The Ultimate Guide to Getting Married in Iceland [With Photos]

Important things to take note if you plan to get married in Iceland

Marriage is an important occasion for two people in love. This is where they commit themselves to love and cherish each other in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer. Thus, people go through great lengths just to make this special union memorable and perfect.

One great way to do so is by getting married in one of the most scenic and breathtaking places on Earth, Iceland.

From its dramatic landscapes, cute wooden churches, vast fields of green, black sandy beaches, and dancing Northern lights, truly Iceland is a remarkable and picture-perfect wedding destination for soon-to-be brides and grooms.

Ideally situated between Europe and North America, Iceland is an ideal wedding destination especially for couples who both come from Europe and North America and want to meet halfway or for people who come from North America and plan to spend their honeymoon in Europe, or vice versa.

Why do couples want to get married in Iceland?

Here are some of the reasons couples want to get married in this awe-inspiring country.

1. Picture-perfect wedding shots
Getting married in this captivating country will allow couples to have Instagram-worthy shots of their once-in-a-lifetime event. It is nice to look back and cherish the memories of your unforgettable wedding in Iceland by looking back at those striking and staggering shots.

2. Basic marriage requirements
Marriage in Iceland requires no sweat. You just have to hand in all the needed documents to the National Registry Office in Reykjavik, no less than three weeks before the wedding date. However, to make things more convenient, you can send it at least 5 days prior to the date of the wedding, but you must bring the original documents during the wedding.

3. A paradise and dream wedding destination for couples who love nature
Iceland offers a lot of jaw-dropping scenery perfect for couples who love a nature-themed wedding. These panoramas allow the couple to be intimately bound and one with nature.

4. Unique wedding experience
Marry on top of a cliff or a glacier, in an ice cave, on the beach, in front of the waterfalls, or any unique place you can think of; name it and Iceland has everything in store for you.

5. Legalized same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage has been legalized in Iceland since June 27, 2010, becoming the ninth country to legalized gender-neutral union.

6. One of the greenest, cleanest, and safest cities on earth
If you want to have a fresh start, then why not getting married in one of the greenest and cleanest cities of the world. Plus, you don’t have to worry about you and your partner’s safety, as this country is also considered one of the safest on the planet.

7. Friendly and approachable citizens
The Icelanders are known to be friendly and welcoming to guests and foreigners in the land. Communication is not an issue for these people, as they have good command of the English language.

How to get to Iceland?

Your best shot for affordable flights from North America to Iceland is Icelandair, the flagship national Icelandic carrier. Icelandair has made an impact because of its stopover program that allows tourists to spend up to seven nights free in the country. Plus, they can also avail of a stopover buddy that will serve as their tourist guide, all for free.

From Europe, there are many options - both full-service and low-cost carriers like EasyJet and WizzAir - that could help you reach Iceland. 

When is the best time to get married in Iceland?

The country is blessed to experience four seasons. Weddings can be done in all seasons. We have highlighted some pros and cons to help you decide which season fits you best.


Summer in Iceland starts from June to August. If you want to have your wedding in vast green fields, then this is the perfect time for you. Summer is also a time where the weather is good, and the temperature ranges from 8 to 20 °C; thus, it will allow you to get around the place easily. However, one drawback that you should consider is that this is the country’s peak season. Therefore, expect everything to be expensive.

Autumn and Spring

Autumn and spring usually fall in the month of May and September. This is the country’s shoulder season which means that it is still a bit expensive but not as much as the summer season. If you want to celebrate your wedding with the magnificent and awe-inspiring northern lights as a background, then September will be the best month to have your wedding.


This is the country’s off-peak season, meaning it is less expensive. The temperature usually ranges from -3 °C to 2 °C; therefore, you need to prepare thick and warm clothes for the weather. Many areas are covered with snow, and winter activities such as skiing can be done during this time. If you want a unique wedding experience inside the snow cave, then book your wedding between the months of October and April.

Popular wedding locations in Iceland

Here are some of the country’s popular wedding destinations that you might consider.

1. Hallgrímskirkja – one of the most popular landmarks in Iceland, this Evangelical- Lutheran Church stands guard over Reykjavík. It is the largest and one of the tallest structures in Iceland. It is both a national sanctuary and a parish church that features the Icelandic landscapes with an ode to modernism, which is why this is regularly booked for ceremonies including weddings, baptisms, and funerals.

2. Outdoor either on a cliff or by a waterfall  for a more unique wedding experience, don’t miss your chance of having an outdoor wedding by the famous Goðafoss waterfall or at the Dyrhólaey Sea Cliff.

3. Adventure wedding inside a cave or a glacier  for thrill-seeking couples, you can try out weddings on a blue ice cave, on top of a glacier, in a geothermal area, or in a helicopter. You can also have it in Iceland’s crown jewel, the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.

