Over the past three years we’ve been blessed with opportunities to photograph weddings in far away destinations. Recently, The Travel Channel wrote an article highlighting some of the most exotic locations couples have chosen for their weddings. We are so grateful that one of our weddings was selected for their special feature.
First and foremost we would like to thank David and Rachel for bringing us along for this Iceland destination wedding. Secondly, we want to thank The Travel Channel for taking the time to consider us for this article.
It’s 5 a.m. in the morning and we can’t sleep. It’s not because of the hotel. The Stracta Hotel is charming and quite comfortable. It’s not the weather outside. Everything is calm and serene. It’s not even the threat of the towering Hekla volcano in the distance that has been rumbling in recent days. No, it’s none of those things. It’s simply the fact that David and Rachel’s nuptials are just hours away and we have the incredible privilege of documenting their day. How surreal is this? We’re in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on a Nordic island the size of the state of Kentucky. Outside our window is the small town of Hella. A population of roughly 780 but sheep and horses seem to dominate the view across the fields. Anticipation and adrenaline mix into this dreamlike state. There’s so many opportunities to create photographic memories with a setting like this. It’s no wonder we’re ready to get out of bed so early.
How did we get to Iceland in the first place?
Everything begins in the capitol city of Reykjavík. David and Rachel decided to move here from England to create a new life for themselves filled with adventure. Reykjavík provided the perfect balance for their lifestyle. Mixing professional careers with their love for the outdoors. David could follow his path as a software engineer and Rachel could expand her rise as a talented graphic designer. With gorgeous terrain and shorelines all around them, every afternoon becomes an opportunity for exploration.
In 2016 something totally unique occurred. Following an old leap year tradition, Rachel proposed to David on the 29th of February. They were soaking in a local hot springs pool by the city lighthouse when she popped the question. Of course he said yes and the rest is history. It was now time to begin planning an intimate destination wedding for their family and friends from England. Thankfully, photography was high atop their list as one of the primary items to secure. Through a series of emails and Skype video calls, we were able to finalize arrangements to photograph their wedding.
In late August we arrived in Iceland. Several days before the wedding so we could do our own sightseeing. Before heading out on our mini vacation, we were able to connect with David and Rachel and enjoy a wonderful dinner at Snaps Bistro. We were also able to enjoy an afternoon hike with them which yielded one of the most impressive sunsets we’ve ever seen.
Planning an intimate wedding in Iceland
So how exactly do you plan an intimate wedding in Iceland that takes advantage of the southern coast of the country? Well, allow us to take you through a visual journey of David and Rachel’s big day. In the end it may serve as a rough draft for future brides looking to elope or host an intimate wedding in Iceland.
If possible, plan to make a grand entrance. The wedding ceremony was set to take place in a small church in Hella, but the bride was getting reading in Reykjavík; about an hour and a half away. So she reached out to a close friend who happens to be a pilot so she could be flown to the countryside church. Not only was this a notable way to arrive for the occasion, but it also allowed her to enjoy a scenic tour of the coastline from the air with her father. He had never been to Iceland before.
We rushed over to the grassy runway with a our cameras to capture every angle possible. As we were waiting for the plane to arrive we ran into another group on a bachelor party weekend. Their groom was about to parachute in as they were enjoying some drinks and a feisty game of football (soccer for us American folks).
At last Rachel arrives with her father by her side and we quickly make our way over to the small quaint church.
the ceremony, we grab a few quick photographs in the sprawling fields and hills around the church.
Throughout the morning we’ve enjoyed sunny blue skies but in Iceland, the weather can break at any moment. As we make our way further east to seek out a waterfall for some epic portraits, the clouds begin to roll in and droplets hit our windshield. Nonetheless we push through and arrive at Seljalandsfoss, one of the best known waterfalls in the southern region just off the Ring Road on Route 1.
