The ultimate guide to elope in Iceland

Your dream Iceland elopement – the ultimate planning guide

UPDATED FOR 2024-2025

AT A GLANCE

Best time to elope in Iceland

For the best weather and least chance to have a red alert: June to September

For the Northern Lights: December to March

Can foreigners get legally married?

Yes, it’s very easy for anyone to get married legally in Iceland.

Cool piece of info

Around the summer solstice (June 21st) the sun doesn’t set in Iceland, offering magical moments under the midnight sun.

Iceland has become an increasingly popular destination for travelers, and it’s easy to see why. Between the breathtaking landscapes, black sandy beaches, towering glaciers, lush green fields, and turquoise blue hot springs, you’ll never run out of beautiful places to visit. For couples planning to elope, Iceland is a great place to tie the knot!

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about how to plan your Iceland elopement, with information about marriage laws, the best locations, and more. Keep reading, and you’ll be an expert in no time!

First, a video if you prefer to watch!

You prefer reading?

Let’s dive in…

How to elope in Iceland – a quick checklist

  1. Choose the best time of the year to elope (from May to November)
  2. Choose your elopement location
  3. Choose the duration of your stay (I recommend anywhere between 7 to 15 days to fully discover the island)
  4. Book your flights (Icelandair is an amazing airline to book with!)
  5. Book your accommodation
  6. Book your activities
  7. Get your wedding license
  8. Need help? Check out my Iceland elopement packages
  9. Last details before you leave
How to legally elope in Iceland

How to Legally Elope in Iceland

While paperwork and legalities may not be the most exciting part of your day, it’s important that you’re aware of everything you need to make sure your marriage is legal and official!

Even if you’re traveling internationally for your Iceland elopement, you can still get legally married there! You will need to submit the necessary documents at least three weeks before your wedding date – but don’t worry! You can do this through email, though you will still need to provide original documentation once you arrive in Iceland.

Here are the documents that you will need:

  1. Marriage Notification – this is Iceland’s equivalent of a marriage license, and will need to be filled out by you and your partner, as well as your officiant
  2. Birth certificates of both partners
  3. Certificate of marital status
  4. Divorce decree, if applicable
  5. Valid passports of both parties

For couples from the US:

In certain states, you can ask your county clerk the authorization to sign your wedding license abroad. If they agree, as a registered minister, my team and I will be able to legally marry you without the hassle of a legal wedding ceremony in Iceland.

Can foreigners elope in Iceland?

Yes! Wherever you come from, and whatever your gender, religion or sexual orientation is, you can get legally married in Iceland!

Top 5 spots to Elope in Iceland

Iceland’s scenery is absolutely jaw dropping, and choosing just one place to say your vows might just be the hardest part of elopement planning!
Here are a few of my favorites to help you get started.

Where to elope in Iceland - the Kirkjufell

Kirkjufell

Kirkjufell (Church Mountain) is considered one of the most beautiful places in Iceland, and is the most photographed mountain in the country! In front of the mountain is Kirkjudellsfoss, a stunning waterfall. You can hike a short trail to the top of the mountain and see the seascape and the falls from above, but even from the base of the mountain, the view is breathtaking.

Westfjords

This is one of the most remote areas of Iceland – and with a country so beautiful, remote, tourist-free locations like this are hard to find! You can drive through the valley and see stunning views of this glacial landscape at every turn. The best part? In this area you can camp almost anywhere! How epic would it be to turn your elopement into a week-long camping trip?

Where to elope in Iceland - the Westfjords
Where to elope in Iceland - Hornstrandir

Hornstrandir National Park

This national park isn’t for the faint of heart. This park is the northernmost tip of theWestfjords, and has been uninhabited for years. No roads lead here, so you will need to take a boat to the park. You can do a day hike or stay a while longer, but be prepared for all kinds of weather. The proximity to the Arctic Circle can bring some cold drafts! This park is the home of Iceland’s largest arctic fox colony.

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Jökulsárlónof is Iceland’s deepest lake, slowly formed by decades of melting glaciers. The beauty of this lake is the glaciers surrounding it, and the icebergs floating in it. Standing on the shores of this lake, or better yet, hopping on a boat to get close to the glacier and to the icebergs, and watching the icebergs float through the lake and out to the ocean is an incredible experience.

