Eloping has now become a trend among young couples, not because they want to escape from their families and friends but because they want an intimate ceremony celebrating their love.
Iceland is one of the most beautiful countries to elope to, especially if you and your partner are into impeccable scenery and outdoor adventure. It offers many stunning venues for your wedding photos and ceremony.
To plan your Iceland elopement down to the last detail, you may refer to this comprehensive guide.
How to Elope in Iceland
Whether you’re a local or a foreigner, you can easily elope in Iceland. It’s one of the friendliest countries when it comes to marriage, allowing everyone to tie the knot, regardless of gender, sexuality, race, and religion.
What is the best time of year to Elope in Iceland?
Iceland has four seasons, each with something to offer tourists. Below is a glimpse of what you can expect each season, so you can decide when to elope in Iceland.
Although the temperatures usually drop below zero during winter, it’s worth braving through for the best views of the Northern Lights. The nights are longer from November to February. You can visit one of the local hot springs to warm up and counter the cold.
There are a couple of caveats when traveling around Iceland during winter. You need to plan carefully, especially considering that many roads are inaccessible during this time of year. On top of that, you need contingency plans for when the weather won’t permit certain activities or having an elopement ceremony outdoors.
If you’re a fan of lush greenery and vibrant landscapes, spring is the best time for you to get married in Iceland. The weather is generally mild this season, but some parts may still be inaccessible during the first half. Also, the nights are still long, so ensure you maximize the daytime hours.
Spring sees a lot less crowd than summer, so you can have more privacy in many destinations. For example, the hot springs aren’t as packed as they are during summer.
Summer is typically the busiest time of year in Iceland. It has the ideal weather, so most— if not all— roads are open. More importantly, the days last longer than at other times of the year. As such, you can explore more places.
The drawback is the crowd. Since most attractions are accessible during this period, they’re often packed with people. If you plan to elope to Iceland in the summer, ensure you book everything months in advance— flights, accommodations, and wedding vendors. Don’t be surprised if the prices skyrocket during this peak season.
Aside from the weather being appealing, summer provides endless golden hours because of the Midnight Sun. Wildflowers are in full bloom this time of year, offering picturesque backdrops for your wedding photos.
The peak season dies down during fall, so it’s an excellent time to visit Iceland to avoid huge crowds. The roads aren’t too packed, and prices aren’t that high. More importantly, outdoor venues can give you the privacy you can’t likely enjoy during summertime.
If you visit by late fall, you might see the Northern Lights. Despite that, days are still relatively long because the sun doesn’t set too early like it does during wintertime.
How much does it Cost?
Iceland isn’t necessarily the cheapest country to visit. In fact, it ranks as one of the most expensive nations to live in and explore. You can’t be a cheapskate if you want to elope here; you have to be willing to spend money.
Eloping to Iceland may cost you at least 8,000 USD. Depending on how and where you want to execute the ceremony, and how long the trip will last, be prepared to shell out a couple more thousand dollars.
To give you a clearer picture of how much Iceland elopement costs, check out the following estimates for different services or vendors below.
There’s no better way to make your dream wedding come true than to bring a wedding planner on board. They can help you plan every detail of your elopement, giving you a worry-free experience before, during, and even after the ceremony. If you’re a foreigner eloping to Iceland, having a local wedding planner can minimize much of the burden on your part.
Hiring a wedding planner would cost around 1,000 USD. Depending on the details and other arrangements, the rates could go as high as 3,000 USD.
Floral arrangements aren’t necessary to pull off a wedding ceremony. Nevertheless, they’re a great addition, especially if you want the venue to look less dull.
300 USD should be enough for a decent floral arrangement on your wedding day.
Some vendors have officiants, and the rates are likely discounted or part of an all-inclusive package. Otherwise, you can outsource one. An officiant’s fee usually starts at 500 USD.
If you’ve already gone through the legal process in your home country, you can have a symbolic ceremony in Iceland. Doing so doesn’t require a registered officiant, so you can save money. A symbolic wedding also lets you pick a relative or friend to officiate.
The venue is one of the most important aspects of wedding planning. The cost will be the least of your worries if you opt for a public venue. However, of course, you need to find the best time to conduct your ceremony with the least people.
