Waterfalls, Weddings, and Iceland (Part 3 of 3)

Hello to you, Friend!

Our first milestone is here… It has officially been a year since Chris and I started this Iceland Wedding Planner Blog, whoa that went fast!  Since October 11th 2012, we have brought you 44 Iceland wedding planning blog posts.  We’re thrilled that over 100 countries have found their way to our blog and generated almost 25,000 views in just our first year!  So today, we’re celebrating our enthusiasm with a bottle of bubbles and toasting cheers to YOU!  We appreciate you as our reader, your interest in Iceland destination weddings, and all of your curious inquiries!  Thank you!  Hopefully over the past year you have fallen in love with Iceland even more through our posts, and been able to experience our passions as a husband and wife team photography team.

Now back to the anticipation of today’s post:

One of the most surprising things about Iceland to us when we first visited was the lack of fences, barriers, and restrictions they have on their natural wonders.  This is the opposite of what we were use to in the United States.  It seems like just about every natural wonder in the United States has some sort of constraint from “really” experiencing it.  For instance, if you go to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming to see “Old Faithful” Geyser you can’t get very close do to fences and barriers.  In Iceland, you are almost in arm’s length of the Big/Little Geysirs and you can walk right up to the waterfalls if you choose.  Iceland offers you an up close and personal experience to all of its natural wonders.  With no restrictions, it really sets the scene to have dynamite Iceland wedding photos.

The past 2 weeks we have familiarized you to two of Iceland’s easiest waterfalls to marry at.  And by easy, we mean easy to transport your guests to/from the location, and have shortest walks from the parking lot to the falls.  In case you missed those previous posts, feel free to go back and check each of them out here:

Seljandsfoss Waterfall

Skogafoss Waterfall

Now if you’re interested in having a more intense Iceland wedding ceremony or are looking for an overwhelmingly unique location for your Iceland elopement, then today’s post will provide you with some really striking ideas!  The reason why many of these waterfalls are not as popular for weddings with many guests is because of the location.  Several of these waterfalls require extra transport time, hiking, and in general take a lot longer and more effort to get to.

First up on our list today is Dettifoss Waterfall which is found in Northern Iceland.  This is Iceland’s version of United States’ Niagara Falls.  Dettifoss Waterfall stands at an enormous at 150 feet tall and 330 feet wide and it is deemed Europe’s largest waterfall (in mass).  If interested in visiting on your Iceland honeymoon or vacation, the Dettifoss Waterfall GPS coordinates are: 65°49?18.91?N  /  16°23?17.41?W.

This waterfall is difficult to get to from Reykjavik during Iceland’s winter months due to road closures.  But, good news, you do have the option of flying from Reykjavik to Akureyri and then renting a car.  There are 2 routes you can view this waterfall from, east and west.  Many people prefer the eastern side viewing but it will require you to drive on a pothole filled gravel road (about 45 minutes off of the main road, Route 1).  Interesting Fact: This waterfall was the setting for the opening scene in the blockbuster movie Prometheus.  Note: There are no ropes or barriers to hinder your viewing experience.  Once there, it is about a 15 minute walk from the parking lot to the falls.  Overall, this is a stunning place for Iceland summer wedding ceremonies, engagement portraits, or a spectacular place to have a private wedding elopement.  I can just imagine your show stopping Iceland wedding photos at Dettifoss, can’t you?!

The stunning Goðafoss Waterfall (or Godafoss for us North Americans) is often referred to as the “waterfall of the Gods” in Iceland.  This beautiful waterfall is found in North Central Iceland near Lake Mývatn.  The waterfall is 39 feet tall and a width of 98 feet. It’s not the biggest but is often visitors’ favorite during their trip around Iceland’s “Diamond Circle” due to the dramatic setting within a lava field and the waterfalls being 3 within one.  Goðafoss is located just off of Route 1 and very easy to find.  The GPS coordinates for Goðafoss Waterfall are:  65°40?48?N  /  17°32?24?W.