It’s also one of the only falls where you can actually hike up the side of the mountain and walk directly behind the cascading water. Our brave bride makes the trek up the mountain in heels with water spraying everywhere. Every step a slippery adventure. Thankfully the weather holds off long enough to get several images on and around the waterfall.
It’s now time to make the commute back to Reykjavík to meet up with family and friends for the festivities. On the way back into the capitol city, we make a quick stop at Heiðmörk as we try to squeeze in a few more portraits in between rain clouds.
Finally we arrive a Flóran Café Bistro, the site of David and Rachel’s intimate wedding reception. A wonderful spot located inside the Botanical Gardens of Reykjavík.
Without a doubt, Iceland left a gigantic impression on us. A dramatic landscape with volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, lava fields and massive glaciers. So many photographic options for a destination wedding. We sincerely thank David and Rachel for bringing us along to document such an important day.
If you are considering a simple elopement or an intimate wedding in Iceland; we’d love to speak with you. After traveling through this great island, we have many tips on how to plan your wedding on a mountaintop, the countryside or on a black sand beach. We can also share other suggestions on hotels, Airbnb’s and great places to eat. Feel free to pick our brain. Contact us here to begin your journey!
Well, what else can we say about our couples? We have the best couples any photographer could ever ask for and Wesley and Chelsea will not be the exception. What an amazing couple these two are. You saw them earlier when we photographed their engagement session. Would you like to know a little more? I’m sure you would and that’s why we interviewed Chelsea for you so you can get to know them better.
So tell me, how did you two meet?
We met on my first day of work when I first moved to Atlanta in 2012. Wesley worked for a non-profit that was based in Peachtree Presbyterian when I was working, and my boss introduced me to him on my first day of work. It took us a while to actually start dating though.
Why was that?
We were just acquaintances for a while, and eventually began showing more interest in one another. Wesley would go out of his way to visit me at work, claiming he was just stopping by to say hi to everyone. It was on a Memorial Day weekend beach trip with our church that Wesley took me sailing, and we finally decided to start dating. The rest is history!
How did he “pop” the question?
Wesley proposed while we were hiking on Arabia Mountain. He had been acting a little strange all day and wouldn’t let me look in his backpack. We walked up the mountain and as we were going, he kept stopping to tell me how much he loved me. When we got to the top of the mountain, Wesley handed me an envelope containing a haiku he had written for me (Wesley has written several haikus for me throughout our relationship). When I got to the end of the poem, he got down on one knee, pulled out the ring box, and asked me to marry him.
Rachel Rozanski from Brushworx doing what she does best.
Chelsea admiring Rachel’s work with her hair.
Tell us about your dress. Where did you find it, how did you choose it, how did you know it was the one?
My sisters and mom came to Atlanta to help me shop for my wedding dress, along with my mother-in-law. We had several appointments set up for the weekend, but we ended up finding my dress at the very first store, Bride Beautiful. I had a general idea of what I wanted, and tried on several dresses. The first few weren’t quite right, they were too much lace or not enough poof, I didn’t love any of them. After I tried a few on and consultant had a better idea of what I was/wasn’t looking for, she went out and grabbed a few more dresses. When I tried on my dress, I knew it was the silhouette I was looking for, but I wasn’t completely sold. Then I walked out of the dressing room to show everyone, they loved it! The train was gorgeous, it had 3 tiers of lace. It was just the right balance of lace and tulle that I was looking for. It had the perfect silhouette I was looking for. I tried a couple more on after that, but none of them compared to the one I chose. My dress had everything I was looking for, it made me feel great, and it was perfect for dancing!
Beautiful bridesmaids in their Bill Levkoff dress in black from Bride Beautiful
Did you see each other before the wedding?
Yes we did, and I’m really glad we did! It gave us some time to be together and prepare for what was about to happen together. I would have been a lot more nervous for the ceremony if the first time we saw each other was in front of all our guests.
