A bride and groom stand on a rock together facing the mountains and icebergs at midnight on a summer evening in Iceland.

How to Elope in Iceland

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Having visited Iceland several times now and still everyday be excited about the next time we get to go back means a lot. I truly believe that Iceland is a place of magic, beyond explanation. It is a place that is so wonderful to experience, so full of unknown, adventure and relaxation. I think if you are looking for a wonderful place to elope that is not in the states that is the number one place! Iceland has so much to offer from remote waterfalls, coastal towns, rock, mountain, and more. In this blog we will go through together everything you need to know about planning your elopement in Iceland.

A man and woman hold each others hands on their elopement day as they wonder around the Iceland hot lands.

Why should you elope in Iceland….

I can not tell you how to elope in Iceland without telling you why you should elope in Iceland! The place is incredible. Seriously though, ice bergs, ice caves, mountains, black sand beaches, hot springs, water falls, coastal cliffs, the northern lights and so much more. The environment is sure to move you in some way. You could elope in what would feel like a winter wonderland snow globe or in the summer under a sunrise/sunset, yes at the same time because it is almost daylight for 24 hours. There is so many different experiences to have or adventures to seek out. You could elope in stunning place known to many, or find your own quiet nook or you could elope somewhere rad like black church or heck at hot spring. You could elope in Iceland and have a killer honey moon for a few days or a couple weeks, Iceland has that much to offer. Iceland is a place to just be present together, without any other distractions.

A woman embraces her partner as the sun peaks from around them and the mountains.

How to Legally get Married in Iceland + Answering Can Tourist Elope in Iceland?

You will need to be 18 years or older to get married in Iceland no matter where you are from.

If you are traveling to Iceland to get married you will need to submit all of your paper work at least 3 weeks ahead of time. You will need to submit your martial status through documentation of your government. You can not already be married in another country, if you have been married previously you will need to provide proof of divorce. If you are a United States citizen you will need to check with local authorities to see if you can obtain this paperwork.

You will need to provide them with your passport and/or birth certificate and fill out a Marriage Notification application which is obtained by the The District Commissioner of Greater Reykjavik.

You will also need to prove that you are staying in Iceland legally when there for your wedding. This could be a flight ticket or if needed you will need to show your visa.

After there ceremony has taken place you can go to Registers office in Reykjavík to obtain an English Marriage certificate.

Important notes:

  • Same sex marriages are legal in Iceland.
  • Pink Iceland is a great company that I have worked with before that help you apply for all of the right documents and they offer officiants.
  • If you are interested in a civil marriage in Reykjavík please visit this website. These are only performed on the week days and the same documentation and preparations are required.
  • You can always get legally married in your country and then go to Iceland to read your vows and have an elopement day to celebrate your love your way. We have had many couples do this even within the United States to make their elopement days easier and less stressful.
A couple stands by a body of water surrounded by snow on a Winter day in Iceland on the morning of their elopement.

Best Time to get Married in Iceland

In my personal opinion anytime is a magical time to elope in Iceland, but this not the case for everyone.

If you want those Winter vibes and you can handle the harsh weather conditions, go for it in the winter months! This will also give you the chance to get some pictures together under the Northern Lights. Note that in the Winter many roads close and some places will not be accessible and it is advised to have experience driving on snow and ice. Visiting in the winter means you may want a back up plan. Weather conditions can be unexpected and dangerous, so it is important to be flexible in your travel during this time of year, but it is truly a beautiful time of year to visit.

In the Summer months you get the beautiful Lupines blooming, beautiful weather and almost 24 hours of sunlight. This being said the summer months can have a lot more tourism. If you are looking for privacy it is great to consider eloping in the middle of the night to have epic locations to yourself. You could also consider eloping off the beaten path away from tourist highlights.

The Fall months can already start to get chilly, but what may be the bigger downfall here is that October is actually Iceland’s wettest month. There are less tourist out in the Fall and you can already start to see the Northern lights during this time.

Spring in Iceland is still considered “off season” which again means less tourist, cheaper flights and stays. However the weather can still be very cold, so plan to wear layers. If you are wanting to see the Northern Lights your best chance in the spring is early April. May the weather starts to warm up more.

The crashed plane on the coast of Iceland on a Winter day.

How much does it cost to elope in Iceland?

It is so hard to say exactly what an elopement will cost in Iceland because it depends on many factors of your trip. I would say on average you can expect an elopement in Iceland to cost between $8,000 – $20,000. Let’s break down the costs of an elopement in Iceland to help you budget your exact elopement:

  • Travel (flight, rental, stay, gas, etc):
  • Food:
  • Attire:
  • Photography: $7000-9000
  • Videography: $2000
  • Officiant: $350
  • Marriage License: $70
  • Any tours you decide to do:

All the prices are listed in USD and Icelandic money is in ISK. You can use this to fill out the missing blanks as flights greatly vary pending where you are flying from, what airline and more. Tip for saving money when visiting Iceland: You can rent a camper van and use that as your place to stay as well as your transportation. If you need a place to stay, but want to still save money consider staying at a hostel instead of a hotel or Airbnb.

Where is the easiest place to elope in Iceland?

