Emma & Martin are my kind of people, and I knew that from the first moment we chatted on Skype when they were in the early stages of planning their elopement in the Dolomites. I knew we’d get on like a house on fire, because even in that first call, we found ourselves chatting for ages as if we’d been friends forever. We chatted about elopement planning, how the Dolomites are freaking incredible and about kinds of nerdy outdoor-related stuff. Their dream was to have a hiking & climbing elopement in the the Dolomite mountains in Italy with just me there to document it. They told me their plans and from the first moment, I knew it was going to be EPIC. And oh my word it was!
Emma & Martin’s Dolomites Hiking & Climbing Elopement
When Emma & Martin first contacted Jlenia, a Dolomites wedding planning guru, they had the idea of getting married somewhere in the Dolomites. They wanted beautiful views, some epic hiking and were also quite excited about the idea of doing a via ferrata climb too. Jlenia came up with the ultimate itinerary for them.
Without telling anyone in their family, they headed from the UK to the Dolomites for an epic 3-day hiking and climbing elopement adventure. The adventure started with a short civil ceremony conducted by the town Mayor. With the paperwork taken care of, we headed back to their hotel and changed into our hiking gear. But this wasn’t the end of the story for their wedding clothes. They were being packed in their backpacks and were coming on the adventure with us! We started with a 600m ascent up a stunning via ferrata. Although the route wouldn’t have been to challenging on a normal day, with heavy packs on we all felt the burden of the extra weight, but made it to the top and hiked over to our mountain hut for the night just in time for a well-earned beer and dinner. Although they were legally married now, neither Emma nor Martin felt like they had really tied the knot, as they hadn’t yet said their wedding vows to one another. That was their plan for the following morning.
After an uncomfortable night’s sleep in a rather sweaty bunk room, we woke up early, before sunrise, grabbed our clothes and headed in to the hallway to get dressed. We headed outside as the sun was rising, wedding vows at the ready. Emma & Martin found the perfect spot to say their vows at a crystal clear lake, with nobody else around. Reading their wedding vows to one another in this incredible spot, they finally felt like they were married. This was the moment they had been planning all these months.
With the sun lighting up the mountains around us, we headed back to the rifugio to change back to hiking clothes, pack our bags and continue on our adventure. We headed up and over the ridge behind the mountain hut and over to the moon-like landscape of the plateau. The clouds and rain kept coming in and threatening us, but thankfully the worst came in the form of a huge hail storm just as we stopped in a hut for lunch. After re-fuelling we made the final push up to the highest point of our 3-day adventure, the top if the Piz Boe at 6152m above sea level. Emma & Martin made a toast at the top, raising a camping mug of prosecco to toast an incredible day, and an unforgettable adventure to start their married life.
After a short break at the top, it was time to start our descent. After 1.5 days of going uphill, it was time to start hiking back down. You might think that going down would be much easier, but the rocky paths (which at one point completely disappeared leaving us to find our way down a steep couloir) was almost as hard as the going up. So we were all thrilled when we finally saw our mountain hut on the horizon, Rifugio Franz Kostner. This amazing rifugio is definitely one of the best I’ve ever stayed in, with amazing food, comfortable rooms and a real luxury – hot water! Not to mention the added bonus that they have a super cute dog who lives there too! After an amazing dinner, and a quick game of Pass the Pigs, we all passed out, completely exhausted from our days exploits.
The following morning we got up early again to watch the sun rising above the mountains one final time. If you’ve never seen a sunrise from a mountain hut, it’s one of the most incredible experiences and one I highly recommend, even though it usually means a very early start. Watching as the mountain peaks start to light up, Emma & Martin took in every last moment of their incredible adventure. Today was the last day, and it was time to hike back down to the valley and for us to say goodbye to one another.
The rocky landscape around the rifugio soon changed in to lush green mountain meadows, and as we descended, we were greeted by the clanging of cowbells from the grazing cows and sheep. As a final pitstop before we said goodbye, we stopped of at the most adorable “alm hütte”, a traditional mountain hut run by Jlenia’s family, serving the most amazing locally made meats and cheeses. As we sat drinking beer and eating homemade goats cheese, we couldn’t help but be a little sad that our adventure had finally come to an end. But what an adventure it was!
Photography – Wild Connections Photography
Wedding Planner – Jlenia Costner
Getting Ready Location – Hotel Kolfuschgerhof
First Night Mountain Hut – Pisciadu Hut
Second Night Mountain Hut – Rifugio Franz Kostner
Bride’s Dress – Grace Loves Lace
Shirt – Richard Smith Bespoke
Rings – J Blunt Designs
Knife – CraftLab Knives
Bespoke Jewellery – Alison Moore
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