What were you most anxious, nervous or fearful about regarding your wedding day and what was the outcome?
I was most nervous about standing in front of everyone saying our vows. I was also nervous about anyone in the wedding party fainting! It all went off without a hitch, though. It was nerve racking standing up there with everyone looking at us, but everything went smoothly while we were up there.
What was the first song you danced to as husband and wife?
All the dancing! And having all of our friends and family together in one place.
How would you describe your overall wedding experience?
We tried to keep our wedding experience as simple and stress free as possible. Wesley’s mom offered a tong of help with the planning process and took on a lot of the little tasks along the way. The day of the wedding we both tried to stay relaxed and be present and in the moment. We both spent the morning with our wedding parties – me and my bridesmaids getting ready and watching wedding movies at Wesley’s parents’ house, Wesley and his groomsmen eating lunch and hanging out at Cherokee Town Club to get ready. Once we arrived at the church, things moved pretty quickly, and everything pretty much fell into place! Peachtree had a wedding guild that made sure the ceremony went smoothly, and then our day of coordinator made sure everything for the reception was in place at 103 West. The ceremony was such a special time for us, sharing our vows with all of our closest friends and family there to watch. Once we got through the ceremony, we felt a bit more relaxed and excited to party the night away with everyone. It was fun getting to chat with our friends and family at the reception, eat the delicious food and dance! When it was time to leave, we didn’t want to leave. There’s nothing like having all of your loved ones together to celebrate you!
What advice would you offer to other couples planning a wedding?
Don’t let the little details and decision get in the way of enjoying the celebration.
How was your experience taking photos/working with us on your wedding day?
We had a great experience working with you on our wedding day. You were prompt and professional throughout the day. You gave easy and clear instructions to everyone and got some really great shots!
What photography-related advice would you offer to a couple?
Make sure you find a photographer you feel comfortable with and who matches your style.
What’s the one piece of advice you would give to other couples planning their wedding?
I would advise them to remember that their wedding is about them as a couple, and to make sure the decisions and plans you make reflect that. I would also advise them to stay within arms reach of each other during the reception. It is so easy to get separated when everyone wants a chance to talk to you! You don’t want to get to the end of the night and realize you didn’t spend enough time with your new husband/wife!
We were so happy to meet Sabrina, Mark and their respective family and friends. And we were doubly excited to capture their wedding at Rhodes Hall in downtown Atlanta. We met them earlier when we photographed their camping themed engagement session. Both Mark and Sabrina are so very kind and hospitable to everyone they meet that it wasn’t questioned when the call came out to help Sabrina make her fairytale wedding one that will always be remembered. So, without a doubt in their minds, everyone pitched in to make this wedding happen for them which included her friends singing their first dance song “Thinking Out loud” by Ed Sheeran a cappella. This group of friends can sing. We are so thankful to have been a part of your US wedding day festivities. I’m sure your destination wedding in Goa, India in November was just as exciting.
Everyone working together.
The beautiful Romanesque style Rhodes Hall was the backdrop to their third day reception. This “Castle on Peachtree” was built in 1904 using granite from Stone Mountain and was once home to the Rhodes family from Rhodes Furniture and is currently the headquarters for the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. It is absolutely a beautiful and unique venue for any event.
Venue: Rhodes Hall Caterer: Cafe Bombay DJ: Arijit Chowdhury
Videographer: Picture This Media
Cake: Ruhina Harris
Makeup Artist: Ruhina Harris
Saris: from India
For more from this amazing three day event, see the recap below:
Ryan met Tara when she was a sophomore in college and he was a freshman. Tara let a Bible study for freshman at a campus ministry and Ryan came. He was quiet and seemingly stanoffish, but everyone was a little fascinated by his intelligence and quiet nature. At first Tara was annoyed that he didn’t talk more, but thought he was interesting and wanted to be his friend. Over the next three years, they became friends and spent time together in groups since they were both dating other people at the time. After they started dating and soon realized and admitted that they would’ve been interested in each other had they known the other was interested in them.
