Winter Christmas Elopement in Beautiful Hallstatt, Austria
They always say that you should marry your best friend, right? Well for Anna and Jon this couldn’t be more true. These two were the best of friends for 6 years before realizing their true feelings for each other. These two didn’t agree with the idea of planning a big wedding, so they decided to plan an epic Christmas elopement adventure in Austria instead.
Are you thinking about planning an Austrian Alps elopement during the holidays? Check out this couple’s amazing story.
Deciding Where to Elope
This couple planned their elopement around a full vacation they planned together during the holidays. Anna tells us the winter before, they explored the Swiss Alps for 10 days and fell in love. It was this trip that inspired their elopement/honeymoon to Germany, Austria, and Italy to experience the alps there!
“We already had our trip booked and mapped out prior to getting engaged. Since we were trying to figure out how to elope without offending our family, we thought it’d be a great idea to do it on our trip. We chose Austria because of where it landed in our overall trip (right in the middle, so we had time to overcome jet lag and also had a little honeymoon in Italy afterward).” [Anna]
The planning process, according to Anna, was simple! She teamed up with her elopement vendors who helped them organize their stay at the lodge, photography, videography, hair/makeup, and bouquet. Nadia was great at coordinating the logistics of the day, and Cat was amazing at coordinating how it all came together on the day of, especially with an unexpected blizzard!
“We coined it as an “Elopementmoon” – an elopement and honeymoon combined. Having 10 days to explore, share our vows, travel, and pamper ourselves was truly better than just a big 1 night wedding, which probably would have cost 4x what we spent on a 10 day European trip. I definitely would suggest hiring a planner or working closely with someone who lives in the area to help with time differences/coordinating vendors/language barriers/etc. I also suggest working closely with the photographer, so you can make sure you capture the day perfectly – considering no one (or few people) will be there, having pictures that perfectly capture the day is so important.” [Anna]
Top Tips For Planning a Christmas Elopement in Austria
Christmas is probably the biggest holiday of the year, with people flying from all over the world to visit friends and family. So, what should you be aware of when planning a Christmas elopement?
Here are some tips from Cat, the photographer from Wild Connections Photography:
- Expect higher rates during the holiday season when planning an Austrian Alps elopement.
- Consider your vendors’ availability. If you’re planning during a big holiday like Christmas, consider planning the day after or before.
- Hallstatt, even in the pouring rain, will be incredibly busy for portraits during the holidays. If you want to take portraits in populated touristy areas, then aim for sunrise.
- Ski season starts during the holiday season, so book your accommodation and flight way ahead of time. While elopement planning can be done within 3 months, we recommend extending your planning timeline during the holidays.
- Be aware of the customs and traditions of the places you’re visiting, especially during religious holidays. Cat tells us Austria is a predominantly Catholic country, so from 2 pm on December 24, December 25, and sometimes even the 26, almost everything will be closed.
Even with the higher rates and crowds, Christmas elopements in the Austrian Alps can be magical. You can get the winter wonderland vibe you and your partner want, tie the knot, and then continue your vacation together.
Dealing With Last Minute Changes When Planning Your Elopement
When couples plan a wedding, even an adventure elopement together, they have to be aware and completely ok that things sometimes may not going according to plan. Planning your elopement outdoors also subjects your wedding day to weather you weren’t expecting.
The day before their elopement, these two scouted the Austrian alps together to find the perfect spot for their ceremony. Even though Anna and Jon planned their elopement day on top of a mountain, they ran into two hiccups: Their officiant broke her leg a few weeks before and was unable to attend, and a massive blizzard covered everything in sight the morning of their elopement.
Despite these two changes, Anna and Jon remained calm and had the best attitude. Instead of their original elopement ceremony plans, they planned a commitment ceremony. They also braved through the snow!
“Some couples would lose it that they were on the top of a mountain in a blizzard, in a complete white-out. But even if they were freaking out on the inside, they didn’t let it show. Anna was determined that no matter what, they were going to get married outside, on a mountain in the snow. And even if it was a blizzard, she would just power through. And she really did! By the end of their vows both of them were completely white and covered in snow.” [Cat]
Memorable Moments During This Elopement
The morning of their elopement ceremony these two spent time playing cards together and getting ready together. Besides their getting ready moments, Cat’s favorite moment during this Christmas elopement was during their vows. Anna tells us the blizzard actually turned out to be an amazing experience that made their vows even more romantic.
“One of the most beautiful moments of the day was right after their ceremony when Anna looked at Jon, and they were both covered in snow with their hair looking all white, and she said to him ‘This is what we’re going to look like when we’re old and grey’. It was so beautiful and I swear we all almost started crying at that moment.” [Cat]
After their ceremony and a quick warming up inside the lodge, we headed down to the famous village of Hallstatt. Despite the torrential rain, the streets were still crowded, so Anna and Jon did a quick walk around the village to take in some of the best views before heading back to the lodge for dinner and beer.
Should You Elope?
This couple never really agreed with the idea of planning a big traditional wedding.
“I never grew up dreaming about a wedding, I hate dresses, it honestly never crossed my mind as something I would do in my life. Once Jon and I were engaged, the thought of planning a wedding, the expenses that come with it but mostly the showmanship of it all made it seem so disingenuous and unnecessary to me. Jon and I tried to think of some small wedding ideas so we could appease our families, but none of them felt right for us, it was all for our (mostly his) parents. So once we decided to put ourselves first, it was a no brainer to elope.” [Anna]
If you find yourself staring at these photos in awe, craving adventure, and agreeing with Anna, then you should consider planning an elopement!
Photographer | Wild Connections Photography
Videography From This Christmas Elopement in Austria
Photos From This Christmas Elopement in Austria