Hiking is an activity that I think is fair to say, the majority of the world enjoys. You set out down a path in hopes of experiencing something new, and once you reach your end point, you want the location to take your breath away and leave you at the end of the day ridiculously inspired. It was only a matter of time when couples would go against the traditional wedding planning norm and decide doing what they love to do together made sense to also do (and share with if bringing guests) and start planning an adventurous hiking elopement somewhere AMAZING.
The leaders on our Iceland Wedding Planner team have been adventure wedding planners and photographers since 2007 (like before adventure weddings were cool). Back then, they were doing destination weddings in the mountains of Colorado, the shores of Puerto Rico, the highlands and glaciers of New Zealand, etc. The best part: If the couple were holding a destination wedding ceremony somewhere beautiful but then went right to their reception after, our adventure wedding team was begging them to do a day after hike / session to be immersed in the full beauty that surrounded them (true full adventure wedding style). Adventurous elopements are no longer a trend, they are a society staple to how couples express their love by incorporating the true foundations of what brought them together (most often adventure – travel – exploring – hiking).
Adventuring together is the foundation of all of our clients. And specifically today’s gorgeous couple: Mollie + Andy. These two hail from Washington D.C and have super romantic modern day love story start that I think at least half of us can relate to you. After swiping “right” Andy and Mollie met for brunch at a delicious Belgium restaurant. Neither of them wanted the first date to end they continued on by heading to the farmers market that is near to the famed Capital Hill in D.C. They found their way to chatting each other up for hours about their love for hiking, traveling, and even discovered they had common ground in the small things like they both loved the same band “Peaches” and same television show, “The Wire.“
From September 2016 until September 2017 these two rocked it out traveling, backpacking, and hiking. Andy is originally from Spokane Washington so they spent a lot of time in the Cascades hiking and the Portland Columbia River Gorge among other amazing west to east coast locations (like Maine, NYC, and beyond) they explored together. Their first international trip together was coming to Iceland in the fall of 2017. It was there that Andy decided on the dramatic beach of Reynisfjara that he would propose an epic lifetime adventure to Mollie!
After that magical trip of exploring and getting engaged in Iceland, a week later they were still buzzing about how the trip made them feel. So as they discussed where they should get married, they quickly realized that an adventurous hiking elopement would suit them best as they were seeking something low key and different. But the question was where would they travel to for the elopement adventure? Both being outdoor enthusiasts and winter lovers, they started Googling around about “ice lodge weddings,” “ice cave weddings” and quickly found our Your Adventure Wedding and Iceland Wedding Planner sites and fell in love with adventure wedding concept and our private locations.
Andy and Mollie’s “must have’s” for their adventurous winter wedding in Iceland was to have a variety of different types of locations, be an active spectacular day with still strong elements of mystical mysteriousness. They also loved the idea of a mid March Iceland wedding day to better their chances for ice caves and Northern Lights! Our Iceland wedding planning team crafted many unique full day options for them to consider, but in the end a gorgeous valley area that boasts secret glacier outlets, canyons, caves, and private waterfalls. We dare you to come along with us today to experience their epic adventurous hiking elopement!
As usual, in order to action pack our adventure wedding days in Iceland, an early start is required (5am or so, even for a winter wedding in Iceland!). The adventurous hiking elopement day began at the fantastic Stracta Hotel in Hella (see our previous review of the hotel HERE).
Getting ready at Stracta Hotel for Iceland Elopement:
Our Iceland wedding hair and makeup team was enhancing Mollie’s already natural beauty before the sun rose on that lovely March morning. The Iceland wedding photographer was hard at work capturing the lovely details that Mollie and Andy brought too. Including Mollie’s sweet Iceland wedding dress from one of our favorite vendors, BHLDN!
Andy’s adventurous groom details were as dapper as they come too! He was not only stylish but ready to take on any of the Icelandic elements.
The Wedding Adventure Begins…
Our Iceland wedding super jeep team arrived and loaded this adventurous couple for an epic day of adventures. To stay with a tiny bit of tradition, Mollie and Andy thought it would be fun to have a “first look” before they took their first hike together to their Iceland wedding ceremony spot. A beautifully lit mountain was just so perfect!
Iceland Wedding Bouquet:
Upon arriving to the Iceland wedding ceremony location, they both took time to admire their bouquet and buttonhole. They both chose to rent Iceland wedding flowers from the rental section of our website. Mollie’s choice was one of our favorites from Southern Girls Weddings. We are huge fans of silk wedding bouquets mainly because of our windy, rainy, and challenging it can be to hike with a fresh flower bouquet during our adventurous hiking elopements.
The Adventurous Hiking Elopement:
Mollie and Andy told our Iceland wedding planning team they were at least a 7 on our “scale” which basically means in our world they want at least a 30-60 minute hike as some point during the day and will be happy to embrace it rain, shine, extreme winds, or hail. Although there were blue skies nearby (basically taunting us), there were challenging conditions ahead for them (extreme wind and rain) and Mollie and Andy just looked at each other and said “Let’s go for it, no plan b needed!” Our team always has a “plan b” for a ceremony location available whether it be a cave, etc. These two were freaking rock stars though no matter what the weather conditions threw at them!
Ice Cave Wedding Ceremony in Iceland:
After an invigorating hike crossing rivers and snow, these two were awe-struck by how beautiful their ice cave wedding ceremony spot was! They had this amazing place all to themselves. Pastor Egill performed such a intimate Iceland wedding ceremony and Mollie and and Andy savored every second! Afterwards, our Iceland wedding photographers took them on an adventure around for more adventurous hiking elopement photos.
Iceland Elopement Locations:
When you think about about having an adventurous hiking elopement in Iceland, do secret mountain spots come to mind? Typically when you hike you find yourself able to take paths and go into areas where others may not have spotted or ventured into before. This was the case when our Iceland elopement photographer found a stunning area and it just required them crossing a fierce glacier river. Luckily our Iceland wedding planning and super jeep team plans ahead and often has a bridge available if our clients hiking boots aren’t quite high enough 😉
Adventurous Hiking Elopement Vows:
Because the wind was so severe during their Iceland wedding ceremony, Mollie and Andy decided to say their vows later in the day in a natural cave. Going this route also allows you to make another location more meaningful to you in Iceland (we did this with our own Lofoten Islands wedding adventure and it was unforgettable) during your adventure wedding day. They read their vows from a journal they write in together which is a fantastic spin on Iceland wedding vow books! Hiking further and exploring into the canyon was the perfect Iceland photo adventure! After a fantastic 30+ minute hike, they jumped back into the jeep for some more river crossings and some hot chocolate at one of the mountain huts!
Iceland Waterfall Wedding Photos:
There are 1,000’s of waterfalls throughout Iceland so exploring one on your adventurous hiking elopement is super fun! Mollie and Andy were the first ever to have Iceland wedding photos at this fantastic waterfall and they looked oh-so dreamy!
Hiking Elopement Adventure in Iceland:
The last location left to explore on Mollie and Andy’s amazing Iceland elopement itinerary was a canyon and stunning glacier view on private property. The super jeep team drove in as far as they could and let the newlyweds out to start their hike to the top of the mountain where they would see the glacier tongue. It was a pretty freaking awesome 30+ minute hike!
Sometimes during our adventure weddings, we need to improvise on how we handle the brides Iceland wedding dress… They get in the way usually on the hike down. Luckily our Iceland wedding super jeep team are experts in knots and can make a little backpack of the wedding dress like the photos below 😉
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