How to Plan a Waterfall Wedding

Waterfalls are a source of life and a force of nature!  They come in all shapes, sizes, textures and tones and surely can be found throughout all areas of Iceland too.  Maybe you are so inspired by waterfalls that you want to be married in front of one!  If so, you are not alone and Iceland is the perfect location with literally thousands of options for your waterfall wedding or elopement.  Allow us to help you indulge in how to plan a waterfall wedding!

How Do You Plan a Waterfall Wedding in Iceland?

There are many different aspects to think about when planning waterfall weddings and the logistics can be a bit cumbersome.  We’ll go into this in more detail later in this post, but the following list will give you an idea of the many moving parts that you will need to consider when planning your wedding day.

  1. Choose the right waterfall location for your Iceland wedding ceremony.
  2. Acquire permission from the relevant landowner, town, organization, or national park.  You will also need to pay any requested fees, permits, etc as needed.
  3.  Decide how you will travel to and from the waterfall during your desired time of year.
  4. Find out if there are bathrooms on-site or if you will need an alternative option.
  5. Choose the correct wedding attire for the location and time of year.  Year round, you and your guests need to be prepared, rain, hail or shine.
  6. Decide how long you will spend at the location for the ceremony, wedding photos, and exploration, etc.
  7. Decide how you will set up the location.  What specific spot within the location will you choose for your waterfall wedding ceremony?  Will you require chairs for a seated ceremony? Do you require a sound system? Are there any other decor features that you would like to include?
  8. Decide if you would like something celebratory to eat or drink after you say “I do”, such as a Champagne toast or a traditional Icelandic wedding cake (Kransakaka).
  9. Ensure that you show appropriate responsibility and care for your chosen location when planning your waterfall wedding. Plan to leave the location as you found it.

Waterfall Wedding Venues

Over 10,000 waterfalls dot the Icelandic countryside.  This is exciting because I’m not even sure you could find your way to every single one within your lifetime… But we are sure trying!  Additionally, did you know there are many different types of waterfalls to consider for your Iceland waterfall wedding location?

Here is a list that highlights just some of your options.  Feast your eyes on these beauties and see if one or more of these waterfall wedding locations tugs at your heartstrings!

20 Different Types of Waterfalls in Iceland

#1: Block Waterfalls

For those who like their waterfalls ‘classic’.  Block waterfalls are usually rectangular in shape and cascade straight down in ‘classic waterfall style’.

#2: Waterfall at a Glacier

Two natural beauties in one, a majestic glacier and a stream of meltwater drifting down from the ice.

#3: Ribbon Waterfalls

Where a waterfall breaks into a smaller stream that cascades down in a ribbon-like style.

#4: Multi-Tiered Waterfall

When one waterfall just won’t do!

#5: Bowl Waterfall

Where one or more separate falls converge into a plunge pool at the base of the waterfall.

#6: Glacier Fed Waterfalls

A waterfall that flows directly from a pristine icecap higher up on a mountain above.

#7: Segment Waterfalls

When a waterfall branches off as it flows over obstructions in the rugged landscape and becomes a smaller stream.

#8: Mountain Spring Fed Waterfall

As its name suggests, these lovelies are found at the base of a mountain.

#9: Fan Waterfall

Where a waterfall ‘fans out’ into multiple streams as it falls over the landscape.

#10: Punch Bowl

A waterfall that flows straight down in a vertical stream to form a pool at the base.

#11: Lava Rock Waterfall in Iceland (Basalt Waterfalls)

And for something totally unique, a waterfall within an ancient lava field!

#12: Forest Waterfall

Iceland is actually incredibly green (unlike Greenland which is almost covered in ice . . . but that’s another story!).  You’ll find waterfalls with emerald backdrops too . . .

#13: Trickle Waterfall

Waterfalls of the dainty variety.

#14: Cliff Waterfall

If spectacular is your style, a clifftop waterfall might just be your perfect waterfall wedding venue.

#15: Iceland Waterfall You Can Walk Behind

For a completely different perspective, imagine the view from behind a waterfall!

#16: Canyon Waterfalls

Another perfect combination of two natural features.

#17: Cascading Waterfall

Where a series of numerous waterfalls ‘cascade’ down a mountain or cliff face.

#18: Plunge Waterfalls

A waterfall that literally falls of the edge of a cliff and plunges into a pool below.

#19: Chute Waterfalls

One for those who love a little bit of drama in their wedding venues . . . where a larger stream is forced through narrow channels and sprouts out at the other end!

