies :
- VY – you can travel until Trondheim and SJ
- SJ – the final destination Bodø. It’s also not possible to access the southwest coast by train.
Norway by Boat
Sophie: The ferry is a well-developed means of transport in Norway, particularly on the west coast due to its landscape cut out by the fjords. The Kolumbus company makes it possible to connect small villages to large cities. It’s a great way to discover Norway from the sea.
Norway By Car
Sophie: Visiting Norway by car remains the easiest way to discover magnificent landscapes in complete freedom. However, keep in mind that driving in Norway takes longer than you think. Although the roads are very well maintained, they can be narrow and winding so caution is advised. If you decide to have a road trip by car, you should considerate the Norway’s most scenic roads which are some of the world’s most beautiful roads.
If you want to use your own car, you will find all the useful information that you need to know here: https://www.visitnorway.com/plan-your-trip/getting-around/by-car/
You can also find great car deals at reasonable prices like Rent a wreck. (https://www.rent-a-wreck-scandinavia.com/?src=visitnorway). Campervan are also friendly in Norway, you can have a look on Arctic Campers (https://arcticcampers.no/ ).
Christin: It is also worth mentioning that Norway is a country with big distances. It will take you 24 hours to drive from Bergen to Lofoten non stop, so make sure to set aside enough time if you really want to discover as many parts of Norway as possible.
How Reliable Is Public Transport in Norway?
Sophie: It may be worth clarifying that it’s not so easy to travel by public transport through Norway. Even if you could find a good ferry or train network, once there you could find yourself stranded. It can be interesting to locate the places where you dreamed of going first and decide next what kind of transport can fit you. This will make it easier for you to see the options available to you.
What’s The Best Time of Year To Elope in Norway?
Christin: Norway has four very distinctive seasons. So if you have a preference in regards to temperature or look of the scenery, this will definitely be a good read for you.
The most common months to visit Norway for elopements are late April until early October. Norway is definitely beautiful all year round, but these are the months you will be most comfortable. Take note that Norway has a colder climate in general than the south of Europe, so a summer day can still feel like a spring or autumn day.
Sophie: From season to season, Norwegian landscapes can change a lot. Although each season brings an unforgettable experience, it can be interesting to know what to expect so you will be not disappointed. There isn’t a perfect answer when it comes to choosing the ideal time to visit Norway. Each season brings its charm. Several parameters must be taken into consideration to avoid unpleasant surprises: weather, sunshine, aurora borealis, and crowds… Let’s look in more detail…
Spring in Norway
Spring in Norway comes with longer days and milder temperatures. This is a great time to elope if you want to avoid the crowds of summer and enjoy the beauty of Norway’s wildflowers and blossoming trees. The weather can still be unpredictable, and some areas may still be covered in snow, which looks beautiful, but not all roads will be open.
Spring in Norway is from March until May. The temperature ranges from just below freezing point up to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If you hope for snow, the northern parts of Norway still has snow covered mountains in spring.
- Observing spring brings is something special. The air is clean and the forest floor is covered in wildflowers.
- Normal tourist season does not begin until late May, so this is a good time to avoid the crowds.
- Waterfalls are at their definitive best in spring because of water melting from the mountains.
- The south west and western part of Norway is a good choice for spring. Being able to visit some of the famous spots, like The Pulpit Rock, without hoards of tourists.
- March: Sunny days are good and still a lot of snow in many places. The temperatures are still cold. It’s a good period for skiing and a very good month to see Northern Lights.
- April: It’s the end of winter. Snow is present on the top of the mountains. Nature begins to take back its rights. Still few tourists. The melting snow provides beautiful waterfalls at the cascades.
- May: The midnight sun begins in the north. Some roads are still closed because of the snow. Higher avalanche risk. Still snow on top of the mountains. Tourists start to arrive.
Summer in Norway
Summer is the most popular time to visit Norway and for good reason. The weather is warm, and the days are long, which makes it the perfect time for outdoor activities. Enjoy hiking, being on the water, and exploring Norway’s stunning landscapes. Summer is also the busiest tourist season. Expect crowds and higher prices for accommodations and travel.
Summer is from mid June to August and the temperature ranges from 50-77 degrees Fahrenheit. This time of year is definitely the most comfortable season. If you are planning on hiking though, the difference in temperature between sea level and mountain top is still significant. Make sure to pack accordingly.
