Gale Force Winds Challenge Iceland Elopement Adventure: Sara + John’s Story

Embracing the chance of extreme weather is more often than not, the reality of planning an Iceland destination wedding.  To illustrate, no matter the season or the month, a gale force wind storm can jeopardize your originally laid out plans making the route too dangerous.  But don’t fret!  If you’ve hired our team to plan your Iceland wedding, we will have countless other private locations ready for you to choose from all depending on the strength of the storm.  And as you’ll witness with Sara and John’s Iceland elopement adventure, a plan “B” many times exceeds the original expectations in many ways!

Sara and John’s Story:

Over 5 years ago, Sara and John met while working at the same restaurant together (thanks FOODBAR!).  Sara was the crafty office manager and John was the talented sous chef.  Their work friendship changed one day and they saw each other in a different way.  Several months later and after John had the opportunity to train in New York City.   Truly they found that absence made their hearts grow fonder for each other!  Upon returning to the south in Alabama, they were inseparable and crazy in LOVE!

Seeing these two together, you can undoubtedly see neither one of them have loved a human being more.  They are truly soulmates.  Individually, John and Sara both work extremely hard, are protective of each other.  Furthermore, they love being outside adventuring together alongside of their pup Burt Macklin (love the Parks and Recreation reference?!).  Although during the week they may find themselves on very different schedules, they take time to date each other.  For example, Sunday is their day together where they do house stuff, trail hiking, movies, yoga, and gym together.  Being in the restaurant industry they appreciate foodie experiences of all types and fully support farm to table efforts.

A Proposal in Hawaii leads to a Romantic Iceland Elopement!

Circa May 2017, John very stealthily began planning a rather amazing proposal.  Beginning with designing Sara’s ring himself.  Fun fact, it arrived 12 hours before they were leaving for their vacation to Hawaii!  In August 2017, they ventured to Hawaii and one day was spent hiking up one of the famed volcanoes.  Adventuring there should have taken 1 hour and a half, but being in the awesome shape they are they flew up the trail in 20 minutes.

John secretly asked a nearby couple from Australia to video and he asked Sara to take a selfie at the top with him.  Moments later he takes her hand, gets down on one knee and asks Sara to embark on a lifetime of adventures with him!  Completely surprised she of course said yes!

Spinning in excitement from the trip and the surprise news, they began brainstorming about how and potentially where in the world they would hold an adventurous yet romantic elopement.  John’s suggestion was Iceland.  After all, it had been a place that intrigued them both so it seemed like an ideal choice!  Especially when they found our website and service to help them plan their Iceland elopement adventure!

November Wedding in Iceland:

November in Iceland can be a pretty brutal weather month.  It’s a month where the weather in our opinion is extremely unpredictable (alongside of December, January and early February).  But it has positives like the chance of snow capped mountains, ice caves, northern lights and if the sun is out a feel of it being constantly sunrise or sunset.  Sara and John’s wedding date was November 29th 2018 and that week there had been numerous gale force wind storms.  And ones so vicious that the Icelandic Road Authority were closing many of the southern roads.

The night before, our Iceland wedding photography team, met with Sara and John to relay the news of the road closing that evening and not opening until noon the next day.  What did that mean?  It meant for safety purposes, we needed to begin the day potentially slightly later than planned and needed to plan “B” all of the locations.  Frankly, there was a second of disappointment on their faces, but they then reiterated that they knew what they were signing up for in choosing an Iceland elopement adventure.

Weather in Iceland…

Needless to say, they were ready to embrace the extreme Icelandic weather and have it become part of their story!  On that same note, we also advised them that we had booked rooms for the hair stylist, makeup artist, photographer and the pastor and everyone was accounted for ready to weather the storm.  During that evening our planning team carefully crafted a plan “B,” “C,” and “D” schedule depending on how the weather would change.  We had pitched it to them and they were thrilled that our plan “B” schedule was actually a bunch of locations we had only scouted, not taken folks to (or even pitched to anyone) so they would be the FIRST!

