Eloping in Iceland has become wildly popular in recent years and there’s a really, really good reason for it. Iceland is one of the best places for an adventurous destination elopement. With shooting geysers, vast ice fields, black sand beaches, a chance to see the northern lights, and cheap flights from all over the U.S., Iceland is pretty much the PERFECT place for an adventurous couple to say their vows.
But eloping in the land of fire and ice can present some challenges (like ever changing weather, a sometimes-too-booming tourist economy, and expensive food). As someone who LOVES shooting Iceland elopements, I thought I’d share some hard won tips on how to make your Iceland elopement freaking perfect!
#1 Expect the Unexpected
For all of its beauty (and seriously? there is SO MUCH BEAUTY), eloping in Iceland isn’t for the faint of heart. There’s a reason Iceland is called the land of Fire and Ice. It’s a harsh climate where the weather changes by the minute. I recommend to all of my Iceland elopement couples to have a plan for the day – but to also not be afraid to abandon it if things start to change. I feel like the best thing you can do when planning an Iceland elopement is jot down the places you’d like to go (do you want to do a first look? say your vows on top of a cliff? spend the day hiking to somewhere awesome?) and then have some backup plans. Maybe you were planning on eloping on the beach in Vik but then saw that the skies were going to be favorable for seeing the northern lights on the north side of the island. Don’t be afraid to change plans!
#2 Don’t be afraid to get dirty!
This is something that I talk about a lot with all of my wedding and elopement couples but in Iceland its especially important. This is a country that gets ample rain and is covered in black volcanic sand. It’s also a country where the best stuff is found off the tourist trail (more on that later). Don’t be afraid to get your dress dirty. You don’t want to miss out on some of those killer photo ops (or just the amazing scenery) because you were worried about staying pristine. Embrace the elements in all of their glory – even if it means that that dress doesn’t stay super white!
#3 Expect to be Cold and Wet
It probably comes as no surprise that a place called Iceland isn’t exactly warm. While the weather there is more temperate than you might expect, its still not exactly a tropical elopement destination. The truth is that at some point in the day you are probably going to be wet and cold. I recommend bringing warm blankets, a change of clothes, and maybe your warm (or better yet, warm and alcoholic!) beverage of choice. Bring a rain jacket. Wear warm boots under your dress. Do what you can to stay comfortable.
#4 Don’t Forget Why You’re Here!
It’s so easy to get caught up in the magic of the place and the kick ass photos you’ll have to show for it (believe me, I get it!) but I think its important to remember why you’re here. This isn’t just a photoshoot. This is the beginning of one of the biggest commitments of your life! Don’t rush through the vows to get to the fun stuff. There is plenty of time for photos later. Remember why we’re doing all of this.
#5 Leave the Parking Lots Behind
The first time I went to Iceland I was a little bit stunned by the number of tourists, especially along the Golden Circle. They seemed to be everywhere! It didn’t take long to realize, however, that most of them never ventured more than a few hundred feet from the parking lots. What this means for you is that with just a little bit of effort you can get away from all of those people and have a little slice of paradise all (or mostly …) to yourself. It’s worth it, trust me!
#6 Be ready for an adventure!
Iceland is seriously one of the coolest places on the planet. If you go into your Iceland elopement with a sense of adventure and leave your expectations at home you will have the experience of a lifetime! Do something that scares you. Get outside of your comfort zone. Meet the people, eat the foods, drink the beer (they seriously have great beer). Be ready to have your mind blown by the rugged landscapes and harsh people. Marriage is one of life’s greatest adventures and you’ve picked one hell of a way to enter into it!