- If hiking is on your agenda, summer is a good season. All the mountain passages are open (closed from October-May), and the hiking trails are waiting for you. They range from 20-30 min easy hikes to full day demanding adventures.
- A unique and definitive plus for summer is the Midnight Sun. It is a natural phenomena that is found north of the arctic circle between 26th of May and the 17th of July. In this period the sun does not set, and although you get something resembling a sunset, you have daylight 24/7. Endless hours to adventure!!!
- The season also offers a lot of other activities that can be done on the day of, or the surrounding days. Some examples are kayaking, whale safari and horseback riding.
- Beaches are also a good choice during summer. Why not find yourself a hidden gem for your ceremony or visit one of the amazing white sandy beaches with turquoise coloured water? (yes, there are quite a few of them).
- June: The weather can be very nice, but it can also rain. It is the month of the longest days. Snow has melted everywhere, and all roads are open. The hiking season begins. More tourist.
- July: One of the most touristic months. The weather can be pleasant, but it can also rain. Popular places are crowded.
- August: Less tourists in the second part of the month so can be a great time to avoid the crowd. It still has amazing summer days. Midnight sun ends. Higher chance of rain.
Autumn in Norway
Fall is a beautiful time to elope in Norway. You can look forward to the changing leaves and crisp temperatures. This really creates a romantic backdrop for your adventure. Fall is also a quieter time of year, with fewer tourists and more availability. But, the weather can be unpredictable. Some attractions and activities may be closed or limited.
- September: Most of the tourists are gone. Really nice color with a mix of summer and fall colors. Temperatures are still pleasant.
- October: Nice fall colors all over the country. The tourists are gone. You can see Northern Lights if you are lucky enough.
- November: Days are getting shorter. No tourist. Lovely color between fall and the first snow. Roads are still mostly open.
The weather is very changeable in Norway. We cannot expect the forecast to change the day before for the next day. To ensure better visibility of the elements, I can recommend 2 very useful and precise applications:
Autumn in Norway is from September until November. The temperature ranges from 40 degrees Fahrenheit to well below freezing point. The fall is when the stunning colours come out and the tourists start to leave. Probably my favorite season, cause the air is crisp and the sunlight is warm and cozy.
- This is your last chance to head up the mountains, so make the best of it! If you are lucky you will get the first snow covered mountain tops and a backdrop for your ceremony.
- A dark, crisp autumn sky is perfect to go stargazing. Stay away from cities and heavy lit areas to get the best views. October is generally also the first month you can see the Northern Lights.
- Seeing the colours come alive is pure magic. It doesn’t last for many weeks (depending on area) but it is worth it’s weight in gold.
- How about ending your day with a bonfire witnessing the yellow foliage dropping into a magical fjord?
Winter in Norway
Winter in Norway is magical! You get to enjoy snow-covered landscapes. And plenty of opportunities for skiing, snowshoeing, and other winter activities. If you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable elopement experience, winter in Norway may be the perfect time. On the flip side, the weather can be harsh, and some areas and roads may be inaccessible due to snow and ice.
- December: Darkest days of the year in Norway. The days of sunshine are very short, 5h in the south of Norway against 3h in the north. Good time to see the Northern Lights.
- January: Days are very short, in the north the sun remains very close to the horizon. The shades of color in the sky are magnificent. The ski season starts. Good month to see the Northern Lights. It can be very cold.
- February: By the end of the month, the light begins to return with longer days. A lot of snow all around Norway. It’s a good period for skiing and a very good month to see Northern Lights.
Winter in Norway is from December until February and the temperature ranges from 10-40 degrees Fahrenheit. Most of Norway is fully or partially covered in snow during these months. This is the time to think different!
- The winter months is definitely the best time to see the Northern Lights, and north of the polar circle is where you will see it the best. Norway is in fact the best place to witness this phenomena.
- In the northern parts of Norway you have the Midnight sun during summertime, but you also have the Polar nights during the winter season. This means that for a period of time the sun does not rise at all. That does not mean that you will have 24/7 of pitch black (though most of the day might be), there will be some hours resembling the blue hour which can result in some pretty magnificent arctic light.
