How to Elope in Austria
If you want to get married in a place that offers stunning landscapes, adventurous activities, and interesting culture, you should consider to elope in Austria.
Although we love traveling the world, we always look forward to returning to Austria. We live in a small village in the Austrian Alps and specialize in photographing adventurous weddings and elopements in the mountains. After seeing some of the most famous elopement places worldwide, we are still convinced that Austria is the perfect place for your adventurous destination wedding. There are so many stunning places that are still insider tips, where you have an excellent chance to be the only ones there on your elopement day. The landscapes here are so diverse. High mountains, crystal clear lakes, lush green forests, high waterfalls, and colorful blooming meadows are just some of the picturesque sceneries you will find for your elopement in Austria.
Keep reading the guide below to learn everything you need to know about planning an elopement in Austria.
Top Reasons to Elope in Austria
We already mentioned it. Austria is one of the best places to elope!
Here are some reasons why you should consider to elope in Austria.
High mountains, lush green forests, crystal clear mountain lakes, waterfalls, and green hills full of alpine flowers await you in Austria.
Most people think about Switzerland or the Dolomites when they hear the word Alps, but Austria has just as many stunning places that provide incredible scenery for your elopement.
Austria is not (yet) as famous as the other top elopement locations in Europe
You might have seen some “behind the scenes “photos from famous locations, where you can see that people line up to get “that one photo “in a place that looks like a perfect secluded spot for your elopement if there wouldn’t be all these other people around. For instance, even if you wake up for sunrise, you won’t be the only couple at Lago die Braies in the Dolomites. Even if the view is really impressive, these places are famous for a reason, our experience has shown that you will enjoy your elopement day more if there are not hundreds of people watching your ceremony.
Thankfully many of our favorite elopement locations in Austria are still pretty unknown. And we can help you to find a place where you will not only have an epic view but where you will most likely be the only ones around.
The Austrians are proud of their culture, and in many villages, you can watch weekly evenings, where the locals show traditional dances and music. Many people are still living up in the Alp huts with their cows in the summer months, and you can try some homemade specialties like cheese if you get there.
It is cheaper than some of the other well-known elopement locations in Europe.
Switzerland or Iceland, for instance, are known for being expensive.
Austria is more budget-friendly and offers all the options from a mountain hut to luxury resorts.
It is a Perfect Honeymoon Destination
Since you’re already getting married in Austria, it is the perfect option also to spend your honeymoon in Europe while you are here.
Austria has so much to offer as a honeymoon destination. It is also super central in Europe, making visiting the neighboring countries from here, like Italy, Switzerland or Germany, super easy.
From where we live, within one hour, we are in Germany, Switzerland, and Lichtenstein. Within one day, we can be in Italy, Slovakia, France, Poland, Hungary, Denmark, Croatia, and pretty much everywhere else in Europe.
Countless options for Adventurous Activities
Austria has endless options for outdoor activities all year round.
Here are some examples of what you can do to make your Elopement in Austria even more special.
– Horse riding
– Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP) on an alpine lake
– Via Ferrata
– Horse Sledding
– Ski Touring
– Ice Climbing
– Ice Skating on a frozen lake
Activities – All Year Round
– Take one of the many gondolas up to the mountains
– Cheese tasting in a mountain hut
– Wine tasting tours
– Relax in one a thermal bath or day spa
– Visit one of the historic villages like Hallstatt, or a castle, like Schoenbrunn.
– Horse sled riding
How to get legally married in Austria
With a civil wedding ceremony, you can legally get married in Austria, and it will be recognized in your home country.
And you don’t need to be Austrian or resident in Austria to get married here.
Since 2019, Austria has allowed same-sex couples to legally marry, even if same-sex marriage is impossible in your home country.
Civil Wedding in Austria
The logistics for a civil wedding for your Elopement in Austria can vary depending on your nationality. It can take a few weeks or months to plan since it requires various documents. It is best if you contact the “Standesamt “- the registry office where you want to get married, they will explain all the necessary documents you will have to bring on your wedding day.
