How to Elope in Iceland

Ready to learn more about how to elope in Iceland? Then keep reading, because this post is for you.

While eloping in a foreign country sounds incredibly dreamy, I understand that it can also be intimidating. Traveling across the world to get married can bring about challenging thoughts. How do you prepare? What do you need to bring with you? How do you make sure you’re doing things legally? How do you ensure you bring everything you need? Can you even get married in the country of your choice?!

I personally love traveling the world to shoot small weddings and elopements. And that’s exactly why I became an adventure elopement photographer! I know just what to expect from a wedding photographer’s viewpoint. So, I’m pulling together my best tips just for YOU! Let’s get into it.

We’re going to review:

  • Tips for eloping in Iceland
  • How to elope in Iceland legally: paperwork, licenses, officiants, permits
  • How much does it cost to elope in Iceland?
  • What to wear to your Iceland elopement
  • Where and when to elope in Iceland
  • Elopement photography packages

Tips for Eloping in Iceland

First of all, congrats on considering an Iceland elopement! Iceland is a stunningly beautiful country and it’s surprisingly easy to get married there. If your dream is to elope in Iceland and adventure on black sand beaches, enter ice caves, and see the Northern Lights, it might be easier than you imagine to make this dream a reality.

Iceland has landscapes that will leave you speechless, history that will fuel your thirst for knowledge, and adventure activities that will leave your heart racing. It’s such a dynamic country with so much to offer, and I highly encourage you to consider Iceland for your elopement if your hearts are calling for it!

How to Elope in Iceland, Legally

Foreigners are allowed to get married in Iceland, and the country welcomes people of all religions and sexual orientations to get married there. Of course, prior to your ceremony, you’ll need to have your legal documentation filled out and submitted. And be prepared with some other documents before you can get married in Iceland. 

Here is a list of the things you’ll need to complete ahead of time and bring with you as foreign citizens eloping in Iceland:

  1. Passports (naturally!)
  2. Birth certificates
  3. Witness forms with signatures from two witnesses personally known to you
  4. Iceland marriage notification form
  5. Proof that you are in the country legally. Acceptable forms of proof are airline ticket itineraries indicating your travel arrangements to and from Iceland, your stamped passport, or visa.
  6. Certificate of marital status by both partners, issued 8 weeks prior to your wedding
  7. If either partner is widowed or divorced, documentation of this must be provided
  8. If traveling from the United States, you do not need a visa to enter Iceland. Here’s a list of which travelers will need a visa to visit Iceland.

Remember, as your elopement photographer, I’m here every step of the way to help you navigate any questions when it comes to getting married in Iceland (or the country of your choice).

While some couples take care of the legal part abroad, most people opt to take care of paperwork while in the US to keep things simple. Either way is perfectly acceptable. But you might find that submitting paperwork weeks in advance keeps things stress free—especially if you’re planning on a shorter visit to Iceland.

Do you need an officiant for your Iceland elopement?

Yes, you will need an officiant for your Iceland elopement. A fascinating aspect to an Iceland elopement is the diversity in who can officiate your wedding. You will need an officiant, but that person can be of any religion or it can be a non-religious person. Pagan religions are large and fast-growing in Iceland, and Pagan religions have the same rights as other religions. In Iceland, you could even choose to get married by a certified Pagan chieftain

You’ll also need two witnesses that know you personally to sign off on forms before you can get married in Iceland.

Do you need an Iceland wedding permit?

It may come as a surprise to learn that most locations in Iceland do not require permits to get married. However, some locations do, especially if you want a more private location without tourist traffic.

How Much Does it Cost to Elope in Iceland?

Depending on your budget, you can really have a cost-effective Iceland elopement. According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in 2020 was $19,000, down from the average of $28,000 pre-pandemic! Eloping in an incredible country like Iceland might only run you a fraction of that.

Everyone’s budget is different, and laid back couples like you tend to know where to limit their costs to keep their spending in a comfortable range.

