iceland elopement photographers

An Autumn Road Trip Around Iceland // Matt and Sayde's Personal Adventure

Matt and Sayde's great big, landscape loving, road trip having, honeymoon - babymoon adventure in Iceland // Victoria Wedding Photographers

Way back when Matt and I first started talking and getting to know each other as friends, we talked mostly about photography, and camera stuff in general.  As time went on we chatted more about our hobbies, our childhoods, and things we had hoped to accomplish and do in the future - bucket lists, if you will.  One of the things that embodied all of those things was the experience of past travels, and dream of future travel. We made lists of all the places we wanted to visit, and shared photos of interesting landscapes from places we wanted to see.  Norway, Croatia, Australia, and beyond. One place that came up in almost every conversation and photo share session was Iceland, which crept quickly to the top of both of our lists of must-see places. Fast forward four years to 2016; we were getting married and we were planning a honeymoon to Iceland.  For those who don't know, 2016 was an eventful year for us as we moved to Vancouver Island, worked hard to establish our wedding photography in Victoria, and then got married ourselves.  We decided to wait a year and take our dream honeymoon in a less busy times!

With this postponement of our honeymoon came the most wonderful opportunity: photographing a series of destination elopements in Iceland.  Perfect! Not only would be be travelling, meeting interesting people, and photographing a place we'd been dying to see for years, but we'd also get the opportunity to get to know, and photograph, adventurous couples who were as filled with Iceland wanderlust as we are. You can find each of their elopements in our blog.

This post however is about our personal trip around Iceland in the days leading up to the elopements we photographed. We started our road trip in  Reykjavik and travelled counterclockwise around the ring road, stopping everywhere that made our jaws dropped.  Our jaws dropped almost every ten minutes down the road.  We were awestruck not only by the striking, and often times surreal, landscapes, but also by the way we often felt like we were the only people there, the way the sun hung so low along the horizon on autumn days that it seemed like sunset all the time, and the way the northern lights danced like rivers through the sky at night. So many times we found ourselves staring, or gasping, and asking out loud, "Could this possibly be real?!", as we tried to pinch ourselves awake from what felt like dreams.  

Without further adieu (and because I promised Matt I wouldn't write a paragraph for each photo about the geology of each location, and the saga histories that revolve around them), here's a few highlights from our trip!   Make sure to check out the drone video at the bottom as well! 

 

We also made a video featuring footage from our drone throughout Iceland!  Check that out below:

Sayde's Iceland Maternity Photos // Victoria Wedding Photographers

Victoria Wedding Photographers take to Iceland for some Maternity Photos 

When we started planning our trip to Iceland, we knew right away that we wanted to shoot some elopements while we were there!  We had an amazing time working with Jessika & Mack, Meagann & Neil, and Farrah & Lance for their big Icelandic destination elopements, and were so glad that they decided to join us on an adventure across such a beautiful country. 

A few months out from our trip date, we got the big news; Sayde was expecting!  As exciting as this was for us, one of our first thoughts was, of course, "What about Iceland??".   With some quick math and reassurances from our doctor, we confirmed that she would be within the "okay to fly" window at the time of the trip.  From that moment, we knew that Icelandic Maternity Photos would definitely be something we wanted to do! 

We connected with Trista at Reclamation Design, our neighbour, and talented fashion designer.  Trista's designs and creatives all her gowns from reclaimed lace and crocheted tablecloths to promote sustainability in the fashion word. She has been taking the bridal and maternity world by storm.  Her delicate and flowy designs were a match made in heaven for the spots that we stopped to photograph, flowing with the chilly Icelandic breezes.  And by chilly breezes, I more mean freezing gales....on some days.  :p

Our approach to shooting maternity photos in Iceland was to see what we saw, and stop if something jumped out at us during our travels!  This made for some fun challenges for Sayde, who would change into the dress in the car.  At 7 months pregnant, was a bit of a task!  But she was an absolute trooper, getting in and out of it with (relative) efficiency as we travelled across the country.  Not to mention being out in the cold wind wearing just a lace dress!  

We love the resulting photos, and hope you do as well!  And it's pretty special that one day we will get to share them with our little girl, due January 2nd!  

