How to Elope in Iceland: Best Elopement Guide for 2023

couple eloping at glacier in iceland

Iceland is known as one of the best places in the world for the variety of landscapes it offers. From waterfalls and volcanoes, to glaciers, Iceland has some of the most beautiful places to elope and has recently become a popular country for intimate weddings. Planning to get married in Iceland can seem overwhelming, especially for foreigners, but don't worry- This Iceland elopement guide was created for folks that are either visiting for the first time, or those wanting help with planning their Iceland elopement.

If you're ready to plan your adventure, continue reading this guide to learn everything you need to know on how to elope in Iceland, so you can create the stress-free elopement experience you've dreamed of.

how to elope in iceland cover image of couple holding hands

Iceland elopement checklist

  1. Choose your elopement package & photographer
  2. Book your lodging, accommodations & flights
  3. Begin wedding planning by creating your vision
  4. Narrow down possible elopement locations
  5. Book any additional vendors
  6. Gather & submit all your documents and marriage paperwork
  7. See your dream wedding come to life!

When is the best time of year to get married in Iceland?

Typically spring and summer are the best months to elope, but with the wide variety of landscapes, it's no surprise that Iceland elopements are popular year-round.

Depending on when you plan on eloping in Iceland, you can experience anything from waterfalls, and glaciers, to the northern lights.

No matter where you choose for your ceremony, you'll be surrounded by beautiful landscapes for your special day. As your photographer and Iceland elopement guide, I'm here to answer any questions you might have about how to plan your elopement in Iceland and guide you every step of the way on everything you'll need to make it happen.

Summer (June-August):

The summer months are a great time to plan your elopement in Iceland! With the majority of roads open, you can experience different parts of the country, without worrying too much about road, and trail closures.

If you elope during the summer months, you'll be able to take advantage of the long days, and you'll have plenty of time to explore and see all that Iceland has to offer.

The weather is also relatively warm, reaching temperatures up to 20 degrees Celsius. Keep in mind that Iceland is a windy country, so even during the summer months, you'll want to pack a warm jacket.

Fall (Late August-November):

Fall is an ideal time to elope in Iceland if you're looking for dramatic landscapes, and want to stray from the crowds that the summers bring.

Since fall is considered the rainy season, you'll want to be sure to pack warm clothes, as the weather starts to cool down quickly in the later months.

Winter (December-Early March):

If you elope in Iceland during the winter, you'll get the chance to see the Northern Lights. With shorter days and colder temperatures, you'll want to make sure you're prepared for the weather on your elopement day.

Many of the roads in Iceland are not plowed during the winter months, so you'll need to have flexibility with elopement planning, in case of weather conditions or road closures. While most people may think that getting married in the winter is crazy, being able to say you celebrated with an Iceland northern lights elopement would guarantee some serious bragging rights.

Spring (Late March-May):

Spring is a beautiful time to elope in Iceland, as the landscape begins to blossom, and temperatures are milder. Keep in mind that the days are still relatively short, so you'll want to make the most of the daylight hours.

When it comes to eloping in Iceland, there is no wrong time of year. Each season has its unique beauty and charm, however, I recommend deciding when to elope based on the wants and needs you have for your day.

Where to elope in Iceland

The landscape in Iceland has everything from towering waterfalls and black sand beaches to glaciers and lava fields. One of the best things about having an Iceland elopement is that you'll have no shortage of locations to choose from. Whether you decide to head towards the south coast, or west towards the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, you'll be sure to find the perfect place to say I do. Before you start planning your itinerary, I suggest thinking about how crowded you want your ceremony to be. For couples that prefer fewer crowds, I suggest avoiding the more popular and touristy spots, as they can become quite packed, depending on the time of year.

Don't worry about having to pick only one location, my elopement packages are designed so we can explore multiple locations throughout your wedding day, that way you can experience a variety of the landscapes that Iceland has to offer! I'll also help by finding you locations that are not included below, so you can enjoy locations that are less crowded and offer more privacy for your ceremony and day.

couple looking out into Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon during their wedding

The best Iceland elopement locations

1. Skógafoss

Skógafoss is a waterfall located in Southern Iceland, one of the biggest waterfalls in the country, and easily accessible. The waterfall is almost 200 feet tall, making it a great backdrop for a wedding ceremony.It is a very popular location so chances are you'll encounter crowds if you choose to elope here during the day, so if you're wanting a more private ceremony, consider visiting this location in the early morning.

Plus if you visit Skógafoss during sunrise, you'll likely be able to see a rainbow bouncing off the falls, which makes for stunning photography of your elopement.

2. Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss is another one of many beautiful waterfalls located in Southern Iceland. This epic waterfall can be walked behind, making it a perfect location to explore during your elopement. Another plus is that it's located near Skogafoss, allowing for photography at both waterfalls. Even if you don't choose to elope here, Seljalandsfoss is a must-see for anyone visiting Iceland.

3. Gljufrabui

If you're looking for a beautiful and tucked-away waterfall for your elopement adventure, consider Gljufrabui in Southern Iceland. This hidden gem is tucked away, making it the perfect location to explore. With its dramatic setting and pristine surroundings, having your elopement at Gljufrabui is sure to make your wedding day unforgettable.

couple dancing on a rock at Gljufrabui waterfall in iceland

4. Kvernufoss

Kvernufoss is another one of the many incredible waterfalls located in Southern Iceland. It's a perfect location to have your elopement in Iceland. Kvernufoss is often less crowded compared to the other popular waterfalls nearby. However, it offers a beautiful view that is perfect for photography, reading your vows or having couples portraits!

couple kissing during their elopement at kvernufoss waterfall in iceland

5. Kirkjufell & Kirkjufoss

Kirkjufell is a beautiful mountain located near Grundarfjörður in Iceland. Kirkjufell is known for its distinct shape and has become a popular spot to hike for day trips. If you’re looking for a great spot to add to your elopement day, this is a great location to consider. Another perk of eloping at Kirkjufell is that just across the road is the waterfall Kirkjufellsfoss, which is another beautiful spot to consider for a ceremony or portraits. There are several other areas that are less crowded nearby and I'd love to share them with you during the planning process if you're planning on eloping in West Iceland.

6. Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon

Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon is one of my favorite places to visit in Iceland and a top location for portraits due to the luscious greenery that surrounds the canyon. The hike to the top offers some of the most incredible views in the world. The canyon does get crowded with tourists, so I recommend adding this spot to your itinerary for portraits instead of planning to have a ceremony here. If you're drawn to the canyon landscape for your elopement, I'd be happy to help you find the perfect location that's a little more secluded to offer more privacy.

couple looking out into Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon during their elopement

7. Mögáfoss

Mögáfoss is another breathtaking location for elopement photos and is located within Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon. The surroundings here are filled with rocky cliffs, and lush greenery, making the views simply stunning.

Even though the waterfall is considered low volume, it’s still well worth seeing, as the ceremony photos here will be incredible. If you’re looking for an unforgettable elopement location in Iceland, Mögáfoss should be on your list!

8. Godafoss

Godafoss is located on the Skjálfandafljót River in Northern Iceland, and offers incredible views, making it a stunning ceremony location for your big day. In addition to it being a wonderful place to exchange your vows, there are also plenty of things for couples to do nearby, making it a great spot for a honeymoon, or day trip during your elopement.

9. Reynisfjara (Black Sand Beach)

While in Iceland, make sure to visit Reynisfjara, also known as the black sand beach. Reynisfjara offers a long strip of black sand, crashing waves, and basalt columns, making it a great spot for folks that want a moodier vibe for their day. This location is one of the few tourist-filled locations that I do recommend as a ceremony location since it has several areas along the beach where you can get away from the crowds, and enjoy a ceremony without all the attention.

couple walking at reynisfjara during their elopement

10. Jökulsárlón

If you're craving adventure for your Iceland elopement, look no further than the glacier lagoon of Jökulsárlón. This incredible landscape is located in Southeast Iceland and is a lagoon with glaciers that flow in from the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, making Jökulsárlón the perfect place to have an intimate wedding and elopement ceremony.

couple at jokulsarlon glacier lagoon for their iceland elopement

11. Budir and The Black Church

Budir is located on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in West Iceland and is known for its black church, and is perfect for intimate weddings with guests, or an elopement ceremony. If you explore the surrounding area, you’ll find tons of options that offer varying landscapes, making it a great spot for couples that want some variety without having to drive to multiple locations.

Check out this gallery for elopement inspiration in the Western Penninsula and Budir area:

Couple kissing at the black church during their Iceland elopement

How to Get Married in Iceland

Getting married in Iceland take a few more legal steps than getting married in the US. As your Iceland photographer, I'll be here to help you navigate everything you need to make it legal while eloping, but for those who are still deciding if Iceland is right for them, I'll give you a rundown of the things you'll need to make your marriage legal in Iceland.

You'll need to provide things like proof of identity & marital status, then complete and submit some additional paperwork according to the commissioner's deadlines. Be sure to follow the instructions and deadlines given by the commissioner, that way you can ensure enough time for processing and avoid any delays.

