Iceland elopement

Iceland is an amazing elopement location. The vast and diverse landscape can bring you so many different things, such as the crystal clear water, volcanoes, hot springs, waterfalls, mountains and greenery. This guide is going to go over everything you need to consider, such as locations, crowds, seasons, and permits. Read on to find out exactly how to elope in Iceland, and see the most beautiful Iceland elopement locations.

How to Get to Iceland

To get to Iceland, you’ll have to fly. Some people prefer to take a ferry, although it’s a lot less common. The biggest airport is the Keflavik International Airport in Reykjavík. Reykjavík is the largest city in Iceland, and close to a lot of different things. It’s also home to the iconic Blue Lagoon hot springs. Once you get into Reykjavík, I highly suggest using a rental car to get around for the rest of your time there.

You can also choose to get around with domestic flights. If you’re Iceland elopement location is off the beaten path, you can fly to other more remote parts of Iceland. Here is a list of airports in Iceland.

When to Elope in Iceland

The best time to elope in Iceland is the summer. This is the warmest and driest season, and you have a better chance of not spending your day in the rain. This primarily applies to Reykjavik. Other areas of Iceland such as Akureyri, Hvolsvollur, and Westfjords is cooler. Iceland only really reaches up to the high 50’s at it’s warmest, and only in the more southern region. However, each season brings different things, so it’s a good choice to look into each and make a decision that is best suited for you and your parter. Here is what each season looks like in Iceland:


Spring in Iceland isn’t very warm. However, if you love the mix of both greenery and snow, this is the best time to get that mix of each, and still not be in freezing weather in the winter. I would suggest sticking near Reykjavik for this season to get the less chilly temps, and less snow. This is a time of year where it can be rainy as well. That being said, there are less crowds during spring than in the summer.


Summer is my favorite time for an Iceland elopement. Not only is everything fully accessible, but the temps are mild and amazing, the wildflowers are out, and you get to experience the midnight sun! It’s also a much drier season. All of these things bring in more crowds, especially to more popular areas. However, since the sun stays up, you can choose to elope at a strange time such as midnight. You will both avoid big crowds and get AMAZING lighting for your photos.


Fall can be a truly incredible time to elope in Iceland. Because of course, the insanely stunning changing colors that make for stunning views and beautiful photos. Not only that, but it’s less crowded. If you elope in the fall before new snow, all of Iceland will still be fairly accessible, but without the crowds. This is my preference over spring. Lastly, you’re chances of seeing the northern lights gets higher and higher the later you get into fall.


Winter in Iceland is can be very cold, however southern Iceland (Reykjavik) is still fairly mild, normally within the mid 30’s. In December and January, you’ll only get a few hours of light a day, ranging from 4 hours in later winter and 7 hours in earlier winter / end of winter. There will be many more things not accessible in the winter, but you can still explore waterfalls, black sand beaches, go on horse rides, and you have an amazing chance at seeing the northern lights. If you love cooler weather, no crowds, and snow, this is an amazing time of the year in Iceland for an elopement.

Iceland elopement

Iceland Wedding Permit

To elope in some places in Iceland, you may need a special use permit. Typically you’ll need one for National Parks, and you’ll apply for the special use permit through the National Parks website. You’ll also need a marriage notification (this is the Iceland equivalent to a marriage license.)

How to Get an Iceland Marriage License

Getting a marriage license in Iceland is a lot easier than other countries. This is referring to foreigners eloping in Iceland, and not to locals eloping in Iceland. You do not need to be a resident of Iceland to get your marriage license here. In Iceland, a marriage license is called a marriage notification, and here’s how to get one:

First and foremost, you totally have the option of getting your marriage license at your local county clerks office in your home state. Doing this, you’ll be legally married prior to coming to Iceland. Many couples do this and save their elopement for actually saying their vows, and celebrating their marriage. However, if you want to do the legal bits in Iceland, you’ll first have to fill out and send in these forms:

You need to complete and send your marriage paperwork to the National Registry Office in Reykjavik at least three weeks prior to the wedding date, but you should and can do it sooner! Right before your wedding when you’re in Iceland, you’ll set an appointment at the regional district commissioner office. This is a very quick appointment for everything to get reviewed, and for you to actually obtain your marriage license.