A private venue is an option, especially if you want an intimate setting to get married to your significant other. Depending on the size and amenities available, a private venue can cost between 300 USD and 4,000 USD.
To memorialize one of your life’s most precious days, ensure you hire a photographer for your Iceland elopement. Iceland is one of the world’s most beautiful countries, so not having a professional photographer for your wedding is a mistake. In fact, most of the people’s elopement budget goes to photography.
You can choose partial, full-day, or multi-day coverage. Of course, the more hours you book a photographer, the more expensive the package gets. Prices range from 2,500 USD to 7,500 USD.
Some companies offer all-inclusive packages to help you minimize costs and maximize your trip.
Video coverage is also possible if you have the budget, but note that it’s not cheap. Like how it is for photo coverage, you can choose partial, full-day, or multi-day coverage. Rates start at 2,500 USD. For multi-day coverage or all-inclusive videography packages, you might spend as much as 7,500 USD.
Accommodations play a huge role in any elopement, especially if you plan to follow the ceremony with a honeymoon immediately. Nightly rates range from 150 USD to 350 USD.
How to Get a Marriage License in Iceland
The preparation for Iceland elopement will be a lot easier with the help of a wedding planner. They can help in every stage of the process, including acquiring a marriage license if you want to get legally married in the country.
For foreigners, the process of getting a marriage license in Iceland is detailed below.
Complete and compile the paperwork
Gather (and fill out, if applicable) all the required documents, which include the following:
- Marriage Notification, a document certifying that there are no legal impediments to you getting married, signed by you, your partner, and the officiant
- Certificates of Marital Status, a document certifying that an individual has no marital record issued within eight weeks before the wedding day
- Original Copies of Birth Certificate
The following may also be required, if applicable:
- For divorced individuals: divorce decree
- For widowed individuals: an official document certifying that the assets and liabilities of the deceased spouse have been divided or finalized
Submit the necessary documents
Submit all the documents mentioned above to the National Registry Office at least three weeks before the wedding day. You can do so via email, but you still need to present these documents upon arrival in Iceland.
Acquire the marriage license
On the week of your wedding day, you need to make an appointment with the regional district commissioner to review your documents. Should there be no issues, you will receive your marriage license.
Other Requirements for Iceland Elopement
If you’re getting married legally in Iceland, you can’t have a friend or family member officiate your wedding ceremony. As such, you need to hire one. A wedding planner can help you find and hire an officiant.
On the other hand, if you’re only having a symbolic wedding ceremony in Iceland, a friend or relative can officiate your wedding.
Two witnesses are required to legalize your marriage in Iceland. Then again, you can have a symbolic ceremony where it’s up to you how many witnesses you want or if you want one at all.
Romantic Activities to Do in Iceland
You can try different activities to make your Iceland elopement more exciting. Below are some fun things you can do before and after the wedding.
See the Northern Lights
Perhaps one of the main reasons people flock to Iceland is the chance to see the Northern Lights. For many, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience worth having with a significant other.
Visiting a remote area at night is the best way to glimpse the Northern Lights. They’re visible without urban pollution.
Join a dog-sledding tour
Since Iceland has one of the best winter seasons worldwide, you can’t miss winter adventures. Dog-sledding is an excellent example. You can explore the snowy trails as the dogs guide you.
Relax in the hot springs
It’s usually cold in Iceland, especially during winter. On that note, you can spend quality time with your partner by soaking in one of the public thermal pools. Paid hot tubs are also available and offer complete facilities, such as changing rooms and showers.
Go scuba diving
For PADI, Iceland is one of the best countries for diving because of the impeccably crystal-clear waters. Silfra is a particularly popular dive site because it’s the only one in the world that allows you to dive between the Eurasian and North American continental plates.
Best places to get Married in Iceland
Choosing a location for your Iceland elopement is crucial because navigating the roads in the country is pretty tricky. Usually, many roads are inaccessible throughout the year except during summer. Even then, most of these roads are only accessible by a 4×4 vehicle.
Renting a private car is your best chance of seeing popular attractions in Iceland. It’s rare to see buses because they can’t access most roads or remote areas.
Below are some of the finest places to get married in Iceland.
