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How to elope in Iceland

How to elope in Iceland

How to get married or have a vow renewal in Iceland. Here’s how to plan it, which seasons are the best, along with the best locations for an intimate adventure elopement. 

Iceland has been a popular destination for the past 15 years, and for good reason. The landscapes are like no other — black sand beaches, glaciers, and seemingly an endless amount of picturesque waterfalls. Also, the climate is actually relatively mild considering its frigid sounding name.

Elope in IcelandWhat is an elopement?

An elopement doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing now as it did a few decades ago. The original meaning of the word is to run away and get married without anybody knowing and/or without your parents’ approval. Things are a little bit different in 2024, most folks don’t need approval to get married, for example. Today, to elope means to have a more intimate wedding than the traditional ballroom or venue type wedding with many guests. It can be just for the couple or for immediate family and friends, but the emphasis is on the intimate factor.


Why should we elope?

There are many reasons why couples choose to elope. Here are just a few.

            -To save money

            -To spend your wedding budget on travel and experiences as opposed to things

            -Complicated family issues can make traditional weddings more stressful

            -You are an adventurer and an outdoorsy person

            -You want to combine your wedding and honeymoon into a single trip


Whatever your reason is, just know that it is valid! This is one of the those things where you don’t have to listen to anybody else’s opinion (except for your future spouse.) 


How to plan an elopement or a vow renewal in Iceland

Iceland and elopements are the perfect fit! You can easily fly in from many airports in Europe and North America and feel like you’re totally in the middle of nowhere within hours. If you are planning a symbolic vow renewal, most of the things listed here will apply as well, unless you are planning a legal elopement in Iceland. 


The best locations in Iceland

We gather that you’re an adventurous person if you’re reading this and there are many options for you in Iceland. There are literally thousands of waterfalls, and many of them are easily accessible. The Icelandic coastline is also extremely beautiful with cliffs, black sand beaches, and massive views as options. The harder ones to reach would be mountaintops or glaciers, harder but not impossible. Here are three of our favorites: Dyrhólaey, The Glacier Lagoon, and Arnarstapi. Icelandic wedding photographer Kari Bjorn has an extensive list of elopement locations in Iceland on his website, feel free to check it out! When thinking about a location, also think about when you will be having your elopement ceremony. We would not recommend the most popular locations during the day in the middle of summer, there will just be too many people around. The more popular ones could work really well in winter though or during the midnight sun in June and July! 

 How to work with a photographer

Now that you have an idea of the price and where to have your elopement, it’s time to make sure it’s all perfectly captured. Luckily, many elopement photographers also offer planning assistance. That means you’re not just paying for the photos, but help securing permissions and permits, getting in touch with make-up artists and hairstylists, and more. The busy season in Iceland is summer, and it is short, so most of the elopements happen between early June and mid August. It is usually best to secure your photographer as soon as possible. When looking for photographers, look for people who you’d also like hang out with, as you’ll be spending a full day with this person. You should also look for someone who is local or Icelandic, as it can help make the planning process and the elopement day a lot smoother. 

The best seasons for an elopement in Iceland

We gave it away already but summer is the all around best season for anything in Iceland. That doesn’t mean winter, spring, or autumn are off the menu, they all have their unique perks. Winters might sound rough but this season will have the fewest visitors (excluding Christmas and New Years.) If you really want a truly intimate experience, then winter might be your best option, plus Iceland is extra beautiful when covered in snow. Spring is probably the shortest season as it can still snow in April, and sometimes May too. Spring nights can be super bright and cold for example, while the days can be mild. Autumn is often quite rainy with average temperatures around 5-7 Celsius during the day (that’s around 40 Fahrenheit.)


Make it into a honeymoon

This is what’s great about Iceland, you can so easily turn your elopement into a honeymoon. If that sounds appealing to you, we recommend taking a few extra days to explore the country and relax. 10 days are really great for an elopement and honeymoon. On day one you get to your hotel, relax, sightsee locally, and recover. On day two you can plan a day trip with your elopement planned on day 3, and that will be a full day! Days 4 and 5 can be spent relaxing while the last ones are reserved for tours.


How much does it cost?

You can take a look at our standard vacation packages on our website to get the general idea of how much an elopement or honeymoon will cost but these tend to be very personal tours, so we customize each itinerary to your needs. Please fill out the personalized itinerary request form by clicking Get Started here below and we will give you a quote.

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