Top 10 Biggest Myths About Getting Married in Iceland
19 November, 2014
Iceland is one of those secretive places that is not really on people’s travel radar, let alone their destination wedding location list! Some bypass so they can go play and explore in other Nordic countries or the well-known tourist sites in the UK. Whereas others may be just blissfully unaware to the endless and unique beauty this country offers at every corner.
Let me first start by clearing up the Iceland versus Greenland confusion… Iceland is green (only ~15% is covered in ice) and Greenland is icy (whereas ~80% is covered in ice). Although, Iceland Wedding Planner and our sister company, Photos by Miss Ann handles weddings in both locations, there are far more natural wonder options to be wowed by, in Iceland. But that is a perfect pivot into today’s topic… What are the biggest myths about getting married in Iceland? Today, we’re happy to share several of them with you!
Myth #1: My wedding in Iceland will not be legal once I return home.
False! When you get married in Iceland, you’re married! Iceland’s marriage license is recognized by countless countries (IE, USA, Canada, Mexico, Singapore, UK, just to name a few)! There is a bit of leg work you must do at least 6 weeks before your wedding date and you do have to present your paper work to your regionalized District Commissioner days before, to then present your final paper work to the Icelandic individual that will be marrying, but in the end you’re legally married!
Myth #2: Northern Lights happen all the time.
Ha, this one is my personal favorite myth about Iceland. We get weekly Iceland wedding inquiries from couples saying they would like to “Get married under the Northern Lights,” as if I have a switch to turn them on at any time during the year. We have even had a couple a few years ago say they wanted to get married under a specific color of Northern Lights! Alright, all kidding aside folks… I’m sorry to say that the Northern Lights (also referred to as the Aurora Borealis) do not happen every day or even everywhere in Iceland. Your best chances of seeing them are during the months of November-February in Iceland on a cold clear night in the country. Why? November through February offers the longest nighttime hours and being in the country with no or low light pollution is ideal… the darker the better!
Myth #3: Volcanos are always erupting, like in Hawaii.
Always, is not a true statement. However, it is exciting in Iceland right now because there is one volcano (Bárðarbunga) that has been erupting since August 31st and is still going strong through the date of this post. But before that eruption, it had been since April of 2010 that the famous Eyjafjallajökull Volcano erupted and halted European travel for weeks.
Myth #4: It will be warm and sunny on my wedding day!
Sorry to burst your bubble, but Iceland is the truly the land of Fire and Ice… Unpredictable in every way. Even the nicest days in Iceland can change quickly. It will also depend on what your definition of warm is! During Iceland’s winter months (November-March the temperatures average between -15–5 °C (5–42 °F) excluding wind chills. Summer months (May-September) usually bring temperatures between 7–13 °C (42–55 °F).
Myth #5: I do not need a bridal coat as part of my Iceland wedding attire.
Wrong, you most certainly do! I suggest to all of my brides in any season to ensure they have one on hand (or I bring one for them to borrow) because the gale force winds can be brutal! Plus once the sun does go down past the mountains it gets very chilly, fast.
Myth #6: I can bring in my own officiant to marry me in Iceland.
In order for your marriage to be legal in Iceland and outside of, you must have an officiant that is legitimately licensed in Iceland to perform your wedding ceremony.
Myth #7: I do not need an inclement weather option (inside).
You do need one, even if you don’t end up using it… Whether that means a cute country church, a museum, umbrellas, or a super sweet cave, have it available! When we plan for our Iceland wedding clients, we always have a solid “plan b” spot ready and usually make the call 90 minutes before the ceremony time. We also have a plan c, d, and e if things change along the way, so we advise you to do the same.
Myth #8: It’s cheaper to marry in Iceland than at home.
My answer to this one is most likely not, unless you are passing on your big wedding back home and downsizing to a romantic Icelandic elopement. Wedding meals average between $70-100 USD per person and most wine and liquors are imported so they come with a higher price tag than your used to. But, what an Iceland destination wedding can do for your guest list is decrease it. So if back home you would have had the obligation of inviting 100+ people, you may only have 45 follow you to Iceland and in that case you may save some money.
Myth #9: I can bring my own alcohol to my Iceland wedding reception.
Absolutely not! Unless you are staying at a private house and having a private caterer, it will not be cheaper for you. All of the hotels or restaurants we have encountered will have an outrageous uncorking fee that would balance out any savings you would have had. Your best bet if you do want something specific, would be to bring champagne to share with your group while out on your Iceland wedding adventure. Think: A fabulous champagne toast with unforgettable scenery behind!
Myth #10: You don’t need an Iceland wedding planner.
False! You’re going to be super overwhelmed as you start looking at all of the amazing locations and options where you could possible say “I do”. Hiring an expert that is not only familiar with the best vendors but one that thrives on adventure (like we do) sets you up to have the very best and most unforgettable Iceland destination wedding adventure ever! A wedding planner will also guide you through the licensing and paperwork process, come up with inclement weather options, suggest crazy beautiful areas for wedding portraits, and will tackle any issue with a smile and a plan. …and their efforts will leave you worry free to enjoy this incredible time in your lives!
About the Author
Iceland Wedding Planner is a team of professional wedding planners and destination wedding photographers, who are experts on all things Icelandic! Ann & Beth have been working with couples worldwide for over 10 years to plan and document amazing weddings. Iceland Wedding Planner offers a comprehensive service to couples, from the initial planning, event design, wedding day logistics, photography, videography, and most importantly, a ‘Plan B’! Ann & Beth pride themselves on their knowledge of epic wedding day locations, and in being well versed in Iceland’s ever changing weather and lighting conditions, ensuring that their couples are able to relax and truly enjoy their wedding day. They also plan wedding in other Nordic countries, including Greenland, Faroe Islands (Denmark), Sweden, Finland, and Norway.
All Images by Photos by Miss Ann for Iceland Wedding Planner
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