If you’re thinking of going somewhere truly beautiful and unique to elope, you should definitely elope in Iceland. Known as the land of fire and ice, we are here to show you the best of what Iceland has to offer, how and when to travel to Iceland, how to elope in Iceland, and where you marry the love of your life! If you’re familiar with our guides, you know we go all-out on details for literally how to elope in the location of your dreams. Because the majority of Iceland’s land is privately owned, we’re going to show you where you could elope in this guide and then help you make it happen!
why elope in iceland?
From the breathtaking waterfalls to icy glaciers and snow-capped mountains to natural hot springs and mystical ice caves, Iceland is a world of its own. And can we talk about the Northern Lights for a minute? We almost wanted to devote this entire blog to Northern Lights; they’re just so damn gorgeous. Alllllmost as gorgeous as you IN FRONT OF THEM as you elope!
Iceland is unique in so many ways – one of which is that over 70% of the land is privately owned. This means you can get married just about anywhere in Iceland, provided you have permission from the land’s owner! It’s more common than you’d think and super helpful to have an elopement planner (like us!) in your corner to help you decide where you’ll elope and to help make it happen.
We also love that anyone can get married in Iceland – same-sex marriages, marriages of any religion (or lack thereof), etc. You get the point!
making it legal
Okay, so here’s the deal – you can either get legally married in Iceland, or get legally married in the US and have your symbolic elopement in Iceland. Before we get into the nitty-gritty details of how to elope in Iceland, know that we are here to help you, and it’s quite literally our job to make this part stress-free and easy for you to plan for.
Here is how you can legally elope in Iceland: First, plan to submit the necessary documents at least three weeks before your wedding date – you can do this through email! Just make sure you have all your original documents to provide for the authorities no later than five days before your wedding date in Iceland. Then, decide on an officiant (Iceland recognizes both religious and non-religious ceremonies!), who you want to be there (if more than you two), and away you go!
Documents you’ll need to elope in Iceland:
Marriage Notification (this is Iceland’s marriage license)
Birth certificates of both partners
Divorce or Widow Certificate/Documentation (if applicable)
Valid passports of both parties
If you’d rather legally get married in the US, or the above process creates stress for you and your partner, head down to your local courthouse, sign the deal, and celebrate your love with your vows during a symbolic ceremony in Iceland! With this option, you won’t have to worry about the costs associated with having a celebrant, the Iceland registry paperwork, or obtaining certificates of marital status.
Truly – we’re here to help you through either of these options! COVID heads-up: Vaccinated passengers or those with proof of antibodies only need to complete an online pre-registration form before arrival.
how to get to iceland
Plan to fly into Reykjavik, Iceland’s Capital. The cheapest flight options can be found from Skyscanner, Momondo, and Google Flights. Depending on where you’re coming from, you can enjoy a stopover in countries along the way or make a plan to get to Iceland and enjoy yourselves.
Have a bit of time on your hands and up for an adventure? You can travel to Iceland through the MS Norrona ferry from Denmark. It will take about a week, but you can have your own car and stop along the way – the Faroe Islands are absolutely incredible if you have the time! The ferry (kind of like a cruise/ferry situation, and we’re here for it) ports in East Iceland, which is synonymous with authentic nature experiences.
The currency used in Iceland is the Króna or Íslenska Krónan, also referred to as ISK. The currency exchange rate is constantly changing, so it’s best to reference the current exchange rate when planning however, it’s currently $1 USD is equivalent to about 126 ISK.
when to elope in iceland
Due to great weather and a 24-hour sun in many parts of the country, June through August are consistently expensive months to visit Iceland. They’re also the most tourist-traveled months, so if you’re looking to save on cost and avoid crowds, we recommend staying away from these months. Therefore, September to November and January to May are prime months to visit Iceland! The weather can be a little unpredictable based on the month during these times, but the tourists tend to stay home, leaving you with non-peak season prices, fewer people to wait in line with at the blue lagoon, and access to all Iceland has to offer.
Spring weddings in Iceland mean bright greenery and blooming flowers with a bit of chilly weather you can totally manage. The days are neither too long nor too short, making Spring a solid option to elope – especially with the decrease in tourists.
Summer, of course, is the most ideal time to elope in Iceland, thanks to 24-hours of sun, completely open roads, and weather staying around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. You might even consider having your summer elopement under the midnight sun – you can take advantage of fewer people around while you elope in your dream location!
Fall provides those gorgeous oranges and reds we all love. Just like Spring, the days are neither too long nor too short, and while weather can be a bit unpredictable, you can enjoy locations without crowds and still have a gorgeous wedding!
Okay, we know summer is the perfect season, but hear us out – winter in Iceland is a freaking magical land. We’re talking ice caves, the Northern Lights, snowcapped mountains; we could go on and on. It is a little bit harder to plan an elopement in the winter due to road closures and the weather, but the hours there with light is totally worth it.