Usually, the following documents are required, in original or certified copies, and a translated copy in German
- Passport or certified copy of passport
- Full birth certificate, which includes the names of both parents
- Certificate of No Impediment together with an apostille and a translation
- Proof of residency (e.g., driver’s license with address)
- If you are divorced – a decree absolute & previous marriage certificates
- If you have changed your name – deed poll
Every area of Austria has different regulations regarding where the civil wedding ceremony can take place. In some places, it must be inside the “Standesamt “- the registry office. Other registrars are more flexible and will even marry you somewhere in nature, or in some other unique places, like in Vorarlberg, you can even legally get married in the historic locomotive Wälderbähnle.
Anyway, you will have some work to organize and do some paperwork to prepare everything for a legally binding civil wedding in Austria.
This is why most eloping couples choose to do the official part and the paperwork in their home country and celebrate a symbolic or religious ceremony on their elopement day.
Symbolic Elopement Ceremonies
We recommend a symbolic ceremony for most couples when planning an Elopement in Austria.
Symbolic wedding ceremonies are also known as commitment ceremonies. They give you total freedom to create a wedding ceremony exactly how you want it, where you want it, and do whatever you want.
You can do a handfasting ritual on the top of a mountain, read your vows to each other while you are on a little boat in the middle of a mountain lake, or dance to your favorite song under the night sky. You can get creative and plan a special elopement ceremony for the two of you.
If you need some inspiration on what you could do at your symbolic elopement ceremony, check this blog post full of ideas about what your wedding ceremony could look like and what rituals you can include in your elopement in Austria.
Religious Elopement Ceremonies
If you are religious, you may want to consider a wedding ceremony in a church, mosque, temple, etc.
Most churches in Austria are catholic. If you want a catholic wedding ceremony, at least one partner must prove their baptism certificate and Certificate of Dismission to the church. Some priests also do wedding blessings, instead of official wedding ceremonies, where you don’t need a civil wedding before. Religious ceremonies are not legally binding in Austria, and most of the time, you must be legally married before you can have a religious ceremony.
Of course, you can also include religious rituals or prayers in a symbolic wedding ceremony.
Whether you choose to celebrate your wedding with a civil, symbolic, or religious ceremony, make sure that this is a special moment for you. This will be one of the moments you want to remember for the rest of your life, and it should be exactly how you want it to be.
How to Elope in Austria
You can plan your amazing Elopement in Austria in a few easy steps.
1. Choose a Date
Before you can start to book all the vendors, accommodation, etc., it is good to know at least a general date when you want to elope.
Think about in what season you want to get married. Do you want to go skiing in winter, dance through the first blooming flowers in spring, hike to a mountaintop in summer, or walk through a colorful forest in autumn? Is there a date that has a special meaning for you two?
2. Book Your Austria Elopement Photographer
As soon as you know when you want to elope, the next step is to book your Austria Elopement Photographer.
On most elopement days, it is just the couple and the photographers. It is important that you can be yourself and feel comfortable when you are together so that your elopement photographer can capture you two and your special day, how it really was. With authentic photos, you will be able to remember all the unique moments of your Austria Elopement again and again. Who you choose as your elopement photographer also matters. They will guide you through the planning, help you find locations, and give you recommendations about the timeline to ensure you will get the best possible photos of your day. They should not only care about getting incredible images of your elopement day but also ensure you will have an unforgettable wedding experience.
If you plan an adventure elopement, there are more things than beautiful photos
that you should consider when choosing your elopement photographer in Austria.
Do you want to say your vows on the top of a mountain or ski down the slopes on your wedding day?
You will need an elopement photographer who knows how to capture that
and who can follow you on your adventures while simultaneously photographing them for you?
Do you dream of celebrating your wedding ceremony at a secluded location in the middle of nature? Make sure to hire someone who knows the area well and can help you find the perfect spot for you two.
Hire not just a photographer but an Austrian elopement expert who understands you and will do everything to make this day as amazing as possible.