Do I Need an Officiant and Witness in Iceland?

Yes, you will need both to get legally married in Iceland. In the States, you can get a friend or family member ordained to be your officiant. In Iceland, it’s stricter and you will need to work with an actual officiant.

How to Elope in Iceland

You plan an Iceland elopement in similar ways as you’d plan any adventure elopement. There are a few major steps, and you can read about those here on my thorough guide on how to elope. For this Iceland elopement guide, I’m going over the major things you’ll need to consider!


This is an imperative part of the planning process for elopements. This is because some guests won’t have the hiking ability, some might not want to drive or forest roads, and others will be apt to altitude sickness. Choosing a location will be much easier once you’ve determine who you’re inviting, and how many guests total you’ll have.


This might feel early in the planning process, but bear with me. Elopements don’t have wedding planners. Most elopement photographers have taken it upon themselves to help couples with some of the planning. Many actually help you find your location! And they will think of things you might not have considered, such as: lighting, elevation, difficulty in hiking in a dress, permits, and so much more.

Each elopement photographer offers something different. Personally, I send my couples a customized list of locations based on their preferences, hiking ability, who they want to invite, and what they want to see. I also help them determine lodging options, get permits, get their marriage license, recommend vendors, and create a comprehensive day of timeline, and offer unlimited guidance calls for any questions along the way.

The being said, hiring your Iceland elopement photographer early is going to take a massive amount of planning stress off of your shoulders. Wanna chat? Contact me here!


This is going to help you choose a date and location. There are rainy seasons, dry seasons, and even seasons that you THINK would be warm, but can still be snowy and cold, especially if you’re looking at more northern regions that remain chilly, even in the summer. Research what the different season and locations look like in Iceland weather wise, and choose the time of year and specific area that provides the type of weather you’d like to be in! This greatly helps in choosing the best date and location for you.


Once you’ve decided on how much you’d like to hike, how many guests are coming, your ideal weather, and the landscapes you want, you’re ready to deep dive into researching Iceland elopement locations. Finding the perfect spot will be a lot simpler after considering all of your needs and logistics.

This is information I collect from my couples through a questionnaire, and then use to make a customized list of Iceland elopement location options for them.


Once you have your location, it’s time to consider if there’s anything you need vendors for. Do you need any event rentals? Do you want a friend or family to officiate, or do you want to hire an officiant? Will you go out to eat, or do you want something catered, like a meal at an Airbnb from a private chef?

Figure out what extra services you may want, and hire your vendors in advance!


You will need to get the correct permits for your elopement. These are usually “special use” permits that you apply for on the National Parks website, or National Forest/BLM website.

Personally, I get all permit information for my eloping couples that hire me. With that, all you need to do is fill out the application when it’s sent to you and pay the fee. Fee’s vary, but are usually around $150 or less.


Activities are such a fun part of an elopement. When you choose to elope, you’re opening yourself up to having a wedding day celebration that feels unique and resonates with you. Incorporate things that will elevate your elopement day experience. Here’s just a few ideas to get you brainstorming:

  • Going on a hike
  • Having a bonfire
  • Having a picnic on a mountain top
  • Star-gazing or astrophotography
  • Visit the blue lagoon
  • Horse riding
  • Visiting huge waterfalls
  • Seeing the northern lights
  • Seeing the midnight sun
  • Hiring a private chef
  • Hot air balloon ride
  • Helicopter tour (landing on glaciers, mountains, etc)
  • Visiting black sand beaches
  • Seeing volcanos
  • Scenic driving with time to stop for pictures
  • Visiting hot springs
  • Exchanging gifts
  • Reading letters from friends or family


Making a timeline is an important part of any elopement. It strings together all of your locations, activities, and lets guests know where to be and when. Creating a well thought out timeline will help you feel relaxed during the day, instead of stressed or rush. Make sure to include drive times as well as buffer times between each “event.”

