Destination Wedding: Elope in Style in Austria.
Nothing brings a smile to my face like an intimate elopement does. A spectacular celebration of love with just the two of you, beautiful photographs, no distractions, freedom to be yourselves, name it! I'll be the first to admit: having weddings with countless family and friends may be great, but it can make you a nervous wreck! This can spoil what is supposed to be the best day of your life: Your wedding day.
So yes, you are allowed to elope and have a great experience. On an unforgettable day such as this, choosing your destination elopement to be Austria couldn't have been better. While most people overlook Austria when looking for an elopement in the alps, I can tell you this, Austria is perfect. Here are some secrets I have up my sleeve as an elopement destination photographer.
But first, why Austria? Austria is gorgeous! From cascading waterfalls to towering mountains, and turquoise lakes, it's absolutely beautiful. Second, it is not as popular as its Swiss and Italian destinations. How do you make your elopement unique? How about trying a destination that hasn't risen to the gram yet!
This means that you'll get the best service and views without having to wait in a queue. It also means that you won't have to spend as much for the same quality of experience. Unlike its renowned neighbors, know for their expensive rates, you won't have to pay a hefty price for accommodation and many other services.
And now to the ultimate creative guide to the perfect photographs, a memorable experience, and successful elopement:
Which Are the Best Destinations for an Elopement in Austria?
How do you pick the perfect location? Well, this depends on your interests as a couple, your budget, and the kind of backdrop you want for your wedding photographs. Austria has innumerable options for European elopement weddings. From the Rugged Alpine terrain to the mountain villages, baroque architecture, imperial history, and many others, there really is something for everyone. Here are the top places to go with:
Vienna is the capital of Austria. The city is renowned for its outstanding architecture and rich history. It is home to the imperial palace, the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the State Opera House, and buildings that are a stunning fusion of traditional and modern architecture. Renowned historical personalities who resided in Vienna include Sigmund Freud, Beethoven, and Mozart.
Vienna is not just any other tourist destination, it's an institution. To learn, touch, experience history, and be part of it. If art is important to you as a couple, you will definitely enjoy Vienna. It is beautiful, just as it is inspiring!
It sits directly on the Austria–Germany border. The city is characterized by beautiful medieval and baroque buildings and is home to the stunning Mirabell Palace located in the heart of the city. Right beside the palace is the gorgeous Mirabell Garden that is equally stupefying. As if that's not enough, one of the most beautiful wedding halls in the world, the Marble Hall is also located here.
It is a beautiful hall with marvelous ornamental interiors. This makes it an immediate wedding and photography spot for many couples. Moreover, are magnificent views of the Eastern Alps. It is simply a breathtaking scenery for an open-air ceremony.
Last but not least is the romantic Salzkammergut Lakes for a couple whose idea location involves cruising. Something for everyone couldn't have been defined better!
Tip: If you're looking to elevate your elopement experience in Salzburg, you should consider a horse-drawn carriage form the many riders available through the city.
It is a small town located in Upper Austria and is the perfect spot for elopers who want the full natural experience. It sits at the edge of the large Lake Traunsee and has a number of other gorgeous lakes surrounded by smaller mountains. All nature lovers fond of outdoor activities like skiing, snowboarding, and even hiking will love Gmunden.
Additionally, the tourist destination has earned a name as a health retreat destination. This is because of the amazing natural environment of parks and public places which helps unwind from the stress of normal lives as well as the wide variety of brine used for salt-related treatments. Couples who would like to squeeze in some relaxation and unwinding time during their elopement should go for Gmunden.
4. Feuerkogel Mountain
It's located in Ebensee on Lake Traunsee and is perfect for an Austrian Elopement. The mountain is considered the sunniest mountain in upper Austria and with its altitude, you are guaranteed a panoramic view of the entire Salzkammergut. You need not worry about getting there since cable cars will take you up to a staggering height of 1200m ASL. While here, you will reside in comfortable huts, enjoy some fantastic Austrian dishes, have some fun in the adventure village, and even engage in some physical activities like hiking! Athletic couples will definitely have an unforgettable experience.
Here, you will find the amazing Dürnstein Abbey ruins. It is a historically significant site, being the castle of the Kuenringe once in history. The English King Richard I Lionheart 1192/1193 had being held captive here. It also has a magnificent Baroque church and from here, you have an amazing view far and beyond the Danube valley.
It is quite a romantic destination with vineyards to stroll in and have some wine in, the veteran rock to hike on, and some local tiny villages to enjoy cozy wines and delicacies!
Which is the Best Time to Visit Austria?
The best time depends on the activities you would like to indulge in. If you like skiing and snowboarding, or would simply like a snowy backdrop, then winter would be the best time. This is between January and April. Sometimes it's also snowy in November, but this is not always guaranteed.
For hiking enthusiasts, summertime is the best time. This is between June to October. The hiking trails will be visible, and huts open for accommodation. Spring and fall are equally great times. For an unforgettable experience, simply choose your elopement season and find the perfect destination!
Can Americans Get Married Legally in Austria?
Yet another great reason to love Austria, you can sign all your legal paperwork on top of a mountain! Whether you are planning on an LGBT elopement or a non-resident one, Austria supports both.
For a legally binding marriage, you will have to hold a civil ceremony which is conducted by a local Standesamt, at the local registry office. Despite the formalities, it will be rather short, running for about half an hour. It is conducted in German meaning you'll need a translator if you are not familiar with the language. To your advantage, however, more locations are allowing personalization and legal recognition such as Golden Roof Innsbruck Elopements, Gerlos Intimate Wedding, and Obergurgl Ski Elopement.
Before legal marriage, there are some requirements that you need to meet such as:
Submission of the required paperwork to the local standesamt in the district where you want to get married before your appointment. These include:
- Proof of your eligibility to marry and proof of no impediment. This Should be submitted within 6 months of the requested wedding date). A certificate of marriageability will then be issued within 2 weeks or 6 weeks in busier cities. This is only valid for 6 months. If you are not a resident in Austria, this must be submitted through the Standesamt in charge of the First District of Vienna.
- Original or Certified copies of the following documents translated in German by a certified translator:
• Full birth certificate with parents' names
• Decree absolute & previous marriage certificates for divorcees.
• Certificate of No Impediment along with n apostille, both of which should have German versions.
• Deed poll for persons who have changed their names.
• Your driver's license with an address to prove your residency
• Photocopies of the picture page of the passports for two witnesses, listing their name, address, and occupation.
- You should also decide your names after marriage since they will be required in the paperwork.
What If You Have a Few Extra Days After your Elopement, What Do You Do?
If you didn't get to visit the gorgeous alps, there are innumerable activities to enjoy. First, you could hike in over 40,000 kilometers of hiking trails in tens of mountains, snowboarding, skiing, and even paragliding. You could also Indulge in Austrian coffee house culture and pastries or other Austrian delicacies in over 500 mountain huts. You could also ride the high mountains using a cable car.
Alternatively, rent an E-Bike and explore the beautiful environs, or take a road trip to the gorgeous destinations. While at it, visit the Vienna Opera fora concert, ice caves on a glacier, and even the countless fortresses and castles like “Hohensalzburg”. You could also cruise over the gorgeous lakes and spend a relaxing day on crystal clear waters, take an Alpine Helicopter Flight, or even stay overnight in an Iglu village.
Form Your distinguished Austrian Photographer.
With this, you are ready for the time of your life. Have a sensational experience on your elopement in Austria, and allow me to capture all your special moments with your loved one!