Eloping can be an easy decision but also a complicated one for some. Why? Because there can be social pressures, choices, many logistics, and moving parts to crafting a kickass adventure elopement! Therefore, so many couples find it helpful to hire and work with an elopement planner to offer a positive experience, present options and offer insider knowledge.
Who are we?
For over 10 years, our Iceland Wedding Planner team has been the original trailblazing team in Iceland offering private experience driven weddings and elopements. To illustrate, our mission as an elopement planner is to ensure the process feels more like fun date nights or that you’re creating an unforgettable trip. Rather than being overwhelmed in details and research.
For instance, we specifically present a variety of hour by hour schedules, pair them with hotels, share photos and videos of our private property locations. All to create a very “feel like you’re there” journey right from the very beginning. Further into the journey, we send a long a very detailed no pressure “decision document” which explores all of additional experiences we can offer at our remote locations.
Meanwhile, you can opt in or out of anything of your choosing! Then on the wedding day, you show up and enjoy every single second while our elopement planning team takes care of everything. Carefree is the way to be as you plan an elopement!
Why do I need an elopement planner?
Maybe you’re on the fence about hiring an elopement planner or buckling down and doing it yourselves… However, do you have hours each week to do research on countries, locations, permits, local vendors, accommodation, etc? It can be time consuming and frustrating especially if your choice country does not have English as their first language. Details can get lost in translation or expectations can fall short. But this is where a local wedding planner can be an asset to your wedding planning journey!
What does an elopement planner do?
When you hire someone to plan your elopement, there could be varying levels of inclusions. But on a basic level you could anticipate an elopement planner to aid you in topics like the following… Narrowing countries of interest, location scouting of potential ceremony locations, guidance through attaining location permits, vendor connections, and the local legal marriage license process. Furthermore, if you seek luxury you may want to find a planner who can offer styling and add on experiences like a gourmet picnic, etc!
What is an Adventure Elopement Planner?
Adventure is the foundation of many relationships. Therefore, when you get engaged and start thinking about eloping, you may want to opt in for a hiking or an experience driven elopement versus a big wedding. But wait, what’s the difference between a traditional wedding planner and an adventure elopement planner?
Well the gist is that a traditional one will cater to the basic wedding planning needs, usually focus on well known locations, and 1-2 locations max for photos. Whereas an adventure elopement planner will push your limits on possibilities and itineraries. Maybe because to get to the stunning location, you need to hike for 30-60 minutes, hire a super jeep, wade across a river, take a canoe to a secluded waterfall, etc. The focus going this route to experience driven truly captivating your five senses! After all who doesn’t want to explore all day with their favorite person?!
What is included in our Elopement Planning Services?
When you sign on as an Iceland Wedding Planner client, you can expect the following inclusions if opting in for a full day of elopement planning:
- Zoom video calls and unlimited emails throughout the process.
- Presenting hour by hour itineraries which are paired with hotels that make sense to keep drive times low. Also sharing photos and videos of the locations.
- Applying for permits or getting in advance permissions as needed from landowners.
- Helping you through the local marriage license process.
- Providing ceremony text ideas.
- Booking all other vendors as needed (IE, hair, makeup, celebrant, flowers, dinner reservations, etc). But you will pay everyone directly.
- Direct discounts for hotels and car rentals.
- Additional help with planning your pre and post wedding adventures. That way, you not only walk away with an incredible elopement experience but an amazing overall Iceland trip!
How long do you need to plan an elopement?
Depending on the country and location you choose, how long you need to plan an elopement will differ. For example, here in Iceland if you do not have a specific date in mind then planning 4-12 months is possible. However, in a pinch for the right couple, we have also planned a symbolic ceremony (non-legal) in 30 days or less.
How much should I budget for an elopement?
Your planner will give you a preliminary budget based on the country or location you’re interested in. However, the overall cost can vary depending on how remote the location is and the inclusions you desire. For instance, a loose overall range for an elopement (no guests joining) would be between $10,000-20,000 USD.
What is a typical elopement itinerary?
One of the duties an elopement planner has is to craft an incredible itinerary for you. To illustrate, your wedding day could look something like this:
- 7-9am Get Ready!
- 9-10am Drive to your ceremony location.
- 10-10:20am Ceremony!
- 10:20-11:20am Explore and wedding portraits.
- 11:20-12:20pm Drive to location #2.
- 12:20-1:15pm Explore and wedding portraits.
- 1:15-2:15pm Lunch!
- 2:15-3:15pm Drive to location #3.
- 3:15-4:15pm Explore and wedding portraits.
- 4:15-4:45pm Drive to location #4.
- 4:45-5:30pm Explore and wedding portraits.
- 5:30-6pm Drive back to your hotel or AirBnb.
- 6-7:30pm Rest and Refresh
- 7:30pm-? Dinner for two somewhere amazing!
Locations for your elopement wedding
When you think about eloping, what type of backdrop makes you swoon? You know, the kind of place that would leave you in awe, leave you forever inspired, or just straight up make your dream come true! Could it be one of these…
Private ceremony on a black sand beach
Warren and Stacie chose the seclusion and privacy of this little-known black sand beach to exchange their wedding vows. After an intimate beach ceremony, then raised a gin and tonic toast in a traditional Viking horn!
Elopement beside a volcano
Imagine having that once in a lifetime moment of saying your personal vows in front of an active volcano!
Getting married on a mountain
Laura and Chris love everything about the mountains. So naturally they gravitated to hiring an experienced planner that could plan an unforgettable mountain top wedding.