If a sunrise wedding is your dream, Dyrhólaey could be your venue. Dramatic ocean views await you as the sun rises. More importantly, there are a few people in the morning. The cliff is often packed with tourists during peak seasons, such as summer.
Lush greenery awaits you at Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon. When you hike to the top, you can get the best views for your wedding. However, note that it’s one of the country’s most visited attractions. You need to schedule your ceremony outside of peak hours.
Set on the northernmost tip of Westfjords, Hornstrandir has been inhabited for a long time. It’s so remote that the only way to get here is by taking a boat ride.
This national park isn’t a practical venue, but if you’re up for an adventure, it could be where you tie the knot. It’s also for those who love the cold weather because it’s close to the Arctic Circle.
Kirkjufell is known for its unique shape. You can take a short hike to the peak for your wedding ceremony. Once at the top, you will see the uninterrupted ocean and waterfall views. If you do not feel like hiking, you can get married at the foot of the mountain. The views at the base are equally spectacular.
Jokulsarlon is a glacial lake in southeast Iceland. It provides a stunning and unique backdrop for an intimate wedding ceremony.
After your wedding, you can spend your honeymoon boating on the lake to see the icebergs up close.
Goðafoss literally means “waterfall of the gods”. With its horseshoe shape, you can get waterfall views from every direction. As such, it offers a picturesque backdrop for your wedding ceremony.
The only caveat is that the waterfall is often crowded, especially during peak season. Nevertheless, it can also serve as your honeymoon destination because of the many activities awaiting you in the area.
Mælifell’s one-of-a-kind pyramid shape is a draw for tourists. The surrounding black desert offers a nice contrast to its green moss.
You can only reach this mountain by a 4×4 car, so ensure you rent enough vehicles for your guests. The smaller the guest list, the better in terms of costs and the intimacy of the setting.
Skogafoss is often packed with tourists because it is one of the country’s most accessible attractions. The best time to get married here is at dawn to avoid the huge crowds. After all, the chances of seeing a rainbow bouncing off the falls during sunrise are high.
Famous for its basalt formations and black sand, Reynisfjara Beach is an ideal wedding venue for those seeking unique scenery. It may get generally crowded, but plenty of areas aren’t packed with people. So, you can still have an intimate ceremony once you’ve picked the right spot.
Thingvellir National Park
If you want to immerse yourself in Icelandic culture during your elopement, you can get married in Thingvellir National Park. Aside from its historical significance, it features incredible landscapes that make for an incomparable wedding backdrop.
One of the best sights at the park is the country’s biggest natural lake. Surrounding it are impressive glacial springs and mountain peaks.
Best places to take Wedding Photos in Iceland
The black sand and basalt formations undoubtedly provide an incredible setting for your wedding photos. The contrast is pretty impressive, especially when you and your partner wear white.
Kirkjufell is arguably the country’s most photographed mountain. The golden hours during sunset provide a scenic backdrop for your wedding photos. Moreover, there are plenty of waterfalls that can serve as background.
Landmannalaugar is vibrant enough to make your wedding photos stand out. It is a geothermal nature reserve surrounded by colorful mountains. Whether your motif is black, blue, pink, or any other color, you will find the most suitable spot here.
At about 200’ tall, Skogafoss is one of Iceland’s highest waterfalls. The surrounding greenery and rocky cliffs complete the picture. As such, it is one of the best sites to take your wedding photos.
Westfjords is one of the least visited regions in the country, so you can expect few crowds. You can easily take photos outdoors, whether you want a beach, hot spring, or waterfall for a backdrop.
After a long day of filming, you can camp almost anywhere to maximize your outdoor adventure.
Iceland Elopement Photographers
Many professional photographers offer comprehensive elopement packages for those who want to get married in Iceland. The following are only a few examples.
Elope in Iceland
Elope in Iceland offers an all-inclusive package with full-day photo coverage for as low as 6,500 USD. Full-day coverage entails up to 10 hours of shoot. Aside from photo coverage, the package includes locations within a 2-hour starting and stopping radius of the capital. Additional fees apply to farther places.
While the company isn’t a full-fledged wedding coordinator, it can link you to various vendors, such as caterers, florists, and hair and makeup artists. It can also help you make transportation arrangements and find the best accommodations.
Rates are inclusive of taxes. After the wedding, you get high-resolution copies of your photos in an online gallery. Videography services may be included for an extra fee.
