Wedding dress shopping is often one of the most exciting things a bride to be looks forward to doing during the Iceland wedding planning process. It’s the moment that you can let your personal style shine through and involve your significant other, family or friends (if you wish) too. So no matter if you are eloping or holding a large wedding in Iceland, you gotta wear something right?!
Many of our adventurous brides ask us about what type of wedding dress is best for a wedding in Iceland and our answer varies depending on the schedule for the day but there are many common elements we encourage (mainly because of the unpredictable weather). So today our Iceland Wedding Planner team would love to educate you a little bit on…
How to Choose an Iceland Wedding Dress!
Woot woot, exciting stuff! So where do you begin?
The very first thing you need to consider is the weather. It’s unpredictable no matter the time of year you come. We’ve had the bluest of skies or blizzards happen on Iceland winter wedding days to cold sideways downpours / sleet on July Iceland wedding days. But we have also had everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) happen in between like gale force winds, sand storms, etc.
So all that said, you first need to come to terms with embracing that the worst weather (whatever that may be in your mind) is going to happen on your Iceland wedding day. There’s no getting around it if you want EPIC Iceland wedding photos like you see throughout our website (which I know you do). You gotta be okay with your Iceland wedding dress getting wet, dirty, and snagged at some point (or all points) during your wedding or elopement, it’s just the reality of the weather and landscape. Once you have gotten over that mental challenge you can prepare for the physical one of actually enduring it and choosing a Iceland wedding dress to make you more comfortable through it!
Iceland Wedding Dress Style:
This is a question we get asked a lot… Because we plan a very different type of Iceland wedding day, there are certain styles that fair better here than others. So let’s Pro / Con each type together!
Most think of Ballgown wedding dress style being the typical “princess” style. The Pros: It flows in the wind like a champ! There are so many layers that it also will not blow back into you and make you look like you have awkward “pants” on. The Cons: Not easy to travel with (takes up a lot of space)! Overall thought: To my surprise, some of my favorite Iceland wedding photos have been with brides with “Ballgowns” because of how flowy it is.
A-Line Iceland wedding dress style is quite popular across the board of our adventure wedding brides. The Pros: You movement in the dress is not restricted and it typically flows nicely in the Icelandic wind. This style looks lovely on all shapes and sizes of our brides-to-be. The Cons: None! Unless you choose one that is strapless, that does not fit perfectly. Then you run the risk of having to hike it up constantly.
The Trumpet style Iceland wedding dress is a fantastic option for the bride who wants to showcase her figure a bit more. The Pros: It allows for movement in your legs while still being fitting to your body adding overall elegance to the style. The Cons: Depending on your Iceland wedding day schedule, if it includes longer mountain hikes (more than flat walking) it could be difficult to maneuver. Also this wedding dress style may not work with every body type.
As of late, the Sheath style wedding dress has made a strong presence in our adventurous brides. The Pros: You can have the dress be slim fitting or partially flowing. The bodice is usually decked out with some sort of beading or sparkle which adds just the right amount of sass. The Cons: Not many… Only if it’s super windy and coming right at you it can look like you have a pantsuit on for a hot second. But if the bottom layer on the legs can hold it’s own shape (see the 3rd photo below on the left) like having heavier beading this issue can be avoided (or just always be facing into the wind so your dress blows!
When I got married the second time (hello again Lofoten Islands), I chose tea length for both of my destination wedding dresses. Why? My personal reason was FREEDOM and to be completely different than what I had during my first Iceland wedding (trumpet was my first wedding choice). As an adventurous bride I felt like I could move super easy and I enjoyed the way the dress blew in the wind all-of-the-time! Swoon! I haven’t had too many brides follow suit here in Iceland except a few.
The Pros: FREEDOM! Easy moving, less to get wet / weigh you down, and the material is usually pretty quick drying. The Cons: Looking back on both my own adventurous elopement and my tea-length brides dresses, I’d boldly say none. But if you want to push me… I ::might:: say that it was a bit colder than I expected, but a blanket on your legs (or a hot super jeep) between exploring and Iceland wedding photographs can easily do the trick.
The Mini style Iceland wedding dress is only one I would recommend for your reception. The Pros: Cute, fun, and flirty. The Cons: You’ll show the world your goods with one gust of wind, so lets leave this awesomeness for your fabulous Iceland wedding reception!
