Iceland Wedding Reception Alcohol

Hello to You and Happy Iceland Wedding Planning!

I hope this finds you well and super excited for the wonderfully exciting week ahead of you!  Crazy busy season here at Photos by Miss Ann and we are loving every second of it!  Today’s post is a long super informative one so let’s get right into it!  When planning your Iceland wedding reception, it’s important to know four things:

  1. What alcohol can you bring into Iceland?  …and how much can you bring?
  2. What alcohol is made locally in Iceland?
  3. What selection of liquors, beers and wines may be available for your Iceland wedding reception?
  4. What are the prices you may be expected to pay for your Iceland wedding reception alcohol?

Many items of alcoholic content are imported into Iceland and may be more expensive than other locations you may have visited.  An alternative option may be to bring your own wedding champagne or specific alcohol so that you may save within your Iceland wedding budget.

Real Wedding in Iceland Example: When we held our Iceland destination wedding adventure at Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Vik Beach, and Skogafoss waterfall we knew that purchasing champagne for 40 people was going to be expensive.  For instance, if we would have purchased 10 bottles for our 40 guests (based on 4 glasses per bottle) to do our wedding champagne toast at Vik Beach it would have cost us $1,500 USD (if we purchased house champagne at Hotel Ranga).  Chris and I decided that those funds would be better spent elsewhere in our Iceland wedding ­budget but did want to still have a champagne toast for our guests during the sightseeing excursion.

After further research, we found that each person could bring 3 bottles of wine OR 1 bottle of wine and 1 liter of alcohol.  So we spent a weekend wine and champagne tasting in Napa Valley (see one of our destination engagement sessions we have done in San Francisco/Napa Valley, here) and found a delicious variety from Domaine Chandon in fact, it was their vintage reserve brut from 2007.  We bought a case (for only $600 USD) and shipped it home to Plymouth Michigan in anticipation of our April wedding in Iceland at Seljalandsfoss waterfall.  When we packed our bags for our Iceland destination wedding, we made sure to bubble wrap the bottles, and designated a few of our friends to help us abide by the 2-3 bottle per person restriction.  Luckily, all of the bottles arrived to Iceland in one piece along with our champagne glasses we also imported (our wedding host hotel was going to charge us $5 USD per glass to rent).

Question #1: What alcohol can you bring into Iceland?  …and how much can you bring?  Answer:  The specific guidelines directly from the awesome KEF Airport states the following on their website:

“Travelers can import duty-free alcoholic beverages and tobacco products as follows:
Alcoholic beverages:

1 litre of spirits, 1 litre of wine and 200 cigarettes (1 carton) or 250 g of other tobacco products;

or

1 litre of spirits, 6 litres of beer and 200 cigarettes (1 carton) or 250 g of other tobacco products;

or

1.5 litre of wine, 6 litres of beer and 200 cigarettes (1 carton) or 250 g of other tobacco products;

or

3 litres wine and 200 cigarettes (1 carton) or 250 g of other tobacco products.

Spirits comprise alcoholic beverages having 22% alcoholic content or more; wines comprise alcoholic beverages, other than beer, below this alcohol content.  The minimum age for bringing alcoholic beverages into Iceland is 20 years, or 18 years for tobacco.”

Question #2: What alcohol is made locally in Iceland?  Answer: Iceland produces some delicious beers at the following breweries:  Ölgerðin Egill Skallagrímsson in Reykjavik and Vífilfell.  The Reykjavik Distillery is another amazing local option for liquor.  They make several schnapps called Brennivin in interesting flavors like: Brennivin 50, Brennivin 64, Blueberry, Crowberry, Rhubarb, Bilberry, and Juniper.  They all have organic ingredients like potato, herbs, seeds, Icelandic water, etc.

One of the other token alcohols is called, Reyka Vodka.  They have such a fun tagline too, “When you live on the edge of the Arctic Circle, you need to know how to have fun.”  Ha, love! The company itself is also known for being a “green” vodka because it is produced using sustainable energy.  The vodka itself is made from organic wheat and they do a final filtration through lava rock –how fun, right?

Questions #3 & #4: What selection of liquors, beers and wines may be available for your Iceland wedding reception?  What are the prices you may be expected to pay for your Iceland wedding reception alcohol?  Answers:  They follow below!

<Please note that all prices below are approximations and are also from our direct personal/professional experiences for wedding receptions in Iceland.  The list below is also to provide you with an idea of what alcohol could be offered during your destination wedding reception in Iceland.  Prices vary depending on your chosen Iceland wedding hotel or restaurant.  All prices are featured in ISK (Icelandic Krona) and converted to USD (United States Dollar) as of today’s exchange rate (and by the bottle)>.

