You’re getting married. Congratulations! You’re thinking of Iceland as wedding location – we get that. Not only will Iceland’s dramatic landscape guarantee the most beautiful wedding pictures, the country is also known for its open and accepting attitude and being one of the most LGBTQ+-friendly countries in the world. Iceland is just a loving country, and undoubtedly one of the best places to get married.
Also, Iceland’s location right between Europe and North America offers great opportunities for stopover packages and honeymoons.
Depending on how you want your wedding, a licenced clergyperson, chieftain or magistrate can all legally marry a couple. Wedding planners in Iceland can help you connect to the right person and get the right permits.
Let this Icelandic wedding location guide be of help to you when you start planning your big day.
On a 2.5-hours’ drive from Reykjavík, in West Iceland, there is a lovely hotel right in the middle of breathtaking nature. This hotel is called Hótel Búðir, and it’s located on the south coast of Snæfellsnes, a peninsula known for its diverse rugged nature, strong mythical background, Mt. Kirkjufell and of course, Snæfelsjökull glacier.
The hotel is situated on the ocean front overlooking a sandy white beach, which is quite unique in Iceland as most of the beaches are black. Located right next to Hótel Búðir is a small, old wooden church, perfect for any wedding ceremony, but it’s also possible to let the ceremony take place in the middle of a lava field or on the beach.
The hotel staff has lots of experience with hosting weddings and will do everything to make all of your wishes come true. Hótel Búðir has 28 double rooms, including one suite, nine deluxe rooms, ten standard twin rooms and eight queen rooms. If you book on time, it’s possible to book the entire hotel, with breakfast or brunch service for your wedding guests.
Skógafoss is a spectacular 60m tall and 25m wide waterfall on the south coast of Iceland. It’s located just off the ring road – or route no. 1 – about 2 hours driving from Reykjavík. It’s one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland, and also one of the most popular tourist destinations.
It’s possible to walk very close to the waterfall, which is located in between high cliffs, and on sunny days, a rainbow is formed in the waterfall’s mist. It’s a powerful natural setting for a wedding ceremony, with incredible views.
Rainbows, waterfall, cliffs, lava, don’t these sound like the perfect ingredients for your wedding photos?
Just keep in mind that the waterfall creates a lot of sound, so be sure to have a sound system during your ceremony. Also, as this waterfall is popular among tourists, you will most likely not have it to yourself. A last point is that it can get quite wet, especially close to the waterfall, so be prepared.
At Skógafoss, there are a 12-room hotel and a restaurant that can seat up to 150 people, and you will also find a hostel in the area.
Into the Glacier
Do you want to hear something crazy? In Iceland, you can get married inside a glacier. Since 2015, it’s possible to walk through a man-made tunnel deep into Langjökull, Iceland’s second largest glacier. And guess what? The glacier has a built-in icy wedding chapel, with benches on top of ice blocks.
You have to be a bit adventurous to pick this location, though. Snow storms occur regularly at the top of the glacier, and you can only get there with eight-wheel drive glacier trucks. Once you’re there, everyone has to wear crampons for safety reasons, so you can tell your wedding guests to leave those fancy shoes at home and instead bring some sturdy boots. And… better wrap up, as it’s 0°C all year round.
It takes a bit of effort, but who can say that they got married inside a glacier?
Reynisfjara and Vík
Reynisfjara is a world-famous beach on Iceland’s south coast, about 2.5 hours from Reykjavík. The wild ocean, jet-black beach and beautiful black basalt columns create a unique setting for your wedding ceremony.
Whether the sun is shining or the weather is more challenging, you will be sure to get the most beautiful photos. Just remember it’s a public space, so you probably have to share it with tourists. Also, be aware of the dangerous sneaker waves in this area, and don’t wander too close to the ocean.
Next to some big caves in the area (which are not safe during high tide), there is only one building to offer shelter when the weather takes a turn for the worse. You can contact the local restaurant on-site to enquire about possibilities. The small town of Vík is not very far from the beach, so it might be smart to arrange a backup option there.
The next popular wedding location is in the southeast of Iceland, at glacier lagoon Jökulsárlón. It takes about five hours to get there from Reykjavík. Jökulsárlón is formed by meltwater of Vatnajökull, Europe’s biggest glacier.
The gorgeous lake is home to seabirds and the occasional seal, and next to it is a black beach with thousands of ice blocks on it. The impressive Vatnajökull glacier towers in the background. These natural wonders combined create one of Iceland’s most unique landscapes. No wonder that this is a popular location for wedding photo shoots and wedding ceremonies.
The beauty of the area is incomparable to anything else, but as with most Icelandic wedding locations in the middle of nature, there is little opportunity for shelter, and Icelandic weather is fickle. Even though there is a small café, there are no hotels or restaurants right at Jökulsárlón, and the closest accommodation is a 15-minute drive from the lagoon.
If you would like to go off the beaten path, the Icelandic highlands might just be what you seek. The interior of Iceland is desolate and pristine and perfect for those who are looking for an adventurous wedding in the middle of nature. Ideal for a romantic elopement celebration for just the two of you, or a special wedding with all your friends and family.
The roads to the highlands are only open in summer, from the middle of June until September/October, and you should drive a four-wheel drive vehicle or superjeep to get there, as there are river crossings along the way and road conditions vary. Multiple companies offer guided tours to the highlands, so contact a company like Iceland Wedding Planner or a local guide to ensure safe river crossings.
If you decide to go by yourself, please stay on the road at all times. Off-road driving is illegal in Iceland and will damage the country’s fragile nature. Please leave everything in Iceland the way you found it, so others can enjoy its natural beauty the same way you did.
Can’t get enough?
Can’t get enough of these wedding photos? Nor can we! So here are a couple more.