The ultimate guide to elope in Iceland – tips and ideas for an adventure elopement in Iceland
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!
First, let’s be sure we’re talking about the same thing:
1) 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.
2) 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
3) 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!
4) Where 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.
5) 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!
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!
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.
6) How Much Does it Cost to Elope in Iceland?
Travel to and from Iceland: $1.000
Five nights in high-end accommodation: $2.500
Elopement photographer: $7.000
Private chef or full board: $2.000
Wedding dress and accessories: $4.000
Suit and accessories: $1.000
Total for a high-end elopement in Iceland: $19.500
Travel to and from Iceland: $1.000
Five nights in an Airbnb: $1.000
Elopement photographer: $7.000
Wedding dress and accessories: $2.000
Suit and accessories: $400
Total for a budget elopement in Iceland: $11.900
Avoid the stress, family drama and financial chaos that comes with traditional weddings. Surrender to a “just us” adventure elopement instead.
Hi! I’m Amber, your elopement photographer, planner and guide.
Together we plan your dream elopement itinerary in Iceland over 1, 3, 7 or 12 days.
Let’s plan your all-inclusive adventure elopement in Iceland
7) What to Wear
It’s important to remember that Iceland is known for slightly unpredictable weather, so even in the summer, be prepared with layers!
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.
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!
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.
8) Elope in Iceland – Your Checklist
Choose a Location
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? Volcanos? 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.
Learn About Travel Visas
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 Flights and 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 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!
Elope in Your Dream Location!
Relax, and spend the day adventuring and exploring around Iceland with your love!
Interested in adventuring with me as your Iceland elopement photographer?
Fill out the form to get started!
12) Elopement Galleries
- Marine & Etienne – An overnight post-wedding session near Lyon
- Kristina & Tyler – A chateau Challain elopement followed by a 10-days honeymoon in France and Italy
- Imogen & Paul – An overnight mountain elopement near Switzerland
- Elodie & Dean – A post-wedding session in Scotland
- Laura & Ben – A forest elopement in the Highlands
- Misha & Chris – A 5-days elopement in the Japanese forests
How I Can Help Plan Your Peaceful Elopement in Iceland
Schedule a Consultation
I’m not a fan of sales calls – so don’t worry, that’s not what this is. We’ll talk about you, your vision for your elopement day, and how we can make that happen.
Book your date
Once we settle on a date, I’ll send you an invoice and a contract, and then you’re officially booked!
I’ll plan your dream elopement
I’m more than just an elopement photographer – as a travel planner, one of the best parts of my job is guiding couples to their dream day. I’ll help with everything from vendors, to permits, to the timeline.
Live your adventure
Now you get to elope and have the peaceful, meaningful wedding day that was custom crafted, just for you.
Relive this day forever
I’ll send you your photos, and then you get to look at them and remember the best day of your life, forever.
Let’s plan your peaceful elopement
Where you can be you. Feel. Breathe in each other’s love.
Experience a place close to your hearts, or a bucket list dream.
Need more inspiration for your elopement?
Check out this brand new article about the best places to elope IN THE WORLD
Have I won you over with Iceland yet?
Iceland is such an amazing destination for an adventure elopement!
As an elopement photographer, planner and guide, I offer a range of option that all include planning and photography, from 5 hours all the way to your ultimate 14-day elopement and honeymoon gateway in Iceland. As part of my photography service, I will help you choose and plan the perfect elopement day(s) from crafting the whole day program to helping you choose amazing vendors and book your accomodation and flights.
Contact me now to get started!