Iceland is one of those places that when I traveled to for the first time I instantly felt like I was was always meant to be there. I first visited back in winter 2013 (before it was all hipster and insta-famous) and still every time I go back, even though there's more and more tourists, Iceland will always be the most wild, awe-inspiring, other-worldly location that continues to call to me. With black sand beaches, hundreds of waterfalls, geysers, hot springs, volcanoes, mountains, fjords, and mossy canyons—I can't think of a country with a more diverse and incredible landscape. The best way I can describe it is if you combined Hawaii and Yellowstone and moved it to the arctic—it'd be half as cool as Iceland. The whole place feels so incredibly "wild"—and that idea is manifested not only in the other-worldy landscape, but also in the culture. As the windiest inhabited place on earth, everything is very low to the ground (houses & fluffy horses alike). There's hardly any trees, so you can see for miles almost anywhere you go. Icelandic people remind me a lot of Coloradoans—extremely friendly and very much in tune with nature—and ready to brace themselves to survive harsh winters and constant wind. So when I visited for the first time, and every time I've been back since, it always feels very comfortable—and a lot like home.
So when Julie & Tim contacted me about photographing their incredible destination elopement in Iceland—you better believe I jumped at the chance. There's nothing I love hearing more than "we aren't sure what we want to do, or where we want to go, but we'd love your ideas!" I absolutely LOVE working with couples in this dreaming and planning stage to find the perfect corner of the world for to say their vows. Leaning on my knowledge from several trips there, as well as a passion to find unique, off-the-beaten path locations—I dug in deep and sent Julie & Tim a giant list of ideas that fit their general vision. Collaborating with couples to create their unique and intimate wedding days is one of the most fun and fulfilling parts of being an elopement photographer.
The resulting itinerary we dreamed up for their elopement was nothing short of epic. We spent two whole days together on the south coast of Iceland—exploring, wandering, and cuddling (well Julie & Tim did a lot of cuddling—and sometimes all 3 of us huddled between shots to keep warm!). Starting in Reykjavik, they got ready and wrote their vows together. We jumped in the car and explored Seljalandsfoss and Reynisfjara before heading to the mossy canyon or Fjaðrárgljúfur for their ceremony. Julie & Tim said their tear-filled vows on the edge of the foggy canyon, popped some champagne, and wrapped up their incredible elopement day. For our second day, we went on a secret waterfall hike to get away from the tourists, played with some fluffy horses, and finished up near the Blue Lagoon. I could not have imagined a more perfect couple of days, with two people more fully in love. It was a dream come true to work with a couple who was not only willing but wanted to spend 12 hours driving around the South Coast of Iceland and going along with every one of my spontaneous photographing whims. They braved the cold Icelandic winds and seeing these two hold each other tight and get to commit their whole lives to each other was so deeply moving & inspiring.
I could go on forever about how amazing this elopement was, but here are some words from Julie:
"My husband and I had initially planned a "normal" wedding, but the day we had to turn in the venue deposit we decided it just wasn't for us. We wanted our day to be an adventure we'd never forget! I discovered Maddie while looking for Colorado photographers, and fell head over heels in love with her work. Seriously, we messaged her the second we saw her photos and would have been devastated if she had been unavailable! I can't even begin to describe the level of detail and attention Maddie paid to every aspect of our day. We chose to elope to Iceland, and since she had been there before her advice was invaluable - she sent us a giant document with potential photo locations and walked us through every single one. She went above and beyond answering all of my incessant questions that were well beyond the scope of her services (it's because of her knowledge and advice that I found the the absolute perfect dress, it photographed SO well!), and even gave us a to-the-minute itinerary of our two days together so that we'd have a timeline to stick to. The two days we spent with her during our elopement were a dream come true. Maddie coordinated everything so unbelievably perfectly, and hanging out with her was a blast! She made both of us (my super-introverted husband especially) feel totally comfortable, and her passion for capturing our day perfectly was honestly so moving. Her genuine love for her job is inspiring. We couldn't wipe the smiles off our faces the entire time! We're pretty awkward people by default, but were moved to tears when our photos were delivered - I don't know how she managed to make us look so good!! You honestly can't go wrong choosing her for your elopement - I can't think of a single bad thing to say about the entire experience. Thank you Maddie for making our day everything we ever dreamed!"
Flowers: Bloma Naturra
Iceland is one of my favorite places to photograph elopements, and I often travel there ever year. Check out my travel dates to see when my next trips are planned, and get in touch to chat about your adventurous Iceland elopement. I'd love to share all of my Iceland elopement location ideas with you and I have special Iceland elopement packages.