Ryan proposed after 10 months of dating. It happened one weekend in August when Tara went to visit him in his hometown. He told her his parents had planned to take her out to dinner. They arrived early and stopped at the town square. He walked her to the gazebo, and there was a note with her name on it. By the time she finished reading it, he was on one knee. He surprised her by inviting her parents to dinner that night and they all celebrated together.
According to Urban Dictionary, steampunk is a subgenre of speculative fiction, usually set in an anachronistic Victorian or quasi-Victorian alternate history setting. It could be described by the slogan “What the past would look like if the future had happened sooner.” The term denotes works set in an era or world where STEAM POWER is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne.
Kerri and Zach’s steampunk inspired wedding was nothing short of fantastic, capturing the essence of Victorian world through wheels, watches, leather, buckles, and shades of copper, all of them combined following no other criteria than imagination without boundaries, shaping a different kind of aestheticism, focused on the beauty of the mechanics. From the bride’s bouquet to the groom’s boutonniere and from the centerpieces characterized with props of masks, goggles and cogwheels to the custom made three-wheeler with sidecar fit for the bride as their get-away transportation. All this with the north Georgia mountains as their backdrop. This entire DIY wedding was only made possible with the help of friends and family.
A little help from her four-legged friend. As Kerri decided to write down her vows, her trusted companion provided the support she needed. She is so adorable.
Kerri’s bridal attire didn’t disappoint either. Her bridal gown by Anya Bridal was Victorian inspired with off shoulder drape sleeves that made her look ethereal.
Zach wore a custom-made, maroon plaid Victorian suit with along with ascot, vest and tails fromTrio Custom Clothiers in Atlanta that showcased a pocket watch which is a family heirloom.
Pre-wedding fun with the boys.
The Hiawassee River Retreat is set on 16 acres along side the rushing Hiawassee River and centrally located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
For more images, take a look at the video slideshow highlighting more from this Victorian Steampunk wedding.
Love is when you come across one person in your life whom you just can’t let go. Your life just can’t continue without them. That’s how Nicole felt when meeting John through a mutual friend four and a half years ago. And what a coincidence, she happens to be their wedding planner. Do I see you adding matchmaker as a career for you Linnie?
Nicole always thought she wanted a laced dress. It was on her mind from the beginning as she went dress shopping. But at the door of New Natalie’s Bridal stood an Essence of Australia dress she thought was beautiful but dismissed it given the fact it wasn’t lace. She tried on numerous dresses but nothing was “the one”. Her eyes kept rolling back to the dress on the mannequin and asked about that one. She decided to put it on. To her surprise, it fit like a glove. The bridal consultant and associates dolled her up with a veil and accessories and she started to cry. She finally found her dress!
How he popped the question.
It’s about time, according to some. How John popped the question was actually a funny story as Nicole recalls. It was during the holidays. The ring was actually at the top of the Christmas tree branch for about three weeks and she never noticed. She was only looking underneath the dress. She noticed none of the gifts had her name on it. Come Christmas morning, John handed her a card. At that point she was thinking they must have won the lottery. She read it and nothing. He made her read it again slowly. As she finished reading it slowly, she looked up and he was on one knee!
John and his boys were dressed in tuxedos from Men’s Warehouse.
Nicole was such a beautiful bride. She was enjoying every minute of this day. She deserved it. She has such a sweet soul. Definitely beautiful inside and out.
Look at Nicole’s mom. A lovely, lovely lady. I see where Nicole gets her beauty from.
We are so very fortunate to work with amazing couples and Alex and Mattie are definitely one of the most easy-going, fun-loving couples around. We decided to mix things up a bit for our blog and interview them to help future couples as they plan their wedding day. To garner a different perspective, our groom Alex offered a lot of insight for this blog post.
In the beginning…
How did you two meet?
