Iceland, is it really all it's cracked up to be?
A question on so many couples minds today: Should I elope in Iceland?
Iceland is quickly becoming one of the hottest elopement locations in the world. So naturally, as a photographer, I wanted to get the chance to shoot there. Aly and Will who had already hired us to do their NoCal wedding, were teetering back and forth with the idea of scrapping the local wedding and eloping in Iceland instead. In the end, they decided to do both and for those of you on the fence about one or the other, or the possibility of both... Here is the nitty, gritty, about Iceland.
The weather really isn't great most of the year, but that's ok. The wind, the rain, the fog, the terrain, the storms make for epic imagery. Just make sure to be prepared. Couples, wear thermals under those clothes and ladies, scrap the idea of heels for sure. Photogs, either bring the weather sealed gear, or get cheap weather bags off Amazon, they are life savers. I wouldn't for a second consider not going because of weather, you just have to prepare and schedule a few days to shoot. In the short summer months, one day can totally be fine (if you don't mind sticking to one area), but otherwise pick a few days back to back so if it's bad out you won't lose the opportunity to shoot.
Rent a big van, load up together, pack snacks (and dranks! lol) and explore all day. Listen, Vik, the Black Sand Beach is incredible, but so are the iceberg beaches a few hours away, the high cliffs, ice caves, and waterfalls. There is so much to see! I highly suggest 2 days planned and then add in a 3rd for issues with weather if needed. Oh! And bring a change of dry comfy clothes and towels for sure!
Now word on the streets is Iceland is expensive.... well HELL yes, and kinda no. So, the basics like flights, AirBnB are very affordable. But once you are here, any meal out is CRAZY pricey. A standard good burger, is $20-30, a good cocktail, $20-25, a pressed juice in the AM, $12..... a fancy dinner, easily for 2 people is $200. This is why the AirBnB is so important, you can get a few meals at home when you have a kitchen vs staying in a hotel!
Rent a car. I said this earlier in a different way, but don't return it after the session. They charge an arm and a leg for these "tours" and if you have a car you can get to most of these amazing locations pretty easily.
The people. Super nice. Iceland is finally thriving, and most really appreciate the fact that tourists are what is making the country thrive.
The smell: Yup, it's true, ain't that grand. One downfall is the smell of eggs that floats in the air. It's so rich with sulfur, it leaves a sometimes not so faint egg smell. Is it worth enduring for a few days for these pictures? Heck yes!
In closing..... let's wrap back to the beginning..... for those couples on the fence, Iceland is a must-see, just do it!!!! From Reynisfjara Beach to the Búðakirkja Black Church, to the Gljufrabui and Seljalandsfoss Waterfalls to Snæfellsjökull National Park, everywhere we went was just so beautiful and odd in a marvelous way. Family is super important, and if they are fighting for you to have a local shindig, do that too, and then adventure for the "couples portraits" in Iceland. It's worth it, if you can afford it, to make the family happy and still have your dreams come true :)