Reykjavik Elopement in Iceland // Farrah and Lance

Farrah and Lance elope in Iceland at the Blue Lagoon, black beaches, with a sunset vow exchange at Seljalandsfoss // Victoria Wedding and Elopement Photographers

We met Farrah and Lance through our friend Emma of Emma McCormmick Creative, and were so excited when they told us that they wanted to elope in Iceland and have us there to take the photos!  Like all of our couples, Farrah and Lance had their own unique way of doing their elopement, and we loved photographing the whole experience.  Farrah and Lance had a not-so-secret elopement, and even had a handful of family members and friends along to share in the day.  A mini wedding! We  love it!  

The day started out dark, with rain clouds looming over Reykjavik and as far as we could see: we assumed that our lucky weather streak had run out.  Our only option for the day was to follow the road in any direction that might lead us towards any sort of light. What a great decision that ended up being!

Black lava rocks, topped with bright green moss is what covers most of the Reykjanes Peninsula where we decided to head.  At Blue Lagoon, the vibrantly blue pools of water cut a contrasting path through the green and black blanket. They're made all the more vivid by their stark white silica borders.  For Farrah and Lance's first look, it made for a very surreal setting, even as rain threatened to pour on them.  From there we headed east, where we were treated to black sand beaches; their grassy dunes stretching for thousands of acres. Here we found an absolute absence of people, and warm sunlight bursting through dense fog, creating an otherworldly and romantic atmosphere.  

Farrah and Lance had saved their vows just for Iceland, and they were hoping to be able to exchange them at a waterfall at some point through the day.  As the day wound down and the sun began to set, we made our way further east to Seljalandsfoss, stopping along the way to visit with some Icelandic horses, and trying to coax them into cuddles with the promise of apples. We made it to Seljalandsfoss just in time for a glorious sunset, which couldn't have been more perfect for Farrah and Lance's romantic vow exchange.

Thank you Farrah and Lance! We had such a great day with you and your squad, chasing the light, fishing for horses, and walkie-talkie-ing like truckers between our vehicles!  Congratulations to you both, we hope these memories last forever!

Snaefellnes Peninsula Iceland Elopement // Meagann & Neil

Meagann and Neil elope amongst basalt columns, waterfalls and lava fields in Iceland // Victoria Wedding Photographers

 

In our experience photographing three destination elopements in Iceland, on back to back days, we took away so many highlights to reminisce about.  We loved getting to know our couples' different personalities, how they met, and what their lives were like back home, away from this dreamland.  One thing we weren't (but should should have been) expecting was the way all three of our couples would plan and execute their elopement in their own special way.  It only magnified the romance factor of an already romantic way to marry, and we felt it gave us an even more intimate look into the couple's relationship dynamic.

If you read Jessika and Mack's elopement blog from the day before, you know that they had legally married in their home state of Colorado a few days before they left for Iceland.  They had exchanged their wedding rings, but saved their vows for their big day Iceland.  As well, Jessika's wedding dress made it all the way to Iceland without Mack seeing it, so they could get ready the traditional way; without the groom seeing the bride, even though they were going to be in the same apartment at the time!   

The following day we met with Meagann and Neil at their hotel to start the day at their Reykjavik hotel, where they'd get ready together to share the anticipation and excitement of the day.  We found it so romantic that Neil would be the person to help Meagann into her wedding gown (insert 100 heart-eyes emojis), before they looked each other up and down with huge smiles, and headed out the door.  Meagann and Neil also legally signed their marriage papers in their hometown in Ontario, where they had exchanged vows and wedding bands.  The unique twist that we love, is that while the two had their wedding bands, Meagann had not yet seen the beautiful custom sapphire engagement ring that Neil had made just for her.  What a treat for us to get to see her face as Neil opened the little wooden box for her during their ring exchange ceremony. And what better place than an isolated area of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula; at the foot of a waterfall, and overlooking an endless field of bright green, moss-blanketed lava, veined by a river speckled with swans.  The warm light shining through overhead clouds, and the misty wind that danced through Meagann's hair and gown only added more drama to an already dreamlike day.  After their ring exchange, we explored more of the Snaefellsnes peninsula area, that Meagann and Neil had fallen in love with their first few days in Iceland.  They showed us areas that we hadn't had the opportunity to explore on our first trip to the area, and it felt like casual day out adventuring with friends as Neil pointed out all the quaint homesteads he was for sure planning to retire to when it came time.  We took in the impressive basalt column cliffs, took a drive through the incredible Berserkjahraun (mad-man's lava field), and they finished the day with some beachside cuddles at Djupalonssandur (the black lava pearl beach).

