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Friday, September 2, 2016

Intimate Icelandic Nuptials

Words by Courtney Cox
Photos courtesy of Micah Lindstrom

When we interviewed Avery and Davey about their destination wedding to Húsafell, Iceland, all of their answers were pretty straightforward. But, isn’t that the point? While hosting a lovely, drama-free destination wedding was the couple’s dream, it doesn’t make for juicy gossip. Their reasoning for opting for a wedding away is the ideal example. “I always dreamed of a small wedding surrounded by the people that love us the most, so a destination wedding was the perfect way to cultivate that intimate experience,” says the bride. “Our family and friends were excited about the idea of adventuring to Iceland, although I think a few of them would have preferred somewhere a bit warmer.”

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While some of Avery and Davey’s guests might have had their fingers crossed for a tropical beach somewhere, sand was never in the cards for the bride. “I grew up in the mountains of Vermont and loved the idea of a snowy wedding,” reflects Avery. “Iceland had always been on my must-visit list and Davey was gracious in letting me have my dream.” If the couple wanted snow, they most certainly got their wish! “The only real issue we ran into was the weather!” says the bride. “The day of the rehearsal, a snowstorm closed the road out of town, so we had our rehearsal luncheon at the hotel instead of in the city. The snow did turn out to be a blessing because the next morning there was a fresh covering, which made for really beautiful pictures.”

Obviously the couple had never been to Iceland before, so they put a lot of time into finding just the right spot and venue for their nuptials. “We researched the island together and agreed that Hotel Húsafell was the perfect spot for us; it is a two hour drive outside Reykjavik at the foot of Langjokull Glacier. We loved the remote location, breathtaking views and the little chapel next door.” Indeed, the tiny town proved to be the perfect setting for the lovebirds’ snowy, intimate wedding. Plus, once their guests got to experience the beauty of Iceland, we doubt any of them regretted their decision to attend.

When it came to her destination wedding planning experience, Avery only had positive things to say. “My experience was relatively stress free because of our wedding planner Antonia Christianson. Davey and I had done a bunch of research to choose the location and then Antonia took the reins. She found the florist, communicated with the hotel and connected us with the Icelandic priest. She kept us on task when it came to managing our timeline leading up to the wedding. The only real stressful part was planning the travel.

“Coordinating travel was the most stressful part of the planning, and it was the least organized part of the wedding. Fortunately, there were two big groups that traveled together, which helped with sorting out rental cars and both of our parents helped immensely by taking in our friends that were traveling alone and offering them a place to stay. Our families really stepped up to help take care of everyone that came.” The couple did a great job of surrounding themselves with talented, helpful people on their wedding day and the bride said she couldn’t have done it without her wedding planner.

“Her team was amazing! Antonia is an expert at handling the little details – she managed all the communication to our international vendors and traveled with us to Iceland. Her and her assistant made sure everything ran smoothly from the rehearsal through the reception – even carpooling the guests from the chapel to the reception through the snow. There was no stress the day-of because we knew everything was being handled by her team.”

Planning a destination wedding often forces couples to let go of the reigns a bit, and planning one in such a remote location, really forced Avery and Davey to trust their team of vendors. “Davey and I both work full time, so calling vendors during the day with the time change wasn’t feasible. We told [Antonia] what we liked and she made it happen. We did not run into any issues and we were pleasantly surprised how perfectly everything came together. For example, we picked a menu without a tasting and the food was AMAZING. I sent a few bouquet ideas I liked to Antonia, she found the florist and the flowers were so beautiful…we were blown away by the results.”

Saying “I do” in Iceland also increased the couple’s wedding budget due to travel costs, but the couple has no regrets. Out of curiosity, we asked the bride how their wedding would have been different if they had held it at home. “The wedding would have been much bigger, and while I love attending big, fun weddings, we wanted a more intimate affair. Everyone arrived in Húsafell a few days before the wedding, so we had extra time with our family and friends that we wouldn’t have had at home.”

It’s clear by looking at the pictures that Avery and Davey were able to pull-off the intimate, snowy destination wedding they had dreamed of. We asked the bride what advice she would offer to help other couples reach success. “Be flexible and focus on the things that matter the most. For us, the ceremony was the most important part, so the morning of the rehearsal, Davey and I ate breakfast together and wrote our vows while looking out at the glacier. It is those moments that you will remember and cherish.”

Vendors: Photographer: Micah Lindstrom, Wedding Planner: Antonia Christianson Events, Ceremony/Reception Site: Hotel Húsafell, Florist: Morna Fell with Bloma Naturra, Stationery: Invitations designed by Manny Gonzalez and A. Taylor Greenquist, Gown Designer: Rue de Seine, Groom’s Clothing Designer: J.Crew, Rings: Freebourn Co., Music: Leneé Thornton

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