Long Sleeve Iceland Wedding Dresses:
Oh la la, you smart brides you that want to venture down this path! If I could do it all over again this would be my second choice in Iceland wedding dress wearing. The Pros: Warmth. Helps hide anything you may be self-conscience about (IE, I personally think my arms look fat in anything I wear that doesn’t have sleeves so having a long sleeve dress helps mask it! Also, my beautifully busty brides may find that their ladies are kept more snug in a style like this too). The Cons: Can be hindering if the arms are tight or super delicately beaded.
Two Piece Wedding Dresses:
Having a 2-piece Iceland wedding dress is super fun! The Pros: Our experience with two piece dresses is that there is a lot of stunning details on the bodice and lots of flowy goodness on the bottom! So whether you are adding a full skirt or a train to add elegance, we are 100% a fan! Go get it girl! The Cons: If the top bodice is a bodysuit, it could be uncomfortable or a challenge to use the restroom at some point during your adventure wedding day in Iceland.
Colored Destination Wedding Dresses:
The latest trend has been adventure brides breaking the norms and shying away from the typical shades of white dresses. The Pros: You’re going against the grain and bringing your own personal style into this! Defy the norms! Especially in the Icelandic landscape, having a colored Iceland wedding dress can help you stand out more (specifically think winter too)! The Cons: As the landscape varies you run the small “risk” of blending in (IE, black dress with a black glacier) so choose wisely!
If you find yourself, just not feeling the whole Iceland wedding “dress” thing, that’s okay. There is no pressure to give in to what people deem as social “norms” for your adventure wedding or adventurous elopement in Iceland, you’re the boss! You might find yourself thinking that simply wearing hiking clothes is the best option and that is awesome! Way to know yourself!
The Pros: Extreme flexibility. Go anywhere and do anything you want on your wedding day and be really freaking comfortable while doing it! Heck yea! The Cons: Blending in with the landscape (IE, If you wear neutral colors – where at least a bright colored rain coat and matching with your mate preferably), so plan to stand out! My personal favorite color combo is red and lime green.
Iceland Wedding Dress Material:
Now let’s talk material… What type of material is best for an Iceland wedding dress? Our favorite: Neoprene. No joke! If you can find a dress that is made out of neoprene (yeah like the material scuba diving wet suits are made from) you’re golden. You’ll not only be warm and cozy but DRY! Did you see last weeks post on the adventurous hiking elopement? The designer Toni Maticevski is all about making designer wedding dresses from neoprene!
Okay okay okay, so maybe you don’t want to go that route, that’s okay. But… I do know what materials to for sure stay away from- SILK (just say no) or anything super delicate. Remember it will likely rain on your Iceland wedding day so any fabric that gets wet and keeps a “stained” look to it. You need the material to stay pretty under being battered with rain and wind so choose something hearty like tulle, taffeta, satin mix, etc.
An Iceland Wedding Photographer’s two cents:
From the perspective of your Iceland wedding photographer… They want to see:
* Flowy materials that will blow nice in the crazy wind.
* Easy for you to move and hike in.
* A dress that you can wear hiking boots under (Tip: Get your final alterations with the boots on instead of heels) if you’re having an adventurous wedding in Iceland or luxury elopement.
* An Iceland wedding dress that you’re COMFORTABLE in. Special note: Lace backs (just say no) – We’ve never ever had a bride who had one end the day happy (constant “corset” feeling and pushing up and maneuvering.
Iceland Wedding Dress Accessories:
An important part of completing every ensemble… Accessories! Your wedding day look will need a few fantastic accessories so let’s call them out so you remember or least think about considering!
- Iceland Bridal Coat- See our previous blog post HERE.
- Iceland Wedding Shoes / Boots- Our awesome blog post is HERE on that subject. Most of our Iceland adventure wedding brides wear Sorel / Hunter Boots and then bring hiking boots in addition (and as a backup).
- Fleece lined tights (my faves HERE).
- In your “go bag” the day of make sure you have layers, extra socks and rain gear (our personal fave: REI or Gore-Tex or 66 North)
- Additional bridal accessories are available for rent on our site HERE and HERE.
- Iceland wedding bouquet rentals or ideas (see our previous blog post HERE).
Where to Buy Your Iceland Wedding Dress:
Our personal and professional obsession (like we may or may not stalk the site weekly) is BHLDN. If you’re not familiar, it’s Anthropologie’s wedding dress line BHLDN Bride. They have the most amazing dresses on the planet and it’s fair to say they almost all blow in the Icelandic wind perfectly! The super cool thing is too that you can buy several to “try on” and then ship them back if they don’t fit physically or with your personal style. Toni Maticevski and Hayley Paige are the other two other designers we are always swooning over, so we encourage you to give them a look or two before you head to your local boutique!