#20: Slide Waterfall

A waterfall that keeps contact with the ground as it ‘slides’ down over the landscape.

Why Have a Waterfall Wedding Ceremony?

Likely you love nature, being outdoors, and want an undeniably beautiful ceremony location!  Am I right?  Well, I’m not sure if you can top having an Iceland waterfall wedding!  There is just something so freaking EPIC about making the walk to the location, breathing in the fresh air, hearing the sounds, and realizing that you’re standing before a scenic mountain waterfall!  Honestly, your guests will be wowed regardless of the size of the waterfall too!  Because frankly, how many people do you know who have been married at a waterfall in Iceland?

Logistics of Planning a Waterfall Wedding with Guests

You’ve decided to bring guests to your Iceland waterfall wedding – Woohoo!!  Let the planning begin!  You’ll want to ensure that the experience is magical and memorable for all, so it’s important to have a detailed plan (or better still, a highly experienced local Iceland Wedding Planner!).

So, let’s take a step-by-step look at all of the logistics involved in planning waterfall weddings with guests.

Whether you are planning a large or a small wedding, you’ll need to answer the following questions…

#1: What is the best time of year to plan a waterfall wedding?

Deciding when to get married in Iceland is important.  Everyone has a different comfort level when it comes to temperature, budget and desire for activities.  If planning an Iceland wedding on a budget it is best to visit between September 15th – May 15th as prices in accommodation are typically lower.  Also if you want a snowy winter wonderland wedding, the best month is February.

#2: How do I choose the best location for my wedding ceremony?

What type of waterfall intrigues you?  We highlighted 20 different types above to help you narrow down your waterfall wedding style.  If seeking a less touristy waterfall we recommend that you hire a local Iceland wedding planner to help you further.  The vast majority of waterfalls in Iceland are on private property and many times also only accessible via super jeep.  Therefore, having a local in your court is extremely beneficial to ensure you don’t break rules, make any cultural faux pas, or piss off locals in any way!

#3: Will I need to get permission to marry at the waterfall?

In planning for guests joining you for your Iceland waterfall wedding ceremony, it’s very important to acquire in advance permission from the landowner, town, organization, or national park.  Note: Fees for usage, a permit, etc may apply.  This is best done by hiring a local wedding planner to handle the details on your behalf.  Alternatively, you’ll need to embark on the hours of research and phone bingo yourself.

Keep in mind if you work with a team outside of ours… Although you may be granted permission to hold your wedding at the location, it does not give you the right to close the space for your wedding ceremony.  We are the only Iceland wedding planners and photographers that have been providing exclusive locations to couples for 10 years.

Also, in booking our team and accessing our private property locations via super jeeps, we are ensuring exclusivity for your waterfall wedding ceremony.  Further, we do not charge extra for those specific locations as the costs are built in.

#4: How will we travel to and from the waterfall?

How will you get to / from the waterfall during your desired time of year?  By car? Bus? Super Jeep? Or your own two feet?  Make sure you know what conditions will be like so you are not surprised or run late because of snow levels, flooding, getting stuck, etc.

#5: Will the waterfall have restroom facilities?

Are there bathrooms on site at your waterfall wedding ceremony location?  If not, how will you handle?  For example, booking a bus with a bathroom on board, strategically stopping at fuel stations (or other locations), or bringing along your very own towed porta potty.  Landowners frown on having their properties used as restrooms, so please be respectful and mindful.

#6: What attire should you wear to a waterfall wedding?

It’s likely that your guests will wonder what they should wear to an Iceland wedding or how to pack, as well as how to pack a “go bag” for your adventure.   Please make sure you educate them!  Same for you two… Keep in mind the weather in Iceland as you plan too because more often than not locations can get extremely muddy quickly.

#7: How much time should we allow for a waterfall wedding?

When you have guests joining you, it’s important to have a schedule in place.  For instance, how long will you spend at the location for the setup / tear-down, ceremony, group photos, family / friends photos, exploring, and portraits of just the two of you.  Our professional recommendation for a waterfall wedding timeline would be as follows:

  • Setup: 5-15 minutes (or longer for a more elaborate setup).
  • Ceremony: 10-30 minutes.
  • Group Photos: 15-30 minutes (depending on your group size).
  • Exploration: 15-20 minutes exploration.
  • Portraits of just the two of you, 10-20 minutes.
  • Tear-down: 5-15 minutes.

#8: How will we set up the wedding ceremony location?

