Elopement In Iceland | FAQ


STEP BY STEP GUIDE FOR INTIMATE WEDDING IN ICELAND

If not a traditional wedding than what?

First of all congratulations! You’ve found your perfect match! You are both independent, open, brave and you also make a great team. You are adventurous, unique, you love to discover and you enjoy each others company the most. You have some ideas for your wedding day, but  at the end  you just decided: FUCK IT, I’M GONNA DO IT MY WAY!  So here you are. Trying what other options there are to get some grip and craft your own adventure.

There are weddings and there are elopements,

intimate, personalized to the core

ceremonies focusing on the two of you and the connection between.

Whoever you are, whatever brought you to this point in life, you already know that the standards are not fitting you in their frames. You stand out. You value privacy. You love each other company and maybe you are into adventures, nature, travels, outdoor is your second home, or maybe just like me, you are simply in love with peaceful beauty surrounding you,instead of crowd of people who are putting you in the center of attention, even though you hate cold and hikes, but you are all in just to soak in to the smell, the sound, the view and experience something bigger than you…

This or that way alternative wedding ceremony, elopement, is the way to go! And Iceland has the vibe which you were looking for. Secluded, mystical, once-in-a-lifetime type of trip.

In Iceland elopement locations are endless

Iceland elopement photos are amazing, you saw thousand all over the internet. You already know where you could have them taken.Magnificient Skogarfoss waterfall, which can surprise you with its winter look, tall, dramatic Kvernufoss soaking you with its drops, little by little, Dyrholay cliffs, plane wreck on a black sand desert, Reynisfjara black beach… But what about and the least visited black beaches all over the island? What about smaller, hidden gems? Geothermal fields creating a foggy background full of colours, waterfalls known only to the locals, lava fields, stunning cliffs? In Iceland elopement photography can be as short experience as an hour coverage, and as long as you…travel. Each area will bring you other vibes, here every day is an adventure!

If you chose a church as your venue it is good to go through at least few of them and check not only multiple photos, but also area, reviews about the priest, who runs them and rules which you have to oblige. Often times on the website of certain church are available prices. The most popular church for elopement in Iceland is so called Black Church in Budir, Búðakirkja. It did not gain popularity based on nothing – it’s a historical place, in a truly raw area of Snaefellsnes Peninsula, remote and wild. Iceland on the other hand is full of tiny, wooden churches, definitely worth considering as a wedding ceremony location.

Consult it with your wedding planner or  a photographer. It is a big advantage of hiring local people, as they know how frequently visited are certain spots, how do they look at different time of the day or if they are accessible in certain time of the year.


“I think for us the most difficult was finding someone who was local and knew the area well.

There were a lot of options so it was kind of hard to pick someone and it was very overwhelming.

Very different price points and for different amounts of hours etc.

I think we knew we wanted our photographer to be someone who had been living in Iceland

and knew their way around, and someone who’s work we felt good about and we vibed with.” 

– Nesrin and Ryan, couple from USA


Where to elope in Iceland - my top 5

  1. My couples are most often choosing Snaefellsness Peninsula, which is a very raw area for a real runaway adventurous elopement. Not many houses are on the way, not many coffee places can be found, all is local, untouched by tourists. Photo session there is more about discovering wilderness together, wind is blowing forcing you to stay close, to whisper to each other, to forgot that I’m with you. Theres no time existing. No world beside.
  2. South Coast has a lot of smaller waterfalls, which are amazing locations, as no crowds can be met there and the surrounding stayed untouch, trust your wedding photographer and explore, hike, stay open, search the light, not GPS cordinates… Skogarfoss, Kvernufoss and a Black Beach are amazing, sure, but theres so much Iceland has to offer!
  3. Fast ride from Reykjavik is located Reykjanes Peninsula with it’s geothermal fields, lake and dramatic oceanic coastline and mesmerizing colours of Blue Lagoon.
  4. Glacier. Stand right at the bottom or get a private guided tour, just like that! Hike to the top and elopement on a glacier, surrounded by an icy desert or a wedding ceremony in the ice caves. I mean-come on, there is not many more dope places in the world!
  5. Elopement in Iceland on the mountain? Let’s get lost in highlands! You don’t have to be hiking lover, helicopter will get you right there!

When is the best to travel to Iceland for your elopement

You chose Iceland as your wedding destination. You probably know at this point that depending on the time of year Iceland can serve you totally different experiences. From mid-May to mid-August the sun only sets for around 3 hours per day in Iceland, and there is effectively light for the whole 24-hour period.