- Jack Frost means playtime. Why not ski on your wedding day? Or do a dog sledding to your ceremony spot? Norwegians are known to be born with skis on their legs, so there will be no lack of slopes or vast snow covered mountains ranges to loose yourself in. I recommend hiring a guide for hikes in the mountains this time of year. They know the area well. Where to go, what time of year is more prone for avalanches and generally the best way to experience the mountains in winter time.
How to get married in Norway
Christin: Getting married in Norway is generally quite an easy process. The only thing that might put couples off is time. The process is time consuming more than anything else. Once the paperwork is sent in it usually takes about 3 months to get them approved. So make sure time is not an issue.
Legal marriage ceremonies in Norway
Sophie: Most of the time, couples decide to carry out the administrative part in their own country. The administrative delays can make the procedures quite complex and stressful. Before you can get married, the Norwegian Tax Administration will ask you some information to see if you meet the conditions for entering into the wedding.
Non-residents can get legally married here in Norway. Just know that you’ll have to plan your file well in advance to not be block without authorization on your wedding day. Be aware for that the processing time may take approximately 5-6 weeks if there is no problem. To learn more on how to get married in Norway, you can check this link. Once your file is validated you will receive your marriage certificate. This will be valid for four months.
What paperwork do you need?
- Separate personal declarations
- Statement by the sponsor (witnesses on each side (doesn´t have to attend)
- A declaration concerning division (if you have been married before)
- Documentation, for example passport or birth certificate
- A certificate from the home country, and if applicable, the most recent country of residence, showing that there is no impediment to you entering into marriage in Norway.
How far in advance do you need to submit notice?
Christin: In my experience you need three months to be on the safe side. Sometimes it takes as little as six weeks, but you can’t depend on it.
Do you need witnesses?
Christin: To get married in Norway you need two witnesses. I am, most of the time, one of the witnesses.
LGBTQ+ Marriages in Norway
Sophie: Norway is one of the world’s best countries to be LGBTQ+. Norway has been the first Scandinavian country to legalize same-sex marriage. Indeed, the same-sex marriage in Norway is legal since 1 January 2009. Same gender loving are welcoming all over the country.
Christin: Same sex couples can get married in Norway and they are most welcome. Norway is a very safe area for same sex couples, and they are treated like everyone else.
Top Norway Elopement & Wedding Locations
How to choose perfect location for your elopement
Think about how you want to spend your time and what’s important for you. There is most likely a location that is just the right fit for you. Also think about the rest of your trip. Create the elopement day of your dreams by planning ahead and deciding where you want to go and what you want to do. Western Norway has a lot to offer and is easily accessible. But it also depends on the season.
When choosing the perfect location for your elopement in Norway there are a few things you need to take into consideration.
What kind of temperature are you comfortable with? Norway has a lower general temperature than most southern countries in Europe.
Norway, although small on the map, is a big country with a vast variety of looks. Heading west you have the famous fjords, and the further north you go, the more dramatic the look. Are you into hiking? There are endless amounts of hikes in Norway ranging from easy and short to day long adventures. One thing goes for most of Norway, beauty is everywhere, you choose how easy or hard your adventure will be. Easy accessible places are in abundance.
A lot of places in Norway are limited to certain seasons in the year. Mountain roads gets closed in late autumn and doesn´t open until late May. Make sure to check when the roads are open to your dream location.
How to avoid the crowds in Norway
Stay away from the touristy places. Meaning, it’s a bit harder for you to research yourself, so get help from a local expert, such as your elopement photographer. July and August are the busiest time, but it’s also when the weather is the nicest.
Christin: There are a number of ways to avoid the crowds when eloping in Norway. The easiest way is to book a local photographer that knows the area of your choosing. Then you can lean back and trust that they will provide you with the dream location with no crowds attached.
Another thing, Norway is not built for tourism, so the majority of trails aren’t marked and filled with gravel like you will find further south in Europe. As a result, the minute you start hiking, you will lose 80% of the tourists just there. Last thing, look into alternative places. Look up the famous ones, and scout the surrounding areas to see if there are some gems not as known to Google or Instagram photographers.
9 Top Elopement Locations in Norway
Christin’s Top Elopement Locations:
Ingvild’s Top Elopement Locations:
Amazing Wedding Venues Norway (for intimate weddings)
- 2I92 Aurland – a beautiful boutique hotel in the Aurlandsdal valley. Honoring traditions and merging them with a seamless modern design and luxury. This small family run hotel caters to all your needs and wants.