Here are the things I include in the timelines I make for my couples:

  • All addresses
  • Sunrise time
  • Sunset time
  • Drive times
  • A linke to Accuweather
  • A list of all names for group shots
  • Vendor info
  • Emergency contact info
  • A packing list

Lodging in Iceland

Lodging is important when it comes to elopements. A lot of couples incorporate their lodging into aspects of their wedding day. For example, getting ready + getting ready photos, a first look, an intimate reception with friends, a dinner made by a private chef, etc. Once you’ve decided what you’ll incorporate in your day, pick a location that will allow everything you want to include.

If you want to host an intimate reception, I highly recommend a vacation rental such as a cabin or an Airbnb. You can also stay at hotels, resorts, chalets, campgrounds, etc. Here are some amazing lodging options near Iceland:

Iceland elopement

How Much Does it Cost to Elope in Iceland

Iceland is an expensive county, so you should expect to pay a bit more here than in other countries.

The cost of a civil ceremony is $80 USD, so technically it costs $80 to get married in Iceland. That being said, most couples spend an average of $8000-$25,000 on their Iceland elopement. This includes flights, lodging, permits, vendors, wedding attire, meals, and anything extra a couple might want.

Iceland Elopement Locations

There are an ENDLESS amount of elopement locations in Iceland. The landscape here is so wildly diverse and vast. Of course, there’s a lot of well known locations that might be more popular. As an elopement photographer that helps plan, I make a customized list of locations that meet the needs of my couple. Such as if they want to hike or not, if they want to be around crowds, and what kind of landscapes they want to be in. For now, take a look at these jaw dropping Iceland elopement locations.

Godafoss Waterfall

Iceland elopement

Godafoss waterfall is a popular Iceland elopement location. It is located 45 minutes from the town of Akureyri. This location is amazing in the warmer seasons, but can also be accessed with it’s snowy.


Namaskard is an Iceland elopement location with geothermal springs and pools. You of course, are also getting the stunning mountain views. I absolutely love working with steam during pictures, and there’s a lot to explore in this area.

Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach

Iceland elopement

This black sand beach makes for an absolutely stunning Iceland elopement location. With the sea stacks in the water, and the black sand contrasted against the greenery of the cliffs, it’s absolutely jaw dropping.


Skogafoss is a seriously huge and amazing waterfall. It can also get seriously crowded. If you want to get married at this iconic location, I recommend going in the summer and visiting it around midnight (the sun stays up almost all night near the solstice. You can get away with having more privacy by having a super late ceremony, plus, the lighting is gorgeous!


Iceland elopement

Another busy Iceland elopement location. This area does attract crowds, but for good reason. You can see the insanely beautiful mountain, waterfalls, wildlife, and even see the northern lights here! Visiting during the off season or having a late night ceremony in the summer will help reduce crowds.


The Westfjords is an Iceland elopement location that looks straight out of The Lord of The Rings. It’s not only beautiful, but has wildly unique landscapes and jagged peaks. This is a great elopement location for adventure seekers who want a less popular location.

The Black Church of Budir

This might be the most punk rock elopement location to exist. The black church is in a beautiful location, and an iconic spot to take photos. You can choose to get married in the church and be more traditional, or just get pictures. I’m personally obsessed with this location.

Vatnajökull Ice Cave

Iceland elopement

Iceland has a ton of amazing ice caves to explore, and they make for a beautiful elopement location. However, ice caves can be a bit dangerous to navigate, so you’ll want to hire a guide to come with you.

Diamond Beach

This beach is an Iceland elopement location in the Southern region. It’s stunning black sand is so unique and beautiful. But better yet, it’s filled with icebergs that wash up onto shore, resembling diamonds. This location is also close by to others such as Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.


