Best Places to Elope in Europe in 2022
For a couple looking to elope in Europe, the options can be almost overwhelming. With so many gorgeous fairytale historical cities and jaw-dropping natural beauty – from the snowy Alps of Switzerland to the sunny beaches of Spain – to choose from, how can you know where the best places to elope in Europe actually are?
As a wedding photographer based in Amsterdam, I’ve had the chance to photograph so many weddings and elopements all over this wonderful continent. Take a look at my personal recommendations for the best places to elope in Europe in 2022:
The United Kingdom
I might be a bit biased, since this is actually where I’m from, but if you’re not living in the UK and you’re looking to elope in Europe, you should definitely consider getting married here! There’s no language barrier, it’s really easy to get around the country using public transport, and there are so many beautiful stately homes and historic churches for you to choose from! Let’s take a look at some of the best places to elope in Europe if you’re going to the UK:
#1 – The Cotswolds
If you want to elope in Europe, you’ve got to consider London – but I’m going to mix things up and suggest that you actually escape the big city for your European elopement. The Cotswolds are a region in England renowned for the beauty of its rolling hills and picturesque villages, and if you want an idyllic escape to the country, this is your spot.
There are some incredible historic venues in this part of England, along with beautiful old churches – take a look at this wedding I shot in the Cotswolds for a better idea of what it could be like.
#2 – Edinburgh
A world-class city packed with culture, Edinburgh still brims with personality and swoon-worthy historic architecture. It has its own international airport but it’s also easily reached from London, and it serves as a gateway into the green hills and gentle mountains of Scotland. When you elope in Europe and choose Edinburgh, your elopement could be anything from chic and glamorous to adventurous and gritty – your options really are endless.
A place where rich history and deep passion meet, I really couldn’t recommend Italy more as a place to elope in Europe. There are so many beautiful villages and villas here – it’s one of the few places that offer both metropolitan glamour and rural charm within a few miles of one another.
#1 – Tuscany
The most famous region in Italy is renowned for a reason – not only does Tuscany have countless jaw-dropping villas that would make an epic place for you to elope in Europe, but it’s gentle hills are the home of ancient farms and olive groves and it also boasts a stretch of gorgeous coastline.
Go for a city elopement in Florence or Siena, or choose a country villa or a little village church for a more idyllic and rural experience. This wedding in the Florentine Villa Gamberaia will give you an idea of the kind of effortless luxury Tuscany has to offer.
#2 – Lake Como
If you’re going to elope in Europe, the iconic Lake Como has to be on the shortlist of locations. Tucked into the very northernmost part of Italy, not far from the Alps, this iconic and luxurious location has played host to society’s brightest stars for quite literally hundreds of years. You’ll enjoy not simply the soaring beauty of the mountains, but also the glory of lavish lakeside villas available for you to celebrate your wedding.
Whether you want to say your vows in a simple symbolic ceremony by the lake shore (or even on a boat!) and then celebrate in one of the gorgeous historic hotels, or if you want to hire out a villa for an elegant micro-wedding, whatever vision you have to elope in Europe, Lake Como is a pristine spot for you to choose.
France is far more than the “City of Love” – if you’re planning to elope in Europe, my advice would be to skip through Paris (hit it on the honeymoon!) and enjoy some of the luscious, history-steeped French countryside.
#1 – Marseille
This seaside city sits right on the Mediterranean, so you can expect balmy weather and sea breezes. The architecture sits somewhere between France and Greece, with pale stone houses and docks forming the most picturesque scenes.
If it’s a seaside escape to elope in Europe you’re dreaming of, there’s nowhere better than this incredible city.
#2 – Bordeaux
There are vineyards all over France, but the Bordeaux region has some of the oldest and most beautiful. The city of Bordeaux itself is totally charming, with incredible art galleries and world-renowned restaurants. A lesser-celebrated part of the region is its coastline, with pristine beaches that could form the basis for an incredible honeymoon.
Slovenia might not be the first nation that comes to mind when you think of places to elope in Europe, but it is a true dark horse in the conversation. Lushly forested, with incredible mountains and picturesque towns, there’s so much to explore here – but it would make this list based off of the existence of Lake Bled alone.
#1 – Lake Bled
High in the mountains, deep forests surround a shining blue lake. Fed by hot springs, the pristine Lake Bled is crowned by an island – and on the island is a chapel.
You can head across the water by boat and be married in this chapel, celebrating – if you choose – in one of the area’s castle venues. If you’re looking to elope in Europe, this is one of the most beautiful and unique experiences out there.
Planning the Perfect Elopement
From sun-drenched shores to snow-cooled breezes, from historic luxury to modern glamour – Europe has it all. I hope that these recommendations have helped you narrow down your wishlist and come up with a few specific areas that ignite your imagination.
And if you’re looking for an elopement photographer to go the distance with you, I’d love to talk!