Everything you need to know about getting married in Finland

HOW to have an intimate wedding in lapland

If we had the chance to marry again, we would definitely consider having a private wedding just between the two of us in Finnish Lapland.

As a wedding photographer, I believe that the memories of these moments are more valuable than the photos themselves. I don't want you to focus solely on achieving the perfect Instagram shot against a dramatic backdrop. Instead, I want you to immerse yourself in the experience, cherish the moments, and create unforgettable memories.

If you're considering a private wedding in Lapland, keep reading. You'll learn why Finland offers some of the most romantic and intimate settings for weddings in Scandinavia, discover the best locations for a small ceremony, and find out what documents you'll need to tie the knot in this beautiful country. I'll also share some additional tips to make your day truly special.

Hoping to have your wedding in lapland?


Lapland's expansive quiet forests and unique Arctic scenery offer one of the best wedding experiences in Scandinavia.

The vast majority of Lapland is unpopulated and it has been like that since the Ice Age.

It's the perfect location to truly concentrate what really matters - your love and connection to each other.

We often don't realize just how unique our summers are in Lapland. For those who travel to this region north of the Arctic Circle, the sun never sets from May to August, offering a phenomenon known as the Midnight Sun.

During this period, the nights are as bright as the day, allowing you to enjoy daytime activities at any hour. It’s a mesmerizing experience to witness the incredible shift in the nature of light. The sun casts a reddish-yellow glow, much like during sunrise or sunset, bathing everything in a warm, surreal light.

Top reasons to getting married in Lapland

How to get married in Finland

Finland wedding guide

The freedom provided by Everyman's Right in Finland, particularly in regions like Lapland, allows for a deep and personal connection with nature, offering an ideal setting for intimate events like weddings without the logistical and financial constraints often found elsewhere. This openness encourages a more spontaneous and personal engagement with the natural world, making Finland, especially Lapland, a profoundly appealing choice for nature lovers.

Right to roam

The air in Lapland is among the cleanest in the world, and its landscapes are truly unparalleled. This region, known for its vast forests and stunning natural beauty, offers a serene and intimate setting that's always within reach. There's something special here—Lapland, part of Finland, which has been named the happiest place in the world repeatedly.

There are many reasons why choosing to get married in Lapland could be the best decision you make!

quietness and clean air

the MIDNIGHT SUN in Lapland

In Lapland, the air is crisp and clean, carrying the scent of pine and the promise of adventure. Whether trekking through snow-laden forests, gliding across frozen lakes on a husky sled, or marveling at the dance of the Northern Lights in the dark winter sky, Lapland's wilderness offers a sanctuary for those seeking solitude and serenity amidst nature's grandeur.

LAPLAND’S WILDERNESS & NATURE

Finland has more than 180 000 lakes and over 10% of the whole country is covered by water. With thousands of lakes to choose from, you can find the perfect secluded spot to exchange vows and celebrate your love in complete privacy. How about renting a small cabin next to a lake for your wedding? 

The country of thousand lakes

Under Finnish law, anyone 18 years or older is eligible to marry in Finland, and since 2017, same-sex marriages are also recognized. Here are some key points to consider if you're planning to wed in Finland:

1)
Examination of Impediments to Marriage (avioliiton esteiden tutkinta): It's necessary to apply for this at least one month before your planned wedding date, as processing can take up to two weeks. You will likely need to provide a marital status certificate from the authorities in your home country, valid for no more than four months.

2)
Information Form for Foreigners in Finland: Both parties must fill out this form to provide personal information required for the Marriage Certificate.

3)
Witness Requirements: You need two witnesses who are at least 15 years old for a civil marriage ceremony. I can serve as one of these witnesses and Digital and Population Data Services or people from your accommodation can often arrange the second one. You can arrange for the local Digital and Population Data Services Agency to conduct the ceremony, which can be scheduled outside of regular office hours. Civil ceremonies are typically brief, so you might want to consider enhancing the occasion with live music or personalized vows. I'll help you with that!

4)
Religious Ceremonies: These must be coordinated with the respective religious community, as their requirements and procedures vary.