Once you arrive in the parking lot the waterfall is a short walk from the car and there are lots of rocks to climb on to get that perfect view and photo.  This waterfall is a May-September only visit if driving from Reykjavik, as many of the roads from are impassible in the winter months due to snow and ice.  But, if you’re really interested in getting there during the winter, one option to get to this remote location is to take a short plane ride from Reykjavik to Akureyri and then renting a vehicle.  This is a tranquil spot to hold an intimate Iceland summer marriage ceremony, elopement or a sweet stop for romantic Iceland wedding photos.  There are also really unique views if you are adventurous enough to climb further down in front of the falls.

Next up on our favorite list is Gullfoss Waterfall, which is found in southwest Iceland along the “Golden Circle” and commonly referred to as the “Golden Falls.”

This was actually our first stop on our post wedding itinerary we planned for our Iceland wedding guests in April of 2012.  I remember getting out of the car, hearing the waterfall roar, leaving my husband behind and racing down to it because I was so eager to see it!  It’s truly striking even from the parking lot.  A short walk (less than 1/4 mile) down to a viewing point will yield gorgeous views directly into the side of the falls, the steep drop below, and the canyon walls that house the waterfall’s flow.  There is also a higher level viewing point in which you can take stairs up to a boardwalk and walk out to view the waterfalls top.  It is possible to hold your wedding ceremony here and stop to have your Iceland wedding photos taken here but it is less intimate due to the larger volume of tourists visiting (because of the proximity to Reykjavik).  The Gullfoss GPS coordinates are: 64°19?34?N  / 20°07?16?W.  Imagine having romantic Iceland couples portraits or Iceland engagement photos taken here… I swoon just thinking about it!

The last waterfall today on our favorites list is Svartifoss.  The name is denoted as the Black Falls because of the basalt lava rock formations it springs from.  Svartifoss Waterfall is found in the Skaftafell National Park.  It is about a 45 minute hike one way from the visitor’s center to get to the waterfall.  The hike to Svartifoss is a little bit of a rocky path at times (especially as you venture closer to the waterfall), so make sure you have some good hiking shoes.  GPS coordinates for Svartifoss are 64.023°N  /  16.975°W.  From an Iceland wedding photographer’s perspective, Svartifoss would be a gorgeous and remote location to hold a small Iceland summer wedding or elopement under the midnight sun.  It is so secluded and distinctively different!  Now the question is, are you adventurous enough to wed here?   I get super excited thinking about its gorgeous Iceland wedding photo possibilities!

A couple of Iceland Wedding Planning Tips as you plan your ceremony at any of these waterfall locations:

  • The noise from these waterfalls is extraordinary. It is a powerful rumble.  You will need some sort of microphone and speaker system (Iceland DJ) if you want guests to be able to hear your wedding vows.
  • Safety Notes: Wear good walking shoes and/or hiking boots to ensure firm footing.  Many times the spray from the waterfalls saturates the rocks and lets be honest…there are no barriers between you and the waterfalls/rivers.  Be careful!  Some may even find bringing a collapsible walking stick helpful in maneuvering around.
  • If planning to hold your ceremony at one of these locations make certain your Iceland wedding officiate will travel there and check if there is any additional fees so there are no last minute surprises.
  • Very few of these locations have a café and washrooms in the parking lot area.  Most of the remote ones do not (Svartifoss, Seljandsfoss Waterfall or Skogafoss Waterfall) so remember to be prepared with water and snacks for you and your Iceland wedding guests.
  • We also suggest wearing a good coat or having an umbrella on hand to protect yourself from the waterfall spray.  If not, bring a small towel and make up to dry off and touch up with before your wedding photos in Iceland.

We hope you enjoyed today’s post!  This series of waterfall posts is nowhere near a comprehensive list of waterfalls you can marry at in Iceland, just a few we are highlighting.  The options are truly endless as Iceland is abundantly full of waterfalls in every region.  One Iceland hotel we’ll be reviewing in a future blog post in January even has a waterfall onsite, imagine getting married there!  Stay tuned for details!

In the meantime, if you’re interested in having your Iceland destination wedding at a waterfall feel free to contact us to be your wedding planners and/or Iceland wedding photographers!  We’re so excited to learn more about your Iceland dream wedding!

With a smile, Ann Peters

Expert in Iceland Weddings

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

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