Northern Adventures: Finland, Norway & Sweden

The Nordic countries – Finland, Norway & Sweden – offer unforgettable scenes like nowhere else on the planet…Places that exude adventure at every turn.

nordic destination wedding

Think: Powerful waterfalls, dynamic cliff lines, canyons, volcanoes, glaciers, iceberg lagoons, ice chapels, castles, igloo villages, enchanted old-world cities, and endless amounts of epic scenes! 

Doesn’t that sound like the BEST wedding destination EVER?  It is, trust us!

Be different!  Escape the “typical” (and overdone) wedding day locales of warm/tropical and go somewhere slightly colder but incredibly unique!  You’ll have wedding photos that will be envied!

We’ve talked to our tribe of wedding planning professionals, made somenordic destination wedding new friends in the community, and found – Omigosh! – some of the most amazing places on the planet for your destination wedding!

Most folks think “exotic,” when they hear “destination wedding,” and of warm white sand beaches and blue water.

We’re here to tell you, “exotic” is not limited to just the tropics!!

Do you picture yourself getting married …​ Inside enchanted woods? A fortified fortress?  An ornate cathedral? Under the Northern Lights in an igloo village?  

Finland may be your Nordic destination wedding answer!

nordic destination weddingThe northern most region of Finland is Lapland. As well as being the home of Father Christmas, this is the coldest and most remote area to marry in!

Finland is full of pine forests, lakes and beautiful, relatively flat, countryside. For stunning surroundings and access to ski resorts, try the resort of Levi (which is within the Arctic Circle).

The wildlife of the area draws in birdwatchers, and also those interested in ice fishing and elk. However, remember that in the Arctic Circle they experience polar nights. That is, not complete darkness but rather closer to dusk even at midday.

Although Finnish and Swedish are the country’s two official languages, English is compulsory in schools from age nine. Therefore, it should be easy to ask for what you need for your Arctic wedding even in the rural areas of the country.

Marriage between foreigners within Finland is completely legal. The nordic destination weddingmajority of churches and clergymen in Finland are Christian Lutheran and require you to present proof of baptism before you can get married.

If you want a civil ceremony and you are both non-Finnish, then you need to reside within the local area that you are getting married in for seven days minimum before you can apply for a license.

Finland, (which is often referred to as Lapland) is an Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) mecca in the wintertime!  What is more magical than getting married under the Northern Lights dancing above you as you say your wedding vows?

We know. We’re drawing a blank too!  

nordic destination weddingOur favorite place for a fabulous winter destination wedding is the SnowCastle Kemi!

Big changes are coming to SnowCastle Kemi, a winter-loving princess’ fairy tale venue in Lapland, Finland’s northernmost region. Built of ice and snow seasonally since 1996, work is underway to construct a year-round SnowCastle, which will be unveiled later this year and will available for weddings in all seasons in 2019 and beyond.

Inside walls nearly 13 feet high and five feet thick, the SnowCastle is home to a mix of cold-temperature rooms and suites, a reception-worthy SnowRestaurant with tables of ice and seats covered in reindeer hide and nordic destination weddingsheepskin.  There is also a SnowChapel where intimate ceremonies can be performed by the resident Snow Queen, a chaplain from the local parish or a magistrate from the City Administrative Court of Kemi.

In 2017 SnowCastle Kemi moved to its new, permanent home and also unveiled the Seaside Glass Villas beyond the castle’s walls.

Overlooking the Gulf of Bothnia, the northernmost waterway of the Baltic Sea, these all-season villas feature floor-to-ceiling wrap-around windows and a glass roof, too, offering stunning views of sea and sky — including the Northern Lights between August and April.

Norway is a heavenly area of the world that just screams, “Have your destination Wedding here!”

nordic destination weddingSome may even dare to say it is a place where heaven and earth meet!

Really.  What better place to hold an enticing elopement or intimate wedding adventure than on the top of a mountain with stunning fjords behind?!

Or holding your ceremony in a “stave” medieval wooden church?  

So now we have you on the edge of your seat, right?

We chatted up some old and new friends in the wedding world and found – hands down that the Kirkenes Snowhotel is pretty much everybody’s favorite. 

Located some 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the Kirkenes Snowhotel nordic destination weddingis a magical destination for an arctic wedding celebration. A husky dogsled team awaits your arrival at the Kirkenes airport, ready to transport you from the tarmac to the hotel.

