After almost a year and planning TWO weddings, I couldn’t believe it was finally time to go and get my dress, finish work for a while and go to Iceland. I picked my dress up the night before and the girls who made the alterations and pressed it for me carefully folded it into a suitcase with lots of crete paper.
We had four suitcases between us and full hand luggage. In addition to everything we needed for two weeks away from home, we had our wedding clothes, travel friendly cake and all the decorations we needed for the tables. I knew us getting married was the only thing which mattered but I desperately hoped my dress would get there in one piece (I’m not sure my subtle fragile tape was obvious enough).
I rushed off the plane and through familiar Keflavik airport to get to baggage reclaim and practically jumped for joy when I saw the bag containing my dress, thankfully everything arrived without any issues. I was a bit of a nervous wreck as I had organised all of my families travel arrangements and our guests flew in from four different airports, so we didn’t all arrive at once.
Myself and Aaron, my parents and his parents flew out together a day earlier and stayed in the Frost & Fire hotel near Selfoss in Hveragerði. Located on a geothermal area, it overlooks hills with steam vents and a nearby active volcano.
The weather when we arrived was extremely windy and even snowing but we had expected this having been there before and checked the forecast. Our families were slightly more concerned, I think assuming it would be like this in a few days time for our wedding. Our parents wanted to wait for our room to be ready, shelter from the weather and have some tea -so British- but Aaron and I were too excited to sit around. We decided to go out to a local pool, which was met with some confusion given the fact it was snowing.
The pool -Fontana Spa in Laugarvatn- is geothermally heated and a favourite spot of ours, so we headed off to kill a few hours waiting for our room in 40 degree water and intermittent snow. It was the perfect place to take stock of the fact that we were finally in Iceland and about to get married, as this was one of the first places we visited on our first trip to Iceland a couple of years before.
We stopped for dinner in a nearby restaurant and I had the most tasty vegetarian burger / patty / thing ever. I wish I knew what was in it so I could make it here.
I’m so glad we took the time to go off by ourselves and just settle into Iceland. I felt completely overwhelmed by traveling and worrying about everyone getting there but was determined to enjoy every moment of our experience, by the time we returned to our hotel I had gone from being anxious to feeling pretty excited. In spite of the weather, we ran from our rooms to the hot tubs where we sheltered from the wind and talked about what the next few days would be like.
We awoke to a still very windy day but the snow had passed. We bumped into our families at breakfast and clearly very concerned with fitting into my dress -thankfully the bottom was so big I could have fit all our guests in it with me- I had a healthy breakfast of waffles and chocolate.
We left our parents to go and check in early to our wedding hotel and drop our luggage off there. I’ll never forget the feeling of walking into that beautiful hotel and our amazing suite, it was the defining moment when any worries I had turned to complete and utter excitement and I knew we had done the right thing for us. I hung up my dress and we drove to the airport to pick up my sister, her mother-in-law and my niece, before going to the Blue Lagoon to meet everyone else.
I’ll be completely honest and say that I was happy to avoid a UK hen / stag do. It’s just not me, I avoid going out if I can help it and the thought of L plates and penis straws makes me want to cringe myself into a coma. We did want to do something though as some of our guests hadn’t met one another and everyone had just traveled all that way for us, so we thought the Blue Lagoon would be the perfect place to unwind. Aaron gave me a kids blue tiara to wear which was hilarious but also something I could fully get on board with wearing every day.
Going with a big group was really fun and it felt like the perfect way for everyone to meet each other and get excited about the next few days. Aaron’s brother joined us later that evening, meaning I could breath a sigh of relief that everyone had arrived and we could now just look forward to the next day, our wedding day.