Someone who shares your vision for your wedding day knows the location and can help guide you through the process. If you want to learn how we can help make your elopement in Austria even more exciting, send us a message and let us start to dream up your wedding day.
3. Dream up the best day of your lives
The possibilities are endless if you choose to elope and ditch the traditions of a big wedding. You can spend a relaxed day strolling through blooming meadows, have fun while you ski down the slopes, or do something crazy like go skydiving and jump out of the plane and into this new chapter of your life.
With the decision to elope in Austria, choosing a date, and finding your elopement photography expert, you set the perfect foundation for your wedding day. Now is the time to think about how to make this day as meaningful as possible, what activities you want to include, and what is most important for you as a couple. This can be anything from including little rituals like having breakfast together, skinny dipping in an ice-cold alpine lake, to a helicopter flight over the impressive mountains of the Alps. This is YOUR day, and you can fill it with whatever you want.
If you book us as your elopement photographers, we will send you a 100-page elopement guide with lots of information and inspiration on how you can create an unforgettable wedding experience. It covers anything from ceremony ideas to example timelines and suggestions for activities you can do all year round.
4. Choose a Location
When planning your Elopement in Austria, one of the most important questions is where you want to celebrate this day. We love to help you here. We spend a lot of time searching for unique places, have seen so many locations here in Austria, and will do everything to find THE PERFECT spot for you to say I do.
When you look for your elopement location, there are a few things that are good to keep in mind:
- How can you reach this place? Do you need to hike, take a gondola, or can you simply drive to the location?
- Is it accessible during that time of the year you choose to elope? Some mountain passes are closed in winter, the gondolas have off-seasons, and many mountain huts have a weekly closing day.
- How busy will that place be? If you want an intimate ceremony, it is sometimes better to go off the beaten track and avoid the famous places you may have seen all over Instagram.
- Is it a good starting place for all the activities you want to do on your wedding day?
5. Book your accommodation and travel to Austria
As soon as you know where you will elope, the next step will be to book your accommodations. Don’t wait too long to do so. In some places, there are limited possibilities for accommodation. And especially during high season, they can book up months in advance.
Our insider tips when you travel to Austria for your elopement:
- Consider flying to a neighboring country and traveling to Austria by train.
- There are six international airports in Austria. Some of them are in Vienna and Salzburg. But especially if you travel to West Austria (Vorarlberg & Tyrol), it can be closer and cheaper if you fly to Munich or Memmingen in Germany, or Zurich in Switzerland. This Airports are just 2 hours away from the border of Austria and often have better connections for international flights.
- Austria has a great train and bus network that makes it easy to get around by public transport. Although depending on the area, buses often don’t run at night. If you plan a sunrise or sunset elopement, renting a car or hiring a taxi driver can be better.
- If you cannot find the accommodation you love on the internet, contact the local tourist information. Many small places like bed & breakfasts still don’t have a website and cannot be booked online.
- One of the best things when planning a destination wedding in Austria is that it is central in Europe, and within a few hours, you can get to so many other countries. We highly recommend connecting your elopement with your honeymoon and exploring all the unique places Austria and Europe offer.
6. Plan your Elopement Timeline
Now that you know where you will stay and what you want to do on your Elopement in Austria, you can plan all the details for your day.
From our experience, it is essential to write everything down and create a timeline to ensure you have enough time to take it all in and enjoy every moment of this day. This is often the moment when you can imagine how this day will feel and when all the visions you had come together.