Where to elope in Iceland - Jökulsárlón
Where to elope in Iceland - Mount Maelifell

Mount Mælifell

Mount Mælifell’s unique pyramid shape, along with the fact that it’s covered in green moss yet surrounded entirely by a vast, black desert landscape, makes this one of Iceland’s most iconic landmarks. It’s a volcano that can only be reached by a 4×4 vehicle, as several river crossings are required through the rocky terrain.

Did you know?

There is so much more in Iceland than the Reynifsjara beach. When you choose to book your elopement with me, I will provide you with a personalized list of 4 to 5 extraordinary off-the-beaten-path locations that perfectly align with your preferences. Allow me to lead you to the hidden treasures of Iceland, far from the usual tourist spots.

When to elope in Iceland

When to plan your Iceland elopement

Iceland is known for harsh and unpredictable weather. Even during the summer, you can often experience all four seasons in a day. When you should elope in Iceland depends on what you want to experience!

WINTER

While winters in Iceland are dark and often snowy, you may want to consider eloping during the winter time. From November to February, you have a much higher chance of being able to see the Northern Lights, as nights are longer.

SPRING

Spring is a much less popular time than summer to visit Iceland, but in most parts of the country the weather will be warm enough for you to comfortably explore. If you want to visit Iceland’s hot springs, consider eloping in the spring, as you’ll enjoy much more privacy.

SUMMER

Summer, June through August, is the warmest time in Iceland. As a result, it is also the busiest. The best time to elope in Iceland if you want to hike or see some of the more remote mountains and fjords is summer, as many mountain roads are closed and snow covered until summertime. June and July are also the best months for whale watching!

FALL

Crowds start to thin out significantly in September, so visiting in fall is guaranteed to give you more privacy on your elopement day. Just make sure to bring a rain jacket!

Did you know?

The weather in Iceland is a topic often overlooked, yet it can pose significant risks. While the country’s beauty is undeniable, it’s crucial that we prioritize safety and adhere to warnings. When you entrust me with planning your Iceland elopement, I provide you with comprehensive access to essential tools and websites to keep you informed about weather conditions. Furthermore, I’ll ensure you receive timely updates from me through messages throughout your stay, so you can enjoy your elopement while staying safe and well-informed.

Unique Things to Do When You Elope in Iceland

Iceland has so many things to do and see outdoors – it’s easy to get overwhelmed! Whether your trip is only a few days or as long as a few weeks, you’re sure to fill your elopement adventure with plenty of beautiful sights and tons of relaxing moments. From soaking in a natural hot tub to scuba diving in one of the most interesting dive spots in the world, Iceland has a little something for everyone to enjoy!

Unique Things to Do When You Elope in Iceland - Northern Lights

See the Northern Lights

Seeing the Northern Lights is a once in a lifetime experience, and Iceland is one of the best places in the world to see them! You won’t be able to catch them in the summer because of the long daylight hours, but from September until April, there’s a good chance you’ll see them on a clear night. It’s easier to see them without the light pollution of the city, so head out to remote areas to catch a glimpse of them dancing on the skyline. Some hotels in rural places will offer wake up service so you won’t miss seeing the Northern Lights.

Go on a dog-sledding tour

Live the most authentic winter experience in Iceland: dog sledding! Let the sled dogs (Huskies and Malamutes) guide you along the snowy trails and enjoy the traditional local culture. Taste the Nordic adventure and go at full speed on the white snow (or grass!) and take epic photos with the cuddly puppies once back.

Unique activities to do during your elopement in Iceland - dog sledding
Unique things to do when you elope in Iceland - private superjeep tour

Go on a private superjeep tour

Book a Super Jeep tour in Iceland. You’ll discover places off the beaten path, cross rivers and meander narrow mountain roads to reach remote natural sites of stunning beauty, perfect for a remote elopement destination with nobody for miles around (plus, it makes cool photos!)

Soak in the Hot Springs

Iceland is famous for its many hot springs and thermal pools. From luxurious lagoon resorts and spas to natural thermal rivers and springs, you’ll find so many places to relax. Many of them are free, but the ones that charge a fee typically have guest facilities like changing rooms, showers, and bathrooms.

Unique Things to Do When You Elope in Iceland - hot springs
Unique Things to Do When You Elope in Iceland - Scuba dive

Scuba Dive

Though you may typically think of warm waters for scuba diving, Iceland is one of PADI’s top 10 dive sites in the world! The Silfra Fissure in Thingvellir National Park is the only place in the world where you can dive between the North American and Eurasian continental plates. The visibility is incredible and it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before. It’s extremely cold, so it’s required to wear a dry suit when you dive here, which means you’ll need your dry suit certification, in addition to your basic open water certification for diving. You can get certified for both open water and dry suit diving in Iceland, or sign up for a snorkeling tour if diving isn’t in the cards for you!