Thank you Meagann and Neil for letting us be the ones to peer in and capture such an intimate and personal milestone in your life.  We had so much fun driving around an area of Iceland that meant so much to you, and hope these photos hold a life time of treasure for you! 

 

 

  

South Iceland Elopement with Jessika and Mack // Victoria Destination Wedding Photographer

Jessika and Mack adventure from Reykjavik to share personal vows and a glorious sunset in Vik during their South Iceland elopement  // Iceland Elopement Photographers

We had already been in Iceland for ten days prior to Jessika and Mack's elopement date. We had circled Iceland's Ring Road to enjoy a lot of the sites, and were treated to amazing autumn sunlight, which hung low along the horizon that it seemed all day everyday was golden hour.  A photographer's dream!  However, the three days leading up to their wedding were the three most treacherous weather days we experienced so far.  Three entire days of racing wind, up to 115 km/h at times.  Three entire days of pelting,  cold and stinging rain. It left me and Matt passing worried glances back and forth to each other as the elopement dates drew closer. We knew Iceland's weather could be intense and unpredictable, and we were bracing ourselves for that.  It was hard to deny ourselves a bit of worry since all our couples had travelled so far to come her to elope with us, and it was beginning to look like we may not even have weather that would be safe enough to photograph them outside!  Jessika and Mack came all the way from Colorado in the US for their wedding, and we really wanted to send them back with images that reflected the experience of their whole trip!

We woke up on the morning of Jessika and Mack's elopement to clear skies and zero wind.  The excitement was immediate and overwhelming, which is evidently magnified 100x when dealing with pregnancy hormones. Enter a relieved and impossible-to-contain happy weepy Sayde.  We planned to meet Jessika and Mack at their airBnB apartment where they would both get ready for the day, without seeing each other, before their first look in Reykjavik!  

From there we travelled a popular-for-good-reason route along the south of Iceland, stopping to visit some Icelandic horses, heritage sites, and a few of Iceland's most famous waterfalls.  We seemed to have some curiously coincidental luck the whole day. Not just with the weather turning out great, but with the areas we stopped to photograph in.  When travelling a popular route, it's expected that we were going to have to share the area with tourists and other visitors.  that day however, it seemed we were either arriving to locations as most people were leaving, or leaving locations as most people were arriving.  At Skogafoss this was made very evident as we photographed Jessika and Mack, with very few people around, right in front of the waterfall.  For a few minutes, any existence of the outside world was e blotted out by the sounds of crashing water made by this colossal falls.  It was just the two of them and us in the whole world, it seemed. As we wrapped up and turned 180 degrees to head back to the car, our eyes widened to the sight of 4 coach sized tour busses unloading simultaneously, and their 200 passengers all stampeding slow motion in our direction.  It was like waking up from the most surreal and beautiful dream to realize a zombie apocalypse had started, and the hoard had found you.  The four of us raced back to the car, dodging other bodies as we went, and breaking into fits of laughter as Jessika and Mack got tangled in a cluster of people who were desperate to take a cell phone photo of the two of them in their wedding attire. Once we were all safe in our car we all broke into a fit of laughter over what had just happened, then we travelled all the way to Vik where we wrapped up our day with Jessika and Mack's personal vows isolated amongst black sandstone formations, and watched a glorious sunset from the top of Dyrholey's jaw dropping cliffs. 

While we loved photographing Jessika and Mack in such a unique and interesting environment, it was even better watching their excitement, the ease of their connection together , and their sweet and personal way they interact together.  Riding around in our little hatchback all day with them was such a great way to get to know them better and really take in the magnitude of what this elopement, and their relationship together means to them.

