I can’t imagine a better place to elope than the Italian Dolomites. It’s the perfect location for adventurous couples looking for wild scenery to get married in a unique and meaningful way. That makes it the ideal place for outdoor and mountain lovers like you.
I’ve spent quite the amount of time in Italy by now. Don’t tell Tuscany, but the Dolomites are my favorite region of Italy! 😉
Every day, I fall more in love with the breathtaking landscapes, the cute little towns, welcoming people, and the unbelievable delicious food! I’ve explored some incredible locations and hiked some fantastic trails that make me want to move to the Dolomites in a heartbeat.
This guide will help you plan your dream elopement to the Dolomites and covers everything you need to know. From the best season, location tips, accommodation recommendations to activities, and an example hikes.
Get a cappuccino and start dreaming with me about your Dolomites wedding adventure.
How to elope in the Dolomites
Eloping to the Dolomites: Where are the Dolomites located
The Dolomites are a mountain range in the heart of the Alps in Northern Italy. They span across the provinces of South Tyrol, Trentino, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and Belluno.
You will find some of the most unique landscapes in all of Europe: Imagine a vast mountain range with ice-blue lakes and beautiful valleys. The landscapes are famous for their sheer cliffs and sharp rocky spires that you will see nowhere else in the world. Trust me, the Dolomites are heaven on earth for outdoor lovers like you.
Dolomites Elopement: How to get to the Dolomites
There are different ways to get the Dolomites from various countries. They are reachable by airports in Italy, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. The best way to explore the Dolomites is by renting a car. This way you will be flexible in exploring the whole region because it makes reaching all the fantastic natural attractions very easy. It gives you far more freedom than public transport, especially in a slow season.
Marco Polo International Airport, Venice | 3 hours to Bolzano, 2 hours to Cortina d’Ampezzo
Verona Villafranca International Airport | 2.5 hours to Bolzano, 3 hours to Cortina d’Ampezzo
Bologna Marconi Airport | 3 hours to Bolzano, 3.5 hours to Cortina d’Ampezzo
Malpensa Airport – Milan | 3.5 hours to Bolzano, 5 hours to Cortina d’Ampezzo
Innsbruck | 2 hours to Bolzano, 2.5 hours to Cortina d’Ampezzo
Munich International Airport – Germany | 3-4 hours
Best time to elope to the Dolomites
When we talk about wild landscapes and breathtaking scenery, there is no other destination like the Dolomites! It’s no secret – this is what makes the Dolomites a popular tourist destination, especially in summer for hiking vacations and in winter for snow tourism. That’s why it’s essential to plan your elopement timing carefully.
The best time to elope to the Dolomites and enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, climbing, or mountain biking is from the end of June until the end of October. Pick a date between December and April if you feel drawn to a winter elopement. But bear in mind that it’s a popular skiing destination that will be crowded, especially during the winter holidays.
Autumn and Spring offer the most beautiful landscapes: The fall colors of the larch trees are simply breathtaking, and during Spring, the beautiful wildflowers are in full bloom.
The Dolomites in summer are also beautiful, and the weather is stable. Still, summer can be pretty busy. August is the busiest month because most Italians are on vacation and many families are on popular trails.
September is the best month for a hiking elopement in the Dolomites. The weather is generally stable, and thunderstorms are very rare. Most of the trails are snow-free. Mountain huts and cableways are still open, which is essential because many hikes in the Dolomites begin or end with a gondola. Since the days are shorter, it’s easier to experience brilliant sunrises and sunsets in the mountains.
Eloping during Slow Season (mid-April-mid June + mid-October-mid December +) comes with pros and cons
Many chairlifts aren’t running in slow season, which makes hiking a little trickier and requires more planning or hiking to get to a beautiful spot, but not impossible. A lot of hotels and restaurants will also be closed, so it can be challenging to find places to eat. In this case, pick accommodation with a half-board, so you don’t have to worry about finding food when you’re hungry after coming home from an all-day hike outside. Renting a car is recommended because public transport is also limited during slow season. In Spring, the trails can still be covered in snow, so it’s best to stay flexible on the hiking trails, watch the weather forecast and get current information from the tourist offices about routes that are accessible.
Here are some guidelines to make it easier for you:
If you want to hike hut-to-hut, come in July or September.
If you want to see wildflowers, visit in June or July.
If you want to avoid the crowds, come in late September – October.
If you want to go skiing or snowboarding, visit between January and February.
And if you want to see fall colors, visit the Dolomites in late October.
How to avoid crowds when eloping to the Dolomites
Dolomite’s peak season in summer is between July and especially August, and mid-December until February in winter. The Dolomites get really busy and crowded during this time, especially around the popular hiking trails and skiing destinations.
If you want to avoid the crowds, I recommend choosing a slow season, less popular areas, and starting your day very early.
How about an unforgettable sunrise adventure? Starting a hike in the dark to experience the sunrise in the mountains will be an amazing experience. Since most people are still sleeping, it will be very easy to find your perfect private location for your ceremony, where you can say your vows with the mountains as your backdrop.