What to wear to elope in Iceland

What To Wear When Eloping In Iceland

The Dress

You’ll be doing a lot of walking around and a lot of exploring in your elopement dress, so some styles that work for traditional weddings may not be a great choice here. Mermaid style dresses can be difficult to move in, and heavy fabrics will get you very sweaty if you’re planning on hiking. Opt for lighter fabrics like tulle and chiffon, as they will keep you cool, and will also look gorgeous in photos if it gets windy on your elopement day! If you’re eloping in the cooler months (and even if you’re not, with Iceland’s weather it’s good to have a backup), bring some base layers along. Nude leggings are great under dresses, and will keep you warm.

The Shoes

High heels or uncomfortable dress shoes may not be the best idea for an adventure elopement, but pairing hiking boots with your wedding attire is very badass! Make sure that your shoes are broken in before the elopement day, so that you’re ready to go adventure with no distractions.

The Suit

If you aren’t planning to hike, or you’re eloping in the colder months, a three piece tuxedo could definitely work. But, in the summertime you might start to overheat. A nice button up shirt and dress pants will be a little more comfortable, but still elegant and classy for your elopement day. If you’re eloping in cold weather, thermal base layers under your clothes will be a lifesaver!

Typical food and dishes from Iceland

You might want to integrate into your elopement day

Icelandic dishes to try on your elopement day - Hakarl

Hákarl

Hákarl is a traditional Icelandic dish made from fermented shark meat. The meat comes from the Greenland shark and undergoes a unique preservation process that involves burying it and letting it ferment for several months. The result is a pungent and strong-flavored delicacy that is often enjoyed as a part of traditional Icelandic cuisine.

Plokkfiskur

Plokkfiskur, also known as “mashed fish,” is a traditional Icelandic fish stew. It is typically made with white fish, such as cod or haddock, mixed with potatoes, onions, and sometimes other vegetables. The ingredients are gently cooked together and then mashed to create a hearty and flavorful dish that is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.

Icelandic dishes to try on your elopement day - Plokkfiskur
Icelandic dishes to try on your elopement day - Skyr

Skyr

Skyr is a traditional Icelandic dairy product that resembles yogurt but has a thicker and creamier consistency. It has been a part of Icelandic cuisine for centuries and is known for its high protein content and low fat. Skyr is often enjoyed on its own, as a dessert with added fruits or sweeteners, or as an ingredient in various dishes like smoothies or baked goods. It has gained popularity worldwide for its health benefits and unique flavor.

Iceland elopement packages and pricing

All my packages include:

  • From 1-2 locations to a full 7 days honeymoon and elopement adventure photography coverage
  • Custom planning by a travel agent and elopement planner with:
    • A list of 3 to 4 location recommendations based on your vision (waterfall? black beach? volcano? lake? mountains? You name it!)
    • Complimentary transportation for your day(s)
    • Concierge service for vendors, accommodation, restaurants, you name it! And the option of having it all included in your package
    • Help with anything related to accessibility, permits and rules
    • A printed “how to elope” guide with everything you need to know
    • A custom timeline for your day(s)
    • The possibility to get legally married by your photographer (we’re all US ministers!)
  • Online gallery you can share with the world
  • Travels feels to anywhere in Iceland are already included!
  • Starting at $10.750

Last details before you leave for Iceland

Ready to leave and explore the land of fire and ice? Here are some of my last bits of knowledge.

Packing list

Iceland is pretty cold, but its temperatures don’t go extremely low like in Canada. What will get you is the wind, which can be incredibly strong. Be ready with some layering and waterproof and windproof shoes, jacket and pants. Something to protect your head like your jacket’s hoodie or a hat will be necessary.

Renting a car

Europe has significantly smaller cars than what you might be used to. Do NOT overpack as all your suitcases might not fit into one car! 95% of european cars are manual (stick) cars. If you don’t know how to drive a stick, make sure you choose an automatic car when renting!
I 100% recommend Blue Car Rental for all your car rental needs in Iceland. They are conveniently located just outside the Keflavik airport (where you’ll fly into!) and they have incredible customer service as well as some of the best prices on the island!