For a high-end elopement where you select a luxury hotel for your accommodations and invest more into your decor, attire, food and activities, you can end up paying average wedding prices for your elopement. For a budget elopement, where you opt for an Airbnb instead of a luxury resort, scale back on the decor, and opt for more budget-friendly food options, you can make your elopement in Iceland happen for about $12,000.

In terms of photography, you’ll want to decide how much coverage you’re looking for on your elopement adventure. Do you want a half-day of coverage? A full-day? A multi-day shoot with pre-wedding and post-wedding photos? All of this will factor into the price, but generally you can expect photography for your Iceland elopement to cost between $6,000 and $8,500 if we work together!

What to Wear to Your Iceland Elopement

Lots of walking and movement is inherent in an Iceland adventure elopement, so here are my recommendations for what to wear.

While you’ll want to be stylish and feel amazing, you’ll want to be sure to be comfortable while exploring glaciers, hiking to a waterfall, or traversing terrain near an active volcano! 

For adventure elopements where hiking is a big part of your day, I always recommend wearing lighter weight, breathable fabrics that are easy to move in and not too constricting, like tulle or chiffon. Even a polyester cotton blend dress can be a lovely budget friendly option. Pair your dress with stylish hiking boots and you’ve got yourself a winning combination. For terrain that might be snowy or icy, a pair of faux fur-lined snow boots can be super charming. You can always bring your heels, flats, or other shoes of choice for after your outdoor adventure!

RELATED POST: Winter Weddings and Everything You Need to Know to Stay Warm

Since Iceland weather can be variable, I recommend being prepared with layers. Black or nude fleece-lined tights are perfect to wear under your dress if the weather is cold. Also consider a faux fur shrug, bridal jacket or wrap to keep your arms warm. For rainy days, stylish rain boots and weather-proof gear is always a plus!

If you’re wearing a jumpsuit or something other than a dress to your Iceland elopement ceremony, consider base layers to keep warm. 

Check out my article on adventure elopement dresses for more details on this topic!

Where and when should you elope in Iceland? Picking your Iceland elopement location.

If you’ve been to Iceland, you know it can be hard to choose just one location for your elopement. Named as one of the 15 most beautiful countries in the world, there’s obviously no shortage of incredible spots to choose for your ceremony. How do you even pick just one?!

Maybe you already have a special location in mind to say your vows, or maybe you’d like some assistance finding a gorgeous location that allows wedding ceremonies. As your elopement photographer, one of my jobs is helping you scout epic ceremony sites in your dream location. 

Do you and your love want to hike to a mountain peak in Kerlingarfjoll to say your vows? What about professing your love on the famous Reynisfjara black sand beach, straight out of Game of Thrones, overlooking the Atlantic?

My adventurous couples love the outdoors and travel to Iceland specifically for the stunning natural backdrops. There’s nothing like it! 

When you’re choosing a location, think about what matters most to you as a couple. Since this day should be uniquely yours after all! So what do you want to do? Is it hiking to an active volcano? Catching the northern lights? Getting epic photos like you’re on the set of Star Wars?

Lots of my couples are set on seeing the Northern Lights during their Iceland elopement. If you’re hunting for a view of this spectacular phenomenon, plan on visiting between late August and May for the best chance. And be sure to bookmark the Northern Lights Forecast for up-to-date information.

Ready to Elope in Iceland? Iceland Elopement Packages

Ready to elope in Iceland? I’m already so excited for you! 

If you’re ready to elope in Iceland, I would love to talk you through my Iceland Elopement Packages for adventure elopement photography. Like I mentioned above, when you work with an elopement photographer, you’re not just hiring them for their expertise in photography. You’re also getting someone in your corner to help you with planning, location scouting, and questions you have along the way. Trust me, it’s SO helpful to have someone experienced in adventure weddings to help you with details and any questions that come up. 

I’d be honored to hop on a free, non-sales phone call with you to get to know your dreams for your Iceland elopement. Even if you don’t choose me as your photographer, I want you to have the elopement of your dreams.

I can’t wait to get to know you!

October 14, 2021