It’s a year since our Iceland wedding. And I still marvel at the fact we pulled it off. Not only that, but it was the most amazing day. I couldn’t have asked for things to have gone better. I know Iceland is growing in popularity all the time as a tourist destination. And weddings are more frequent too. I’ve looked back and listed five things I wish I had known more about, when we were planning our own Iceland wedding.
A few weeks back we celebrated our first wedding anniversary. I can’t believe it’s been a year already, although in some respects it feels like ages ago that we were stood by that glacier and worrying about transporting our cake. After all in the year that’s passed, we’ve been to the top of the World, on five other trips, completely renovated our house (whilst living in it, hashtag never again), bought home Hekla the British Shorthair and are now expecting a new arrival of the non-furry variety. It’s been quite a year!
It’s been nine months since we tied the knot. Yet I only printed our wedding photos a few weeks ago. Aaron’s suit still isn’t dry cleaned and the fluffy white bolero I wore is still shoved unceremoniously in a recycling bag.
A wedding is a culmination of months -often years- of hard work and planning. The stress leading up to the big day is palpable. I sometimes look back on that time and wonder how we did it. After the wedding was finished, I found myself longing to go back in time and live it all again. It was without a doubt the best day of my life.
With that said, I will happily admit to breathing a big sigh of relief when it was pulled off. The weeks of sleepless nights, wondering if everyone would get there ok. Thinking about scenarios where things could go wrong. Catastrophizing. Those worries were no longer a part of my life and with that came a certain freedom (a freedom with no room for dry cleaning!).
Months later, I revisited the idea of printing our wedding photos. I couldn’t be happier with how our photos turned out. The photos were a huge part of the wedding, as I love to document everything. I had a style in mind I wanted and knew the conditions would be difficult. My Mother-in-law is a professional photographer, specialising in landscape photography. She hates having her photo taken as much as I do so I knew she would totally ‘get’ what we were trying to achieve.
Without being able to visit the location before hand and having to take all her heavy camera gear in hand luggage, this wasn’t your typical wedding shoot. The weather in Iceland can change so quickly, we accepted a long time before the wedding we had no control over it. As it transpired, we were blessed with rainbows and beautiful sun. My Mother-in-law captured it all perfectly, giving us the most amazing momento of our special day.
The photos were perfect in camera and required no corrective editing. I got to go through the hundreds of photos and pick the ones we used, then edit them myself to give them the matte style I had in mind.
We knew we wanted to print an album for my in-laws for Christmas. To say thank you for accompanying us all that way and at such short notice. For photographing our wedding and giving us the wedding photos I could only dream about whilst planning.
My parents also didn’t have any of the photos and I knew would love an album. They were so supportive and we couldn’t have done it without them. We don’t have many photos of us together as a family and now the wedding has been successfully pulled off, we often marvel at the adventure of it all.
Books VS Albums
Very little about our wedding was traditional. Our photographs were taken in a documentary style and so I knew a photo album wouldn’t do them justice. I knew a photo book would suit our photos better and allow us to visually tell the story of the day.
Printing My Wedding Photos With Blurb
I had seen another wedding book made using Blurb therefore went straight to them. They offer high quality printing with a variety of paper coatings, weights and colours. I opted for a hardcover book with an image wrap cover. I love the look of uncoated stock and knew it would work well for our wedding photos. I chose the Proline uncoated paper which is a high quality stock from Mohawk Fine Papers. We paid a little extra to remove the Blurb logo and I added many extra pages.
Blurb offer Indesign templates or their own software for arranging your book. Their templates offer a lot of flexibility.
The books were delivered promptly and I was over the moon with how well they turned out. The printing quality was impeccable. I gifted the books to our parents for Christmas and they both really loved them.
If you’re looking to print photos for a wedding, occasion or even portfolio I would definitely out Blurb.
Now I’ve conquered printing our photos, it’s probably time to think about dry cleaning. I think I deserve some sort of laziness reward for planning our 1 year anniversary before getting that done. Oops!
We got back to the hotel and had enough time to freshen up before we sat for dinner. It had been an incredible but very long day and we were both completely exhausted.
Thankfully we were able to decorate the room the night before. We brought everything on the table from the pinecones to the tea lights in our suitcases. Amazingly nothing was broken and I think considering we could only bring what would fit into a suitcase and not break on a plane our table looked cute!
I hate photos of myself as a rule so was slightly dreading having our photos taken on our wedding day, but because it was such a special day all I see when I look at these is how happy I was. My mother-in-law is a professional photographer and so she did our photos which made the whole thing so much more relaxed.
After the ceremony had finished, we put the champagne on ice -quite literally- ready for a toast. It all felt so surreal but after the ceremony I had the chance to just hug Aaron and speak to him for a few moments whilst we took in the fact we were finally married and how amazing it had been.
It took about 20 minutes to walk from the car to the glacier edge, along a rough path. Everyone who passed us noticed us -unsurprisingly- and we heard what I assume were congratulations in many different languages.
I was so completely panicked with anxiety that I considered asking for a few moments before it began, to calm myself. It was all unfolding in-front of me though and this was the moment I had dreamed about for the past year, there was no way I could stop and risk ruining the moment of walking down the aisle (or in our case, sliding down a bit of volcanic rock covered glacial ice as gracefully as possible with three people in tow).
Managed to publish my last wedding post about our flowers & cars in the wrong order … Doh. Rewind back to before the cars & flowers, I didn’t rock up in my underwear.
We wanted to stay somewhere extra special during our wedding, where we could have our wedding breakfast -why is it called breakfast when you eat it in the afternoon or evening?- and get ready feeling weddingy (that’s totally a word). Iceland is all about adventure and the outdoors so the hotels are normally very much just a place to crash, that’s not to say they’re not nice and seriously cosy, just that they’re not what I associate with a typical wedding hotel. We hunted about a bit and found the perfect place -Grimsborgir- which was actually opposite the cabin we stayed in the Christmas before, in Þingvellir national park.
You know I’m partial to a succulent or 23984 so they naturally had to feature in my bouquet. Before planning a wedding -or two- I had never really thought about flowers all that much but after realising the possibilities -our UK wedding would have been decorated heavily with greenery and flowers- I’ve become border-line obsessed and am already thinking about the next occassion where I can work with a florist and decorate something.
Our Icelandic florist did an amazing job and I adored our wedding flowers. Considering we organized it all from the UK and they had to get some flowers in from America as not a lot grows naturally in Iceland, I was blown away with how perfect they were. I wanted our flowers to be mostly greenery and kind of boho, with only white flowers and a few succulents included.
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).