Hiking elopements are different from “regular” non-hiking elopements. There is always a sence of adventure and quite a few non-traditional choices involved in both types. However, planning process is different for each elopement type. In this blogpost you can get some guidelines on how to plan a hiking elopement in Tromsø. And as a matter of fact, these tips may apply to many other places: both in Norway and outside. Feel free to use it in the planning process of your own adventure elopement!
Pick the right season for your hiking elopement in Tromsø
First of all, I recommend you to determine the season of your hiking elopement in Tromsø (or perhaps in some other place). It makes all the difference whether you’ll be hiking in summer, winter or a season “inbetween” when the trail might be anything between dry, wet and muddy, slippery or filled with deep fresh snow.
Typically, in Tromsø (as well as in other places in Northern Norway) the driest months would be July and August. Early June is somewhat wet after all the melting snow. September is usually wet because it’s a more rainy month than the summer season. October and November might sound like autumn months to you… But in reality you can expect anything, including the deep snow as mentioned before. From December to April (and quite likely May as well) the trails are usually snowy (in May it may be snow-less, but likely wet). However, it depends on the altitude of the hike and the location itself.
Summer and fall hiking season in Tromsø
The best feature of the summer season is the midnight sun. It allows you to hike in the evening and enjoy a less crowded trail (since most of the hikers would still prefer hiking during daytime). You can experience the midnight sun in Tromsø from 18th of May until ca. 25th of July. The great lighting stays longer than a typical sunset-situation, and you can take advantage of it from around 22.00 to 02.00 before the sun gets harsh again. Even when it’s not sunny, you still have daylight for the whole night, so you can plan your elopement to be more evening/night centered. Bonus: sleep as long as you want on your elopement day!
If you’re looking for great fall colors, pick a date between 15th of September and 5th October. You’re not going to regret! All the trees are yellow/orange/red with splashes of green. The grass is dry and golden and it looks amazing in front of the mountain and fjord backgrounds!
Heading towards winter season in Tromsø
When we go towards the season-in-between, you may still have some awesome colors in the foreground. If you’re lucky enough – the mountains will be snow-capped! I took the pictures that you see in this blogpost in November 2022. I used to think of November as an ugly month, but after photographing this fall hiking elopement in Tromsø I definitely changed my mind! Fun fact: this couple hiked the same trail a couple of weeks before their elopement day, and it was a real winter hike! The trail was covered in snow, but it was still just as beautiful as it turned out to be on their elopement day!
Winter hikes are more tricky though! There are always a few hikes that are very popular, and you can “always” expect to see a trail to the mountaintop. But keep in mind that if a heavy snowfall comes in the evening/night before your elopement day, you might be the one who has to make a trail! In this case, be prepared for a snowshoeing or skiing tour! It is also a good idea to hike this mountain beforehand, just so that you know the trail, even if you hike it in a different season.
Think about your physical shape
Of course, we all love a great view, especially the one from an amazing mountaintop. But when choosing a location for your hiking elopement in Tromsø, remember to consider your physical shape and what kind of hike you’ll be comfortable with. For most people a hike with an elevation of 400-500 masl is totally achievable and epic enough. But maybe you’d prefer to hike something easier on your elopement day? After all, none wants to be too sweaty, right? Or maybe you’re an pair of athletes and want to run a 800-1000 masl hike for your elopement. You know what? Nothing should stop you!
The shorter the hike, the more other activities you can include in your elopement day. You can even discover several different locations besides that mountaintop. With the longer hikes though it may be more convenient to spend most of the time on the mountaintop. And in this case I recommend you to pick a mountain with a great 360 degrees view, so that you’ll get a great variety for your photos. And you can also move between the locations/views for each activity: getting ready, first look, vow reading, elopement ceremony, first dance, picnic etc.
What activities to include in your adventure elopement day?
While hiking, you’ll be carrying your wedding attire, bouquet as well as some other gear you might need for the hike. But there are a few things you can do during your hiking elopement without adding a ton of weight to your backpack.
