Everything you need to know about eloping in Finland


If we had the opportunity to get married again, we would definitely consider eloping in Northern Finland. Over the years, I've photographed elopements from the heart of the big cities to small cabins on the countryside.

As an elopement photographer, I think that the memories of moments are more valuable than the photos themselves. I don't want you to prioritize the perfect Instagram shot in front of a dramatic mountain. Instead, I want you to enjoy the experience, cherish the moments, and create unforgettable memories.

If you’re dreaming about your Finland elopement, keep reading more. You’ll find out why Finland is one the best places to elope in Scandinavia, what are the best elopement locations and what papers you need before enjoying our beautiful country. And some extra tips too!

DREAMING to elope in Finland?


Elope definition today

Today elopement means getting married in a way that that the focus is on the couple themselves. That means leaving some or all wedding traditions out and celebrating the commitment together or with immediate family or closest friends. Some also elope first and then celebrate more traditionally later.


We Finns don't usually even understand how unique our summers are. For those who venture north of the Arctic Circle, the sun does not set at all from May to August, while further south the sun can be visible for nearly around the clock during June and July.

When nights are almost as light as the day it is possible to do all the same things that you would do during the day. It’s fascinating to see the incredible change in the nature of the light. The sun has a reddish-yellow colour - almost like during sunrise or sunset and everything around you is very warm.

Why should you elope in Finland?

Reasons to elope in Finland

Finland elopement guide

The Finnish term Jokamiehen oikeus means literally that everyone can walk freely in nature, anywhere they want. That also means you can have your ceremony anywhere in our spectacular nature, and there are restrictions. Besides that, you can put your tent everywhere and taste our nature’s mix - berries and mushrooms.


The air in our country is literally cleanest in the world and landscapes are second to none. We are a country of thousands of lakes and forests - and they are never too far away from you. There’s something special here - Finland has been named the happiest place in the world for the fourth year running.

There are many reasons why eloping in Finland is the best decision you can make!

quietness and clean air


The vast majority of Finland is unpopulated and it has been like that since the Ice Age. There’s so much space here in Finland that it’s easy to arrange an intimate elopement in Northern Finland or get married in the unique Finnish archipelago.

Northern Finland's WILDERNESS & NATURE

Finland’s coast boasts the world’s largest archipelago. It is difficult to get an exact number, but there are at least 70,000 islands, with over 20,000 of those being large enough for a small cabin or summer house. How about renting a small cabin/island for an elopement? On some islands, you can also find beautiful old lighthouses, converted into tiny hotels.


According to Finnish law, everyone can get married in Finland if they are at least 18 years old. Marriages between two persons of the same sex is also allowed since 2017.

There are a few things you should know before getting married here:

1) You need impediments to marriage (avioliiton esteiden tutkinta, in Finnish) You should submit your application for an examination of impediments at least one month earlier because the examination might take up to two weeks. You most likely need to obtain and submit a marital status certificate issued by the authority of your own home country. This certificate must be less than 4 months old. 

2) Information about foreigners in Finland -form. The engaged parties can give their own information with the Information about foreign in Finland -form. You need to give that information for the Marriage Certificate.

3) You need to have two witnesses (at least 15 years old or older) for a civil marriage ceremony (I’m usually the other). For a civil marriage, you can ask the local Digital and Population Data Services Agency to carry out the ceremony. The officiator of the civil marriage ceremony can come to the ceremony place outside office hours. The civil ceremony is very short, so I would recommend adding some (live)music or/and vows to your ceremony.

4) Religious ceremonies are determined by the religious community so you need to make arrangements with them.

5) If your spouse lives permanently in Finland, you can get a residence permit in Finland based on marriage. It’s important to understand that marriage does not guarantee a residence permit.

Getting married in Finland

How to get legally married in Finland

Finland elopement vendors

If you have visited Nordic countries, you know that the weather here can be pretty unpredictable but there are basically no tornados or big storms, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or wildfires.

What’s the best time to elope in Finland?

