Eloping in Europe: Why Iceland is the Ultimate Adventure

Through a Local Islanders Lens

In recent years, eloping has become an increasingly popular choice for couples seeking a unique and intimate wedding experience. One destination that has captured the hearts of adventurous couples eloping in Europe is Iceland. NWA local photographer Kari Bjorn was originally from Iceland and shares insights into why Iceland is the perfect backdrop for elopements, offering a one-of-a-kind experience amidst stunning landscapes and rich cultural traditions.

Eloping in Europe: Why Iceland?

Iceland’s allure lies in its unparalleled landscapes, from black sand beaches to crawling glaciers and glacial lagoons filled with icebergs. Kari Bjorn, who started his photography journey in 2010 capturing these breathtaking scenes, believes that Iceland’s uniqueness makes it an ideal destination for couples opting to elope. The rich history of the country adds an extra layer of magic to the experience, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Logistics and Legalities:

While eloping in Iceland provides an intimate experience, there are legal requirements to consider. Kari emphasizes the importance of contacting the Iceland Registry for detailed information. Birth certificates, certificates of marital status, and other documents are required. Most couples elope because they want an intimate experience and to just focus on each other. It is a bit of a hassle to legally elope in Iceland, however, Kari suggests an easier alternative: having a legal ceremony wedding at home, allowing couples eloping in Europe, to skip the hassle of dealing with legalities abroad. This allows for the most intimate experience possible, because you don’t need an officiant or any witnesses. You can literally hike up a mountain and recite your vows during the midnight sun!

Seasonal Considerations for Eloping in Europe:

Iceland’s seasons significantly impact the elopement experience. Summer, with its endless daylight, is the most popular time. The sun never sets from late May to late July and you can experience 3-4 hour sunsets as the sun does a line dance across the horizon! As you may have guessed, winters are the opposite. It’s cold and dark 24/7! But that also brings the northern lights and a unique kind of light for photography. Couples can plan midnight ceremonies to keep the experience intimate and avoid crowds. Kari recommends considering the season based on desired experiences, whether it be the midnight sun or the magical northern lights.

Photography and Cultural Touches:

Iceland’s diverse landscapes, marked by strong contrasts, make it a dream location for elopement photography. Kari highlights the sublime and photogenic nature of the landscapes, emphasizing the unique light conditions. Couples often incorporate Icelandic traditions into their ceremonies, such as sharing a drink from a ram’s horn or toasting with Brennivín, a caraway-flavored aquavit drink known locally as “Black Death.”

Accommodations and Budgeting:

Iceland offers a range of accommodations, from luxury stays at The Reykjavik EDITION to adventurous  campervan for a drive on the Ring Road, a 821 mile road around the island.. However, Kari notes that Iceland is an expensive destination, and couples should budget accordingly. A mid-range elopement trip for a week, including airfare, accommodation, meals, adventures, and photography, may cost around $15,000—an investment that pales in comparison to the average US wedding cost of $29,125 in 2022!.

Unique Experiences and Reflections:

Eloping in Iceland provides couples with a plethora of unique experiences, from aurora hunting in winter to reciting vows behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall or you could also hike up Sólheimajökull glacier and recite your vows with views over the entire south Iceland shores. Despite the courage required to embark on an adventure elopement in Iceland, it’s ultimately about celebrating love in a way that resonates with the couple, even if it means defying traditional norms.

Iceland, with its awe-inspiring landscapes and rich cultural tapestry, offers couples a truly unique elopement experience. Through the lens of photographer Kari Bjorn, we’ve gained insights into why Iceland is the ultimate destination for couples seeking an intimate, adventurous, and visually stunning celebration of their love. Whether under the midnight sun or the northern lights, eloping in Iceland promises a wedding day that transcends the ordinary and becomes an unforgettable journey.






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