In the summer time of the year you are able to plan freely your schedule for the day and enjoy travel through multiple locations for a photo session after the ceremony. Lava is standing out from emerald greenery of moss, wind is warmer and 15C seems like a californication dream. There are low chances to have a rainy weather, light has golden tones and the sun is high making an impression that the horizon is endless. Travel to Iceland in summer allows you to have a laid back experience, travel around the country, visit Vestmannaeyar, Hrisey, drive along whole ring road – the road which runs around the island. You will most likely not need 4×4, but there are certain places absolutely worth to visit, which would call for a four wheel drive as the rivers needs to be crossed and the Icelandic canyons and highlands awaits with it’s gravel paths. Some days will give you 8h of daylight, others almost 24h as the nights are so bright, that it’s hard to call it’s pink shimmer a darkness… And don’t get here an impression that it will be a Danish warm summer – Iceland is still bringing it’s charm, wind might get strong and cold, rain can make you soaked, even though it’s not often… Be ready. We are saying here: THERE IS NO BAD WEATHER, THERE IS ONLY BAD CLOTHING.

In midwinter, there are around 4 hours of effective daylight. Fog and rain add drama to the atmosphere with lingering twilight. Nothing seems predictable. Wind is playing with your hair, makeup has to be waterproof to resist climate, it’s less posing and more of survival mode. You are running. You fight with cold. With time. You can feel the tension. You are alone, surrounded by weird darkness, clouds are so low that whoever first though that earth is flat had to be living in Iceland. Whole interior looks like the planet Mars. Nothing is as you know it. Adventure elopement Iceland serves you. It is not a time of the year for those who seek perfection, neither those who can’t let go and be spontaneous for at least once. Roads might be closed due to low visibility or strong winds, rivers might flood the roads, ice can be such thick layer that you will not be able to walk without the spikes on your shoes. The ring road is often not doable even for experienced drivers, familiar with driving in such conditions, I personally do not drive smaller cars in this time of the year outside the Reykjavik, even though I was born in a country with similar road conditions. Plans will be changing and has to be adjusted every 2h according to the newest weather forecast. You need to open your mind and trust the nature, feel it’s power and let it take a lead. I promise you – it will be unforgettable journey. With hot tubs, cabins in secluded places and the Northern Lights if you are lucky! No, we can’t turn them on. No, we can’t say for sure if they will appear. Think about it as of rainbow.

Budget for elopement in Iceland

You actually don’t know what to expect here, right? Everyone has a budget. Figure out what you can reasonably afford and be prepared to add 10% on top of it. Depending on your priorities, the skill level of people, who you would like to hire prices will vary. I will try to show you here the average prices, but for now I just want you to dive into your imagination. Iceland elopement cost is definitely lower than a traditional wedding, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth to break down this investment to fit to your budget after all.

Make a first draft of a plan for your wedding in Iceland

Let’s put this simple: make a list of things important for you. Do you want an outdoor ceremony or in the chapel? Would you like to celebrate with family and friends or just the two of you? Nordic ceremony, humanistic wedding? Do you need makeup artist and a hairstylist? What about the flowers? Do you want a photographer? If yes – do you want a photo session too in breathtaking Icelandic landscapes or just a reportage from your small elopement Iceland is known for? Would you like to visit multiple locations after the ceremony or just take portraits on the spot? What style of photos do you prefer – moody or bright? Do you want a video?  What type of video fits to your personality – dynamic or detail oriented? Do you have time and energy to organize all by yourself and will it be an exciting part or would you rather hire a wedding planner, because you know that it will just cause you stress?


“Having your makeup and hair done professionally on your elopement day will reduce stress and will allow you to focus on the beautiful things of the day.  I find it very important  having someone there that makes you feel relaxed, makes you feel you look the prettiest you’ve ever have (…).

The great side effect is that your hair and makeup will stay put all day and night long, withstand the harsh Icelandic weather and will make you look like the bride you want to be on the photos which you will keep  for the rest of your life.  Nothing to worry about, even in pouring rain, hazardous wind storms and sun all day.

You will look (and therefore feel) gorgeous!”