Useful websites for your safety

Check the weather alerts on this website: https://en.vedur.is/alerts they should be taken seriously as sometimes winds are so strong they can blow your car clear off the road. If there is an alert, it’s better to not head outside (even if they are pretty rare!). You will be charged by the car rental company if the door gets damaged by the wind.
You can also check out the roads conditions and closings on road.is
You can take the Icelandic pledge here https://pledge.visiticeland.com/ and have a more responsible and respectful visit to Iceland!
Aurora Alerts Northern Lights App – shows your chance of seeing the Northern Lights in your current location and the potential strength of the Northern Lights

How to pay in Iceland

The Icelandic Krona is used in Iceland so check with your bank for fees if you pay by card. Paying by card is accepted in 99.9% of the shops, restaurants and hotels all over the island, even the smaller ones!

Language in Iceland

Iceland is extremely English-friendly and you’ll be able to visit the whole island without having to speak Icelandic. However you can learn some essential phrases before you leave!

Formalities – do we need a visa to visit Iceland?

Here is a map of the countries needing a visa to enter the Schengen area (which Iceland is part of). If you’re from the Schengen area, the US or Australia, you just need a passport to visit and get married!

Do we need a visa to visit Iceland for our elopement?

A small conclusion: Why Elope in Iceland?

Stunning Scenery

This is the most obvious reason why you should plan your Iceland elopement. It is truly one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and you’ll need weeks to explore all of the beauty Iceland has to offer – and you still wouldn’t be done! That’s why Iceland is the perfect place for an adventure elopement. Say your vows, then take off to explore the glaciers, geysers, and all that Iceland has to offer.

The northern lights

Iceland is the best place to see the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. They are most visible in the winter, and the further you go away from cities and light pollution, the brighter the Northern Lights will appear in the sky.

Scrumptious Seafood

Because of Iceland’s lack of sunlight in the winter, and its isolation in the Arctic circle, Icelandic people have for centuries had to rely on hunting and fishing. As a result, Icelandic seafood is some of the best in the world, and if you love fish, the cuisine in Iceland will have you licking your fingers!

Latest Iceland elopements I planned and photographed

Discover here the latest elopements in Iceland I had the chance of planning and photographing.

Heartfelt exchange of vows as the couple stands beside a secluded Icelandic waterfall.

A 3-day adventure elopement in the Westfjords

With a midnight sun ceremony on the Summer solstice

A 3-day waterfall elopement with some adventures

Including some crazy weather, amazing adventures and tons of exploring

Waterfall elopement in Iceland
Indian elopement in Iceland near Hofn

An Indian-infused elopement in east Iceland

With a ceremony on a secret black beach

A 3-day snowy adventure elopement in Iceland

Including some northern light shooting, a black beach, glaciers and canyons

Iceland elopement in Hofn
Sunset elopement photos in Iceland with a same-sex couple

A peaceful same-sex elopement in Iceland

With waterfalls, a black beach and Icelandic horses

An elopement on a cliff in Iceland

Followed by a day-long road-trip on the south coast

Iceland elopement by a glacier
Same-sex couple posing in front of a white and red icelandic church in a field of flowers on a rainy day, on their elopement day in Iceland

A pagan same-sex ceremony at the Kirkjufell

And an adventure in Icelandic landscapes

An elopement on a glacier in Iceland

Followed by an epic couple photoshoot on a black beach at sunset.

An elopement on a glacier in Iceland
Wedding photoshoot near Vik

A post-wedding session on the south coast of Iceland

With a cinematic feeling at sunset

A post-wedding session on the south coast

Iceland in a nutshell: a black beach, a glacier, mountains, waterfalls, crazy winds and even a rainbow!

Post-wedding session in Iceland
7-day Iceland elopement package

Let’s chat!

Are you eager to start planning your elopement in Iceland? I’m here to help you envision, plan and immortalize this beautiful adventure! Contact me now for a free consultation!

Welcome to the Adventure of a Lifetime

Amber, elopement photographer

Hey there, I’m Amber!

Hiring your Iceland elopement photographer is going to be one of the most important things you’ll do when planning your elopement! Your photographer will not only document each special moment of your elopement adventure but also be there to help you plan every little detail to help make your wedding day everything you dreamed of and more!

Being an Iceland elopement photographer and experienced travel planner, I strive to help make your wedding day better than you could have imagined! My personalized location recommendations, travel tips, and custom timelines make sure that your elopement will be stress free and full of unforgettable memories.
If you’re ready to plan your Iceland elopement, or want to learn more about Iceland elopement packages, contact me, and we can get chatting about how to make your elopement come to life!

How to elope in Iceland - the ultimate guide
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