| March 9, 2020

Louise & Peter—A Norway Elopement Story

Louise & Peter — A Norway Elopement Story

As an elopement photographer who has traveled across the globe helping couples find meaningful, beautiful locations for their wildly different wedding adventures, I’m constantly reminded of just how many breathtaking and diverse places there are on this earth all packed with their own type of beauty.

So, when I say what I’m about to say next, know that I don’t make this claim lightly — the Lofoten Islands might be one of the most uniquely gorgeous places I’ve ever been.

When Louise and Peter (a couple from Norway and Switzerland, respectively) decided to elope in the Lofoten Islands, a chain of western islands in Norway, I almost couldn’t contain my excitement. I’d drooled over photos of this incredible place for years, constantly in awe of its fjords, its beaches, and its jaw-dropping beauty.

Louise & Peter, who lived in Switzerland, turned their elopement in a multi-day adventure, road tripping with their Doberman Pinscher Rocky (who was essentially an enormous puppy who was overflowing with adorable energy) to meet me in the Lofoten Islands for their elopement day.

With stunning hikes planned, gorgeous ceremony spots picked out, and some sincerely unpredictable weather, we embarked on their just us day exactly how they wanted — relaxed, low-stress, and entirely focused on their relationship.

Louise & Peter

When Louise and Peter first got engaged, they knew almost immediately that eloping was the perfect way for them to commit their lives to each other.

The choice to elope came pretty naturally for them — neither Louise nor Peter have ever been exceptionally interested in a traditional wedding. They’d even discussed eloping before they were ever engaged. For Louise, the idea of being stared at or walking down the aisle or being the center of attention just didn’t fit — she and Peter both believe a ceremony, something filled with emotion and meaning, should be private.

While their families were both mostly on board with their private elopement, the two decided to plan and throw a reception a few months after their elopement date that their friends and family could be a part of.

But for Louise and Peter, the choice to elope was all about focusing on each other, on investing their emotions into an experience that was just for them in the exact way they wanted to. And truly, their elopement day was a genuine reflection of that.

On the day of their elopement, we’d initially planned to start a hike on a tropical-looking beach that trekked about 3,000 feet (almost straight up) to an overlook that offered expansive views of sugar-sand and a Caribbean-blue ocean.  But as we started the hike, low-lying clouds were beginning to form, and in the distance, we could see our destination was absolutely engulfed in thick clouds — even if we were able to hike up safely, we wouldn’t have been able to see a thing.

The weather on the beach, though, was still stunning. So, we all trekked down the beach (their pup Rocky included), found a quiet corner we had all to ourselves, and just basked in the beauty of the day. The plan was initially to wait out the weather to see if we could hike back up to their first-choice spot, but ultimately, Louise and Peter didn’t want to wait — they were just so ready to get married.

Louise and Peter parted ways — each of them distancing themselves so they could change out of their hiking clothes and into their wedding attire for their first look.

There on the rocks of this tropical-looking but chilly beach in Norway, Louise tapped Peter on the shoulder — and when he turned, they shared the sweetest moment, holding each other close, kissing, and connecting on their day.

Right then and there, swept up in the emotion of it all, they knew they wanted to say their vows and have their ceremony at that moment. It was spontaneous and beautiful and wholly about being there, in the moment, together. So they took hands, they read vows from their vow books, they pledged their lives to each other and laughed together as they placed wedding rings on each other’s fingers. Rocky ran up to them almost immediately, wanting to get in on the affection and happiness.

All I could think of in this moment was how connected Louise and Peter were. They were so genuinely happy to be standing there on that beach in that moment doing the one thing that mattered the most to them — getting married.

There wasn’t a whiff of disappointment. It didn’t matter that they hadn’t made it to the ceremony spot they initially planned on. It didn’t matter that the weather had changed or that their plan didn’t work out exactly as they’d hoped. That wasn’t the focus. It didn’t matter.

What they cared about was happening. They’d road-tripped together and had this amazing adventure of getting to Norway and nothing phased them — they were married, and that’s all that counted.

