| July 31, 2020

Italian Elopement in the Dolomites

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Northern Italy Elopement in the Italian Dolomites

Julie and Kristyl’s Italian elopement in the Dolomites was both laid-back and deeply intentional. From the moment we met at their AirBnb, until the evening ended hiking under the stars in headlamps, there was so much laughter, and many happy tears shed––it was a truly beautiful celebration that I was honored to witness. Julie and Kristyl had one of the most unique just-us ceremonies I’ve ever experienced, and everything else about their day was uniquely them –– a mountain adventure for the two strong Aussies who met at a surfing competition and fell in love. When I asked them initially what kind of elopement they envisioned, they requested a day filled with alpine views, mountains, wine, and pizza –– an Italian elopement was the obvious choice! Keep reading to see images from this stunning elopement in northern Italy, and learn more about why the Dolomites are my favorite mountain range in the world!

Italian Dolomites Elopement

The day began at Julie and Kristyl’s beautiful rented cabin settled amongst the small ski towns and historic buildings deep in the foothills of the Italian Dolomites. Upon arrival, I immediately thought, “today is going to be fun!” The mood was relaxed and spontaneous –– they had a positive attitude that was intentional, but not too serious. When I arrived they were packing backpacks to prepare for the hike, and the fact one bag held a wine and a full baguette sticking out indicated these two definitely had their priorities in order!

Julie and Kristyl chose one of the most beautiful places in the world to get married –– the Italian Dolomites are an incredibly unique mountain range, with steep cliffs and craggy rocky spires. Millions of years of evolution and glacial activity did right by this part of the world. The mountain peaks formed in a uniquely sharp and pointed way –– it’s a place that should be on your bucket list if it isn’t already!

After getting ready at their rental, we all piled into a gondola that would take us higher into the mountains. We actually took one of the last gondolas up in the afternoon, intentionally –– most of the tourists were on their way back down the mountain and we had the place mostly to ourselves. As the gondola crested the first hills and we got a view of the famous cliffs, we were awestruck by a full view of an epic jagged ridgeline. No matter how many times you visit the Italian Dolomites, the first view will always blow you away.

We got out of the shuttle and hiked around. Julie and Kristyl chose their exact ceremony location somewhat spontaneously on the day of their elopement. We had already chosen the general area, but after hiking around and exploring for a bit they chose a boulder field with incredible views of the mountain peaks behind them. They had hiked up in athletic attire and chose to get dressed in their wedding clothes on the mountain.

Julie and Kristyl each stepped behind some tall rocks to get dressed in their wedding clothes. They hadn’t seen each other yet, so their first look was incredibly sweet –– both were tearing up, and it was such a beautiful moment between them. They each dressed in stunning untraditional wedding attire, one black and the other white. It was the perfect outfit for a hiking elopement because they looked absolutely stunning, and were also comfortable to keep exploring around.

The hike up from the gondola to their ceremony location was laid back and relaxed –– the purpose was the journey, not just the destination, and it was wonderful to witness their pure joy at the beauty all around them! The trail up was easy after getting a gondola ride most of the way. But, we planned to stay up on the mountain past sunset, which meant we needed to find another way down.

Unique Ceremony Idea for a Just-Us Elopement

Julie and Kristyl’s ceremony was one of the coolest parts of their entire day! They have a friend back in Australia who is a professional officiant, and she recorded herself leading them through the wedding ceremony. Even without being there, she did an incredible job of crafting a personalized and incredibly sentimental wedding script. In her recording, she led them through each step until the moment her recorded voice said, “okay now you can pause this and read your vows to each other.” And they did.

With the sun setting on the rocks behind them, no one else around, and listening to the voice of their best friend speak words of truth and love over their union –– Julie and Kristyl were married!

After one of the most emotional marriage ceremonies I’ve ever witnessed, Julie and Krisyl had one of the most epic champagne pops I’ve ever seen! They laid out a picnic blanket, ate their baguette, and read beautiful letters from their family members who love them but couldn’t join them for this momentous moment. 

We all cheered to their union, and then we began the 3000-foot descent down the mountain. Because we had taken one of the last gondolas up, we hiked back down. I highly recommend this method if you’re comfortable with the area and know the route –– arriving late and staying past the final shuttle down meant we missed the crowds and had the whole place to ourselves. Thankfully, hiking down was significantly easier than it would have been hiking up the 3000 feet of elevation gain!

The stars were bright and stunning –– someone pulled out a bottle of wine, which we shared as we ventured through the darkening evening. We paused on the hike down the mountain to take some star photos of Julie and Kristyl in their headlamps. It was the most beautiful ending to a perfect day!

Elope in Italy – Consider the Dolomites

Northern Italy has a lot of Germanic influence –– eating out, we noticed the menus were regularly in Italian, German, and English. If you love incredible food, you’ll also love the variety of this part of Italy –– you’ll find great Bavarian food, Astrian food, Germanic food, and of course Italian! 

I’ve been to Italy a few times now, and every time I become more obsessed with the natural beauty, the stunning towns, the beautiful culture, and endless world-class meals! 

Julie and Kristyl’s Italian elopement was everything I love about adventurous weddings –– a gorgeous location, an incredibly thoughtful couple, a day schedule that gave time to stop and smell the flowers, and wildlife! Well, sort of wild –– we ran into a group of donkeys roaming around the foothills!

Their idea to have a friend record and “lead” their ceremony was only one of the amazing ways to have a just-us wedding ceremony in another country! In fact, you can get married anywhere in the world just the two of you if you want to get creative! Depending on where you’re from, and where you’re getting married, the laws for performing a legal ceremony are different. You can either plan a commitment ceremony, or find a creative way to self-solemnize. If this is something you’re interested in, but don’t know where to start, reach out! We’d love to help you plan a just-us wedding anywhere in the world!

This incredibly beautiful and sentimental Italian elopement will always be one of my favorites! The place, the people, and the intentional planning were top-notch –– the Italian Dolomites will always be my favorite mountains in the world.

xx Maddie Mae

Maddie Mae

Elopement Photographer

& Planning Consultant

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Your Elopement Photographers & Planning Consultants. We are Maddie Mae, Amber, and Tori. We're your photographers, your elopement consultants, your cheerleaders, and your go-to adventure buddy on the day you say your vows.

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