Regardless of when you plan to elope in Iceland, it’s always a good idea to bring the right gear for your adventure elopement. Many of Iceland’s incredible elopement locations take effort to get to (hence the adventure part!) so make sure you pack hiking shoes (or shoes you don’t mind getting muddy and have traction) and consider wearing clothes to and from your elopement location and changing into your wedding attire.
where to elope in iceland
Iceland is broken up into six regions: North, Highlands, South, West, Snaefellsnes Peninsula, and the West Fjords. The North region offers massive waterfalls and geothermal regions you have to see for yourself to fully comprehend!
The North region takes about 6 hours to travel from Reykjavik in a regular 2-wheeled car, and you can visit just about any time of the year.
The Highlands are full of incredibly colorful mountains, steam vents, hot springs, and even active volcanoes! The Highlands and adventure are synonymous, and you can access the area several hours from Reykjavik in a 4-wheeled car. We recommend checking out jeep tours for this region and visiting during the summer months (June-September).
The South region is generally the most famous as it’s home to iconic glaciers, Diamond Beach, waterfalls, moss-covered lava fields, Black Sand Beach, and more! This region can be reached in about 2-6 hours, depending on the location, from a 2-wheeled car. The best part is you can visit this region anytime, but we recommend November-March if you’re looking to elope in an ice cave or June-July if you’re partial to Lupine fields.
The West region is both the closest to Reykjavik (20 min – 1 hour in a 2-wheeled car) and the most accessible region. Here you’ll find moss-covered lava fields and waterfalls and can reach the area any time of the year!
The Westfjords are simply the coolest. We’re talking coastal cliffs, mountains, waterfalls (yep – waterfalls are everywhere in Iceland!), wildlife, and even hot springs. The Westjords are about 3 hours away from Reykjavik in a 2-wheeled car and can be accessed during every season but winter.
Lastly, the Snaefellsnes Peninsula has some of the best views in Iceland! Enjoy the roughly 2+ hour drive from Reykjavik in a 2-wheeled car – the views along the way are stunning. Here you can find mountains, cliffs, the infamous little black church, and the Gatklettur arch.
vestrahorn mountain in stokksnes
Hiiiiii, please tell us you want to go here – you and your partner can WALK ON WATER. Yes, the caps were necessary. Check this out!! You’ll want to have a car for this location, and note that Vestrahorn, Vesturhorn, and Stokksnes are all names for the same place. Framed by the Vestrahorn black sand beach, the Vestrahorn Mountain and Stokksness are beautiful at all times of the day. The area is approximately a ten-minute drive away from Höfn. Pro Tip: the beach is a private residence and costs about $7 to visit. It’s a popular destination so be prepared for other tourists and photographers.
Located in South Iceland, Skogafoss Waterfall is one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland! This vast, powerful waterfall falls nearly 200 feet and is easily accessible. Since it’s one of the more popular locations to explore in Iceland, note that there may be other people around. Still totally worth checking out for your elopement due to the absolute beauty of the waterfall! You can even walk right up to the waterfall, given the flat surface of rocks. Hello, gorgeous photos!
seljalandsfoss and gljufrabui waterfalls
Another incredible waterfall – this one you can walk behind! Seljalandsfoss Waterfall is located on the Southern Coast of Iceland. Popular due to its awesomeness, you can also plan to get married at Gljúfrabúi, which is nearby and can be found partially hidden behind a rock face. Because of Seljalandsfoss’ extreme popularity, Gljúfrabúi is widely considered the hidden gem of the area and provides a secluded elopement location inside the canyon.
Surrounded by greenery and a beautiful canyon, Mogafoss Waterfall is not only incredible itself. We absolutely love the surrounding location. While considered a low-volume fall, Mogafoss is worth considering if you want a plethora of beautiful views surrounding it.
Kvernufoss waterfall is a beautiful 100-ft waterfall hidden away in a gorge in the southern part of Iceland, surrounded by greenery. Luckily for you, tourists tend to visit other waterfalls making this one better option if you’re looking for a higher volume waterfall without crowds. The landscape here is stunning too, so you really can’t lose with Kvernufoss!
reynisfjara black sand beach
If you dream of saying your vows on Iceland’s infamous Black Sand Beach, look no further than Reynisfjara Beach. Fun fact: In 1991, National Geographic voted Reynisfjara as one of the Top 10 non-tropical beaches to visit on the planet. Driving to the beach is easy, taking about two and a half hours from the capital. Heads up: Reynisfjara has what’s called “sneaker waves,” which are very dangerous and can appear when least expected, even on incredibly still days. Visitors are advised never to turn their back on the waves, and keep a safe distance of at least 100 feet from the surf.
jokulsarlon and fjallsarlon glacier lagoons
Glacier lagoons are some of the coolest natural phenomena, and Iceland offers two opportunities to visit them (and get married near them!): Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon and Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon offers fewer tourists and incredible sights, while Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon is the largest glacier lagoon. If you choose Jokulsarlon, check out nearby Diamond Beach, where you can walk up to iceberg chunks that have washed ashore. Truly an out-of-this-world experience!
