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There’s no denying that a winter elopement in the snow looks utterly romantic and magical. But with below-freezing temperatures and limited daylight hours, is it really as wonderful as the photos show it to be?
One location in Europe that’s a true winter wonderland is Norway. With the snow-capped peaks and chances of seeing the Northern Lights, it’s no wonder more couples are choosing to elope in Norway in the colder months.
I asked local Norwegian photographer Maria to spill the beans on what it’s really like to elope in Norway in winter. She created this amazing guide to help you make the most out of your Nordic winter elopement.
Why elope in Norway in the Winter?
A winter elopement in Norway is a true Arctic experience that promises unforgettable moments. Norway’s natural beauty shines even brighter during the winter months, transforming into a breathtaking canvas of snow-capped mountains, frozen fjords, and the captivating dance of the Northern Lights. The chilly winter weather provides an opportunity for cozy and romantic moments. Imagine exchanging vows by a warm bonfire, sipping hot cocoa, or enjoying a candlelit dinner in a charming cabin. Winter is also the off-peak tourist season in Norway, meaning you’ll likely encounter fewer crowds and have more secluded and private locations for your elopement.
Planning Your Trip To Norway
Where are the best locations in Norway for a winter elopement?
If you want to experience the northern lights during your winter elopement, then you should travel above the polar circle. This includes places like for example Tromsø, Loften Islands, or Senja. Lofoten Islands are famous for their breathtaking scenery and small fishing villages, while in Tromsø you can both get a more urban vibe in addition to the stunning mountain backdrop.
If seeing the northern lights is not important for you, other options are the Fjords of Norway and Bergen.
> Related Reading – How To Plan A Northern Lights Elopement in Norway
When making your choice, take into account your preferences for scenery and activities. Remember that winter weather conditions can change fast and differ significantly from one location to another. As a result, collaborating with local photographers who possess a deep understanding of the region can prove invaluable in managing the logistical aspects of your winter elopement.
When is the best time of year to visit?
The prime time of the year to plan a winter elopement in Norway generally spans from late December to March. This window offers the optimal opportunity to witness the captivating Northern Lights, and revel in the magic of a genuine winter wonderland. Average temperatures typically range from -4°C to -10°C (25°F to 14°F) across many regions. Adequate attire and preparation are essential to ensure your warmth and comfort throughout the experience.
Remember, that northern Norway has polar nights during winter, meaning that the sun sits below the horizon. If you want a few hours of daylight then you should choose to come later during winter, for example, March is a stunning winter month with lots of daylight but still dark enough nights to see the northern lights.
Eloping in Norway in Winter – top planning tips and advice
What Activities can you do in Norway for a winter elopement?
Norway offers diverse winter activities for a memorable elopement. Here’s a selection of options to make your day truly special:
1. Northern Lights Tour:
Witness the captivating dance of colors in the Arctic sky, creating a magical and romantic atmosphere.
2. Husky Sledding:
Bond with huskies as you mush through snowy landscapes, embarking on a thrilling wilderness adventure.
3. Snowshoe Exploration:
Traverse snowy trails and uncover secluded spots ideal for your ceremony or photoshoot.
How to keep warm
During a winter elopement, it is truly important to dress for the season to have a pleasant experience.
To keep warm during winter, layers are your best friend. Use a base layer of wool, and add on capes, faux fur, mittens, blankets etc. to keep warm. Bodywarmers are also essential. Don’t forget proper boots to keep your feet warm and leave room for an extra pair of socks.
Go with the flow
When you choose to elope in the great outdoors, especially during winter, you need to have a backup plan, go with the flow, and embrace the elements. You can’t control the weather so don’t let the weather ruin your day, but try embracing it all and make it a great experience no matter what. Be prepared for a lot of weather, delays in travel, ice roads, and so on.
Sustainability & LNT Considerations For A Winter Elopement In Norway
Planning a sustainable and Leave No Trace (LNT) winter elopement in Norway is not only respectful of the environment but also ensures that you leave behind a positive impact on the beautiful landscapes you’re celebrating in. Here are some considerations for a sustainable and LNT winter elopement in Norway:
- Location Choice:
Select elopement locations that have existing infrastructure, such as designated trails or viewpoints, to minimize your impact on delicate ecosystems.
- Local Guidelines:
Familiarize yourself with local regulations and guidelines for elopements in the chosen area. Obtain any necessary permits and adhere to rules to protect the environment and ensure a safe celebration.
- Minimal Disturbance:
Choose ceremony and photography locations that minimize disturbance to wildlife and vegetation.
- Pack Out What You Pack In:
Bring all necessary supplies with you, and make sure to pack out all waste, including any decorations, food, and personal items. Leave the area cleaner than you found it.
- Local Vendors:
Work with local vendors who prioritize sustainability and environmental responsibility. Choose accommodations, transportation, and services that have eco-friendly practices.
- Respect Wildlife:
Observe wildlife from a distance and avoid disturbing them. Do not feed animals or approach them too closely, as this can disrupt their natural behavior.
- Leave No Trace Principles:
Follow the seven Leave No Trace principles, which include minimizing campfire impact, respecting wildlife, traveling and camping on durable surfaces, and more. These principles help protect the environment and maintain its beauty.
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