It’s always a good day to pay a visit to Italy’s stunning Dolomites! Today we’re tagging along on Tihomir and Petya’s wedding day, with Cat from Wild Connections Photography as our guide.
It’s common for many eloping couples to forgo a wedding planner to simply hit the road/beach/mountain with their photographer and let the day unfold. And why not? After all, the reason that so many couples choose an elopement over a big wedding is so they can relax, go with the flow and not stress about details and timelines.
In this case, working with a photographer who knows the location can be invaluable. They know exactly where to go, when to get there to avoid the crowds and how long it takes to get between locations, not to mention a million other things. Do you need a permit? Is that road open at this time of year? Should you wear hiking boots??
As someone who has shot many weddings in the Dolomites, Cat was able to help Tihomir and Petya make the most of their day by mapping out an itinerary of spectacular spots up and down the mountain. And the end result was a wedding album that looks like this … basically a highlight reel of jaw-dropping pit-stops. Enjoy!
Tihomir and Petya are from Bulgaria. They decided they wanted to elope when the thought of planning a big traditional wedding just didn’t make them excited to get married. Instead, they wanted to get married in a way that felt more authentic to them, having a day that was intimate, full of adventure and beautiful scenery. At first they considered a beach elopement, but after seeing photos of Lago di Braies on Instagram, they fell in love with it and knew that would be an amazing spot for them.
Wedding Destination – The Dolomites in Northern Italy
The Dolomites are an absolutely stunning place to elope. Around every turn, you’ll find serene alpine lakes and dramatic mountain peaks. After falling in love with Lago di Braies, Petya & Tihomir picked that as the first location for their elopement. But they also wanted to experience the views from up high, so we chose the base of the stunning Tre Cime Di Lavaredo for their mountain ceremony.
Time of Year
Their elopement was at the end of June. After a long winter, many of the higher locations in the Dolomites were still under a blanket of snow, but thankfully both Lago di Braies and the Tre Cime were easily accessible by car. The long days in June meant that we had an early start at Lago di Braies to experience it before too many of the crowds arrived.
Planning a Wedding in the Dolomites
As a local expert, I helped Petya & Tihomir plan the logistics of their elopement. They trusted my knowledge of the area and let me guide them in which locations would be the best fit for what they envisioned, and how easy each location would be to get to. The main concern was that they really wanted a large ceremony arch for their elopement ceremony. With the remote nature of many of the locations in the Dolomites, finding a location where we could easily transport the arch that they were bringing with them from Bulgaria (it was made by some friends of theirs as a wedding gift), without having to hike too far with it (it was HEAVY) was a challenge.
The whole day was wonderfully relaxed and intimate, just as they wanted. They started the day with a first look at the iconic Lago di Braies boathouse, which they had privately hired for 2 hours that morning. After an emotional first meeting, they were joined by their closest friends for a short trip out on the rowing boats on the lake. After we finished exploring around Lago di Braies, it was time to drive up to the Tre Cime for their elopement ceremony. The ceremony was conducted by one of their closest friends, overlooking the stunning mountains and the lake of Misurina in the distance. They were reminded of how their love story started, and as they made their wedding vows to each other with their two best friends as witnesses, they started the next chapter of their adventures in life together. After their ceremony, they toasted with a glass of prosecco and took some time to enjoy the stunning scenery around them. After all the emotions of the morning, they were both hungry and excited to have some amazing Italian food for lunch. We stopped off for some pizza at a little mountain restaurant, then headed back for a relaxed evening, stopping at a few stunning locations that caught our eye on the way home.
Advice for Others Considering an Elopement in the Dolomites
The Dolomites is one of my favorite places to elope in Europe for any couple that loves the raw beauty of the mountains. Lago di Braies & the Tre Cime di Lavaredo have unfortunately, become increasingly popular locations over the last couple of years, not only due to their incredible beauty, but also because they are very easy to reach with very little effort (you can drive right up to them), so I no longer recommend these as locations for a couples’ intimate elopement (they are still must-see locations for their honeymoon though). But by working with a photographer like myself who is a local expert, you can find so many equally stunning places to elope which still allow you to feel like you had the perfect, intimate “just us” experience you dreamed of.
And for couples who love adventure and are excited about the idea of hiking, climbing or skiing on their wedding day, the Dolomites is the perfect place!
Tihomir and Petya’s Italy Wedding Vendors
Photographer: Wild Connections Photography
First Look Venue: Lago di Braies Boathouse, Prags, Italy
Ceremony Location: Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Italy
Find More Itay Wedding Vendors in our BWB Destination Wedding Directory