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Hemsedal The Scandinavian Alps

November 22, 2021

Elopement photographer Bethine Elizabeth

Today iam showcasing amazing images taken by Bethine Elizabeth, a weddingphotographer located in Drammen, Norway.  The story today takes place in Hemsedal

Follow Bethine Elizabeth on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bethineelizabeth/

Find out more about Bethine Elizabeth Services: https://www.bethineelizabeth.com/

 

Elopements are, in my opinion, the perfect way to get married, as you are intentionally choosing to have a day that is intimate and meaningful to you both. Elopements are full of adventures and epic scenery as you start this new chapter in your lives together. Now that you and your partner have decided to elope in Europe and you’re considering Norway as one of your top choices, what are the next steps? What should you do? Which plans do you need to make? I’ve created this little guide on how to plan an elopement wedding in Norway to help guide you through the following planning stages.

 


 

I’m Bethine, and I love shooting couples! Whether it’s a wedding, a regular couple session or an elopement. To elope is to have all the excitement of a wedding day – filled with all those butterflies in your tummy and maybe little nervousness, but also to have an adventure out of this world on a legendary location that is to be the very first new chapter in your love story. Elopements are everything but a traditional wedding, and it’s a celebration of the things you love as a couple. If you don’t care for a ‘Tetris guest lists’, expensive decorations and fancy shoes, and you would rather spend your special day ticking off your bucket list and don’t mind if your dress gets dirty in the process – I’ll tell you now, elopement is the perfect thing for you!

If it were up to me, I would get hitched on top of a snowy mountain, but since my better half is a freezing Englishman from the south, I guess I would have to choose my second favourite season and elope during a cloudy autumn sunrise. As a photographer, I LOVE when a couple wants to do something out of the ordinary. It’s so exciting to do something new and fun, rather than something straightforward and traditional because other people expect it. When I take my couples out on a session, it’s all about having a blast! If you, for some reason, can’t travel and want to do your session locally, we’ll make the BEST out of it! Like running and dancing around in the middle of the streets of Oslo and almost (!) getting hit by a tram (just for the perfect shot). Afterwards, we would find the nearest enchanted forest to grill some delicious marshmallows? Remember, it’s all about you two and your story! I AM IN EITHER WAY!

On this particular photoshoot, the couple wanted to meet me in Hemsedal and I was so stoked because if you didn’t know; Hemsedal is a valley and a mountain village furthest north in Hallingdal in Viken. Hemsedal is surrounded by high mountains and has been awarded the title The Scandinavian Alps. Hemsedal is my second home, so since my father lives there, a large part of my childhood has consisted of many cold, snow-heavy winters with lots of skiing, but also the world’s finest summers for hiking and swimming in cool mountain streams. This of course means that Hemsedal will always be close to my heart, but therefore I will also tell you about why Hemsedal is perfect for a photography session!

Hemsedal has not only mountains, ski slopes and a legendary after-ski, but also a lush nature in combination with a lot of good weather. If you want pictures in dense and lush nature, Hemsedal has miles of forest to play in, if you want some slightly airy pictures, the ski lift in Hemsedal got you (the lift is also open in summer) or if you like are an Aquarius or an Ariel, Hemsedal got lots of rivers, waterfalls and lakes. Speaking of waterfalls, the Rjukande waterfall is my favourite because it got a little bit of everything within a 10 min walk. If you follow the river that flows through Hemsedal city centre up towards Tuv you’ll find a beautiful little hiking trail to the waterfall, which is just as spectacular in summer as in winter! In the same area you can also take off to Grøndalen, which is as green as the name implies (grønn means green), with endless amounts of lush meadows and fields, the is also the location of Hemsedal’s golf facility. Not to mention the plateau in its fantastic autumn costume, or the whole valley in general in May, when everything sprouts and grows and the mountains still have snow-white peaks. I LOVE IT!!