As Jehovah’s Witness’s, we are very involved in our ministry. I had started visiting a sign language congregation to start learning sign language. I officially joined after visiting for 7 months. At that point, Madeline [Mattie] had been serving in Nicaragua where the need for sign language speakers was greater. She returned and shortly after attended the 2016 International Convention In Zimbabwe. It was after she came back that we went out in the ministry for the first time, and we ended up sitting together at Chipotle come lunch time. We didn’t really talk much, I think she was having a rough day, and I had just joined sign language, so I was trying to make friends, but it seemed as though she and I probably weren’t going to be friends at all. Anyways, later in the day she had gotten her car stuck on a curb. She called one of her friends for help, and it turns out I happened to be with a group of people that showed up to help. I helped her dad get the car off the curb, and I guess I’m really fortunate that I happened to be there, otherwise we probably wouldn’t have become such great friends. How did he pop the question?
I had invited Mattie to a “movie party”. I left most of the details out, but I told her we needed to dress up fancy as it was meant to be a party from the 60’s where you dressed up fancy to go watch a “broadway show”. I had rented out a room in the local community center. I called her last minute and told her my parents had car trouble and if she could please meet us there. My brother led her into the room and we played the proposal video I had made for her. After the video finished, I entered the room and told her some private romantic words that I don’t fully remember, and then I walked her out to a fountain where a group of our closest friends were waiting with roses. It was there that I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me in Spanish, English, and Sign Language. Afterwards, we went back to the room to have dinner that had been prepared.
What was your favorite moment(s) from the wedding? Bride: Saying “I DO” to my best friend and dancing my first song.
Groom: Dancing with my wife, and carrying her out to the limo.
How long have you been together? We knew each other for 7 months, we dated for 7 months, engaged for 7 months and were married on April 17, 2016.
How would you describe your overall wedding experience? It was unforgettable! We wanted time to stand still so we could enjoy it longer. For the most part, everyone was fantastic, and it was definitely our night, it was like we were the Prince & Princess for the night!
What advice would you offer to other couples planning a wedding? Start planning immediately after he pops the question! And ultimately, don’t stress, have fun with it! Most people stress about everything being perfect, but it’s when things don’t go exactly as planned that some of the best moments happen.
What photography-related advice would you offer to a couple? Research a few poses and try to learn where they placed their hands and how they positioned their bodies. That will help posed and unposed pictures have better composition. Also pick only a small handful of pictures you really, really want. If you try and cram too many, you wont get them all. It’s better to have a few amazing pictures, than a ton of okay shots.
The Dress, where did you get it?
Tell me about your dress. Where did you find it, how did you choose it, how did you know it was the one? It was from Adore Bridal Boutique, a fitted style with lace flowers that were hand sewn in. There was no real science behind picking it, instinct just led me to it, and just like I knew my husband was the one, I knew that dress was “the one” the moment I laid eyes on it.
How was your experience taking photos/working with me on your wedding day? You both were very easy to work with. You managed to keep a good eye on the schedule, and managed to get all, the photos that we requested. Most importantly of all, you oriented us into making the pictures amazing. That was the best part of the photo experience, you were very interactive and that helped us get everything else that we wanted done at the wedding.
Did you see each other before the wedding? If not, did you like waiting or would you have rather done it differently? Tell me why or why not! Nope. Alex wanted to be surprised, because it adds anticipation, and it did, when Alex saw his future wife Mattie walk down the aisle, he almost nearly fell over.
Mattie wasn’t to concerned about being seen or not, but she preferred to follow tradition. It made it harder to take pictures, but it also made both of us really want to see each other.
How About Wedding Photography?
Any tips on how to prepare for the wedding photos? Start early, prepare the family and all those involved so that they know what pictures will be taken, and when. Make sure they know this before the wedding and not minutes before it’s about to start. Also, make sure they have the props they are going to need! That’s really important. If the photographers give you tips on how to stand and the words they will use to pose you, make sure the bridal party and family know them. It will make things so much smoother.
