Out in the middle of the northern Atlantic Ocean sits a small volcanic island – former home of the Vikings, current home of abundant fluffy sheep and of course, all things Game of Thrones: That is, Iceland.
Aptly named for it’s mega ice fields, Iceland is one of the most stunning countries I have ever visited. Picturesque landscapes, towering waterfalls, free roaming horses and an abundance of majestic vistas make for one hell of a place to celebrate love. Plus Iceland is one of the EASIEST countries to elope in, since the permitting system is basically non-existent.
Lastly, Iceland as is the case in most of northern Europe is incredibly welcoming and accepting of all forms of love. LGBTQ+ is an important cornerstone of Icelandic culture, so it is an excellent option.
Read more about LGBTQ Elopements in Iceland here – featured in an article by Dancing With Her
Here’s what you’ll find in this guide to eloping in Iceland:
The Best Time to Elope in Iceland
Things to Do When You Elope in Iceland
Places to Stay in Iceland
Sample Iceland Elopement Timeline
Iceland Elopement Packages
Iceland is a truly wild and epic place – but with its dramatic weather, it’s important to consider the best time to elope in Iceland is based on what you’re wanting. There are a number of factors to consider when you are wanting to elope, and I have outlined a few of them here.
Most people come to Iceland in the summer, when the weather is warm(er), and you can hike and adventure around without having to trek through snow banks or crazy winds. Daytime temperatures hover in the 50s and low 60s, so it’s perfect weather for outdoor adventures! Summer also brings long days – with an average of 17 hours of sunlight each day, June through August is a great time to elope in Iceland. It means not only greater time to explore, but we can include multiple stunning locations during your elopement.
Because of the amazing weather and all the successful marketing that Iceland has done in the last 10 years, summer is the most popular time to visit, so crowds can be another consideration when you decide on an elopement date. Fall and spring are less busy, but the weather can be unpredictable – snow starts falling in October or November, and keeps falling until April. May can be a great time to elope, right before the busy summer season begins, but there may be some snow still sticking around in higher elevations. September, though it’s rainy, can be another good time to avoid crowds – just be prepared with waterproof gear!
Winter in Iceland is cold and dark! But, if you’re ready to bundle up and want to enjoy the winter wonderland, it can be a really magical time for cross country skiing, ice skating, and perhaps most epic- the Northern Lights viewing! Days are short, with an average of just 6 hours. But if you’re one of those that is forever chasing the Aurora Borealis, Iceland is the ideal place to go in the winter!
Every elopement is different – and your day should be uniquely personal, customized just for you. You can do absolutely anything when you elope, and Iceland has so many adventures waiting. Whether you’re looking for the perfect place to exchange vows, or planning something exciting after the ceremony, here are a few ideas for things to do when you elope in Iceland!
For couples who love adventure trips, booking a tour to hike on a Glacier for your elopement day might be the perfect way to tie the knot. You get escorted onto a glacier, plugged into micro-spikes and a secured helmet, and get to explore the largest Glacier in Europe! Similarly you can hire a private helicopter and skip the crowds to land on a glacier all by yourself!
Along Vik’s stunning coastline, you’ll find this incredible black sand beach with these unique basalt columns you can actually climb on! You can have your ceremony on the shore, with views of mountains and puffins behind you! While the beach can get busy, there are more private areas if you’re willing to walk just a bit. Also, there is a restaurant and a toilet on site to offer you all the last minute snacks you may require. The town of Vik is only about 15 min drive away too- which makes for a great location to consider for your airbnb.
Iceland has the famous Ring Road which circumnavigates the entire island. If you hustle, you can crank it out in less than a week but I would hiiiiiighly suggest you give yourself 10+ days to really enjoy the journey. Most any vehicle can make this drive. However the real off grid adventure comes from what lies beyond- on the F road system. The F roads are unpaved gravel roads that require 4X4 high clearance vehicles. They are only open in the summer months, and when renting a car you have to specifically request a vehicle that allows for these roads. This Defender for example, is the ultimate off road vehicle to incorporate into your F road excursions!
Iceland is full of ice. No kidding right? Well if you stop at Jokulsarlon, you will not only get to see glaciers off in the distance, but large chunks of ice that have fallen from the glacier drift into this lagoon. You can even rent kayaks and paddle out by yourself! In the wintery months the ice chunks that break off are HUGE and across the main parking lot is Dimond Beach- aptly named for the giant ice blocks that wash ashore. No doubt, one of the most epic locations in Iceland.
During your elopement, you’ll need somewhere to sleep – and a place to return to after your adventures. Here are some options for places to stay when you elope in Iceland!
The capital city of Iceland, and where a majority of it’s population resides is a great place to base your adventures out of. With an overwhelming number of delicious restaurants, shops, cozy apartments and spa options, Reykjavik is the best option for having it all centralized. If you want to indulge in a bit of glam in Iceland for your wedding, then you’re sure to find it here.
For a more private option, Iceland has some incredible cabins and airbnbs that allow you to be in nature while enjoying all the amenities you need! The Hrifunes Nature Park sit in an incredible glacial valley outside Vik with amenities like a dry sauna and hot tub, while the Lambhus Guest Houses are tiny homes out near Hofn. Each one with a kitchenette suite, private toilet, and horses roaming about. .
Airbnb is always a great place to look for lodging! In Iceland you’ll find waterfront cottages, A frame cabin, chic modern homes, and even giant mansions perfect for hosting some friends or family. Be sure to check before booking- some of these cabins in Iceland are off the main roads system!
Part of my job as an elopement photographer is creating a custom timeline for each couple – so your day will be custom tailored just for you! To give you an idea of what your unique day can look like when you elope in Iceland, here’s a sample timeline.
9:00 Breakfast and coffee with family at Sandholt cafe in downtown Reykjavik
11:00 Return to Airbnb
11:30 Hair and makeup begins
1:00 Put on elopement attire
1:30 First look outside the airbnb
2:30 Drive to ceremony location
3:30 Ceremony on a pebble beach, surrounded by family
4:00 Family photos
4:30 Picnic on the beach
5:30 Family goes back to Airbnb, couple takes sunset photos
6:30 Drive to Skogafoss for celebratory waterfall photos
8:30 Meet family at Airbnb for dinner and toasts
If you think glaciers and waterfalls and volcanic fields are pretty neat, you want your wedding day to be about you, and you want to plan a day that’s one of a kind and customized just for the two of you, my Iceland elopement packages have everything you need!
My packages start at an 8 hour day, and go all the way up to a multi-day adventure! Considering the tricky weather than can be Iceland, I like to give you a buffer of a day or two (depending on time of year). So keep that in mind when planning for your Iceland elopement.
As a photographer, my job is to tell your story – to make sure that when you look back on your photos, you can see the entire day unfold, and feel every moment all over again. As your guide to Iceland, I will help you through planning your elopement, adventure with you on the day of, being a fly on the wall when you need me to, helping you tie a tie or button up a dress or figure out the right way to pack a bouquet for a hike.
Ready for your adventure? Contact me!