Thank you Jessika and Mack, for travelling all the way from Colorado to elope in Iceland with us! It was such an unforgettable experience! 

 

Cheakamus Centre Wedding in Squamish // Kristina and Dan

Kristina and Dan's wedding in the mossy rainforest of Squamish BC // Victoria Wedding Photographers

You probably recognize Kristina and Dan from their Golden Ears Park engagement photos in September! Well, last month we travelled to Squamish from Vancouver Island to photograph their amazing rainforest wedding at Cheakamus Centre. This was the first wedding we photographed at Cheakamus Centre since our own wedding, and we were so excited that it would be Kristina and Dan's wedding! A super adventurous couple in a rainforest surrounded by mountains?!?! Sign us up: it's obviously going to be an epic day!

We kicked things off with a sweet first look at Cheakamus Centre, on gorgeous blue-green duck pond, with Dan and Kristina's bridal party peeking from a far.  Their outdoor ceremony was tucked in an intimate forest grove surrounded by moss, towering trees, and turning leaves.

With their rings exchanged, and vows proclaimed, Kristina and Dan, their friends and family partied the night away with silly reception games, memorable speeches, photobooth antics, and dancefloor shindigging.  

Thanks Krisitina and Dan for having us their to capture your wedding! We hope you love the photos!

Oak Bay Beach Hotel Wedding with Kristi & Kyle // Victoria Wedding Photographers

Kristi and Kyle's steamy, sunny September wedding at Oak Bay Beach Hotel in Victoria BC // Vancouver Island Wedding Photographers

Just like usual, September is our busiest of all the busy months for weddings and photo sessions!  We started the month with a bang, photographing Kristi and Kyle's wedding at Oak Bay Beach Hotel, which was organized to stunning perfection by Anouk of Persimmon Tree Events.
Since their Mystic Beach engagement session in April, we've been counting down the months until we'd get to photograph Kristi and Kyle again, this time on their wedding day!  We were treated with a warm sun, welcoming family members, a wicked cool bridal party, and of course, Kristi and Kyle's undeniable chemistry.

We love to be flies on the wall at wedding receptions and watch as family members see each other for the first time in a while, as strangers become friends, and as everyone celebrates the love between a special couple.  With Kristi's family from the very far west coast of Canada, and Kyle's family from the very are east coast of Canada, we were delighted to float around the reception and hear all the happy chatter, in mixed west and east coast accents, and to watch a blend of wedding traditions from both sides of the country.  One such tradition came in form of a very east coast bottle of Screech Rum.  You just cringed, we heard it.  We tried our best to hold our cameras steady while laughing at the polar opposite reactions between the west coasters and the east coasters after after the shot: pure poison to the westerners, the taste of home to the easterners, dance floor fuel to all!

Thanks Kristi and Kyle for having us there to share and photograph your amazing wedding! You're so fun to work with. We hope you love the photos! 

Mountain Top Wedding in Pitt Meadows and Langley // Kim and Radek's Red Serge Wedding

Kim and Radek take in mountain top views, and enjoy their wedding reception on a private property in Langley // BC Wedding Photographers

We had talked to Kim and Radek about their Pitt Meadows wedding over a year and half before their wedding day, which took place this year.  Time FLEW between then and when their day arrived.  We couldn't wait to see them again and meet their friends and family.  This would be our second wedding of the year to involve Red Serge, and a big clan of RCMPers.  We've seen what a close knit family RCMP'ers are and how they celebrate at weddings, so we couldn't wait to spend some more time in that kind of atmosphere!  

Before the wedding ceremony, we took a Sky Helicopters flight with these two, way up to the top of one of the local mountains. Kim braved the mid-summer, mountain snow in bare feet as the two explored around and took in the views.  After that it was off to see their family and friends for their intimate catholic ceremony, and a rocking reception. Complete with a Mountie themed wedding cake, and of course.. donuts for dessert. ;)

Thanks Kim and Radek for having us there to celebrate with you two, your friends and your family! We're so happy that you've found your forever person! We hope you love the photos.