Iceland is one of the most beautiful places in the world, so it’s no surprise that it has become a popular destination for elopements! From dramatic waterfalls, to glaciers, to black sand beaches, to the most unique tiny churches, Iceland has so many elopement location options that it can become overwhelming. That’s why I created this blog post, to help and inspire couples to find their perfect spot in Iceland to say “I do!” As an elopement photographer, I know that every couple is unique - you might be looking for an epic hike, or a South Coast road trip with a bunch of different stops for photo opportunities, or even a multi-day adventure experience. Read on to discover your perfect Iceland elopement location!
Búðakirkja is a black church located on the Snaefellsnes peninsula. It’s a popular stop for visitors driving to Snæfellsjökull National Park, and it’s easy to see why - the striking black wooden church, with a white door and tiny churchyard, stands out dramatically against the West Iceland mountains. (You’ll need permission to actually go inside, but don’t worry, I can help with that!) You can also hike down through the Búðir lava fields to the rocky coastline. Nearby on the peninsula, there are amazing portrait opportunities at Hellnar, Djúpalónssandur, and Kirkjufell.
Djúpalónssandur is a beach made entirely of black lava stones that have been worn smooth, also known as lava pearls. It is a short drive up the Snaefellsnes peninsula coast from Búðir, and features a stunning freshwater lagoon that reflects the beautiful lava rock formations. Can’t you imagine saying your vows with this stunning backdrop behind you? With stone stacks, dramatic waves, and a secluded beach made of black pebbles, this elopement spot is certainly one of a kind. This is an excellent alternative to the more popular (and sometimes crowded) black sand beach, Reynisfjara, on the South Coast.
Seyðisfjörður is a must-see location for couples looking for LGBTQ elopement ideas in Iceland! Since 2014, this tiny town in the Eastfjords has painted their central walkway in rainbow colors, and hosts a Pride celebration every August. Same-sex weddings have been legal in Iceland since 2010, and it is one of the most popular locations for gay weddings in the world. Aside from the iconic rainbow path, this little fishing village is close to Gufufoss, a beautiful but mostly unknown waterfall, and Heiðarvatn, a mountaintop lake with views of snowy peaks in the distance.
Jökulsárlón is Iceland’s famous glacier lagoon. As large icebergs break off of the Vatnajökull Glacier, they float through the bay and out to the Atlantic Ocean, where some pieces wash up on the black sand beach. The lagoon is filled with huge white and brilliant blue icebergs, and the hill overlooking it all is a beautiful place for a small ceremony. The beach is called Diamond Beach, because the clear ice chunks that wash ashore look like diamonds. (This also makes it an amazing place to propose in Iceland!) Nearby, you’ll see Icelandic horses out in the fields.
Svartifoss is one of the most unique waterfalls in Iceland. Located in Skaftafell, part of Vatnajökull National Park, this location requires a good hike to get there, and it’s absolutely worth it! You can hike down to the rocks at the base of the falls, and get married surrounded by the incredible basalt columns. On the hike up, you’ll pass through mountain meadows with views of the glaciers in the distance. Other photo spots nearby include the glacial lagoon Jökulsárlón, Diamond Beach, and Fjaðrárgljúfur.
Reynisfjara is one of the most popular elopement locations in Iceland, and it’s no secret why! The famous black sand beach is an otherworldly landscape, and truly unlike anywhere else on the planet. Stone stacks, basalt columns and cliffs, and of course the black sand itself make it one of the most well-known spots on Iceland’s South Coast. It can be crowded in the daytime during peak season, but if you time it right, you’ll feel like you have the beach all to yourselves. Many couples like to spend the night before their Reynisfjara elopement in the nearby town of Vík, where you can stay in a glamping tent (ask me for recommendations!) and see the puffins at Dyrhólaey. Skógafoss, one of Iceland’s most famous (and definitely most instagrammed) waterfalls, is also nearby, as is the Solheimasandur plane wreck.
Seljalandsfoss (and its lesser-known sister Gljufrabui) is one of my favorite locations on the South Coast. You can walk all the way around this waterfall, and on sunny days you are almost guaranteed to see a fantastic rainbow! Most tourists stop there, but if you keep going down a side path, you’ll find Gljufrabui. This waterfall is hidden inside a cave, and you have to walk in the stream to get there. It is unlike anywhere else, and a truly romantic hidden gem. You can loop Seljalandsfoss in with Skógafoss, Kvernufoss, and Reynisfjara for a South Coast road trip day, or you could take the ferry out to the island of Heimaey instead!
What to Know for Your Elopement in Iceland
Eloping in Iceland can be easy and fun! You have two options for the legal aspect of your marriage: you can obtain your marriage license at home before/after your trip, which is usually simpler from a paperwork/time limit perspective, or you can get legally married in Iceland (Guide to Iceland has a great guide about the documents and timelines here.)
You want a photographer who is familiar with Iceland, who knows the local permits and regulations required for wedding photography, and who can connect you with any other vendors you might need (officiant, hair/makeup, florist, videographer, musicians, and more.) You also want to find someone who is up for whatever adventure you have in mind - be sure to ask about their hiking experience, and what you’ll receive in your elopement photography package!
Iceland is an amazing place, and it’s important for all visitors to help it stay that way. I am a Leave No Trace advocate, which is especially needed when hiking and exploring in protected wild places. “Take nothing but pictures” while on your Icelandic adventure - don’t pick wildflowers or collect rocks. Be sure to stay on the path - many of Iceland’s lichens and mosses are fragile, and can take hundreds of years to fully recover if stepped on. Driving off-road is not allowed, and please do not touch or feed any animals - this includes the beautiful Icelandic horses and sheep! Most importantly, we all need to be respectful of this beautiful country ❤️
I hope this Iceland elopement location ideas list has been helpful for you as you start to plan your Icelandic adventure! Please keep me in mind as you start your photographer search, and if you have any questions not answered in this post, send them my way!