A place which is an ideal amalgamation of all the beauty that mother nature holds in herself, Iceland is one of the best places to be when you want to spend your vacation time. Landscapes that hold a beauty that is beyond this world, unique black sand beaches, and small but very beautiful wooden churches, to glaciers hiding blazing volcanoes underneath them, moss-covered lava field and the infamous northern lights. And to back the natural beauty of the country comes the fantastic nightlife and festivities that Iceland hosts. No matter what you have in mind, Iceland will be the ideal place not only for relaxation but also to celebrate several occasions and events.
Get Hitched in Heaven on Earth
This is why many foreigners decide to have their destination wedding in Iceland because after all, what is better proposing to the love of your life in form of the Golden waterfall, having the pre-wedding shoot on the black sand diamond beach, getting married in the beautiful little black church of Búðir, having the reception in one of the most beautiful luxury vintage hotels in the country and finally, spending the honeymoon exploring various beautiful landscapes in the country.
Another thing that makes Iceland the ideal location for your wedding is the new free stopover policy which means that if you are flying over Iceland then you can make a stop in the country without paying anything extra and spend some time. This works best for couples living in different countries, especially North America and Europe as Iceland falls in the way of flying to and fro from both these countries.
Why Get Married in Iceland?
The reasons are very simple. One can get married regardless of their religious beliefs or the lack thereof or sexual orientation as same-sex marriages are legal in Iceland. And the most important thing, your wedding photographs will look heavenly.
There are several guided honeymoon and wedding tours available in Iceland where the professional provides you the information about the best places you can have the ceremony, hook you up with a custom honeymoon tour and offer the options of a local photographer who are well familiar with all the best locations around the country.
Marriage Laws in Iceland
It is very easy to get married in Iceland for foreigners with the warm welcoming nature of the locals and the very professional tourism experts. But there are a few laws established by the government that needs to be followed to get married in Iceland, most of which are the same for both visitors and the tourists.
The List of Documents Required
- Marriage Notification: This is a form that everyone needs to fill out before marriage. It states several things including the name, gender, religion, nationality, and marital status. The form has to be attested by someone who is empowered to perform marriage by the law along with the guarantee of two trustworthy people that there are no impediments to the marriage which is about to be performed. This document must be sent 3 weeks before the set date of the wedding.
- Birth Certificates: Both parties are supposed to bring the original copies of their birth certificates which are returned after the wedding.
- Certificate of marital status: Make sure that your certificate of marital status is issued not more than 8 weeks before the wedding date.
- A divorce decree: Required in case of either or both of the parties have been divorced before.
- Proof of Settlement of the assets: In case of a divorce or death of the spouse, you need to provide the proof to the fact that all the assets and liabilities have been settled properly.
- Passports: Required form both the parties
- Visa: Or any other proof of legal stay in Iceland as several countries do not need a visa to visit Iceland.
Some Basic Laws
- Both parties need to be 18 years of age.
- All the listed documents must be the original ones and not a copy.
- All the required documents need to be submitted at least 3 weeks before the wedding date. To make things easier, it is possible to submit all the documents via email and send the original hard copies at a maximum of 5 days before the wedding date.
- Make sure that all the documents are either in English or any of the Scandinavian languages. If not then you can simply attach a valid translated copy of the same.
- The required documents are a bit different for the citizens or residents of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, or Finland. They do not need to provide the documents mentioned above in points 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7. Each of these countries has its own set of document/s that needs to be filled and submitted instead.
Where to Get Married in Iceland
Luxury to natural, there is no shortage of wedding venues in Iceland no matter what kind of wedding you have in mind, you are sure to find the perfect place to have the ceremony and other celebratory events. The following is a list of some of the best places to get married in Iceland.
Church of Búðir on Snaefellsnes Peninsula
This beautiful little black church on Snaefellsnes Peninsula is the perfect place to have a private wedding ceremony away from the crowd of the city. The best part is that the church is located right beside a very lavish hotel that also goes by the name Búðir. The hotel is known for its fabulous restaurant and it has been awarded several awards like Luxury Hotel of the Year. You can have the wedding in the church, get the photos clicked with the fabulous background of the landscapes that surrounds these two establishments. The reception can be held in the beautiful restaurant of the hotel while you can book your honeymoon suite in the hotel itself. Church Búðir is one of the most popular wedding spots in the country among the people who prefer to get married in a church the traditional way.