Have you done your research on the location?  Visited it before?  Or did your Iceland wedding planner or photographer share with you scouting photos and videos? Firstly, it’s good to have an idea of the approximate location you will need to setup the ceremony at.  Secondly, what is included in your waterfall wedding ceremony setup?  Some ideas to consider follow:

  • Ceremony Seating: Will you be having your guests stand or sit?  Many couples feel having a seated ceremony is important not only for guest comfort but also from a photo and video perspective.  Also it’s a must have when you have a bridal party standing with.  However, if you choose against this because you need to be budget minded or the location does not allow, hire a Day of Planner.  One of the countless duties an Iceland Day of Planner can do is seating or placing your guests so that there can still be an aisle way for you to walk down.
  • Sound System: Regardless if you wish to have music played, having a battery (or generator) powered weatherproof speaker and mic is important.  After all, your guests have traveled so far to hear your ceremony, allow them to hear it over the powerful waterfall sounds!
  • Musicians: Love the idea of having a live performance during your ceremony?  This could be a guitar player, piano, singers, harpist, violin, or a local playing the traditional Langspil, etc.
  • Other Decor Features: Such as arch, lighting, greenery, candles, lanterns, fire sources, animal skills, furs, rose petals, etc.  NOTE: Not all waterfall wedding locations will allow for additional decor to be brought in.

#9: Can we organize food and drinks after the ceremony?

What celebration would be complete without food and drinks!  Many times couples love the idea of ending their ceremony with a Champagne toast.  Our team even has custom options such as a styled table, fruit, artisan chocolates, Icelandic pastries, etc.  Indulge after you say, “I do!”

#10: How can we ensure that we take appropriate responsibility and care at the waterfall?

The rule of thumb regardless of the location is that you leave the location better than when you found it.  Leave no Trace.  For example, if you’re having a rose petal aisle way, you or your wedding planner brings a generator and vacuum to clean up the petals and any trace they leave.  Even though this may be your only visit to the waterfall location, others will follow behind you at some point so it’s critical that you take responsibility for your time there and care about the area too.

Waterfall Elopement: What to Expect

Eloping at a waterfall is far easier than planning a wedding with guests.  After all, you only have to worry about the two of you, the celebrant, the photographer, and the weather in Iceland!  You still need to go through at least half of the steps above, but there will be far less stress!  

How to plan a waterfall elopement:

  1. Choose your Iceland waterfall wedding location.
  2. Get permission and/or pay the landowner, town, organization, or national park.
  3. Decide what type of transport you need to get to the waterfall.  It’s important to know what the roads / landscape is like during your desired wedding date.
  4. Find out where you can use the restroom.
  5. Be prepared for the weather or have a “plan b” if required.
  6. Ensure that you are a responsible tourist.  Do not leave anything behind and leave the area better than you found it.

Waterfall Wedding Locations in Iceland

Now on to exciting stuff… Choosing your Iceland waterfall wedding location!  Have fun with it as you have thousands to choose from!!  Why not take a look at our Iceland Wedding Planning Blog for a little bit of inspiration on some of our favorite waterfalls in Iceland:

Glymur Waterfall Trail Guide

Hiking Hengifoss & Litlanesfoss Waterfalls

Waterfall Near Reykjavík: Helgufoss

Traveling to Aldeyjarfoss & Hrafnabjargafoss Waterfalls

Discovering Nauthúsagil Waterfall

Vestdalsfossar Hike in Seydisfjordur

Hiking to Mulagljufur

Waterfall Wedding Ideas

Speaking of inspiration, head back over to the blog to check out some of our awesome couples who’ve taken their wedding day to the next level by getting married at a waterfall.  Here’s just a few;

Organic Adventure Wedding at Frost and Fire Guesthouse

Boho Elopement – Michaela and Calebs Unforgettable Expedition

Fiercely Romantic Iceland Elopement – Laura and Mathias

Romantic Iceland Summer Waterfall Wedding

Glacier Waterfall Wedding – Chelsey and Anders

Primeval Elopement in Iceland – Larkin and Alex

Hidden Waterfall Proposal – Travis and Natalie

Action Packed Iceland Wedding Experience – Allison and Dennis

Lastly, we hope this weeks Iceland Wedding Planner post leaving you inspired!!  Maybe even crazy curious about potentially planning your own waterfall wedding adventure in Iceland?  If so, we would love to hear from you! We are waterfall wedding experts and love nothing more than planning truly epic waterfall weddings and elopements that you will remember forever.  Feel free to contact us for more information!

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