Eloping at a waterfall
Didi and Nick decided to get married in front of a waterfall with just mother nature as their witness. There is so much peace that comes along with being married in a private place far away from any tourists.
Glacier elopement wedding ceremony
Kenny and Jill found their way to a glacier to say I do for their intimate elopement. There they professed their unconditional love for each other inside of an ice cave. Planning a glacier elopement is a really extraordinary experience! Especially in February because the Arctic countries offer the possibility of Northern Lights!
Choosing your elopement style
Did you know there are different ways to elope? Back in the day, you didn’t hire an elopement planner, because eloping meant you went to the courthouse. Quick and easy evolved into styles that suit you and your relationship best!
Choosing to elope simply means you pick your favorite place or a new one and have a no-frills intimate wedding just for two. Maybe you don’t even have a celebrant marrying you. Rather instead you do a personal vow reading. Either way, you opt out of bells and whistles and get back to the roots. A couple from Ireland went back to the core of their relationship and married beside a lake and the groom serenaded his bride with a song too!
Some of us love being spoiled, staying in 5 star hotels, and opting in for all of the things! Likely, if this sounds like music to your ears you’ll want to opt in for a luxury elopement. Therefore, spare no expense on flowers, ceremony décor, a styled picnic, etc! Yet another great reason to hire an elopement planner too to help you create those amazing details!
Couples who adventure together stay together right?! An adventure elopement is an experience-driven wedding day that engages your five senses. For couples who love to travel, do, see, and be outdoors rain or shine, it is an ideal way to get married. Maybe you witness a glacier calving, fill your water bottle up in a waterfall, getting totally soaked to the bone. Or you take a super jeep through rivers, but you’re enjoying every single second with the one you love! On that same note, an elopement planner can help you navigate through every single detail of the planning process!
Oh la la a hiking elopement is one near and dear to our hearts! An elopement based on getting to places on your own two feet. Places maybe even very few have seen. Every country in our world offers different types of hikes. Whether it be through a forest, on a beach, up a mountain or beyond, beautiful places await you! However, embarking on a hiking elopement comes with lots of logistics. Likely the main reason why you would want to hire an elopement planner. Because you’ll need to plan your route, figure out accommodation nearby, find vendors will to help you, etc.
Next, you’ve likely heard about people taking expeditions throughout the world. But have you heard about elopement expeditions? Yes, they are totally a thing! To illustrate, you may be riding a zodiac to get to a private island, trekking 3 days to get to an incredible mountainscape, or rappelling down into an ice cave, who knows! Although going this route, an elopement planner is 100% required. As this type of wedding adventure is far more intense, has many moving parts, and certainly more things that can go work without having back up plans. For instance, Tylee and Jeff set out for a 6+ day elopement expedition in Antarctica.
Your complete elopement planning checklist
If you forgo hiring an elopement planner, you may be a little lost on where to start… Please use this short guide to get you in the zone to inspire you to start planning!
Choose your location
Time to brainstorm with you and your soon to be! For example, what climates do you gravitate towards? Or what countries drop your jaw? Make a list and start to narrow from there with a pros and cons list.
Decide on a time of year
Will you get married in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere? That question alone may help you decide between seasons. For instance, if you want to be married during summer in Iceland you should come between June-August. But if you want to be married in summer in Patagonia, then you should travel between December-February.
Choose if you will have guests or no guests
A traditional elopement means it is just the couple attending, no guests. Therefore, if you intend on bringing guests then you transition to having a tiny, micro, small, medium, or large wedding, depending upon how many guests you plan to invite.
Hire an experienced elopement planner
Stress-free is the way to be, so hiring an elopement planner to help you through the local marriage license process, applying for permits or permissions, presenting location options, building the perfect itinerary, securing vendors, etc. After all, do you really have time to muddle your way through all that or would you rather employ a seasoned expert to handle your wedding plans?
Book your travel & accommodation
Depending on your country and season of choice, you may want to start planning your travel arrangements 2-9 months before your date. Also you may want to book earlier if you have a specific hotel or Airbnb in mind as in rural areas things can book up quite quickly!
Book your local vendors
A local elopement planner can either introduce you to or book local vendors such as the following:
- Hair and Makeup Artists
- Fresh Flower Designers
- Transportation Options
- Stylists (for ceremony décor or luxury picnic)
- Dinner Reservations
- Other Miscellaneous Items
Confirm the legal requirements
Every country has its own rules and regulations when it comes to marriage. Therefore if you are not hiring an elopement planner, make sure you do your research!
Choose an outfit and shoes that you can move in
Depending on the type of elopement you are planning, where the ceremony location is, and what you will be doing all day you need to choose the right attire. For example, if you’re hiking up a mountain, you’re not doing it in a delicate wedding dress and stilettoes but if eloping in a church maybe! Choosing the right kind of wedding dress or details can set you up for success for the day.
Decide if you will tell family & friends beforehand
As elopement planners, we would say it is about 80/20 when it comes to whether or not couples tell their friends and closest family beforehand. The vast majority do tell as it’s nice to have a support system around you to continue the excitement!
Woohoo, time to adventure together! Savor every single moment of your elopement day though, because the day goes really really fast!
Plan a post elopement celebration
Often, couples will hold a small dinner, BBQ, or reception weeks or months after they return from their elopement adventure. Really, it’s a chance to show off your amazing wedding photos and share your incredible experience with your loved ones.
With IWP as your Elopement Planner, your perfect stress free elopement awaits!
In conclusion, are you leaving a bit curious about hiring an elopement planner? You know, someone to aide you in your adventure and provide you answers to all of your endless list of questions… If so, we encourage you to contact us to get that journey started!