Mountaintop Elopement on Ryten in Lofoten

I love to travel and I have been to Lofoten before, but it is always nice to get a new perspective on it. When Kristian (yes, that is her name) and Seth sent me an inquiry I was over the moon. They were actually getting married there and wanted to have a mountaintop wedding on Ryten. Having never been to Norway they went all in. This wedding got noticed by the media far and wide and although their interview was partially printed. No one has never seen the whole thing. So, I want to show you the whole thing and let you take part in their experince of this stunning place.

The Interview

Why did you choose to marry on this mountain in Lofoten?

First of all, ever since Kristian was a young girl, she has wanted two things for her wedding. To be married on a mountain and to be married in Europe. She started to let those dreams fade because she knew it would be financially impossible to bring her whole family to Europe. Let alone up a mountain. Homever, after I proposed, we were looking at what it would take to have a traditional wedding in the States. We realized that the stress, financial burden, and vision was not right for either of us. That was when Kristian lit up, excited and overjoyed, saying; “What about Europe?!”. She didn’t think I would I would go for it, but for some reason it felt right. So I said yes. I wanted to make her dream come true, and then it became my own.

Immediately, Norway came to mind. Kristian and I love to hike, and when we began looking at the epic and elegant scenery, we knew it would be perfect for our wedding. We first thought of getting married in the Hardangerfjord, but when Christin Eide (who has family roots in Lofoten) suggested that we go to Lofoten, Kristian passionately told me it was the perfect fit. The mountains, the sea, the amazingly blue and crystal clear water. Lofoten offered more than we could have ever imagined. We chose Ryten because Christin had been there before, and it’s one of the most beautifully photographed hikes we had ever seen. Like I’ve always said, it’s somewhat disappointing, and incredibly amazing, how a photograph can not capture the beauty God has put into the earth. Standing up there is invigorating and empowering. The feeling of being in the center of nature and one with powerful wind is unmatched. And I’m the happiest man alive knowing that I got to experience that while I said “forever” to the woman I love.

What relationship did you have with Lofoten from before?

The little relationship we had with Lofoten is Kristian’s 2nd family, the Zahl’s (her best friend’s family, who is close enough to call family). Their father’s side of the family is from Norway, and it has been a country on Kristian’s mind ever since she was young because of them. Although Kristian has zero relation (as far as we know) to Norwegian ancestory. She likes to think, in a silly way, that she has some Norwegian in her from her 2nd family. 

How long have you been planning this spectacular wedding?

We have been planning this wedding since June 2018. We knew we wanted to get married before that, but we decided on Norway in June. A lot of the planning was last minute and rushed, but we still had a lot of fun with it. We still think planning our elopement, for our personalities, was better than planning a large traditional wedding.

Describe the feeling on your wedding day?

This is Kristian speaking. The feeling was nothing short of euphoric. As it was happening. I couldn’t help but laugh and keep blinking to make sure I was awake, because it didn’t feel real. With the Mayor, Hans Fredrik Sørdal standing there speaking. The cliffs jagged below us, and the spectacular ocean thrashing on the horizon, I had to focus my eyes on Seth’s to stay stable and stay calm. I was excited, nervous, overwhelmed, and overjoyed. If I didn’t have my vows to read from, I would have been speechless. There was nothing more beautiful to me than for Seth. My new husband, to vow his love to me forever in a place that seemed to match the passion that I have for him in my heart.

Was this a real adventure wedding?

We would definitely say so. Kristian has never hiked with her hair and makeup done, and I have never worn a suit in the mountains. Although Kristian’s dress was beautiful, it was muddy and stained with berries at the end, which matched her wedding shoe choice (AKA her waterproof hiking boots). We were sweaty and out of breath; runny noses and all. The cold wind was amazing, but made all of our limbs go numb. I don’t know how Kristian managed with nothing but a wedding dress and hiking boots. She shouted, “I’m a Norwegian Viking!” in order to get through it as she jumped from rock to rock.

Would you recommend others to do the same?

Kristian speaking. I recommend to any couple that you start your life together in the way that you both feel the happiest, and in a way that is special to you both. Family is really important, but when it comes down to it, a wedding is about two people: you, and the person you want to make that commitment with. So if that means your dreams are celebrating with everyone you love, or alone on a mountain top, or both, I think you should do everything in your power to make what your heart desires a reality.
One thing I will say is that if you are going to elope in Lofoten, or anywhere, please be mindful and respectful of the environment. As tourists, it is our responsibility to pick up after ourselves, to not leave trash, and to leave NO trace. We want to keep the places we love as natural as we can, and to remember that we are invading people’s lives and land to experience for our own enjoyment. I am guilty of not being the best tourist, but I continue to try my best to respect the land and the people wherever I go. There is a reason these places are beautiful and cherished. It is our responsibility to make sure it stays that way. Right now, Ryten is an extremely popular place, and like me, other people will find it on social media and will want to go. I am concerned that the more popular it gets, the worse ithe conditions of the trail will be. I hope Norway comes up with a plan on ways to protect trails like that, even if it means restricting how many tourists (like me) that can go to Ryten.

Vendors list:
Flowers; Vestvågøy Blomster in Leknes
Hair Stylist; Linn D. Størkerson, at Lofoten Hair Design in Svolvær
Photographer; Christin Eide