What time of year should we elope?

Winter elopement (From February to April in North)

Winter is pretty rough here so if you’re into it, you should prepare to have proper clothes and some Finnish sisu. Then again it’s amazing how beautiful the nature is here in winter.

In summer you’ll have the midnight sun which makes everything really special. You can basically hike through the night and it’s still very bright, sun is just lower.

Summer elopement (From May-June to August-September)

Autumn elopement (From beginning of September to mid-October in the North)

In summer you’ll have the midnight sun which makes everything really special. You can basically hike through the night and it’s still very bright, sun is just lower.

There are multiple options to have your wedding ceremony in Finland. I happen to live in the center of Finland so getting everywhere is fairly easy for me. You don’t need a wedding permit in Finland, so it’s completely free to hike into nature and have your ceremony in a place that feels the best for you. In general, I recommend renting a small villa or cabin as a wedding venue, if you’re going to invite friends or family to your elopement.

Most of the people who contact me for the first time don’t really know even where to start - and that’s really the beauty of it! These locations below are quite popular, but that sometimes isn’t the best option, especially if you’re looking for a more intimate event / ceremony. I don’t usually tag or share specific mountains or trails because that way I can make sure that erosion doesn’t happen.

The most beautiful locations to elope in Finland

Levi is fell located in Kittilä and it’s also Finland’s largest ski resort. There are 43 ski slopes and 27 ski lifts in Levi. Levi is one of two locations of gondola lifts in Finland and it has been chosen the best domestic skiing resort in Finland four times. The skiing and snowboarding season in Levi is fairly long, often lasting from October to mid-May. Although very popular in winter, Levi is very quiet in the summertime, yet still a good base location for exploring the surrounding areas.

Why getting married in Levi is unique?

  • You can spend a night in the Ice Hotel or check out the Levi Igloos
  • You can do Ice Karting or go for a husky safari
  • You can get married in the Ice Chapel
  • You can see Santa in the Santa Claus Village
  • You can enjoy cross country skiing / other winter sports in winter and hiking / canoeing in summer
  • You can find amazing airbnb’s there


Saariselkä is a village located in a mountainous area in northern Finland and it belongs to the Inari municipality. Saariselkä’s highest summit Sokosti is 718 meters high (2,355 ft) above sea level Saariselkä is part of a Urho Kekkonen National Park. Saariselkä is a popular place to elope in Finland because near Hotel & Igloo Village Kakslauttanen there is St. Olaf’s Chapel (Pyhän Olavin kappeli), small wooden Tieva Chapel (Tievakappeli) and in winter there’s also the Ice Chapel.

Why getting married in Saariselkä is unique?

  • You can spend your wedding night in the glass igloos at Kakslauttanen
  • You can get married in the Ice Chapel
  • Hotel & Iglo Village Kakslauttanen can provide everything from the cake to the decorations

Saariselkä and Inari municipality

Saana is a fell in Enontekiö, Finland. Saana’s summit lies 1,029 meters high (3,376 ft) above sea level. It’s only about 30 miles (50km) from the Arctic Ocean. The mountain was historically considered sacred to the aboriginal Sami people. Depending on the season, I would recommend waking up earlier for a morning hike because Saana is quite a popular place for tourists passing by. There’s is a hotel/cabins nearby.

Why getting married in Saana is unique?

  • It’s probably the most legendary Finnish fjell
  • There’s a unique Finnish view from the top
  • You can see to Sweden and Norway
  • Hotel/cabins are right next to it
  • There are only a few miles to Sweden and Norway
  • There’s Europe’s deepest canyon nearby where I photographed this engagement session.


The best places to elope in Finland



Rukatunturi is a 490 metres (1,610 ft) high fell and a ski resort in Kuusamo, Finland. There’s also a Bear’s round (Karhunkierros) hiking trail which is Finland’s most popular hiking trail. The trail is approximately 80 kilometres (50 mi) long, and runs for the most of its length within the Oulanka National Park. There are 29 ski slopes and 20 ski lifts in Ruka.