- Pack some fingerfood and have a picnic on a mountaintop
- Take a bottle of wine or your favorite drink. Sparkling wine is great for spraying and drinking, and you can save the cork as a souvenir
- Order personalized mugs with your names or something cute written on them. Use them on your elopement day and for every adventure in the future!
- Make a bonfire and grill something together! Bonus: it will keep you warm!
- Bring a small wedding cake, cupcakes, pie, doughnuts or cookies for dessert
- Ask your family and friends to write you letters before your elopement day and read them together after your ceremony
- Facetime with your family
- Shout “We’re married” from the mountaintop!
- Have a first dance (and a second dance if you want to!)
- Make a music list on spotify and listen to it throughout your day! Remember to download it so that it works offline as well
- After the hike (and depending on the season) you can go paddle boarding, surfing, kayaking or swimming, rowing a boat or rock climbing
- If you’re near a beach, you can write messages on the sand or pick sea shells as a souvenir from your elopement day
- If it’s a winter season, you can consider these fun activities: skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, dogsledding, reindeer sledding, ice skating, snowmobile driving, sleighing. Play snowball war or build a snowman!
- If your elopement date is between late August and late March, stay up late and include stargazing in your elopement schedule. From late September until late March you can even catch some Northern lights. I can assure you, it would be an unforgettable experience!
Example of a timeline for a full day hiking elopement in Tromsø
Depending on the season and how much light we have at any given moment, there would be different scenarios for each elopement. Here is an example of a hiking elopement in Tromsø in November:
- 06.30-08.30 – Bride and groom getting ready together at their airb’n’b
- 08.30-09.00 – Drive to the hiking trail
- 09.00-10.00 – Hike up to the mountaintop (in hiking clothes)
- 10.00-10.30 – Get dressed and fresh up on the mountaintop, separately
- 10.30-11.00 – First look in front of a great view
- 11.00-12.00 – Explore surroundings and a vow exchange
- 12.00-13.00 – Hike down (either in your wedding attire or change back to the hiking clothes)
- 13.00-13.30 – Drive to a beach nearby and fresh up after the hike
- 13.30-14.00 – Intimate wedding ceremony on the beach together with family and best friends
- 14.00-15.00 – Group portraits with family and friends on the beach and a champagne spray
- 15.00-16.00 – Bonfire on the beach with food and drinks
- 16.00 and onwards – party time!
Packing list for your hiking elopement in Norway (summer & fall)
- Lots of water! You need to stay hydrated throughout the day
- Food/snacks for the whole day
- Good hiking shoes! If you just have bought them, wear them at least twice before your elopement day, in order to avoid blisters. Most of the time you won’t need pretty shoes as they’re quite useless on hikes. But you can always wear them in the evening if you choose to go to a restaurant or somewhere else outside of the mountains
- Change of clothes. You might get wet if it rains or if you get sweat, and it’s nice to have something dry in your backpack. Use layers! Fleece and wool will keep you nice and warm on a cold day. Remember wool socks, gloves, scarf and a beanie!
- Wind- and waterproof/water-repellent jacket and pants is a must have
- Something to stand on when you change your clothes! For example a yoga mat or a sitting mat
- Headlamps and extra batteries (you can skip it in May-July, as there is plenty of light in Northern Norway)
- Portable charger for your phones (fully charged, of course)
- Map & Compass – because you never know…
- Sunglasses & sunscreen
- Pocket knife and matches – just in case
- Plastic bags to store trash, because we are not leaving any traces
- First aid kit & blister-patches
- Survival blanket
- Visibility west (in case of injury, you must be visible from a distance)
- Your wedding attire and maybe a nice coat/cardigan/scarf/shawl if it gets colder?
- Handheld mirror, makeup, hairbrush/comb
- Flowers, vow books, ring box and champagne to celebrate!
- Small speaker to play your favorite songs
I hope this planning guide was helpful! Contact me if you need help in planning and capturing your hiking elopement in Tromsø or anywhere else in Norway!