– Sabrina, make-up artist at Pinkcolours Makeup


Iceland elopement packages

You have your priority list of must-have things for your intimate elopement in Iceland and now it is finally the time to adjust it to the budget, which you did set up.  I will not write here about the reasons why one service is in my opinion more important than the other, as I believe it is a very personal approach towards certain, luxurious goods, this is why I asked you to mark your  top ones. Elopement packages Iceland has to offer and their average prices I tried to show here best to my knowledge, after 5 years as a local wedding photographer in Iceland and almost 50 weddings photographed by me only during 2021:

  • Prices for ceremonies vary and depend from the type of ceremony and location, as well as where the chosen celebrant/officiant is based (further he has to go, more he will charge). Starts from 10 000isk to 70 000isk, without any additional fee which may apply.
  • Make up and hair services can be offered by the same person or separately. Most of artists will show up at the place of preparations. Of course, more remote the location, where you are getting ready on top of the price can be added a travel fee. You have to be prepared for prices starting from 4 000isk up to 50 000 for makeup or hair, without any additional fee, which may apply, as mentioned.
  • Depends from the vision of your floral decorations bouquet can cost around 10 000isk-30 000isk and there are florists, who can create composition fitting to the Icelandic landscapes. Love it! Your wedding planner or me will gladly help you out and pick a bouquet on the way to pick you up, no worries, we got you covered!
  • Video and a photographer. As many customers as many options and styles of offered photography or video packages. Some will be basic option with details crafted for you and according to your expectations, other will be precisely set up and sold as a product. You already chose the style, you’ve decided if you would like only reportage or with a photo session in epic locations… Now use google and go through the websites. Get to know the approach (nobody wants to spend the most intimate moments and later the whole day with someone, who is not a good match) and offers of multiple professionals and check galleries, not only main portfolios. Prices may vary from 100 000isk to 800 000isk for reportage from ceremony or reportage from early morning preparations, through the ceremony and with a photo session. In result you can receive 40-600 final images after selection and post production. The same with video.  Results achieved here may vary from what you have seen in the portfolio of a photographer if he is based abroad and never visited Iceland before, worth to keep that in mind while choosing your vendors, or to be choosing those who were recommended by locals.
  • Well, you planned basically all, you chose all the details which will create climate of your ceremony and now it’s time to set a timeline throughout the day. Seems like here is the moment, when however controlling freak you are (hi, it’s me!) you should leave the space for help and rely on your Icelandic elopement planner (I can’t imagine that, if you decided to hire one, this service wasn’t chosen from the local market – trust me, I have seen it all) or a local photographer. Of course the most convenient is to have your Icelandic elopement planner asked for advice on everything. This amazing ninjas will grab you a blanket into their car and drive along to keep you warm, safe and stress free. Will make you all reservations which will without a blink of an eye reschedule in case the weather will mix your plans. Will contact all the vendors to get you the best offer and they will take all formalities on them. You make a wish – they will make it happen. Seriously! And most important – he will make a perfect timeline in realistic manner and will also have a plan B.

“First we got a good flight deal secured about 6 months in advance,

then I coordinated the church and a photographer (you) and fortunately

you had a florist, video and hotel connections. I couldn’t believe how lucky I got finding you”

– Mai and Justin, couple from USA


Let's get into legal requirements for Icelandic elopements

Ok, boring necessities coming through! Let’s summarize all the requirements to get married in Iceland, they are valid for everyone besides citizens or residents of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, who will have process simplified. Of course you can organize here symbolical ceremony and get married in your home country, but hey, let’s see how it is done in Iceland:

  1. Print out, fill out, sign and get two witnesses to sign it too: Marriage notification 
  2. Certificate of current marital status, eg. unmarried, divorced and divorced, legally divorced, widowed / widowed or unmarried, issued not earlier than 8 weeks before the date of planned ceremony.
  3. Original birth certificates of both partners, return per request.
  4. Confirmation of legal stay in Iceland (visa, plane tickets, etc.)
  5. Passports (for EU members ID can replace passport) and visa if applies

All required documents needs to be translated in one of Scandinavian languages or in English and must be submitted 3 weeks prior ceremony via email, although originals has to be delivered no later than 5days before ceremony.

If you wish your marriage certificate after the elopement can be issued in English, although take into consideration that usually it takes up to 2 working days, in case if you work with celebrant who has legal power or with a wedding planner it is possible to have it send by them.

Both parties have to be 18years old and older.

Here you will ind all the details you need: LEGAL REQUIREMENTS

Soak into emotional & adventurous wedding photography in Iceland

Kaja is Iceland wedding photographer based in Reykjavik, working worldwide