Elopement In Iceland | FAQ


STEP BY STEP GUIDE FOR YOUR INTIMATE WEDDING IN ICELAND

 

 

 

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 to figure out, how the heck could you get married in Iceland.

As a photographer I had a chance to meet couples from all over the world. Collected a few tips on where to start planning your Icelandic wedding. Ready? Lets go!

 

Make a list of things important to 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? Do you need makeup artist and a hairstylist? What about flowers? Do you want a photographer? If yes – do you want a photo session or just reportage? 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


 

Create maximum budget

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 mark the top three things from the list which you created.

Choose the timing

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 rainy weather, light has golden tones and the sun is high making an impression that the horizon is endless. 

In midwinter, there are around 5 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.

 

 

So let’s talk about the venue. If you chose an outdoor option then your possibilities are endless and you can either search for epic locations on the Internet and then consult it with your wedding planner or  a photographer or you can just ask them for advice. 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. Also sometimes google is …bullshitting you. Outdoor wedding ceremony gives you possibility to have an officiant, in case of humanistic weddings a celebrant or to be just the two of you and the vows which you wrote to whisper to each other. 

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 reviews about the priest, who runs them. The same regarding a celebrant. Iceland gives freedom and some ceremonies can be truly magical. List of helpful addresses you can find below.

 


“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


 

 

You have your priority list of must-have things 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.

 

  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.  

 


“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


 

 

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 wedding planner (I can’t imagine that if you decided to hire one this service wasn’t chosen from the local market) or a local photographer.

Iceland is the Mecca of photographers from all over the world, it’s mesmerizing beauty is a motivation for people from all over the world to photograph here, which gives you wider choice, but keep in mind please that Iceland can be raw, dangerous and it’s law and social rules might be surprising, as well as weather conditions and light faced here. Results achieved here may vary from what you have seen in portfolio of a photographer if he is based abroad and never visited Iceland before.

If you decided to organize all by yourself and your photographer is traveling here I guess you should join Facebook groups and ask for an advice regarding planned locations and road conditions which really may vary depending from the time of the year. Than add 2-5hours on top of that for shooting time and to be prepared for the unexpected.

 

 

Helpful details: