How can you make your winter elopement in Norway completely unforgettable? Try to aim for a northern lights elopement! Perhaps, not for the whole night, but maybe a few amazing photos at the end of the day? You’ll have a lifetime experience and some awesome photographs of you under the northern lights.
What is Northern lights?
Northern lights (or Aurora Borealis) is a natural light display in the Earth’s sky, and you can primarily watch it in high-latitude regions (around the Arctic and Antarctic). Northern Norway, and Alta in particular are among the best places in the world to watch Aurora Borealis. The Aurora Borealis season is between October and April. And this is where I live and where my playground is.
Aurora Borealis wedding
If you’re getting married in Norway in wintertime, I highly recommend you to aim for northern lights portraits at the end of your day full of adventures. If you’re lucky, you may get both beautiful portraits under the stars, as well as some pictures of you under the northern lights. But there are also chances that you’ll return with no night portraits, if the weather doesn’t cooperate.
How to prepare for Northern lights elopement?
Preparation is the key to success. First, it’s nice to know that there are no guarantees that you will get to see the Aurora Borealis, let alone capture some portraits. There should be clear or partly clear sky, and there should be Aurora borealis activity that day (there are apps that can help to determine that).
An experienced elopement photographer should be able to help you to predict your chances of seeing Northern lights on a given day. But your chances will increase a lot if you stay in Northern Norway for a few days in a row and if you’re flexible during evening time. Once the forecast for weather and Aurora is promising, go ahead and try to see it!
Dress up accordingly
Many couples want to wear their wedding attire for the portraits under the northern lights. But be aware of how cold it can be. Quite often the temperatures are below -10 Celcius, so tons of warm layers are a-must-have.
My best advice for the brides: wear either a few wool layers (pants) or warm winter pants under your skirt/dress. It won’t show in the pictures as it’s dark outside. Get a really warm wool sweater/cardigan and a cute jacket/coat you’re comfortable to be photographed in. And for God’s sake, wear the warmest possible shoes! Warm mittens, scarf and hat go without saying.
My best advice for men: wear warm pants and shoes, preferably in dark colors. It doesn’t show on the photographs as much as it does during daytime, and you’ll stay warm longer. Thick wool sweather under your suit jacket and a warm wool coat or parka on top will also help. Again, bring warm mittens, scarf and hat.
You can take the accessories and jackets off for just a few pictures – when the photographer is ready and the Northern lights are at their best.
Your expectations and your experience
Last, but not least: don’t expect too many photos. Taking portraits under the stars and northern lights is quite time consuming and challenging process. It includes a lot of waiting for the Aurora, setting up the camera and gear, pauses for warming up in the car & cloth changing. Each picture takes longer time to capture too. Therefore it’s more realistic to expect only a few good portraits, and with some luck and good preparation you’ll get them!
I’ve been practicing Northern lights portrait photography since 2018, and have quite some experience taking Aurora Borealis portraits. Please, contact me if you think that eloping under the Northern lights sounds like an amazing idea.
Check out my northern lights wedding packages here.