Getting ready at Icelandair Vik

Woohoo!  Morning came and Sara and John enjoyed breakfast together.  Our super jeep team expected to arrive earlier than we anticipated and the schedule was now only 30 minutes off from the original!  This meant, we could put into action our plan “B” and not have to venture down the list to “C” or “D.”  Personally, I call this a win!

At 8am our hair, makeup, and photography team were at work in Sara and John’s Deluxe Room at Icelandair Vik.  Sara’s Iceland wedding dress was one of our favorites with long sleeves!  Perfect for a winter wedding in Iceland!  Oh la la and John’s blue suit and groom details were just soooo GOOD!  Both had a lovely mix of sentimental, practical, and custom pieces.

Later on, as the time drew near for their Iceland elopement adventure to start… After getting ready together, parted ways before Sara slid into her dress.  Why? Having an organized first look before we embarked on the days adventure was super important to John.  Making the moment even more special, Sara surprised him with a card right before.  Sometimes it’s that quite moment before everything begins that can really center you both and that’s exactly what it did for Sara and John!

Wedding Ceremony at a Private Waterfall

Originally, these two were scheduled to be the first to marry at a private black sand beach waterfall.  But the night before, we crafted plan “B” because sand in your eyeballs at 50-75 mph is not a fun experience.  Whereas, for safety’s sake we opted for another private waterfall.  Despite the wind storm whistling around us, our little cove made the wind a bit less intense.

First though, I will say… Our Iceland Wedding Planner team may or may not have anchored down Sara’s wedding dress so it didn’t look like a wedding pant suit 😉  Additionally, the Iceland elopement adventure ceremony was short, sweet, and very memorable!  Our exclusive Iceland wedding pastor is the BEST!

Iceland Elopement Adventure Photos

A key factor in planning an Iceland elopement adventure, is ensuring the perfect mix of time for the couple to be in the moment and the photographers to get their images.  Sara and John had the perfect amount of time to discover this private waterfall and walk away with amazing Iceland wedding photos, that’s for sure!  …and the wind provided some perfect dress flowing action!

Traditional Hot Dog BBQ during Iceland Elopement

Gotta eat during your Iceland elopement adventure, so why not embrace a traditional aspect of the culture too?  Icelandic hot dogs are forever ingrained into our culture here.  Plus, just like our hiking elopements happen rain or shine, lunch does too!  Specifically this Iceland elopement day, we had to seek some wind-breaking shelter in an old sheep house to hold our hot dog BBQ.  Moreover, I’m quite sure that Sarah and John had moments of feeling totally blown around but they just held on to each other tighter!

Plan B Iceland Wedding Locations

Planning for the worst case scenarios is where our supply chain management degrees shine!  Logistic guru’s cannot help but think about what plan to put into action next.  Luckily, Sara and John’s Iceland elopement adventure stuck to our plan “B” and they got to be to the first at a waterfall that took us 2 years to finally find!  Likewise, they were the first to explore it as newlyweds (as we had only scouted it)!  Worth that wait, that’s for sure!

Windy Wedding Photos

Gale force winds were so strong that our Iceland wedding photographer had to be harnessed in to be anywhere close to the edges of the canyon.  Besides that, our lovely bride was scared of heights and the wind made it worse.  These two let us know the moment they were feeling unstable or worried with the wind and explored a different part.  Wind does do a beautiful number on a flowing wedding dress though!

Dinner for two in Vik!

Lastly, as you formulate what your Iceland elopement package will look like, will it include a romantic dinner?  On top of all of the above, a driving force for this couple, since they are foodies, was ensuring their Iceland wedding dinner would be up to par.  The Berg in Vik, was the best option for them to delight in.  Beyond that, our Iceland Wedding Planner team made it a bit more special with simple yet elegant table styling.

With the wind as extreme as it was, and additional weather closing in, the chance for northern lights was non-existent.  Yet again plan “B” comes in handy and that was photos with their Iceland wedding cake and in front of a romantic fireplace!  Feeling inspired after today’s Iceland elopement adventure post?  Feel free to contact us for more information!

© 2019, Photos by Miss Ann / Iceland Wedding Planner, All Rights Reserved.

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