Iceland Wedding Champagne and Sparkling Wine Prices:

  • House Champagne (Example: Ayala Brut NV): 19,000 ISK (Icelandic Krona) = $150 USD
  • Louis Roederer Cristal:  234,000 ISK (Icelandic Krona) = $1,890 USD
  • Tosti Asti Sparkling Wine: 5,200 ISK (Icelandic Krona) = $45 USD

Wedding Reception in Iceland Wine Price Examples:

  • Santa Cristina Cipresseto Rosato (Italian Rose): 6,500 ISK = $55 USD
  • Rene Mure Riesling (French): 7,800 ISK = $65 USD
  • Bolla Pinot Grigio (Italian): 6,600 ISK = $53 USD
  • Vina Maipo Gran Devocion Sauvignon Blanc (Chile): 8,500 ISK = $69 USD
  • Sky Valley Chardonnay (New Zealand): 8,600 ISK = $70 USD
  • Chateau Branaire Ducru Grand Cru St. Julien (Red/Bordeux): 29,800 ISK = $240 USD
  • Chateaunauf du Pape E. Guigal (Red/Rhone): 22,000 ISK = $178 USD
  • Domaine Faiveley Corton Grand Cru (Red/Burgundy): 45,800 ISK = $395 USD
  • Colome Reserve Malbeq / Cabernet (Red/Argentina): 25,900 ISK = $210 USD
  • Gen Carlou Syrah (Red/South Africa): 10,950 ISK = $90 USK
  • Spy Valley Pinot Noir (Red/New Zealand): 8,500 ISK = $70 USD
  • Delicato Shiraz (Red/USA): 6,500 ISK = $53 USD

Side Note: Typically the per glass cost is 1,600 ISK ($13 USD) and for champagne per glass cost is usually around 3,800 ISK ($32 USD).

Iceland Wedding Beer Choices:

On average a bottle or glass of beer is around 900 ISK ($8 USD) and the most often found beer varieties in Iceland follow below:

  • Einstok Pale Ale (Icelandic Beer)
  • Hrammur Lager (Icelandic Beer)
  • Víking Gold (Gullfoss): Best selling beer in Iceland (type: lager).
  • Víking Stout (Icelandic Beer)
  • Víking Pilsner (Icelandic Beer)
  • Egill’s Gull (Ölgerðin Egill Skallagrímsson in Reykjavik)
  • Freyja (Wheat Beer from Selfoss Iceland)
  • Móri (Icelandic Red Ale)
  • Lava Stout (Southern Iceland Beer)

If you plan to have an open bar for your wedding guests please note that the 3+ star hotels in Iceland offer a very exuberant list!  This is awesome, but can become expensive very quickly.  Here was our example list of what we featured for our Iceland Open Bar Menu (outside of the above we already posted):

Cost was ~1,800-4,000 ISK ($15-32 USD) per pour:

  • All Schnapps Available & Mixers (Like Jagermeister, Baileys, Triple Sec, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, etc).
  • All Beers, selected wines, and champagnes.
  • Berneroy Brandy
  • Brennivin
  • Bombay Gin
  • Chopin Vodka
  • Fonseca Guimaraens Port
  • Glenmorangie Single Malt
  • Havana Club Rum
  • Jameson (18 years old)
  • Johnnie Walker Gold (18 years old)
  • Remy Martin Cognac
  • Reyka Vodka
  • Tequila: Silver Patron
  • Vermouth Rosso
  • Whiskey: Woodford Reserve

Iceland Wedding Planner Tip: If you’re having an Iceland wedding welcome dinner the night before maybe choose 4 specific wines and beers you will serve with dinner.  Having an Iceland Bar Menu helps too!  Then for your Iceland wedding reception, keep the options open by the glass (not the bottle) but limit what brands you would like to have served to your guests.  Example, we limited our guests to only being able to order 18 years old scotch/whiskey/brandy/ports because Hotel Ranga had some rare whiskey that were 25+ years and more than $75 USD per glass.  We had selected as a couple a “do not serve” list of those rare brands and also selected our favorite brands in each mixed drink category.

We hope that this blog post today on Iceland Wedding Reception Alcohol will prove to be a useful tool to you as you plan your wedding day in Iceland!  If at any time you need assistance planning your Icelandic destination wedding or need an Iceland wedding photographer, we would love to help you!  Our packages include Iceland wedding planning and Iceland wedding photography (we’re a husband and wife team: Photos by Miss Ann) allowing us to be your one point of contact for you throughout this amazing process so please contact us for more details!

With a smile, Ann & Chris Peters

Expert Iceland Wedding Planners & Iceland Wedding Photographers

© 2002-2013, Photos by Miss Ann, All Rights Reserved

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