5)
Residence Permit Through Marriage: If your spouse is a permanent resident of Finland, you may apply for a residence permit based on your marriage. However, it's crucial to understand that marriage alone does not automatically grant you a residence permit.


Legal part: How to get married in Lapland

How to get legally married in Finland

Finland elopement vendors

If you're familiar with the Nordic countries, you're aware that the weather can be quite variable. However, it's reassuring to note that the region is largely free from severe natural disasters. There are virtually no tornadoes, significant storms, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or wildfires, making it a relatively safe environment in terms of natural threats.

What’s the best time to get married in Lapland?

What time of year should we marry?


Winter weddings (From February to April in Lapland)

Winter in Finland is demanding, so it's crucial to equip yourself with proper attire and a dose of Finnish sisu, which embodies determination and resilience. Despite the harsh conditions, the wintery landscape is stunningly beautiful. Snow-covered forests and frozen lakes create a picturesque scene, offering a serene and captivating environment that's well worth the cold.







During the summer, the Midnight Sun casts a special glow, making the surroundings extraordinary. This natural phenomenon keeps the night almost as bright as the day, with the sun hovering just above the horizon. You can enjoy hiking and other activities all night long under the continued brightness of the sun.

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

Autumn weddings (From beginning of September to mid-October in Lapland)

In autumn, Finland transforms as the forests burst into vibrant colors, creating a stunning display known as "ruska." The shorter days and cooler temperatures make this a perfect time for cozy outdoor activities like berry picking and nature walks under the colorful canopy. As the sun sets earlier, you also get the chance to witness the breathtaking Northern Lights, adding a magical touch to the crisp autumn evenings.

Finland offers numerous beautiful settings for your wedding ceremony, and living in central Finland makes it easy for me to travel to any location. One of the great advantages here is that you don’t need a special permit to marry in nature, allowing you to choose a spot that truly resonates with you, free of charge. For those planning to include friends or family, I often suggest renting a small villa or cabin, which provides a lovely, intimate setting.

Many couples who reach out to me initially aren’t sure where to begin, and that's part of the adventure! While there are popular locations, these might not always be ideal if you’re seeking something more private. To help preserve these beautiful places, I avoid tagging or sharing specific mountains or trails, preventing potential erosion and keeping these spots pristine and less traveled.

The most beautiful locations to get married in Lapland

Levi, located in Kittilä, is not only Finland's largest ski resort but also a spectacular wedding destination. The resort boasts 43 ski slopes and 27 ski lifts, including one of Finland's only two gondola lifts. It has been named the best domestic skiing resort in Finland multiple times. The ski season here extends from October to mid-May, offering a long window for winter sports enthusiasts. Although it buzzes with activity in winter, Levi remains tranquil during the summer, making it an ideal base for exploring the nearby areas.

Why getting married in Levi is unique?

  • Experience a night in the Ice Hotel or stay in the Levi Igloos.
  • Engage in unique activities like Ice Karting or a husky safari.
  • Have your ceremony in the enchanting Ice Chapel.
  • Visit Santa Claus Village.
  • Enjoy winter sports like cross-country skiing, or opt for summer activities like hiking and canoeing.
  • Discover exceptional Airbnb accommodations.

Levi

Saariselkä, nestled in the mountains of northern Finland within the Inari municipality, is a prime destination for unique weddings. Its highest peak, Sokosti, rises to 718 meters (2,355 ft) and it lies within the expansive Urho Kekkonen National Park. The village is particularly popular for weddings due to its proximity to Hotel & Igloo Village Kakslauttanen, which features St. Olaf’s Chapel and the smaller wooden Tieva Chapel. In winter, the Ice Chapel becomes a magical venue for ceremonies.

Why getting married in Saariselkä is special:

  • You can spend your wedding night in the iconic glass igloos at Kakslauttanen.
  • The Ice Chapel offers a unique, frosty setting for exchanging vows.
  • Hotel & Igloo Village Kakslauttanen provides comprehensive services, including cake and decorations, ensuring everything you need is on hand.