4. Church – for couples who still prefer the traditional wedding set-up inside the church but this time with Iceland’s magnificent view, then try out the churches dotted along the countryside.

What are the popular pre/post wedding activities to try?

Listed here are some of the popular activities couples can do in the country. These are:

  • Horseback riding
  • Snorkeling in Silfra
  • Exploring a glacier or ice cave
  • Snowmobiling
  • Hiking
  • River rafting
  • Superjeep trips during summer to the highlands

What are the costs to get married in Iceland?

It usually costs less to have a wedding ceremony that is only a few minutes to a one-hour drive from the city for the reception. This will allow guests to book for their accommodations wherever they like to.

For couples who have deep pockets, you can have the choice to rent the entire hotel in the countryside. You can also have the choice to have the ceremony in your desired location and the reception at the hotel. In fact, Iceland has a variety of very nice hotels dotted all over the country that you can choose from.

The estimated cost of a wedding meal without wine is roughly between € 65 to €88 per person. This is also somehow similar to that of an ordinary meal in a restaurant. However, high-end wedding venues may require you to pay more than the estimated cost.

Alcohol in the country is expensive because it still needs to be imported from other regions. Also, fresh flowers can be costly as well. You can try out other alternatives for these expensive flowers.

Legal requirements

Again, Iceland makes marriage of foreigners more convenient and less hassle. In fact, one of its greatest advantages is that it does not require costly translation of documents, even if they are in English. However, if the paperwork is not in Scandinavian or English language, it has to be supplemented with translation. Also, same-sex marriage is already acknowledged and practiced in the country since it became legal in June 2010.

To obtain a marriage license, you must prepare and send the necessary documents three weeks before the scheduled wedding date to the National Registry Office in Reykjavik.

It is important to note that all documents presented must be the original copy. Necessary documents must be handed over in 5 working days before the date of your wedding for legal wedding needs. You are required to produce the following authorized documents:

  1. Birth Certificate
  2. Marriage Notification or Hjónavígsluskýrsla – this form is given by Sýslumaðurinn í Reykjavik
  3. Certificate of Marital Status
  4. A divorce decree  if the bride or groom has been divorced, he or she needs to show some proof that the previous union has been dissolved through a divorce.
  5. Proof of assets and liabilities of the deceased spouse  if the bride or the groom is a widow or a widower, he or she must present an official document stating that the assets and liabilities of the deceased spouse have already been divided or finalized.
  6. Passports – the couple should present their valid passports upon the ceremony.
  7. Legal stay in Iceland  it is a must that both the bride and the groom are staying legally in the country during the wedding ceremony. Proof of the legality of their stay must be presented such as the visa or confirmation of the date of arrival (with a flight ticket or passport stamp) and a residence permit. Information about residence permits and visas can be seen at The Icelandic Directorate of Immigration website.

What are the benefits of hiring a wedding planner in Iceland?

A wedding planner is a professional who helps with the design, thorough planning, and management of a wedding. Here are the benefits you can enjoy when you hire a wedding planner in Iceland.

1. Stress-free
The wedding planner will be in charge of all the big and minute details of the wedding, including the reception.

2. Help you think of an alternative plan
If in any case your Plan A will not work to one’s advantage due to unpredictable weather conditions, then your wedding planner will help you plan and sort out a Plan B or even Plan C.

3. Negotiate
Wedding planners will help you negotiate the best deals, when it comes to the venue, accommodation, wedding suppliers, and transport.

4. Contact the necessary people
Communicating with all the needed supplies for the wedding like the flowers, make up artists, photographers, wedding officiant, drivers, etc. will be more difficult, most especially if you only have a limited time to stay in the country. The wedding planner will be the one to communicate with these suppliers, as they already have the grasp of these people; all you need to do is to check with your planner from time to time.

5. Assist with legal documentation and paperwork
Who would better know about all the necessary paperwork and legal documentation than the local wedding planner? Your wedding planner will help facilitate all the needed paperwork for your wedding; you just have to submit all the valid necessary documents.

6. Arranging other activities
Usually, after or even before the wedding, you and your guests would like to try out the popular activities in the country. Your wedding planner may help you arrange that as well.

A few more things to take note

Here are a few other details to take note of:

  • The weather in Iceland is extremely unpredictable, especially during the winter season. It is important for couples to be aware of this predicament to make them prepare for an alternative plan if worse comes to worst.
  • You also have to obtain permission from the landowner or the national authority if you intend to have your wedding ceremony outside.
  • The Northern Lights only appear in the months of September to March.
  • The necessary paperwork for a legal wedding must be handed over 5 days before the wedding. If you hire a wedding planner, then they can easily do it for you, but if not, then you need to be in the country at least 4 days prior to the date of your wedding to hand over the documents.

Final thoughts

Having your dream wedding in the majestic and breathtaking view of Iceland is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you shouldn’t miss. It will be a magical and unforgettable start of your journey to forever.

Further reading

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