Another possibility that would make a memorable elopement experience is hiring a 4×4 to bring you to some off-road locations or hiring a private helicopter for your super secluded location. This way, you can also find a remote location during summer.
Eloping to the Dolomites: Where to stay (hotels, chalets, rifugios)
What makes the Dolomites so unique is the contrast between wild landscapes with rocky mountains, beautiful meadows, and the high quality of the accommodation and cuisine.
You will want to base yourself in one of these locations, depending on your route and what you want to explore:
- Cortina D’Ampezzo
- Alta Badia
- Val Gardena
- Val di Fassa
Hotels, Chalets, Rifugios etc.
When it comes to finding accommodation, the possibilities are endless. Whether you’re looking for a cozy cabin with your own fireplace, a fancy hotel with a spa, or a basic mountain hut for your adventure – There is something for everyone. Finding unique and very high-quality accommodations is not very hard in the Dolomites. In fact, it will be hard to choose, because there are just so many great options. You will most likely do some hiking, so why not pick accommodation with a Spa Resort so you can relax after an exhausting Hiking Day. After all, it’s your wedding day, so you deserve to be spoiled.
Treat yourself in these hotels,chalets or spa resorts:
- Bad Moos Dolomites Spa Resort
- Alpin Panorama Hotel Hubertus
- Purmontes Luxury Chalet
- Adler Spa Resort
- Naturhotel Leitlhof
- Romantik Hotel Cappella
- Hotel Fanes
- Forestis Dolomites
- Alpina Dolomites
Enjoy stunning views in these unique and private cabins in the mountains:
Explore real mountain life by staying in a rifugio
One of the best things about the Dolomites is the various mountain huts, called rifugio or Hütte. It’s a unique way to explore the Dolomites because you can sleep on top of a mountain surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Staying in a rifugio would make your elopement extra special. When you get up very early in the morning, you will be welcomed with mesmerizing light and quietness that you can only find in the mountains. It will make it easy to find a secluded ceremony location that you will only share with the sunrise as your backdrop and some birds chirping in the background.
- Rifugio Franz Kostner
- Rifugio Locatelli
- Rifugio Auronzo
- Rifugio Lavaredo
- Rifugio Palmieri
- Rifugio Passo Principe
- Rifugio Re Alberto Primero
- Malga Geislerarm
The perfect Elopement & Honeymoon Getaway
Pick a unique and private cabin in the mountains with stunning views for a few days, stay one night in a rifugio for some adventure. Then move to a resort with a spa to make the most of the trip by enjoying some exquisite food and spa treatments after long days of hiking. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?
Dolomites Elopement: How to legally get married in the Dolomites?
The good news first: Almost anyone can be married in Italy because there’s no legal residency requirement for a wedding. But it does come with quite some paperwork that needs to be taken care of before your wedding. Italy legally recognizes religious and civil weddings. Civil unions are officially recognized for same-sex couples in Italy, but same-sex marriage is unfortunately not yet.
Necessary paperwork and documentation
You will need to prepare all necessary paperwork for a civil or religious wedding in Italy. These are the documents you need to have at hand:
- Original birth certificates
- Valid passports or national ID cards
- Divorce papers or death certificates if you have been previously married and divorced or widowed (At least 300 days must pass before one can remarry after divorce)
- A Nulla Osta sworn before a consular office of your home country: stating that no legal obstacles are standing in the way of your marriage
- An Atto Notorio signed by two witnesses: confirming there’s no legal impediment to your marriage. Couples are required to apply in person at their local Italian Embassy. In some cases, the document will also need to have an Apostille affixed (an international certification similar to a notarization) and may need to be translated into Italian.
- A declaration of intent to marry that will go to the civil registrar: Couples must make an appointment with the Ufficio Matrimoni (Marriage Office) in the town or city where they intend to marry to make a Promessa di Matrimonio, along with a second appointment for the civil wedding ceremony. You will be required to appear in person with two witnesses and present original copies of the paperwork listed above. A translator will also be necessary if you do not speak Italian.
The requirements and amount of paperwork depending on your home country. The best way is to contact your country’s consulate or Embassy to find out what is needed. If you want to get legally married in Italy, I recommend hiring a service provider to help you with all the legal stuff and get all the proper paperwork done. So you don’t have to worry about it at all.
Wedding Planners that help with the paperwork:
Where can we get married? Can we legally get married outdoors?
Civil ceremonies can be celebrated indoors or outdoors in any location as far as they are approved by Italian authorities. Many villas, castles, public gardens, and town halls are approved for ceremony use. The mayor or a town officer will perform a civil ceremony in smaller areas. An interpreter is required if neither person in your party speaks Italian. Still, they don’t have to be an official translator.
Here is a list of possible legally accepted ceremony locations in the Dolomites for religious (catholic) or non-religious civil ceremonies.