The Breathtaking Fjords of Norway

By now, you probably understand what I mean about how The Lofoten Islands are unlike anything I’ve ever seen. A remote part of Norway, the Lofoten Islands are a western chain of fjord-y islands that are very far north — and when I say far north,  I mean the farthest north I’ve actually ever traveled or photographed (for reference, the coordinates of the islands are 68.166672, 13.750000).

Norway — the islands, specifically—is incredibly hard to describe because it’s simultaneously unlike anything I’ve ever seen while reminding me of gorgeous places I’ve seen hundreds of times. It feels new in every way possible, but strangely familiar somehow.  For example, Norway looks like if someone took Hawaii, mixed it with Yosemite, and then picked it up and moved it to the Arctic — it has beautiful features I’ve seen before, but with unique twists that make it all feel entirely new.

In the Lofoten Islands, you’re able to explore a variety of landscapes, which can make for an epic elopement adventure. There are the beaches, the fjords (which look like you took a half of a mountain range and put it underwater), mountain hikes, island chains, and more.

But, I think the most interesting thing about the Lofoten Islands is how tropical it looks. Normally, you wouldn’t think of Norway looking tropical — but in the photos, that’s exactly the case. The colors of the water are this bright green and blue, like in the Caribbean, and the sand is sugar white. In photos, it genuinely looks like a warm, tropical beach — but you get there, and you’re seeing this gorgeous, beachy paradise, but it’s chilly and windy and the weather can be (just a little) unpredictable.

To say that the Lofoten Islands are stunning would be an understatement, but the really unique thing about the area is that, depending on what time of year you visit, your elopement doesn’t need to be planned around sunrise or sunset. Because Norway isn’t in the normal range, the sun will stay close to the horizon and south for most of the day, providing you with plenty of all-day, soft light, and allowing you to spend hours and hours exploring without the sun going down.

Mountain & Sea Elopement

Because I was in the Lofoten Islands for about a week (it was somewhere I’d been dying to adventure and explore, too), I had flexibility in my schedule to offer Louise and Peter a little more time with me on a different day so they could explore the rest of the Lofoten Islands, the fjords, and the mountain views like they’d wanted.

The morning after their elopement ceremony, I met up with Louise and Peter at their Airbnb to embark on an iconic hike in the area, one I’d been dreaming of doing for a long time. Louise and Peter packed up their wedding clothes (just in case the opportunity to capture more intimate moments arose), and we headed out for our hike up a mountain overlooking the ocean and the fjords the area was famous for.

We hiked up (quite literally straight up) the westernmost point on the islands and were greeted by incredible scenery, amazing overlooks, and a day full of sunshine, warmth, and love.

A day made all the difference for the weather, which is something I see so often with adventure elopements. Typically, if you’re making the choice to elope in the mountains, in a remote part of the world, or in an adventurous location, it’s always best to expect the unexpected—especially when it comes to weather. Louise & Peter’s mountain and sea elopement was no different. But that’s the beautiful part about eloping. It doesn’t matter if everything goes entirely to plan—as long as you and the love of your life are getting married, you’re doing it the right way.

In the end, I ended up capturing a few more intimate moments of Louise and Peter on top of the mountain overlook. For me, the fact that it wasn’t perfectly planned and didn’t all happen in a linear way is so symbolic of what life is really like. Being able to capture Louise and Peter’s joy over the course of a couple of days didn’t devalue the moment they said their vows at all — it just turned their single-day elopement adventure into a multi-day adventure.

All in all, being able to help Louise and Peter create their epic elopement — both at the beach on the day they said their vows and during their mountain elopement — is what made the Lofoten Islands so beautiful and so unique.

Are you ready to connect and make your elopement dreams come true? We’re here for you! Reach out to the Adventure Instead team to learn more about eloping, talk about your dream ceremony, or take the next step toward working with us!

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Maddie Mae

Elopement Photographer

& Planning Consultant

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Adventure Instead

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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