Saariselkä and Inari municipality

Saana is a majestic fell in Enontekiö, Finland, rising 1,029 meters (3,376 ft) above sea level and only about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the Arctic Ocean. Historically sacred to the indigenous Sami people, it's a popular destination, so an early morning hike is advisable to avoid tourists.

Why get married on Saana?

  • It's one of Finland's most iconic fells.
  • The summit offers a unique Finnish panorama with views into Sweden and Norway.
  • Convenient lodging with hotels and cabins is nearby.
  • Close to both the Swedish and Norwegian borders.
  • Nearby is Europe’s deepest canyon, a stunning location where I have previously photographed an engagement session.

Saana

The best places to marry in Lapland

LAPLAND wedding LOCATIONS

WHERE CAN I marry IN lapland?

Rukatunturi, commonly known as Ruka, is a 490-meter (1,610 ft) tall fell and ski resort located in Kuusamo, Finland. It is famous for the Bear’s Round (Karhunkierros) hiking trail, Finland’s most popular hiking trail. This 80-kilometer (50-mile) trail, mostly within the beautiful Oulanka National Park, offers stunning natural scenery. Ruka itself is equipped with 29 ski slopes and 20 ski lifts, catering to a wide range of winter sports activities.

Why getting married in Ruka/Kuusamo is unique?

  • Hike through the spectacular Oulanka National Park and explore Finland’s most beloved national park, providing a stunning backdrop for a wedding.
  • In winter, see reindeer, go on husky safaris, experience river floating, and try ice climbing for adventurous wedding memories.
  • Summer offers opportunities for rafting, paddling, bear watching, and interacting with reindeer, making for a diverse and exciting wedding experience.

Ruka / Kuusamo

Pyhätunturi, a ski resort and fell located in Kemijärvi, Finland, is part of the stunning Pyhä-Luosto National Park. It features the Noitatunturi peak, reaching 540 meters (1,772 ft) above sea level. With 14 ski slopes and 9 ski lifts, Pyhä is a hub for winter sports enthusiasts and a popular destination for both summer hikers and winter cross-country skiers.

Why getting married in Pyhätunturi is unique?

  • Explore the breathtaking trails of Pyhä-Luosto National Park, Finland’s oldest national park, perfect for a picturesque wedding backdrop.
  • Experience thrilling winter activities like ice karting, ice climbing, and mountain biking on snow.
  • In summer, enjoy an adventure park, more mountain biking, and canoeing, offering diverse activities for wedding guests and a memorable setting for your special day.

Pyhätunturi

Ylläs is situated 150 kilometers above the Arctic Circle and serves as a vibrant year-round vacation spot due to its extensive range of family-friendly activities. The highest peak in the area is Yllästunturi, which stands at 718 meters (2,356 ft) above sea level. The region is equipped with 61 ski slopes and 29 ski lifts, making it a haven for winter sports enthusiasts.

Ylläs is also notable for being one of the two locations in Finland that offers gondola lifts. Uniquely, it features the world’s only Sauna Gondola, providing a one-of-a-kind sauna experience with breathtaking views over the landscape.

Why getting married in Ylläs is unique?

  • Experience the world's only sauna in a gondola lift!
  • Brave the thrill of ice hole swimming in freezing temperatures.
  • Enjoy a variety of winter activities like snowmobile safaris, snowshoeing, and even mountain biking.

Ylläs

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Hello, I'm Jaakko. I'm an adventurer, outdoor enthusiast, husband, and father, deeply enamored with the wild, northern landscapes. I specialize in photographing elopements and intimate weddings for those who cherish a profound connection with nature and each other. My focus is on capturing the essence of your unique love story through meaningful experiences and lasting memories.

If you're like me, the idea of a large, traditional wedding might not resonate with you. If you truly consider what feels right, you might find yourself leaning towards something more personal and intimate. I encourage you to embrace that feeling and choose a path that reflects your deepest desires. I regret not doing so for my own wedding, and I'm here to support you in making a choice that's true to who you are. And when you do, I'll be there to capture every moment.

Wedding PHOTOGRAPHER IN Lapland