How to elope in Iceland – the ultimate guide
WITH TIPS. VENUES & LOCATION IDEAS
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 elope in Iceland, with information about marriage laws, the best locations, and more. Keep reading, and you’ll be an expert in no time!
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Let’s dive in…
Welcome to the Adventure of a Lifetime
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!
First, let’s be sure we’re talking about the same thing:
What is an elopement?
If you look up the definition of the word “elope,” you’ll see several definitions from popular dictionary sites that say elopements are all about couples running away, secret marriages, and last minute, rushed affairs. While this might be what eloping used to mean, that’s not the case anymore!
In the past few years, the meaning of eloping has shifted. Now, eloping is all about choosing to intentionally make your day about you and what you want. If a traditional wedding isn’t for you, you don’t have to do it! More and more couples are making the choice to elope, and if traveling to Iceland to say your vows surrounded by epic landscapes sounds good to you, that’s exactly what you should do.
Why Elope in Iceland?
This is the most obvious reason why you should elope in Iceland. 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.
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!
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 to elope in Iceland, 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:
- 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
- Birth certificates of both partners
- Certificate of marital status
- Divorce decree, if applicable
- 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.
How to Get to Iceland for Your Elopement
Since Iceland’s exploded in popularity, it’s gotten pretty easy to get there, so no matter where you’re coming from, whether by plane or by boat, it’ll be a breeze to travel to Iceland for your elopement!
Get to Iceland by Plane
The most popular way to get to Iceland is by plane – many airlines fly into the Keflavik Airport, just 45 minutes from Reykjavik. Keep an eye out for flight deals, too – IcelandAir offers a stopover deal to stay in Iceland for up to a week on both sides of your flight when you book a flight to another destination – that’s 14 days in Iceland!
Get to Iceland by Ferry
Another fun way to get to Iceland is by taking the ferry from Denmark. Taking the ferry means you can bring your car, camper, or bike along and enjoy the beauty of the Norwegian Sea! The ferry travels year-round from Hirtshals in Denmark to Tórshavn in the Faroe Islands, and then to Seyðisfjörður in East Iceland. In the summer, the route from Denmark to Iceland only takes 2 days, but the rest of the year, they add a day at sea, so the ride takes 3-4 days.
Getting Around Iceland During Your Elopement
Iceland has a lot of mountain roads, called F-roads, that are only accessible by 4×4 during the summer – and they are inaccessible the rest of the year. Because of that, most of Iceland isn’t accessible by bus, and the organized tours don’t go to some of the most remote places, so I’d recommend renting a 4×4 car for your trip. A few bus routes go to some of the popular locations on the F-roads, but they don’t allow the flexibility that renting a car provides.
You’ll find gas stations all along the main roads, but the more remote areas don’t have many so always make sure you fill up when you see a gas station. In the more remote areas, you may just see a standalone pump with no staff, so you won’t be able to pay with cash – make sure you have a chip card with a pin number!
Lodging for Your Elopement in Iceland
The rich history and impressive nature of Iceland allows for some pretty cool lodging opportunities! Between hotel rooms that are just steps from a beautiful lagoon, a glass cottage built on a lava field, and an old cottage with adorable animal friends that’ll make you feel like Snow White, you’ll find the perfect place to unwind when you elope in Iceland.
Hotels in Iceland
If you’re interested in heading to a particular attraction, you’ll likely find lots of hotels near some of the popular destinations in Iceland – even some built around them! Blue Lagoon is the most popular geothermal spa in Iceland. They have 2 hotels at the lagoon itself, the Retreat and Silica hotels, that both feature spas, restaurants, comfortable rooms, and full access to the lagoon. If you’re looking for a more remote location, the Hotel Budir is an oceanfront hotel about 2 hours from Reykjavik. Every room has a spectacular view of either the Snæfellsjökull Glacier, the ocean, lava fields, mountains, or the Black Church. Fljótsbakki Farm is an old cowshed, renovated to keep the rustic charm – and the service is just as charming! They offer a daily breakfast buffet and an adorable welcome basket. The location gives you easy access to the highland roads and the Goðafoss waterfall.