Kick off the weekend with a toast in the Snowhotel Ice Bar and dinner around the fire at Gabba Restaurant, one of three dining options on the property.

Don’t forget to set a Northern Lights wake-up call before tucking into bed at the Snowhotel or one of the Gamme Cabins, cozy abodes inspired by traditional hunting and fishing huts.

The king crab safari, husky safari and snowmobile safari are all popular daytime excursions, as is the chance to visit to the Snowhotel Winter Park, where guests can meet and greet the resident reindeer and huskies.

nordic destination weddingAbout those nuptials: Kirkenes Snowhotel can help to arrange space for an intimate, ceremonial exchange of vows and private wedding celebration — and a photographer, too — but the team doesn’t have the capacity to provide a legal wedding officiant.

Just make sure to get the official marriage license filed at home in advance, so you can enjoy every moment in this arctic wonderland!

Sweden is a unique destination wedding location that just happens to have…

An Ice Hotel, stone churches, glamourous castles, bustling urban areas, the midnight sun, the Northern lights and uber-dramatic cliff lines. 

All those options in one country, really?  YES!  

​Sweden is one of those meccas for cold nordic destination weddingweather and nature lovers. Holding a Swedish wedding or elopement gives you the best of all worlds from top to bottom! 

Built in far-flung locales around the world, these cathedrals of snow and ice are at once otherworldly and utterly majestic — in other words, entirely befitting the wedding of a Snow Queen.

The sparsely populated northern areas of Sweden contain national parks, nature reserves, and UNESCO World Heritage sites. Swedish Lappland takes up nearly a quarter of the whole country and has been a separate area from Finland’s Lapland since 1809.

nordic destination weddingIf you are looking for an Arctic wedding, then travel far up north to the secluded Kiruna. This, the most populated town in the area, would be a great base from which to organize your wedding celebrations. The town is known for its ice hotel, dog sledding and space research.

The mountains and birch trees make this country perfect for a truly romantic Arctic wedding.

Weddings in churches are perfectly legal, along with same-sex marriages (for both church and civil ceremonies). If you want a non-religious civil ceremony in Sweden, getting married in a town or city hall would be great for you. The Stockholm City Hall, for example, makes getting married easy, even if you are foreign to the country.

You must submit a form to the Swedish Tax Agency to conduct nordic destination weddinghindersprövning (impediments). Unfortunately, this form is only available in Swedish. Subsequently, you need to visit the Agency in person.

But winter-loving brides needn’t wait until next season to live out their frosty destination wedding fantasies.

The world’s first ice hotel, located north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden, keeps its intricately carved interiors at chilled temps year-round thanks to solar-powered technology, and an all-season version of the SnowCastle in Lapland, Finland, will be ready for 2020 wedding dates.

Picture this: Frozen interior dreamscape plus wedding portraits under the midnight sun… what a magical photo shoot that would be!

nordic destination weddingLocated just north of the Arctic Circle in the town of Jukkasjarvi, Sweden, the original IceHotel has rolled out a snow-dusted carpet for brides and grooms seeking a winter wonderland wedding for nearly three decades — the first IceHotel was constructed in 1989 and has been rebuilt every year since.

Incredibly, couples don’t have to wait until winter rolls around again to exchange their vows.

A portion of the IceHotel (appropriately called IceHotel 365) now stays open year-round and features 20 hand-carved Art Suites and Deluxe Suites, a nordic destination weddingCeremony Hall, an IceBar and more, all cooled to a frosty 23F/-5C thanks to solar panels on the structure’s rooftop and with a little help from the Midnight Sun — the sun doesn’t set here for 50 days and nights between May and July!

Each winter, tradition carries on and a seasonal Ceremony Hall is built on premise, as are an additional 35 Ice Rooms and Art Suites.

The IceHotel also has 72 so-called warm rooms that are perfect for guests who’d prefer more of a modern and cozy Nordic cabin vibe.

nordic destination weddingYou’ve got lots of decisions coming up. We can help this be a seamless process! Fran would love to chat with you about our plans, and you’re just going to love her!  Get in touch with us here.

We’ve also put together some fabulous curated image collections. You never know where the next great idea will come from!

Your day is going to be magical!  Full of love, romance, and the very best memories ever!

 nordic destination wedding                   

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