Here is an example timeline for your Elopement in Austria
Example Timeline: Full-day summer hiking Elopement in Austria
04:00 Start getting ready
05:00 Leave your accommodation to start the little hike while you enjoy the starlight sky above you
05:30 arrive at the mountain location and get changed into your wedding outfits
06:00 First Look during Alpenglow
06:30 Watch the sunrise and read your vows
07:00 Celebrate – do the first dance, pop a bottle of champagne
07:30 Photosession in the morning light
09:00 Have a picnic in the middle of the alpine flowers
10:00 Read some letters your families wrote to you
11:00 continue to hike to an alpine lake
11:30 pick up a boat and explore the lake from the water
13:00 have lunch at an alp hut by the lake
15:00 enjoy the afternoon at the lake, take a nap in a hammock, relax and enjoy the time as newlyweds
17:00 drive to the trailhead of your sunset hike
18:30 reach the summit, enjoy the view, and catch your breath
19:00 Golden hour photo session
20:30 change into hiking outfits and start the descent
22:00 arrive back in the valley, where a private chef prepares a candlelight dinner for you two
Example Timeline: Full-day Winter Elopement in Austria filled with fun activities
06:00 Start your day relaxed with breakfast in bed
07:00 Enjoy a glass of champagne in your private hot tub while you watch the sunrise behind your chalet
08:00 get ready for your wedding day (pro tip, wear lots of layers, so you don’t freeze in your wedding outfits)
10:00 have a first look outside your chalet, with the white mountains in the background
10:30 do a relaxed stroll on the winter hiking trail to a place in the middle of the snow-covered trees, where you meet up with your wedding celebrant
11:00 have your legally binding civil wedding ceremony in the forest and say yes to each other
12:00 get picked up by the horse sled for a ride through the winter wonderland that will lead you to an alp hut in the middle of the winter landscape
13:00 have lunch in the alp hut
14:00 take the Skidoos back to your chalet
15:00 get ready for a ski tour
16:30 reach the summit of a snow-covered mountain and start with a photo session
17:30 read your vows to each other
18:30 ski down with your headlamps on
19:30 arrive back at your chalet, where you have a traditional Austrian fondue dinner
21:30 cuddle in front of the fireplace and let this day packed with fun and love sink in
Pro-Tip: Make sure to think about a plan B. What will you do if the weather goes completely crazy?
Will you embrace the rain, reschedule to another date, or celebrate your elopement inside?
7. Book your Wedding Vendors
Every elopement is different, and so is the answer to which vendors you might need.
Some things that will make this day super special are
- A professional hair and make-up stylist who can make sure that your styling will look amazing all day long, even after a hike
- A florist who will create a bouquet that is durable and will survive all day in nature.
- A wedding officiant who creates the ceremony for you
- The “Standesamt “if you want a legally binding civil ceremony
- A private chef for your dinner
- A musician who makes your elopement ceremony even more unique
- Depending on what activities you want to do, a mountain guide could be a great idea.
- A wedding planner could do most of the planning for you and book other vendors.
These are just a few ideas; of course, everything is optional.
Like at every other part of your elopement, there are no rules, and you can do whatever you want. It is possible to entirely DIY your elopement, but getting professional help can make things easier and less stressful.
8. Pack everything you need
Don’t forget to bring all the necessary documents to your elopement in Austria. What you need to bring depends on how you get married, where you are traveling from, and what you are doing — passports, driver’s license, conformations for your flights, hotels, booked tours, etc.
You may think of the obvious things like the dress and the suit,
but also make sure you pack the little things like hiking socks you want to wear for your mountain elopement,
And details you might want to add to make this day even more special like cute vow books, “just married signs” for your backpack, jewelry, etc.
And of course everything else you would pack for a trip to Austria.
We recommend having a list with everything you need to ensure you don’t forget to pack anything.
And if you are flying, keep all the necessary documents and items you need in your hand luggage, so they cannot get lost.
9. Have the best day ever!
The day has finally come, and you are celebrating your Elopement day! After planning your elopement in Austria, everything is well prepared, and you can fully enjoy every minute of this day and have the best wedding experience. As your elopement photographers, we will be there to capture all these special moments for you in photos so that you can remember them again and again.
Where to Elope in Austria
Austria has a lot to offer for all mountain lovers. From high Alpine mountains, you have to climb to reach the summit to green hills, where you can drive up to. The hiking path network is amazing. Almost every summit can be reached over a marked trail. Many gondolas and mountain passes make it really easy to get high up, and you have a stunning mountain panorama without much effort. From short strolls to a viewpoint to multi-day hikes to secluded locations – countless fascinating places could be the perfect location for your mountain elopement in Austria.