The easiest places to elope in Iceland are probably

  • Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls – both are not too far from each other, about an hour and a half drive from the city. Both falls are accessible year round. Both can be very busy during season. Expect to get wet at both of these! However, what is neat about these is that they are easy to get to, require no hiking and are near a town if you don’t want to drive back to the city.
  • Black Sand Beach – located not to far from the waterfalls, and really a location you might want to pair with those. Located right outside of the town of Vík and requires little walking to go to beautiful spots for your elopement ceremony. You can explore the cave and basalt rock wall and look for puffins. Nearby is also an over look point where you can get high above the sand. Keep in mind when visiting here not to get too close to the water for the snicker waves.
  • Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon + Diamond Beach – Driving further from towns you will find this popular location to visit, meaning you can drive yourself here or take a tour here. Once you are here there is little to no walking to get to see all the epic and uniqueness this little pocket of the world has to offer. Also near here you will find Vestrahorn, a beautiful black sand beach area with epic mountains surrounding it, a little bit further off of the beaten path, but still easy to access.
  • Stone Bridge near Arnarstapi – Driving North of the city back on the other side of the island you will find this little harbor town. The stone bridge you can walk out onto, keep in mind this is a popular location for birds and tourist and easy to get to. Right near here are many cliffy view points and access to water.
  • Latrabjarg Cliffs – While this location is quite a longer drive, once you are there, you are there! This is located in the Wesfjords, once a local told me this was the most beautiful area in Iceland, and is the most Northern point of Iceland. This is known for the epic cliffs, but also for the best place to see puffins! Best time to visit here is May to August.

Top Elopement Ideas + Locations to Elope at in Iceland

The locations above are without a doubt stunning and amazing in all ways, but they are all easy to get to which means they can be busy! If you are going to Iceland and want a big epic adventure we recommend checking out these ideas, activities, guides and locations for your elopement:

  • Do an Icelandic horse ride
  • Go whale watching on a sail boat, complete with hot chocolate and snacks
  • Do an Ice cave, Ice climbing or glacier tour
  • Go deeper into the mountains on so wild off roading routes
  • Visit the Faroe Islands for some insanely beautiful hikes
  • Backpack to amazing views along Hornvík, Dettifoss or Skogar
  • Day hike off the beaten path to waterfalls, mountains tops, highlands, glaciers and more!
  • Visit local, natural hot springs
  • Snorkel between the tectonic plates
  • Stay somewhere super unique and wild for a great place to write vows, have a meal together on your elopement day, get ready at and or watch for the Northern Lights. Here are a few of our favorite ones to consider: Tiny Home glassed in with hot tub, The Bubble Hotel, Torfus Retreat

A view of the Northern Lights in Iceland.

Northern Lights Elopement in Iceland

If your dream is to have your elopement under the northern lights or the northern lights just be apart of your elopement day here are some tips to help you achieve that. I will say I have gone to Iceland for over a week in the Winter and were not able to see them. It is important to plan your elopement with acceptance that you may not see them and still be stoked about the experience you are planning.

  • You want to track activity with this page for your best chance of knowing where and when you might be able to see them.
  • Your best bet for seeing them is between October to March, keep in mind through you need a clear sky. It can be cloudy in Iceland from November to March.
  • Be prepared to stay up late and drive around to different parts of the country. Be sure to pack things to keep you warm out there at night!
  • You can book a tour to help you get to them and see them.
  • Since you can not be certain on a specific day to see the Aurora we recommend booking a flexible elopement package/plan and communicate with your photographer these plans and flexible needs.

More GeneralTips for Eloping in Iceland

  • Don’t be strict on your timeline, be open to stopping at random places.
  • Dont plan to be in and out of the country. There is so much to enjoy here, to truly experience Iceland I recommend staying around 7-9 days. For your elopement here I recommend a full day or multi-day experience.
  • If you are traveling around the country for your elopement, get gas whenever you can

  • Arrive to Iceland at least one day before your elopement and be near the airport at the latest the night before to adjust to timezones and get settled in so you can be relaxed on your elopement day.
  • Be prepared for any sort of extreme weather and have a back up plan
  • Do not stop your car in the middle of the road and stay off of mountain roads
  • Get a hand held map and talk to locals! Make sure your phone service is set up in order to use it if needed.
  • ALWAYS, always practice Leave No Trace
  • If eloping in the winter be sure to bring enough layers to stay war.

  • Wear a waterproof shoe
  • Book your stay at a hostel in the near by town or on Airbnb, my favorite place I have ever stayed in
  • For road condition information check out http://www.road.is
  • Iceland is known for their seafood, so be sure to try some!
  • Tipping is not required in Iceland, but if you do decide to tip it would not be considered offensive.

A blonde photographer smiles at the camera for a portrait in Iceland.

Book your Iceland Elopement Photographer Now!

Iceland fully captured my heart several years ago. I fully believe that it can provide an experience like no other for a couple looking for a more connective and emotive wedding day. From small adventures to big adventures it has so much to offer. I would love to help you plan your Iceland elopement and be there to capture your love story in such a raw place. Our Iceland Elopement Packages start at a full day at $9500 and go up to multi-day packages. This includes assistance in planning, two photographers and more!

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A groom smiles as he brings his bride in for a kiss on a rainy day in Iceland.

34 Responses

  1. I’ve been wanting to visit Iceland, and your guide makes me want to go even more! Such helpful tips. Especially the details about legally getting married there. I feel like that’s usually the most complicated part that couples deal with, so I love that you included that in there!

  2. So awesome! Can’t wait to make it over to Iceland one day, looks like a dream!! Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    1. So many amazing reasons to elope over have a big traditional wedding, one benefit is getting to go to a place like Iceland!

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