Iceland elopement

Vestrahorn is a stunning mountain in the Southern region of Iceland. It can be seen from a multitude of places, and even hiked. However, I love the views of it from this beach. This Iceland elopement location is perfect for couples who want to explore different areas all day while getting jaw dropping views.


Askja is a beautiful Iceland elopement location that you can do a super jeep tour to get to. It’s actually a volcano, but it has deep craters. Glacial melt has filled them with stunning bright blue water, and is a crazy experience to see.

Hornstrandir Nature Reserve

Iceland elopement

Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is an amazing place to see lakes, waterfalls, beaches, and wildflowers. This Iceland elopement location really has it all, and is one of my favorite on the list


This is an absolutely jaw-dropping Iceland elopement location that features a massive waterfall. It is the largest waterfall in the Westfjords, and there’s actually five other waterfalls below it! This is also a really easy hike at only 1 mile round trip, getting an amazing bang for your buck

Packing for a Iceland Elopement

There are a few things you should really consider packing for your Iceland elopement. As I mentioned, this is a very expensive country. It’s a smart idea to pack some of your own snacks, as you’ll want to keep yourself nourished throughout your elopement day. As previously mentioned, it’s never all THAT warm in Iceland, and rains a lot. Here’s some things you should consider packing for an Iceland elopement:

  • Rainboots
  • Hiking shoes
  • Warm layers
  • Water resistant jackets
  • Umbrellas (clear ones are great for photos)
  • Downloaded maps (google maps and AllTrails)
  • Waterproof speaker if you’d like to play any music
  • Downloaded playlists
  • Waterproof gloves
  • Hats to keep your ears warm
  • Thermal layers (you can get nude colored ones to go under a wedding dress)
  • Snacks (granola bars, beef jerky, fried fruits and nuts)
  • Microfiber towel that’s quick drying (to carry with you and dry things off if it rains)
  • Waterproof backpack

Iceland Elopement Packages

Elopement photography by Emilee Setting Photo, and everything included in my packages:

  • Explore anywhere within Iceland, all travel fees included in the price!
  • Packages from half day elopements to multi-day elopements
  • Receive a customized location list
  • Help finding lodging that suits your needs if you’re having an intimate reception
  • Included comprehensive timeline design
  • Help obtaining your permits
  • Help obtaining your marriage license
  • A planning checklist
  • Unlimited planning and guidance calls 
  • All of your stunning photos delivered under three months
  • Day of polaroid sneak peeks

Iceland elopement packages starting at $8800. Want more information on my pricing and what’s included? Click here

Iceland elopement

Ready to Elope in Iceland?

This Iceland elopement guide is a way to get you excited about all the possibilities of what your day could look like. Although, this amount of information can be overwhelming. I’m here to help. I can answer any and all questions you have on a complimentary low pressure consultation call. If you then choose you’d like to work together, I’ll do all of this planning right by your said to alleviate any stress, and bring your Iceland elopement vision to life. We can chat here!

Don't forget your free elopement planning checklist


You see a stranger’s puppy & it takes everything in you not to run up & cuddle it.

Your dress gets dirt on it, and you shrug.

You think ice cream & wine is always an acceptable dinner option. Always.

You LIVE for the feeling of sunshine on your skin & wind in your hair.

You’re already screaming YASSSS WHERE DO I BOOK YOU?

I'm Emilee

I'm an elopement photographer who specializes in planning, crafting, and documenting untraditional weddings. I believe a wedding day should be filled with traditions that resonate with you. I'm here from start to finish to make that happen. Want to chat about your plans? Click below to set up a free consultation! 

You see a stranger’s puppy & it takes everything in you not to run up & cuddle it.

Your dress gets dirt on it, and you shrug.

You think ice cream & wine is always an acceptable dinner option. Always.

You LIVE for the feeling of sunshine on your skin & wind in your hair.

You’re already screaming YASSSS WHERE DO I BOOK YOU?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Intimate weddings