Why getting married in Ruka / Kuusamo is unique?

  • You can hike in the spectacular Oulanka National Park and experience Finland’s most popular national park
  • You see reindeers, enjoy husky safaris, experience river floating and ice climbing in winter
  • You can enjoy rafting, paddling, bear watching and reindeers in summer

Ruka / Kuusamo

Pyhätunturi is fell and ski resort located in Kemijärvi, Finland. It’s also a part of Pyhä-Luosto National Park. Pyhätunturi’s highest peak is Noitatunturi, 540m (1,772 ft). There are 14 ski slopes and 9 ski lifts in Pyhä. Pyhä-Luosto National Park is a popular destination for hikes in summer and cross country skiers in winter.

Why getting married in Pyhätunturi is unique?

  • You can hike in the spectacular Pyhä-Luosto National Park and experience Finland’s oldest national park
  • You can do ice karting, ice climbing, mountain biking in winter
  • You can enjoy adventure park, mountain biking and canoeing in summer


Ylläs area is located 150 kilometres above the Arctic circle and it is a popular year-round holiday destination because of its wide variety of activities for the whole family. The highest summit is Yllästunturi and it’s 718 meters high (2,356 ft) above sea level. There are 61 ski slopes and 29 ski lifts in Ylläs. 

Ylläs is one of two locations of gondola lifts in Finland. The world´s only Sauna Gondola offers a spectacular view and sauna experience in Ylläs.

Why getting married in Ylläs is unique?

  • You can enjoy sauna in a gondola lift!
  • In winter you can visit the Snow Village
  • You can experience ice hole swimming in sub zero temps
  • You can do snowmobile safaris, snowshoeing, mountain biking in winter


Helvetinjärvi National Park (Hell’s lake National Park) is situated in Ruovesi, about 25 miles / 40 kilometres northwest of Tampere. You can enjoy it’s breathtaking scenery all around the year but especially in summer. You can easily make a day trip or a longer hike in Helvetinjärvi National Park. I recommend eloping there in summer or in autumn.

Why getting married in Helvetinjärvi is unique?

  • It provides you with one the most iconic views of Central Finland
  • You can spend the night in a tent or rent a cabin
  • You can also visit or elope in Seitseminen National Park
  • You can have your ceremony in a beautiful forest

Helvetinjärvi National Park

Hyyppäänvuori is a small mountain located in Laukaa, near Jyväskylä. You can enjoy it’s breathtaking scenery all around the year but especially in summer. You can also get there by boat or houseboat. I recommend eloping there in summer or in autumn.

Why getting married in Hyyppäänvuori is unique?

  • It provides you with the most iconic view of Central Finland
  • You can spend the night in a tent or rent a boat or boathouse
  • You can also visit Saarakallio’s rock paintings and Hitonhauta
  • You can have your ceremony up on the mountain
  • You can spend the night in Glass Igloos


Mämminiemi is a cape located in Toivakka, near Jyväskylä. It’s a unique place where you can book a private sauna and camp for the night. You can also get there by boat or houseboat. I recommend eloping there in summer or autumn.

Why getting married in Mämminiemi is unique?

  • There is probably the most bare cliff in Central Finland combined with beautiful Finnish forest.
  • You can spend the night in a tent or rent a boat or boathouse or book a hotel from Jyväskylä
  • You can swim, barbecue and enjoy the spectacular views of Mämminiemi
  • You can have your ceremony right by the lake


Central Finland Elopement locations

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Hi, I'm Jaakko. Adventurer, outdoor-enthusiast, husband, father, in love with the wild north. I shoot elopements for people who want to honour their love through a meaningful experience and memories that last for a lifetime.

If you’re like me, a big wedding isn’t for you. Not if you really think about it. And I want you to be brave enough to say no to it. Because I wish my wife and I had been. And I'll be there to capture it all.


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Do you have questions, ideas, inquiries? Excited about eloping and want to get started planning? Want me to capture your elopement elsewhere in the world?
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