Brianna Parks Photography
With Brianna Parks Photography, you get a personalized elopement package that’s more than just photography services. It can assist you with acquiring a marriage license, finding a venue, securing vendors, and planning your itinerary. In fact, you can access its comprehensive elopement planning guide that can make the whole process easy.
The package includes a three-day coverage for eight hours a day. Those three days can be spent anywhere in Iceland. After the wedding, you get an online gallery of your high-resolution photos. You have the right to download and print them.
This all-inclusive package starts at 10,000 USD.
Oshen Davidson offers elopement photography packages at a starting rate of 3,500 USD. All packages include the basics, such as the following:
- Photo coverage by a professional photographer
- Custom elopement timeline and itinerary
- Elopement guide
- Wedding planning assistance
- Online gallery of post-processed photos
Elopement Checklist for Iceland
- Prepare all the necessary documents.
If you’re a foreigner who wants to get legally married in Iceland, ensure you have all the necessary documents to enter the country and obtain a marriage license.
If you’re only planning a symbolic ceremony, you can skip this step as long as you have your passport and visa (if applicable).
- Find a wedding planner or vendors.
Having a wedding planner before you arrive in Iceland is the ideal scenario. They can take up much of the workload, ensuring you a hassle-free elopement experience.
If you don’t have enough budget to hire a professional wedding planner, you can opt for a wedding photographer. Many wedding photographers offer extra services and have connections to different wedding vendors. They can also provide assistance in booking accommodations, looking for venues, and other tasks during the preparation stage.
- Book your flights and accommodations, and make all necessary transportation arrangements.
Once you’ve sealed your wedding date and the planning stage is in motion, you can book your flights (if applicable) and accommodations. Getting around Iceland is quite tricky, so a private car rental is the best mode of transportation.
- Submit all paperwork for a marriage license.
Upon arrival in Iceland, submit all paperwork in time. You can do it online, but you still need to show up in person at the regional district commissioner’s office. The staff will verify all your documents and issue your marriage license as long as there are no issues.
- Carry out your elopement timeline.
Your elopement timeline depends on the length of your stay in Iceland, the length of your preparations, the activities you want to try, among other things. Most wedding planners help you customize your elopement timeline and will be there to assist you every step of the way.
Usually, couples take their wedding photos a few days before the ceremony. Some take wedding photos on the ceremony day to reduce costs. To maximize your budget and time, you can also have your honeymoon in Iceland.
Iceland may be an expensive country to explore, but it makes every penny worth it. Dramatic landscapes, impressive natural phenomena, and endless opportunities for adventures no matter the season— these are only a few things that make the country an exciting place to visit.
On top of all that, Iceland is a friendly and open nation that allows everyone to get married on their own terms. You can easily elope to this country as long as you have the necessary paperwork, regardless of your religion and relationship.
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Weather is the topmost consideration when eloping to Iceland. Although it has four seasons, it is generally cold throughout the year. Weather plays a huge role in deciding on a venue. During summer, for example, most roads are accessible, but tourists are everywhere. Winter may see a few tourists, but the snow prevents you from reaching various remote tourist spots.
Depending on your preferences, you also need to consider the following factors:
Activities you want to try and places you want to see
You can learn more about planning your Iceland elopement by reading our Elopement Guide for Iceland.
Anyone can elope to Iceland. It doesn’t matter how you identify in terms of gender or religion. As long as you have all the legal paperwork to obtain a marriage license, you can legally marry in the country.
Nevertheless, you can also have a symbolic wedding ceremony if you want to skip all the formalities. You can simply get married legally in your home country and have a symbolic wedding in Iceland.
Find out more by reading our Iceland Elopement Guide.
The best time to elope to Iceland depends on the things you want to see and try. If you hope to catch the Northern Lights, you can visit by late fall or during winter. If you’re after the Midnight Sun, you can schedule a summer elopement.
Each season has a caveat. Summertime means most roads are accessible, but it also means huge crowds and expensive accommodation rates. During winter, there are fewer people, but many roads are inaccessible. It’s also extremely cold during this period.
As you go through our Iceland Elopement Guide, you can learn more about the different seasons in Iceland and what makes them a great time to get married.