Airbnbs in Iceland
The personalized feel of an Airbnb makes you feel at home with the unique landscapes in Iceland. Surround yourself with the lava deserts in this beautiful glass cottage with views of some of Iceland’s largest volcanoes and a personal hot tub to watch the northern lights dance along the skyline. The Aska resort has tons of rentals including this sleek, modern cabin on the shores of Lake Mývatn, and if you want to check out some of the animals in Iceland, stay at this adorable Old Icelandic Cottage where you might meet sheep, horses, or arctic foxes!
Camping in Iceland
You used to be able to wild camp in Iceland, but, because of the rise in popularity, you’ll have to stay at a campsite if you want to pitch a tent or stay in a camper van. If you’re staying for a while, you can get a camping card for $159! The card includes 2 adults, 1 tent or camper van, and is valid from May until September – it doesn’t cover all the campsites, but it’s a pretty good deal and covers a lot of them! If you don’t like tent camping, you can rent a 4×4 camper van, and you’ll have lodging and a way to get around those F-roads.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
When to Elope in Iceland
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!
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 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, 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!
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!
How Much Does it Cost to Elope in Iceland?
All-inclusive, 7-day ELOPEMENT and honeymoon
6 nights in accommodation (3* or more)
Elopement photographer for 3 days
All meals for the 7 days
4-5 beautiful, natural and raw ceremony location options
Custom timeline of the day
Hair and makeup
TOTAL FOR An all-inclusive ELOPEMENT IN ICELAND:
Elopement photographer for 12 hours
4-5 beautiful, natural and raw ceremony location options
Custom timeline of the day
TOTAL FOR A 12-hour ELOPEMENT IN ICELAND:
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!
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.
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.
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 When Eloping In Iceland
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.
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.
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!
LATEST ELOPEMENTS IN ICELAND
Discover here the latest elopements in Iceland I had the chance of planning and photographing.
A 3-day waterfall elopement with some adventures
Including some crazy weather, amazing adventures and tons of exploring
A 3-day snowy adventure elopement in Iceland
Including some northern light shooting, a black beach, glaciers and canyons
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
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.
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!
Elope in Iceland – Your Checklist
Think about where you’d like to go
Iceland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, so choosing your elopement location will without doubt be pretty difficult. With so many beautiful spots, how can you narrow it down?
My advice is to start by thinking about what kind of scenery you’d like to see. Waterfalls? Glaciers? Volcanoes? Do you want to hike, or would you rather drive a 4×4 to some epic spots?
As an elopement photographer who specializes in elopements, a big part of my job is to help couples find the perfect place to say their vows. As a travel planner, I’m ready to go with all the best secret spots! Once you’ve decided to elope in Iceland, don’t hesitate to get in touch for planning assistance.
Pick a date
Research the weather in Iceland, then pick a date! I always recommend eloping on a weekday, as weekends draw out more crowds. A weekday elopement will give you much more privacy to say your vows.
Find more informations about travel visas and wedding documentation
If you’re traveling internationally to elope in Iceland, make sure your passports are up to date, then make sure you have all the necessary paperwork.
Book your accommodation
Once you have your date and elopement location, start looking at flights and accommodation! You can stay in the luxury resorts at the famous Blue Lagoon, or camp in the Westfjords. Or maybe a little bit of both?
Book your photographer
The photographer is the single most important person in the entire event. Booking a photographer will play to your hand since S/he will know those epic elopement spots that the general public isn’t aware of. You will find that the places you find online are heavily trafficked and won’t give you the privacy and seclusion you want for your Iceland elopement. You can tell your photographer what you prefer, and S/he will assist you in figuring out the best spots you can elope to get those scenic shots you want.
Find a place to exchange your vows
When saying your vows to each other, select a place that speaks to you. The environment you’re surrounded by will complement what you’re saying with your words. The place you decide to tie the knot really matters because it will be the spot you officially begin your lives together.
Book your other vendors
Many wedding and elopement vendors fill their schedules as far as a year or two out! So, it’s never too early to book your favorites. Inquire as soon as possible to ensure they have room for you on their schedule!
Live your dream elopement
Relax, and spend the day adventuring and exploring around Iceland with your love!
DOES ICELAND SOUND LIKE YOUR DREAM?
How to plan your peaceful elopement in ICELAND with me
Let’s dive in, so you can start your journey right away!
Imagine a wedding where you can be you. Breathe. Bask in each other’s love.
Experience a place close to your hearts, or a bucket-list dream.
Inspiration for your Iceland elopement
Here are some photos I created with my amazing past couples to inspire you!
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!