couple stand by black rock columns

Iceland Adventure Elopement


February 15, 2023
Words by Lillian Finley
Photos courtesy of Rebekah Noel Photography

Ashley and Tommy met in school. Not as students, but as teachers. Their love story started when they locked eyes across the room at a particularly boring meeting and bonded over something a bit more interesting— a shared love of travel. For this exploration-prone couple, when the time came to tie the knot, there was nothing more perfect than a destination wedding. 

Reviewing their past travel spots, Ashley and Tommy decided on a personal favorite: Reynisfjara, Iceland. 

“We love Iceland and travel there almost every year to visit friends, go hiking and explore,” the couple says. “We loved the opportunity to capture special moments at waterfalls, volcanoes and beaches with volcanic sand.” 

But, while Ashley and Tommy had found their dream location, it took a bit more time to work out the logistics of their dream ceremony. Traveling nearly 4,000 miles for their big day, much of the wedding planning had to be done remotely. As a result, the newlyweds got creative. 

“Having friends in Iceland was incredibly helpful!” says the couple, “They were able to handle several ‘on the ground’ tasks in advance that would have been difficult to handle over the phone.”

In addition to knowing that they wanted to get away for their big day, the couple knew that they wanted a small, intimate ceremony, with only their closest friends and family members. For an Iceland wedding, this dream had some difficulties. 

“One issue we worried about was that most scenic places in Iceland are open to the public and not available for private events,” the couple says. “We wondered if we would be able to have the intimate ceremony we dreamed of.” 

Luckily for the couple, tourists kept a considerable distance during the ceremony and they were able to hold the intimate wedding they wanted. 

With many of the main barriers sorted out, Tommy and Ashley got into the nitty gritty of their wedding planning for a few personal touches. 

“I fell in love with the purple Icelandic wildflowers called Lupine on our second visit there and knew that’s what I wanted. We created our own flower arrangements using all Icelandic wildflowers,” says Ashley. 

The end result of all of this planning was a ceremony unlike any other. Instead of a traditional ceremony, the bride and groom had their wedding exactly how they imagined: “an intimate gathering surrounded by nature at its fiercest.” With hiking boots as wedding shoes to boot! 

After finding a way to celebrate their love of adventure and their love for each other at the same time, Ashley and Tommy had a takeaway— “Make sure you don’t compromise on what is most important to you and your partner. Destination weddings aren’t for everyone, but if you love travel and adventure, go for it! You won’t be sorry!”

Vendors: Photographer: Rebekah Noel Photography; Wedding Planner: Jessica King & Sigga Thora; Gown Designer: Galina Signature; Cupcakes: Saetar Syndir

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