Even in winter, the mountains are easily accessible. You can hike over a prepared winter hiking trail, ski down the slopes, or go off the beaten track with snowshoes or a ski tour.
One thing typical for Austria is the many alps and mountain huts you will find almost everywhere in the country. You will get delicious homemade food in many of these huts, and you can even stay overnight. The experience of staying in one of these huts that are often located in the most beautiful places in the middle of the mountains is really special. Imagine waking up and having to step outside the door to watch the sunrise on your elopement day.
From Crystal clear alpine lakes, where you can see the reflection of the mountains, to large lakes that are beautifully bedded in the valley at the feet of a mountain range and literally call for a refreshing swim – Austria has a wide range of lakes. They not only look stunning but there are also many fun activities you can do on the water. You can do a canoe tour on your elopement day, charter a private boat for dinner, go water skiing, go skinny dipping in an ice-cold glacier lake or have a picnic while you watch the sun’s rays sparkle on the water.
If you come to Austria in summer, you will find lush green forests everywhere. It is easy to find a secluded and quiet location in the middle of the trees and bushes, perfect for an intimate elopement ceremony.
The blooming meadows where you can see high mountains in the background is one of the typical pictures people have in their heads when thinking about Austria. If you drive through the valleys, you will see this kind of field everywhere. They are often super easy to reach and accessible for everyone. However, you will need a permit from the field owner to have your elopement ceremony in the middle of the blooming flowers or high grass.
Rivers and Waterfalls
A little steam through the alpine fields, a rushing river, canyon, or a hidden waterfall in the middle of a forest, there are so many stunning places by the flowing water. You can find really beautiful locations for wedding ceremonies by the water, or you can do some fun activities like rafting or a canyoning tour and create unforgettable memories in-between the rock that has been shaped by the water over hundreds of years.
The Glaciers in Austria aren’t well known, but they are beautiful, and some of them are easily reachable by cable car, making them a perfect place to get married in the middle of ancient ice. In Zillertal, there is even an ice palace you can walk through, and in Salzburg is a vast ice cave that you can visit all year round.
Idyllic alpine villages with wooden houses and flowers on the balconies let you sometimes feel as if you are walking through a picture book. In the background, you can see the mountains, and the cows’ bells will have a sound that will remind you of your wedding day for the rest of your lives.
I am honest; I am not much of a city person, but urban elopements do have their charm. And one of the best things about Austrian Cities is that they are pretty small compared to the cities you can find in other countries, and usually, you can drive out of the city and into nature within a short time.
If you are looking for a city as a base and still want a mountain elopement, we recommend looking into Innsbruck or Salzburg. They are both beautifully located in-between mountains and have the cutest old towns.
To get married in-between ancient walls is truly special. From fairytale-like Castles like Schoenbrunn in Vienna, where you can legally get married, to old ruins on the top of mountains, where you can feel the long-forgotten stories, some locations could give your Elopement in Austria an even more magical touch.
What is the best season to elope in Austria?
One of my favorite things about Austria are the four seasons, and that every month is so different and beautiful in its way. For me, it is impossible to say which time of the year is best to get married in Austria, as they all have their peaks and perks.
If you want to experience Austria in high Sommer, you should come in July or August.
End of June, even the last snow should be melted, and the paths are free for a hiking Elopement in Austria. All the alpine flowers are in full bloom, and the gondolas, alpine huts, and passes are all open and happy to welcome you. The lakes and rivers call for a refreshing dip, and the possibilities are sheer endless.
The temperatures in the valley will go up to around 35°C, but in the mountains, it is usually mild, and you won’t need to worry about the heat.
We love summer elopements in Austria, the only thing to keep in mind is that the lovely weather and mountain activities also attract other tourists, so some places can be crowded at this time. But we can help you find a secluded and quiet location even during the high tourist season and school holidays.
