Iceland Elopement: Everything You Need To Know
What do you need for eloping in Iceland?
There's a reason why people often choose Iceland for their elopement ceremony. The land of fire and ice amazes with its diversity in nature, and it is guaranteed that everyone will find their favorite spot.
More about know how to planning your destination elopement
With that said, there are a few things to consider before planning to elope in Iceland.
So, here we'll be talking about wedding venues, the must-visit places for and after the wedding elopement, and of course, the documentation needed to make the elopement complete and valid.
Let's start with the fun stuff first.
Elopement venues in Iceland
Iceland is a great place to pick for elopement because you can spend the rest of your honeymoon exploring the island.
From black sandy beaches, cute wooden churches, to fields of green next to towering volcanoes and glaciers along with the long summer nights or dancing Northern Lights, this island has it all to offer a unique elopement destination.
First off, whether you're religious or not, you can get married inside a chapel or in nature, anywhere you choose. You can even celebrate your elopement in an ice chapel in a glacier in Iceland.
People get married on top of mountains, in ice caves, behind waterfalls, or on the endless black beaches.
But who said you need to be on land when getting married? You can rent a helicopter and get married in the skies, or get the helicopter to take you from one beautiful spot to another to get a stunning wedding photoshoot.
I suggest checking out the Langjökull glacier that has a chapel made out of ice.
You can elope there any time of the year. But if you choose to visit Iceland in the winter and have an eloping winter fairytale, then the Pingvellir National Park is your best spot.
One word of advice, the weather tends to change pretty quickly on the island, and if you're planning an outdoor elopement, then it's wise to have a plan B like a tent to take shelter from the elements, especially if you'll be having guests on your elopement.
This brings us to the next question, which is…
When's the right time to visit Iceland for your elopement?
If you're wondering, 'What time is best to visit Iceland?' I'm here to say any time of the year. Each season offers something unique and beautiful, so it's best to do your research based on what you prefer. Snow or sun? Swimming or hiking on glaciers? The Aurora Borealis or the sandy beaches? With so much to offer, you definitely cannot go wrong when eloping in Iceland.
While the summer offers 24-hour days for endless strolling around the island, the winter with its darkness gives you the chance to see the gorgeous Northern Lights and all the nature that lightens up during those times.
Be prepared with warm clothing and rain gear no matter which season you're eloping in, and you will be perfectly fine!
Honeymooning in Iceland
Thinking about planning some trips after the elopement in Iceland? These are some of the most beautiful places to visit after your eloping ceremony in Iceland.
The Golden Circle. You can either go on your own or with a group here to visit all the highlights of the golden circle tour. I suggest getting a full tour with a guide as they will give you a lot of Icelandic insights and knowledge you can't find easily.
West Fjords of Snæfellsnes. This is quite a long trip, so going with your partner and enjoying the views here is advisable instead of going with a group.
The waterfalls. If not the land of fire and ice, Iceland should be called the land of waterfalls. Some of the most beautiful ones are Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Goðafoss, and Háifoss. All a day-trip from Reykjavik, and definitely must-see destinations in Iceland.
Black-sand beaches. Djúpalónssandur, Hellnar, and Arnarstapi are all places with black sandy beaches. If you are traveling the ring road and make it to East Iceland, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon is a must. Along the South of Iceland, there are two spots to hit that are popular, the southernmost town of Vík and Reynisfjara, which is in Vík. If you take a trip to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula up the West coast, there are a few gorgeous ones as well.
Geothermal swimming areas are a godsend. Blue Lagoon is one of the most popular geothermal swimming areas, and it's packed with tourists year-round. Then, you have the Mývatn Nature Baths, Secret Lagoon near Flúðir, and Seljavallalaug. Something to be aware of is that a lot of the nature baths, even the tap water, smells like Sulphur. That's just Iceland, and you should get used to it.
The capital city. While nature is hard to beat, you cannot just go to a country without touring around its capital. Reykjavík has plenty to offer that will help you understand the culture of the whole nation easily. You can explore art, the music, the nightlife, bars, ports, the delicious food and coffee shops, and even the shopping malls.
Marriage laws in Iceland
Regardless of religion or the lack of, same-sex marriages, or any other preferences, Iceland is open to everything.
This is why it's so easy and popular to get married there. However, there are some formalities and paperwork that needs to be filled out to make it all work well.
With that said, here are some things you'll need to legalize your marriage in Iceland:
Both partners need to be 18 years of age or older and not already married. If they've been married before, they will need to provide proof of divorce. Original documents are required, and if they're not in English or any of the Scandinavian languages, you will need to provide an accompanying translation of the original.
Submit your documents at least 3 weeks prior to your elopement in Iceland. You can e-mail the papers and then hand over the originals once you're there. If you've hired a wedding planner, they can do this for you.
If documents do not arrive within this timeframe, the marriage is considered canceled.
Documents to be sent in Iceland (3 weeks before the elopement date)
Marriage notification (Hjónavígsluskýrsla)
Birth certificates of both parties. Originals can be returned after the wedding ceremony.
Certificate of marital status – needs to be issued within 8 weeks prior to the wedding date.
A divorce decree if either party is divorced.
If the bride/groom is a widower, a document detailing that the estate of the deceased has been divided/finalized.
Valid passports of both parties.
After the ceremony has taken place, it is possible to obtain a wedding certificate in English from the National Registry, Þjóðskrá. You can find more details at the website of the National Registry of Iceland.