Harpa Concert Hall
The gem of the capital city, Harpa Concert Hall is available for all kinds of events and parties and that means that you can have your wedding here as well. It is no news that Harpa Concert Hall is one of the most beautiful buildings in the country. Another plus that you will have here is the fantastic catering service of the Concert Hall. A huge dining and reception room is prepared for the concerned event with projectors, stereos, and everything else that one may need for the wedding reception along with refreshments and meals that you choose. The extraordinary design of Harpa Concert Hall and its surrounding areas serves as a great place for your wedding pictures as well. It is the ideal place to get married for couples who would like to have a huge contemporary themed wedding with a big reception, lots of dancing and more.
What better place is there to get married when you can tie the knot of holy matrimony in front of Godafoss waterfall or the Waterfall of Gods, right? A heaven on earth for nature lovers, Godafoss waterfall is one of the ideal venues for you if you are one of those couples who want to have your wedding in Iceland simply because of the unbelievable beauty of the place.
Ion Adventure Hotel
One of the best luxury hotels in Iceland, Ion Adventure Hotel is a part of Ion Hotels Chain which has many other properties across the country. The Ion Adventure Hotel is located in Nesjavellir just beside the infamous Golden Circle Route of Iceland. Ion Adventure will be perfect for your wedding if you are looking for a lavish arrangement for the reception, wedding ceremony in the lap of nature, a cocktail party in a themed bar, and after wedding activities in some of Iceland’s most popular destinations.
The hotel is constructed in a moss-covered lava field and boasts a beautiful northern lights themed bar. There are several other luxury services provided here like an open-air hot bath, sauna, and spa for some pre-wedding beauty regiment. As far as activities are concerned, you can visit the Thingvellir National Park, go diving in Silfra, go see the Gullfoss waterfall or spend some time in the Geysir geothermal area as all these destinations are a stone’s throw away from the hotel.
Black Sand Beach of Reynisfjara
Located near the village of Vik, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach is the most visited black sand beaches in Iceland. This monochromatic beauty is filled with a calm atmosphere, serene vibes, and stunning panoramas. The crashing white foamy waves of the Atlantic Ocean on the pitch-black lava sand on the beach and the beautiful basalt column in the backdrop creates the ideal romantic setting for a destination wedding in Iceland. Many other sites surround the Reynisfjara black sand beach that can be included in your post-wedding adventure activities. The sites include Dyrhólaey rock arch, Seljalandsfoss, and Skógafoss waterfalls, Vatnajökull National Park, many glacier caps, and the small but beautiful fishing village of Vik.
Another luxury lodging of the country, Hotel Husafell flaunts a unique kind of beauty not only in terms of brilliant architecture but also depending on seasons. The summers are lush and green while the winters bring a thick layer of snow on the grounds. The hotel has its geothermal bath, 48 luxury rooms, a gorgeous dining room with a delicious menu prepared using seasonal dishes and ingredients, elegant meeting and event room, and many other luxury services like sauna and spa. Combine all this with a bountiful of adventure activities available near the hotel and you will have a full packaged luxury wedding planned in front of you.
This particular luxury lodging is located between several mountain ranges in a lush green field. These mountains get covered in snow creating a gorgeous view for winter weddings. Depending on what you would like to feature in your wedding pictures, you can simply choose between the seasons and Deplar Farm will present you with the ideal setting combined with every single facility and amenities that you would need for the wedding. Northern lights viewing, fine dining, spas, geothermal baths, and many other adventure activities will be a part of your wedding event if you choose to perform it in the surrounding area of Deplar Farm.