In September, the temperatures start to get milder, the mountains are getting quiet when the cows are coming down, and the alps are getting closed.
The weather is often still sunny and dry this month, making it one of my favorite times for Elopements.
In Oktober, the forests are colored in the most beautiful tones of yellow and orange, and the golden sunlight creates super beautiful moods.
Although the weather can be unpredictable, especially in the mountains, you may reckon the first snowfall.
Most gondolas and mountain huts close for the off-season at the beginning of October.
This brings the great benefit that you will have most places in the mountain to yourself if you dare to embrace the chilly temperatures and hike all the way.
In November, we often have the first days of snow even in the valleys, the leaves are fallen off the trees, and the weather can be quite unpleasant, with rain and fog.
This can be the perfect time for your elopement if you love moody days, clouds, fog, and a mystic atmosphere.
The winter season usually starts in December. With the ski openings, Christmas markets, and fairy lights around you, this season can be charming for an Elopement in Austria. If you want to include winter activities, I recommend coming in January and February. In these two months, the chances are high that there will be lots of snow in the mountains and the valleys will be white.
If you are afraid of the cold but love the snow, you should consider coming in March, there is usually still plenty of snow, especially in the Mountains, and the temperatures are already much milder.
When the snow starts to melt, and the first trees and meadows start to bloom can be a really beautiful time to elope in Austria and give you some fun possibilities for a wedding day full of varieties. You can go skiing in the morning (most ski resorts are open until mid-April), have a picnic beside the first spring flowers for lunch, and explore a waterfall (that is most impressive during that time of the year, as there is a lot of melt water from the snow) and cuddly by a bonfire to watch the sunset over a lake in the evening.
If you plan a hiking elopement in the mountains, we cannot recommend spring as it is hard to predict when the snow will melt in the mountains, and there is usually still snow at the peaks until the end of May or even the beginning of June. Although there are some locations where the snow melts earlier, and if you don’t care to walk over a few snow patches or love the locations that aren’t that high, it can be a great way to get even the popular places for yourself. After easter, when the ski resorts close is off-season in most tourist places in Austria, many hotels, restaurants, and activities are closed until the summer season starts in mid-June.
How much does an Elopement in Austria cost?
Every Element is different, and the same goes for the cost.
It is possible to plan a fantastic budget-friendly Elopement for around 5.000 €
or you can splurge in luxury and plan something super extravagant, where you open 50.000 €
Here are some examples of what things are making a big difference in the budget of your Elopement in Austria
- Activities – do you love the idea of a (free) sunrise hike or a private helicopter tour?
- Vendors – do you want a professional hair and make-up artist or do the styling yourself?
- Food & Drinks – do you pack snacks for a simple picnic or hire a private chef for lunch?
- Outfits – do you dream of a custom-tailored designer gown or try to find a vintage dress?
- Length of your Elopement – do you think 4 hours are enough, or do you want to plan a multi-day adventure?
- Accommodation – you can sleep in a tent and go stargazing at night or let yourself spoil in a luxury wellness hotel.
- Decoration – you can let a florist create a wedding arch, bouquet, flower crown, etc., or pick up some flowers along the way and make your bouquet.
It doesn’t mean that something is better just because it is expensive. I mean, is there anything better than watching a sunrise or getting surprised by a rainbow? And what really matters on that day are you two and your commitment to each other.
We recommend thinking about what things on your Elopement day matter most to you. Do you love music and want to hire a violist that plays during your ceremony, buy your dream dress, or (what we cannot recommend enough) book your favorite photographer(s).
It doesn’t matter where you spend money and where you save. As long as you have a great experience and a day full of love and connection between you two, we are sure your elopement will be super awesome and unforgettable.
Austria Elopement Packages
Does your heart beat faster when you think about an Elopement in Austria?
We would love to help you make your wedding the best day ever, create an awesome experience with you two, and capture all these special moments in photos. Send us a message over our contact form, to get all the information about our Austria Elopement Packages and to schedule a free consultation call to start dreaming up your personal elopement experience.