Any tips that you have about preparing your wedding party for the photos? What did you tell them, how did you get them to cooperate, what did you do or what would you have done differently?
Make sure they know how they will be paired in the bridal party photos. That seemed to be the hardest part, getting the crowds to get in the correct groups. As for what we did to prepare them was simply giving them a typed up timeline of how everything would take place. We didn’t tell them what pictures would be taken, but our photographer did a fantastic job putting the couples together! Its vital that they know which pictures they are needed in, otherwise they will wander off, making the pictures take longer.
Any tips on what to bring? For the girls, back up hair supplies is essential. Also, bring snacks! The bridal party should eat right before the wedding because they will not be eating for a while! A little alcohol doesn’t hurt either, just make sure not to over do it.
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Everything was all inclusive, we really everything that Bullock Springs Manor did for us. They practically catered to every single one of our desires. Bullock Springs catered the event, provided all the decorations and cleanup, as well as the alcohol. They were really easy to work with, and they allowed us to include other things we wanted without charging more, making it an amazing experience.
Bulloch Springs has a beautiful Bridal Suite ready for the bride and her lovely ladies. It’s time for Alex to get ready to marry his bride. The groomsmen were so much fun, especially the one on the right. You can tell right? Three generation of country. Here we have grandpa, bride and dad strutting their cowboy boots for the wedding. The bouquets were so beautiful. Renee Saar did an amazing job with the “country girl” theme Mattie wanted for her wedding. We’re so glad Alex and Mattie had a few extra minutes before running off to create the shot below. This was actually the first shot and we nailed it.
Check out the video slideshow to see more from Alex and Mattie’s wedding.
A mutual friend set Jeff and Annette up to meet. This person must know them well to think they would hit it off. And did they ever! We first introduced you to them a few months back highlighting their Centennial Olympic Park engagement session. They are such a cute couple and their kids, amazing. Annette has two dapper boys while Jeff has a beautiful and slightly bashful little girl.
These two were so nervous before their wedding ceremony but as soon as they saw each other while Annette was walking down the aisle with her two boys giving her away, the nerves appeared to have drowned away. One deep breath and they were fine as long as they have each other. Once the ceremony concluded we went off to take their portraits on the grounds of theCountry Club of the South and the weather couldn’t have cooperated more for a late afternoon in February.
Our first wedding of the year couldn’t have started off any better with Sean and Laura. Take a look at their engagement session. Atlanta weather is alway unpredictable especially at the beginning of the year but that didn’t stop Laura from smiling all day. Sean and Laura were happy all day along with their family and friends. What an amazing time we had. It was an early wedding that included a luncheon and it couldn’t have been any better having a awesome set of vendors taking charge. From Cherokee Country Club in Sandy Springs to the flowers and finishing it off with the DJ, thanks to Lethal Rhythms. Congratulations Sean and Laura as you make your lives together in Chicago.
The Wedding Ceremony
The garter was none other than the one Laura’s grandmother’s wore for her wedding several decades ago.
I just loved the dress Laura picked out from Weddings 826 in Chicago. It looked absolutely beautiful on our bride.
You can see it’s becoming all too real right about now. Nerves are setting in.
I guess you can say the boys like Star Wars displaying their approval of the film with matching character socks. They clean up pretty nicely with their Jos A Banks suits.
The ceremony is about to begin…
The Venue | Cherokee Country Club
The first dance always gets me and this one wasn’t any different. Etta James, my, my one of my favorite first dance songs.
Who would say nobody dances at a daytime wedding. Not these folks. Family and friends alike took to the dance floor like nobody’s business enjoying the music brought to them by Chris from Lethal Rhythms.
Once again congratulations Sean and Laura on your marriage and I know you all had the time of your lives in Ireland. What an amazing place for a honeymoon.