Big wedding savings

However, back to the photography part. What I love about elopements is that is no rules. It’s all about what you want to do, and imagine what you could do if you took all your ‘big wedding savings’ and did something you ACTUALLY want to experience!? Many think that elopement means just the two of you are present, but there are no rules that say you can’t have your closest friend and family with you on this journey and make it an intimate adventure wedding instead.
It doesn’t matter how you do it or how many that attend, frankly, it’s as easy as; you make the memories and I’ll capture them. Whether you decide to celebrate an engagement, an anniversary, or simply just because you deserve it – I got you. When I’m shooting my goal is to give you pictures that tell your story, feelings, passion and milestones. Here is my best tip: If you want to take a better half with you on a photoshoot, think about what you like to do and what makes you two enjoy yourself together. Is it as simple as cooking together, picnic in the garden, or hang out at your local bar and share a bottle? Or do you wanna go big and go on a long-awaited adventure that you never got around to book. Either way, bring your photographer and have unforgettable moments that matter and that reflect who you are.

Out of the comfort zone

Back to Hemsedal and my couple Miriam and Frode who wanted to shoot their engagement somewhere new, but also a place that had a special place in their hearts. They have been together for a long time, built a home in Bergen with two daughters and finally are they getting hitched on their 10th-anniversary autumn 2021 – and I am so honoured to be their photographer!

As Miriam told me when booking me “We have no couple of pictures of us, and this was a great opportunity to get some nice pictures of just the two of us.” Miriam and Frode came all the way from Bergen and chose Hemsedal because they are both real children of nature, but also because they have many good holiday memories from Hallingdal. We met on the very last fine day of Easter when the sun was still high in the sky and the days are finally starting to get longer and brighter. However, in the mountains, it started to build up to a storm, but despite two meters long and cold gusts, it didn’t stop us at all. Because it’s about being able to laugh, dance, and not take life so solemnly. I always guide my couples through everything, give tips and let you do what you do best – and I, I just fly around and try and catch every single moment. As Miriam and Frode themselves said; “We were a little nervous, but also very excited in the time before our session”, and frankly, I can’t see why because they look lit during our session and we had the absolute best time despite the weather conditions.

Furthermore, Miriam says that the most fun with the photography was ‘Challenging her own comfort zone! For example, a funny input from Bethine was too whispering his/her favourite breakfast erotically in his partner’s ear. We were very pleased with the way Bethine guided us all the way. She came up with tips on how to stay in a movement and avoid the awkward and artificial poses – we laughed a lot and had the time of our life!” This is music to my ears! I love when my couples take instructions and trusting me 100% to throw themselves into the unknown for the most epic shots.

We started our adventure in the mountains of Hemsedal, dancing in the middle of the road surrounded by snowy peaks and continued walking the forest train into the Rjukande waterfall that was still partly frozen. The sun got lower and we got the most beautiful sunset between the evergreen forest as we wrapped up and finished up with a cup of hot cocoa and a long scroll through my camera roll. Afterwards, they tell me: ‘After today, all we’re left with is an experience out of this world! We are so stoked about the results and so surprised that the two of us could get so many amazing pictures done together!! It’s all thanks to Bethine, who guided us through it all. We’re gonna use these photos for EVERYTHING in our wedding! Stamps, invitations, wedding webpage, a slideshow for our quests to see, table numbers and maybe more. This could not have been more successful and if we were to describe this experience in three words it would be: SOMUCHFUN, SUPEREXCITING and ICECOLDBUTWESURVIVED!

Celebration of the ordinary

So let me tell you, to have your photos taken, either it’s during an engagement session as Miriam and Frode, or if you choose to read your vows on a mountain top or to get hitched in a traditional way – this is a celebration of the ordinary, and that actually makes it quite extraordinary. Because in ten, twenty years or more, these images will represent an important moment in your history, which will also mean more and more with time. Let’s jump forward 50 years and blow the dust off your wedding album to show to your grandchildren. ‘See how fun and adventurous your grandparents were back in the days…’ This moment and many others is gonna live with you for
the rest of your life, so do what you want to do and be freethinking, adventurous and wildly independent. 

Photographer Bethine Elizabeth
@bethineelizabeth
www.bethineelizabeth.no
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