While we usually focus on outdoor weddings, we couldn’t leave out Iceland’s picturesque churches throughout the country. Take, for example, the famous little black church, Budir. Even if you want to get married outside, you can take advantage of the unique buildings in your wedding photos if that’s your jam! There’s also Hofskirkja church in southeast Iceland which is built INTO the land! The church is ideally located close to the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon (mentioned above), where you can get some truly magnificent wedding photos.
drive iceland’s ring road
We won’t pretend to do this justice – you really should read this guide to the Ring Road if you’re thinking about it. We will say, if you are an adventurer at heart and love road trips, this is definitely for you (and clearly, we’d be besties). The Ring Road circles the island so you can reach different parts of Iceland (except the highlands and Westfjords), all while seeing the country along the way. Plan for seven days to make the trip – many of Iceland’s featured locations are located just off the Ring Road, providing easy access to all you’ll likely want to see anyway! Oh – and you can make this road trip in both the summer and winter, just make sure you have the right tires to make it happen.
There are a few ways to get around Iceland: a 2-wheeled car, a camper van, and a 4×4 vehicle. If you’re planning on adventuring throughout your elopement, you should consider renting a camper van! Here are a few options for you to consider: Happy Campers, KuKu Campervan Iceland, Go Campers Iceland, and CampEasy Iceland. If you want to REALLY adventure, a 4×4 car is the path for you. Iceland offers plenty of rugged terrains accessed only by renting a 4×4 vehicle – they’re called the F-Roads. If you enjoy desolate and rugged scenery, we think you’ll really enjoy this option! Check out these options if you’d like to off-road your way through Iceland (please say you’ll call us!): Isak 4×4, Go Car Rental, and Icerental 4×4. Make sure you download Iceland’s Safe Travel App so you can access authorities regardless of phone signal while adventuring!
ice caves in iceland
If you want to elope in an ice cave, plan to visit Iceland from the middle of October to the end of March. Tip: many operators wait until November before they can begin the cave tours. While there are many options, we have to give a special shoutout to Vatnajökull Ice Cave and Kverkfjöll Ice Cave. If you’re like us and totally nerd-out on how ice caves are created and what they actually are, you’ll definitely want to read more about ice caves here!
how to see aurora borealis (the northern lights)
We just knew you were going to ask. The best time to see this once-in-a-lifetime experience is between September and April, from 9:30 pm to 1:00 am. Unfortunately, we of course cannot guarantee we will get to see these mythical, magical events, but we are totally down to chase them with you!
fully planned iceland two-day elopement timeline
Here’s what your magical, romantic, absolutely memorable two-day elopement could look like in Iceland:
8:00 am: Couple starts getting ready; HoneyBee Weddings arrives to capture sweet, intimate moments and details.
9:30 am: Couple has first look, pops a bottle of champagne, we take photos of you at your AirBnB while you swoon over each other. (I mean, check these out: Secluded Lake Home, Seaside Getaway, Garden Cottage, Luxury Glacier Home, Central Reykjavik Home. Hellooooooo!!)
10:30 am – 12:00 pm: We go for a drive, stopping anywhere and everywhere you want to explore and take photos, finding the perfect location for your ceremony as we go. OR – we head to your epic, adventurous, romantic ceremony location (see above!) and take our time heading there, again, stopping to take photos.
12:30 pm: YOU. GET. MARRIED!!! We explore a little after your sweet ceremony and take photos of you two as you enjoy marital bliss.
1:30 pm: We make our way to a local hot spring, you two soak in all the details of the day (and the relaxing effects of the hot Spring!), we grab a few more shots and then leave you two to enjoy the rest of the afternoon together.
5:30 pm: We meet back up for some seafood and celebration, you two are married!! Time for a celebratory toast, your first dance if you want it, and grabbing a bite to eat for dinner with the locals. We’ll capture your first cheers as a married couple and enjoy the night away!
8:00 am: Meet in Reykjavik for a private natural ice cave tour.
8:00 pm – 9:00 pm: Hop in the super jeep for a little off-roading to the ice cave.
9:00 pm – 11:00 pm: Walk through the caves with the guide while we take incredible photos along the way. We’ll explore a little after the tour and take a few more shots around the area before heading back.
11:00 pm – 12:00 pm: Ride back to Reykjavik, and you get to finish out your vacation as a honeymoon – check out some of these epic tours you can take together!
iceland elopement packages
We would be absolutely thrilled and honored to help plan and capture your magical Iceland Elopement. Right now, TODAY, we offer a HUGE discount on photography and videography for the right couple in the right location. If you’re asking that daunting question, “How to elope in Iceland?” we gottchu! Sooo… Iceland anyone?! Message us and let’s set up a time to chat over coffee – we can’t wait to hear what your elopement dreams are!