For a complete list of requirements and information, check out the Iceland Registry website.

couple holding hands at kvernufoss during their wedding

What documents are required to get married in Iceland?

As you begin wedding planning, start gathering & completing these documents ahead of time, as they must be submitted at least 3-4 weeks before your wedding date.

  • Marriage Notification (Hjónavígsluskýrsla)
  • Marriage Application (Announcement of Marriage)
  • Certified birth certificates
  • Certificate of marital status (Issued from your home country and can't be issued more than 8 weeks from your date of marriage.) *These need to be apostilled*

If you are not in Iceland, you can mail the documents, or even reach out to the Registers and see if you can scan everything in (some of my couples have done this), but keep in mind you'll need to make an appointment with the commissioner's office that is local to where you are getting married, to turn in the originals during the week prior to your wedding date.

If the paperwork sounds time-consuming, and you prefer a stress-free approach, you can do the legal part at home, and still, have your intimate wedding here. It’s not uncommon for couples to take care of the paperwork in their home state/country, and still plan their elopement here.

How to get married in Iceland as a foreigner

If you're a non-EU or Schengen citizen, I suggest looking into how to obtain the documents that are required in Iceland which are not common in the US. This includes the certificate of marital status, which can be difficult to obtain in some states. Some places I would recommend reaching out to include your county auditor or records office and contacting your state's marriage license office. Since this document is pretty common in other European countries but not required in the States, it's often times the more challenging part of the paperwork process.

Can foreigners get married in Iceland?

Absolutely! Once you decide when you'd like to start planning your elopement, you'll want to look into acquiring all the paperwork in your home country, in case you need to request any documents before your wedding.

kvernufoss waterfall wedding in iceland

How much does it cost to elope in Iceland?

There are a few costs associated with having an Iceland elopement. Here's an example budget for a five-day trip while you elope in Iceland. Just keep in mind each elopement day is unique and budgets differ for couples.

  • Plane Tickets: $800-1400 USD each
  • Lodging: $800-1000 USD
  • Food: $80-120 USD/day
  • Car Rental: $500-1200
  • Iceland Elopement Photographer: $4000-$6000 USD
  • Celebrant: $525-600 USD 
  • Florist: $250-500 USD
  • Hair and Makeup artist: $300-$700 (depending on travel)
  • Other vendors (wedding planner, etc): $500-$1000
  • Fun activities: $600-$1200

Estimated total expenses for your Iceland Elopement: $7000 - $15,000 USD

How to plan your wedding in Iceland

If you're thinking about planning your adventure elopement in Iceland, I'd love to help you choose the perfect elopement package, and help you start planning! Go ahead and fill out the contact form, and we'll schedule a time to chat about what your adventure elopement could look like. We'll chat about your vision, and discuss which elopement package would be the best fit for your elopement day.

I'll answer any questions you have about the elopement planning process, photography, the elopement packages, or general questions you might have about eloping in Iceland. I'll then send over a proposal to complete, where you'll sign & pay your retainer to lock in your wedding date!

Once we make it official, we'll jump right into planning with elopement planning resources & more. After we narrow down the elopement locations, I'll begin handcrafting your elopement in Iceland with my personalized planning, that way you can enjoy an adventure elopement that truly feels like you.

budir elopement in iceland

Iceland Elopement Photography

The most popular elopement package that couples book is usually the all-day package. The all-day option is truly the perfect package for couples that want to have an elopement experience that checks all their boxes, allowing them to celebrate their adventure elopement in multiple locations.

Whether it's sightseeing, hot springs, portraits on the cliffs, or exploring the mountains and filling your elopement day with all the fun activities, I'll help you with planning the Iceland wedding and unforgettable adventure elopement experience you've dreamed of.

Each adventure elopement package includes everything you need for your one-of-a-kind adventure elopement.

all elopement packages include:

  • Elopement photography coverage
  • A custom timeline for your elopement
  • An elopement photographer and Iceland expert
  • Photography coverage and online gallery
  • Handcrafted elopement locations
  • My exclusive elopement guide & resources for traveling Iceland
  • Assistance with planning your elopement every step of the way
  • A handcrafted custom timeline & itinerary for your adventure elopement
  • All photography packages include travel throughout Iceland

elopement photography packages start at $5000

Learn more information about the photography packages!

iceland elopement photographer

Meet your Iceland Elopement Wedding Photographer

Hi, I'm Oshen! An Iceland elopement photographer who's here to empower, and help couples with planning a wedding day that truly reflects them. I believe every couple deserves to celebrate their love in a way that truly reflects their identities, and I'm here to guide you on your adventurous elopement so that you can have a magical and unforgettable elopement experience.

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