This is one of the most popular waterfalls in Iceland simply for the reason that it is one of a kind even in a country that is no short of wonders. Seljalandsfoss waterfall is known for the hidden cave behind the cascading waters of the fall. This beautiful waterfall is always a part of the tourists who are on a tour of the south coast of the country. If you are planning a midnight wedding under the midnight sun then Seljalandsfoss waterfall is the best place. Although, if you plan to have your wedding ceremony in the hidden cave then ensure that you prepare for getting wet as the water splashes are a real thing at Seljalandsfoss waterfall. Either carry a change or wear an outer waterproof layer of clothing.
Sounds a bit weird and untrue but yes, you can have your wedding ceremony in a helicopter in Iceland. There are several private helicopter services available for hire in Iceland. Simply slip into your beautiful wedding dress, hop on the helicopter with your partner, bring the minister, a pastor, or a priest along and you are all set.
Langjökull Glacier Ice Chapel
Traditional weddings never lose their charm, true, but what is the point of having the ceremony in Iceland if you do not put a special touch to it. The ice chapel of the Langjökull glacier is that special Icelandic twist that you need in your wedding ceremony. This particular ice chapel is also known as the man-made ice cave of the Langjökull glacier which is the second-largest glacier in the country. The cave is strategically made with a beautiful chapel inside where weddings can be performed. There are benches for the guests to sit as well. Imagine getting married underneath a glacier in Iceland!
The Diamonds Beach
Located near the crown jewel of the country the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, the diamond beach is an exquisite location to get married as well as have the pre or post-wedding shoot. The black sand beach is covered with huge ice sculptures that traveled from the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and were initially icebergs. No words can do justice to the beauty of this place. Filled with tranquillity and calm, you will have an amazing time here when tying the knot with your partner.
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
Choose this location if you would like to have a background of a gorgeous lagoon with huge chunks of ice floating in it and the majestic Vatnajökull glacier in the main wedding photograph of the ceremony. While places like this are colder than other wedding venues, they more than just make up for the cold with their one of a kind beauty.
Places of Worship
Iceland is a predominantly Lutheran country meaning most of the churches in the country follow the theology of Martin Luther. You can choose any of the numerous churches following the Lutheran beliefs or you can go for a catholic one as well. There are a few catholic churches in the country for you to choose from. However, worship places for other religions have not been built yet but the plans and allocation of land have been done for pagan worship houses as well a mosque. If a place of worship is not necessary for you then you can simply pick a venue, find a priest, and get married. Islam, catholic Christianity, paganism, Hinduism, and Buddhism are some of the religions that are practiced in the country.
What to Wear for Your Icelandic Wedding?
- The Traditional Wedding Dress: for people who would like to keep the outfits strictly according to their respective religions, choosing a conventional dress is an option given that you make sure there are enough layers to keep you warm.
- Glam it Up with a Designer Touch: Since the cold weather is an evergreen thing in the country, you can choose a fashionable overcoat or a jacket to pair with your wedding dress which does not undermine its beauty and keep you warm as well.
- Try the Icelandic National Dress: The Icelandic national wedding dress is gorgeous and available to rent in several stores in the country. Available in many different colors, this particular dress will have you look no less than a queen and king.
- Lopapeysa for a Warm Icelandic Touch: Lopapeysa is the traditional hand-knit sweater of Iceland. You can have one custom knitted to go with your dress perfectly.
- Shoes suitable for the Terrain: If you are planning on getting married outside in the open then make sure you are wearing the right kind of shoes.
When to Get Married in Iceland
While the wedding season does not have a certain time frame in the country, you can choose your date depending on the climate of the country. Summer is the most popular time among tourists to get married as the weather is mild and they can easily wear their outfits at least for the ceremony and the photos without having to worry about the cold. But this means that venues are all the more expensive in this season. Fall and Spring are relatively cheaper in terms of bookings and the weather is still not at it coldest making them the best seasons for a beautiful wedding which would not cost a lot. Winters get the least amount of wedding booking but there is no doubt that this is the best season to get married if you are planning to include a lot of snow-covered vistas in the photos. On top of that, winters get the best and brightest display of the northern lights. Keeping all these things in mind and corresponding them with your and your partner’s desires, you can easily pick a season. Consider hiring a wedding planner if you want to get the best of your wedding-vacation and let the professionals handle all the work.