There you are engaged, starry-eyed and in love debating on destination wedding locations… When you stumble over the idea of having your wedding in Iceland! Is it even possible? Do people actually get married in Iceland? Of course it is! We did it and now specialize in planning and photographing weddings for other amazing couples in Iceland! Okay, so now that we have you super excited that it’s possible, contact us for more information on being your wedding planner and Iceland wedding photographers!
This week’s post is an expansion from the article we originally wrote for Wedding Photo USA in June 2012 entitled “Best Destination Wedding Tips for Obscure Locations.” We feel that whether we’re involved in your big day or not, the advice below is priceless if you’re planning on getting married in Iceland. Today we begin a two part series on advice for planning your Iceland destination wedding. Here is our 10 out of 20 Iceland wedding planning tips for this week!
1.) Give yourself an absolute minimum of 6 months to plan your destination wedding in Iceland. If you’re planning to elope in Iceland, plan for a minimum of 4 months before. To insure your Iceland wedding dream spot is available book 12-16 months before your date.
2.) Apply for a credit card that offers free foreign transactions. When we were planning our Iceland destination wedding, we chose the Chase Sapphire Card. We earned points for every dollar we spent while avoiding that 3% transaction fee on every international purchase. This savings on your Iceland wedding budget can be put towards that epic honeymoon!
3.) Fully explore all of the possible locations you could hold your Iceland ceremony. Maybe on top of a Glacier? In the middle of lava fields? Seljalandsfoss Waterfall? Vik Beach? Gulfoss? Ranga River? Lake Mývatn? Dettifoss Waterfall? In an Icelandic country church? Downtown Reykjavik? Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon? In one of Iceland’s many gorgeous canyons? In front of a basalt rock formation? The natural wonders for Iceland wedding venues are endless, so think hard on where you see yourself getting married.
4.) Do your research on the time of year you want to marry in Iceland. The amount of daylight varies depending on the day/month so be mindful. Iceland can range from 4 hours to 22 hours of daylight a day. We have a fantastic post here on the “Best Time to Marry in Iceland.” Also check out one of our favorite sites: Time & Date for specific information on how many hours of daylight you may have on your proposed Iceland wedding date.
5.) Currently you do not need a “permit” to marry at any of Iceland’s natural wonders.
6.) Make sure you’re in Iceland at least 2 business days before your wedding date. In order to obtain your Iceland marriage license, you must be in the country 2 business days before you get married. Hard copies of the documents are due 2-3 weeks before you arrive in Iceland. Please keep this in mind as you finalize your travel plans.
7.) Trip Advisor, Google Images, and Wikipedia are magnificent tools for understanding where things are in Iceland and what they look like as you plan your Iceland wedding adventure.
8.) When you’re getting ready to send out your Iceland wedding Invitations, create a wedding website detailing your chosen location, your booked flight information, Iceland wedding host hotel information, activities you want to do, coupon or booking codes, and your week/end Iceland wedding schedule so guests are comfortable booking ASAP. Send your Iceland wedding website URL with your wedding invitation.
9.) Change it up by having a “Love Letter Ceremony” in place of a sand ceremony, unity candle or tying the knot ceremony. It is very unique and will provide a very special moment for you both then and years later.
10.) If you plan to say “I do” at one of Iceland’s gorgeous waterfalls (like Seljalandsfoss Waterfall) we recommend renting a sound system with a wireless microphone. It is tough to compete the roar of a epic waterfall in the background. Having a sound system insures every word is heard and that music can be included in your ceremony.
We hope you have enjoyed our post today on tips for getting married in Iceland! Stay tuned next week for the remaining segment on this wonderful topic! (If you’re just joining us see the continuation to this post at 20 Tips for Planning Your Iceland Wedding (Part 2 of 2)).
And if you just can’t wait or find “Part 2” here it is!
11. Before you embark on your journey, request that your Iceland wedding official/celebrant sends you the full service in print so you and your fiancé can review and make changes if needed. If writing your own vows or having a unity ceremony make him/her conscious of this ahead of time. Many of the priests and magistrates in Iceland are unfamiliar with North American wedding customs.
12. Have your wedding budget detailed out in your own currency and in ISK (Icelandic currency). The exchange rate changes daily. When budget planning 12 months out from your Iceland wedding date, fluctuations in the rate (and VAT increases) can have a significant impact on your overall costs.
13. Do not be afraid to ship in your own wedding details ahead of time to ensure they meet your standards and vision. We imported over 16,000 freeze-dried rose petals for our Iceland destination wedding at Seljalandsfoss. For more information on this topic, please see our blog post on Importing Your Iceland Wedding Details.
14. Having a wedding Iceland wedding timeline card (schedule) available when your guests check-in to the hotel is a great way to help keep your guests on track. This extra detail will let everyone know what festivities are in store during their stay. Not sure what to include or why? Don’t fret! We wrote a great post about Wedding Issues you can check out to ease your mind.
15. For an extra special wedding welcome, provide your guests with an Iceland Wedding Welcome Bag. They made the trip to Iceland to see you get married, now spoil them with some local super sweet luxuries to use during their stay.
16. Take your Iceland wedding dress off the bridal store’s hanger and say no to plastic hangers! Bring a personalized wooden one that says your future name (Example: Mrs. Smith), or “The Bride,” “Love,” “I Do,” etc! This is a delightful detail for your Iceland wedding photographers to capture. Example of what that looks like, here.
17. Do not be afraid to talk with your photographers candidly about your vision and what you need captured, it’s important to make that clear. See why this topic is so important in our previous blog post, here.
18. Understand that you may not have an ideal weather day for your wedding in Iceland and just accept it. The day might bring rain, sleet, snow, be cloudy, or be blazing with endless sunshine, who knows! Storms approach and blow through quickly. You may just have to wait 15 mins or so. Above all, have a feasible “Plan B” option if holding your wedding ceremony outside. Our advice to you is to either an indoor locale on standby or umbrellas for each guest readily available.
19. If having guests attend your Iceland destination wedding, plan a fun post wedding day group activity that all ages can participate in. Idea: We designed a self-drive highlight tour of the Golden Circle, Seltun/Krýsuvík Lava Field, and the Blue Lagoon the next day with our guests. Check out our previous blog post here on that topic.
20. Make your honeymoon a separate trip and enjoy your trip to Iceland with all who have come to share it with you. We actually waited 6 months to take our honeymoon and were so glad we did! Check our Bali Indonesia Honeymoon Portraits here.
With a smile, Ann Peters + Team (Iceland Wedding Planning and Photography Team)
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