These two really have the sweetest love story all the way up until the day that we met them for their adventure engagement session in Vík Iceland. Jóhann and Stefanía met while in college together studying mathematics in Reykjavik, where they also currently live. They shared their first kiss together while celebrating their college graduation on a trip. Over their years together they have gone on many trips together to the states and even a six month trip around Australia where they bounced from hostel to hostel. At one point they even moved to New York City together for some time. Soon they are headed to Hawaii for another friends wedding. In between all their travels together my favorite story they shared was their proposal.
Jóhann and Stefanía proposed to each other while on a trip to Mount Whitney, California after being together for a little over nine years! I asked if this was an Icelandic tradition to propose to each other, but it is just a beautiful love story really. Stefanía has work often in San Fransisco and convinced Jóhann to fly to the states for an adventure and a surprise. While she's not a typical planner and he usually does the planning in the relationship, she planned a grand proposal with everything that she was going to say and was going make grass rings, like you would make at camp when you were growing up. After a day exploring the Sierra Nevada they set up camp and were sharing freeze dried macaroni and cheese around sunset. As they were looking into each other's eyes and it was the most magical moment between the two of them she had ever felt. She knew she needed to ask right then, but the grass rings hadn’t been made yet. So she waited and the moment passed, but not before he turned to her and asked if she would marry him!!! She was completely shocked and took her chance to ask him the same question back as she had planned. He had not planned the proposal at all, it just felt right! They both of course said ‘YES!’ happily. So they ended up both wanting to propose to each other at the same time and at the same place! I thought it was super cute that they kind of switched their roles in their relationship and have such a super special story to tell for how they started this next chapter of their lives.
I wanted their session to be super special to them so in the planning process I asked them where they would want to shoot. They immediately emailed back with one place in mind. So we met them in Vík and rode off road through the canyons to a campsite location where they camped last summer. On our somewhat sketchy ride up the mountain we chatted about Icelandic traditions and culture. We learned a lot about how tourism has helped shape Iceland’s current state, road etiquette and food traditions. Their favorite restaurant that they recommend trying is in Reykjavik and called MATUR OG DRYKKUR which translates into Food and Drink. Once we arrived they hoped out and changed into their traditional Icelandic sweaters one of his his mother made and one that Stefanía’s grandmother made when she was a baby and gave it to her when she turned twentyfive. Apparently, his mother is the best at making sweaters. Anytime they need one repaired she gives it back to them with a new one in just a matter of days! We set out for a short hike to a waterfall along the river through the beautiful rocky green canyon. They were super excited for the session and brought the best energy with them! We had such a great time chatting, playing along the rocks by the water and laughing. It was so fun working with them and witnessing their caring, carefree love. Before we switched locations and outfits they showed us the awesome cave the campsite offers as a dinner experience! Along the mountain side there is a cave with several long tables and candles lit everywhere for you to cook and enjoy a meal with each or other locals.
I can only imagine how beautiful and special their wedding day will be! They are set to get married in just about week now! They are tying the knot in a somewhat untraditional fashion, but the wedding is going to be lovely! Stefanía’s family is from the “jaw” of Iceland and they have selected a venue in this region. Locals believe that Iceland takes the shape of a sheep so if you look at the map of Iceland see if you can find this region! Stefanía and Jóhann said that they believe this region might be the prettiest in all of Iceland! It is for sure a must on my next trip to Iceland.
I was super impressed by these two! Stefanía is the CEO of a data based startup company and Jóhann works in the mobile gaming industry. With two highly skilled, intense careers they still make time to have fun with each other and explore so much. They have such kind hearts and wondrous souls. One thing that he said that really stood out to me was how after work instead of just going home eating and relaxing they should just get in the car and take day trip and go camp and then wake up and go back to work and I just love their adventurous spirit! Their desire to see all these places here in this beautiful country and our country and their excited energy was so refreshing to be around. Their spirit reminded me how much to love passionately our loved ones and our lands and to just go after life. I am wishing these two the very best and so happy our paths connected on this trip to Iceland!