Symbolic Outdoor Wedding in the Dolomites
With all the formalities above, don’t feel overwhelmed. Most couples decide to get the legal wedding done before or after their elopement at home and have a symbolic ceremony during their elopement. The day of your wedding isn’t the day where you’re signing a document. Your wedding day is when you decide you get married and when you will say your vows to each other. This can be in the middle of the mountains, and no bureaucracy can stop you from getting married in a place where you will feel the most alive and like yourselves.
Dolomites Elopement Locations
With so many amazing national parks, mountain lakes, and hiking trails, picking an elopement location can be tricky. But don’ worry, I’m here to help.
How to pick the perfect location
I take location scouting very seriously and have a lot of resources of possible elopement locations on hand. I’m sharing my list with couples who book me so that you can choose the location that suits you the best. I will make sure that we will find your perfect location where you can have a peaceful Elopement Ceremony just for Yourself.
One rule is the more accessible a spot is to reach, the busier it gets during high seasons. Lago di Braies, Tre Cime Di Lavaredo, and Seceda are all picturesque locations. Still, they get very crowded in summer because they are so easy to reach, even for families. They are still absolutely worth a visit but most likely not suitable for your Elopement Ceremony because of the lack of privacy.
One area beside the popular spots that I recommend is the Senes-Fennes Nationalpark. Nearly not as crowded as the tourist hotspots but full of fantastic hiking trails with great mountain huts and incredible views.
Activities for your Dolomites Elopement (& Honeymoon)
- Take a Boat Tour at Lago di Braies
- Visit Lago di Carezza and Lago di Sorapis
- Wander the Alpine Meadow of Alpe Di Siusi
- Hike Hut to Hut across the Dolomites
- Spend the Night in a Rifugio
- Drive through mountain passes for spectacular views
- Try the Delicious Alpine Cuisine (Kaiserschmarrn, Knödel, and Schlutzkrapfen)
- Enjoy the architecture and a meal at Oberholz at 2000 m altitude
- Visit a Mountain Museum at Kronplatz
- Climb a Via Ferrata Route
Day hikes in the Dolomites for your hiking elopement
Easy day hikes:
- Seceda Ridgeline to Rifugio Firenze
- Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit
- Adolf Munkel Trail
- Alpe Di Suisi
Moderate day hikes:
- Lago di Sorapis
- Monte Pic Summit
- Lago di Braies to Hochalpenkopf Summit
Moderately-Difficult Day Hikes:
- Croda da Lago Circuit
- Tullen Summit
- Tofana di Rozes Circuit
Have an all-day-elopement in the Dolomites
An elopement day is so much more than just a few portraits and some vows—it’s your entire wedding experience. Imagine looking at your wedding album and seeing pictures of you hiking up a mountain together, reading your intimate vows in a secluded spot, your excited first look. It is the story of the day you get married, and it will be the story you will remember for the rest of your life. I believe elopements deserve just as much documentation as a big traditional wedding.
Your all-day elopement day can look like everything you want it to be: Going on a sunrise or sunset hike, rock climbing, swimming, kayaking, having a picnic – you name it. Whatever adventure you want on your wedding day – that’s the day you should have, and that’s not something that can be packed into a 2-hour photo session.
All-day elopements aren’t just about adventure and having fun, but also about the slower moments in between where you really have time to soak it all in.
I will help you create an unforgettable experience and make sure to capture all your laughter and goosebumps and little moments in between – all while you’re having the best day of your lives.
Vendor recommendations for a Dolomites Elopement
It can be a little tricky to find vendors and Service Providers in the Dolomites. The best way is to look at Service Providers from Milan or Lake Como that cater to the Dolomites.
High-quality resorts can often help with Hair & Make-Up Artists and Flowers for your ceremony. I have a list of recommendations of specific vendors I trust that are included in the 70-page Elopement Guide that couples will get once they book me.
Leave no Trace Practices for your Dolomites Elopement
I’m a certified Leave no Trace Photographer because I care deeply about the environment and preserving the nature that I enjoy so much.
There are a few guidelines for Leave no Trace Principles, and I’m happy to share my knowledge with couples so that we can make sure to follow an environmental-friendly Elopement.
Since the Dolomites became such a hotspot over the past couple of years, these things are crucial to preserve the beautiful mountains for our future generations:
- respect a place and not climb over fences
- always pack everything in and out
- no (or just natural) confetti
- be mindful about wedding flowers while out in nature
- only swim in lakes that allow swimming
- don’t fly drones illegally
- no trampling over wildflowers
- no trespassing
I know you are awesome human beings that care as much about nature as I do! 🙂
Dolomites Elopement Photographer
Are you looking for an elopement photographer for your Dolomites Elopement?
I help couples create genuine wedding experiences in wild places, and I capture their day for them so that you can look back on the adventure that marked the start of your life together. Once you’re booked with me, you will get your personal Elopement Guide that leaves no questions unanswered: It’s filled with lots of information and Planning Advice, Vendor Recommendations, exact Elopement Locations, Elopement Timelines, and more. I am here for you all the way.
Let’s plan your adventure elopement