- Juvet Landskapshotel – as seen in the movie “Ex Machina” Juvet is a once-in-a-lifetime escape. Surrounded by untamed pristine wilderness, each of the hotel rooms are container boxes, often hanging over a waterfall. Juvet has it´s own awardwinning kitchen and is perfect for an intimate wedding.
- Walaker Hotel – overlooking the beautiful Sognefjorden, Walaker Hotel is Norway´s oldest hotel. This gem has a unique location and offers lots of activities, such as kayaking, cycling, rib-boating and hiking in the surrounding areas.
- Hardingasete – a refuge for body and soul in Hardanger. This where old meets the new in spectacular surroundings. Quaint little cabins in the middle of the forrest, a private dock by the water for your ceremony and modern facilities to build your dream wedding is some of what this place has to offer.
- Herangtunet Boutique Hotel – This family-run design hotel is 15 minutes’ drive from Beitostølen Ski Resort. It offers a personal touch, hearty food and themed rooms in a traditional, Norwegian timber house. Herangtunet Hotel is surrounded by picturesque forests and lakes, close to the shores of the Heggefjord.
How much does it cost to get married in Norway
Sophie: The price of your wedding will depend on different parameters : income, season, country, type of wedding (simple or extravagant), etc. Although there is no fixed cost to elope, most couples spend between 5.000 and 15.000€ to their wedding. You have to think your budget as if it was a travel. Even if you are here to get married, you’ll also enjoy the moment to discover the country. Couples who decide to run away usually save a lot of money. One of the highest costs in a wedding is the reception and the meal. Couples spend between €100 and €2,000 just for the venue (up to €8,000 if it’s a mansion) and on average €7,000 for food (for 100 guests). Even the most expensive elopements are often less expensive than other types of weddings.
Finally, knowing what is most important for your day will help you draw your budget. Do you want to take advantage of your wedding to travel ? Do you want to book a night in an unusual place ? Do you like to organize activities during your trip? etc. Choosing an Elopement over a traditional wedding means prioritizing the things that matter most to you. Your investment goes beyond just getting married, you also share an experience of life together!
Christin: With a traditional wedding the numbers run high. Mentioning a few things that will run up the numbers when taking into consideration how many people you will have at your traditional wedding.
A venue to fit the amount of guests, linens for table and chairs, food for each guests, drinks for all the guests, flower decorations for all the tables, stationary for invitations, menues etc. This is just a few things that will add to the numbers of hosting a traditional wedding.
Choosing to elope or having an intimate wedding will save you a lot of money. Money you can spend on making the experience even better. Treat yourself to a better hotel. Extend the stay and make it your honeymoon. Choose a good restaurant just for the two of you, add a food experience out of the ordinary. Rent an AirBnb and hire a private chef. Celebrate just the two of you or invite your closest friends and family to an adventure of a lifetime. By skipping the big wedding, there are so many ways of creating a unique and personalised experience.
There are many ways of making an elopement or intimate wedding unique in Norway. AirBnb rentals has become a big thing in Norway, and both the design and location of the AirBnb is becoming more and more amazing. The price is also lower than a lot of the hotels, which makes it a win win.
How about hanging over a waterfall, or sleeping among the treetops? If you feel extra adventurous you can also choose to camp. Either in a tent or in a camping van. Norway has the freedom to roam, which gives you the opportunity to wake up to some of the most stunning sceneries in the world.
Not too comfortable to tent on your wedding day? Camp in the days before and treat yourself to a boutique hotel or a fishermans cabinon the day of the wedding.
Wedding set aside, choosing to elope or have your intimate wedding in Norway also invites to being able to do more activities in the surrounding days, which truly makes your wedding an adventure.
Norway Luxury Elopement Costs
Christin: These are some average costs for a luxury one week elopement trip to Norway for two people:
- Flight from the US to Norway, business class – $5,000 USD
- Car rental 5 days, luxury – $2,500 USD
- Hotel, 5 night stay, luxury – $2,500 USD
- Food, 5 days (lunch/dinner) luxury – $2,500 USD
- Activities, 4 days, luxury – $1,000 USD
- Photographer, 2 days – $10,000 USD
- Hair/makeup – $500 USD
- Flowers – $300 USD
- Legal officiant – $700 USD
Total – $25,000 USD
Norway Affordable Elopement Costs
Christin: These are some average costs for a budget one week elopement trip to Norway for two people:
- Flight from the US to Norway, economy – $2,600 USD
- Car rental 5 days, budget – $800 USD
- Hotel, 5 night stay, budget – $750 USD
- Food, 5 days (lunch/dinner) budget – $400 USD
- Activities budget – Free
- Photographer, 1/2 day – $2,500 USD
- Hair/makeup – Free (DIY)
- Flowers – None /Free (wildflowers)
- Non legal ceremony – Free (Private vow exchange, no officiant)
Total; $7,050 USD
Biggest Norway Elopement Planning Mistakes Couples Make?
Sophie: Couples who decide to get married in Norway often do not realize how huge Norway is with few inhabitants. Even though Norway is a country that has developed very well in terms of infrastructure, it is still wild. Access to goods as well as to a telephone network is therefore not easily accessible.
- The distances are long: the west coast is very indented by the presence of the fjords and the interior roads are very often narrow. Besides, we rarely exceed 80km/h. It therefore takes time to reach different places, which can have major repercussions on the timeline of the day.
- The availability of unusual accommodation is not infinite, these beautiful places to sleep reserve very quickly. It is also very easy to drive for a long time to find a place to sleep or eat.
Christin: There are a number of mistakes I see happening over and over again:
- First of all, Norway, although small on the map is a big country. It takes 24 hours without brakes to drive from Bergen to Lofoten. People underestimate the distances and set aside too little time for what they have planned to do while here.
- Choosing the right season for you is also important. As mentioned earlier, Norway has generally a colder climate than some of the southern European countries, which means. If you aren’t comfortable with a little crisp air, you should definitely choose summer for your wedding.
- Hikes. Norway is famous for their stunning hikes, but what separates Norway from a lot of other countries is the lack of trails. There definitely are trails, but they are not meant to cater to tourists most of the time. So make sure you read up on what gear is recommended, and be honest with yourself about the shape you are in. An easy hike in Norway is a medium hike in for example Italy or Switzerland. Also, hiking in Norway is uphill and not straight forward, like found in many other countries. Talk to your photographer when choosing a hike and see if it is compatible with what you are used to.
- Choosing your location based on articles found online, seen on Instagram or recommended by photographers without knowledge of the area. These places are seldom as they seem, and without discussing this with a local vendor you are setting yourself up for failure. Two good examples are the Northern lights and hikes. No one can sell you Northern lights. It is completely unpredictable and can never be guaranteed. Selling it as a part of the experience is like selling sand in the Sahara. Recommending hikes without having hiked them yourself is also a no go, and can even be dangerous.
Ingvild: I agree with what the others have said, but just to re-iterate:
- Realising that Norway isn’t build up like many other countries. It’s a wilder place, without warning signs and fences. You have to be responsible for yourself and stay away from cliffs and waterfalls and wear a lifevest when on a boat. Even if there is no sign.
- Trying to reach too many locations at once. Distances are far apart and you can’t reach all the places in a weekend – or even a week.
- Wanting to visit the top tourist places, yet also wanting to have a private experience.
What is the benefit of working with local vendors in Norway?
Sophie: Nature in Norway is endless. There is no fence, not always signs or warnings. Hiking trails are not always indicated in less touristy places. So it can be easy to get lost in this vastness. Hiring a local photographer will save you from unpleasant surprises such getting lost in the middle of nature.
Visiting and living in a country is very different. It takes time to get to know a culture, I speak from my experience as an expat. Choosing to hire a local photographer is choosing to become more intensely imbued with the culture of the country. Your local photographer will be able to give you lots of advice (culinary, travel, cultural, etc.) because they will have already had these experiences before you.
Hiring a local photographer is also supporting local employment. You will also limit your ecological footprint and the planet will thank you for it.
Christin: There are so many benefits of working with local vendors in Norway. The biggest one is giving you good advice and keeping you safe. Norway is a stunning country with a unique scenery. This is also why it is important to have local knowledge. Some might not be popular, but it might save you money from investing in something destined to fail, or even save your life.
Choosing a local vendor is also supporting the community and making sure the next person visiting has the option to do the same.
Name: Christin Eide
Business Name: Christin Eide Photography
Based in: Bergen, Norway
Services offered: Photography/drone