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.
Their staff were beyond lovely and helped us out so much in organising things like helium, flowers and even a picnic for the wedding day. Having some friendly people in Iceland whilst we were trying to organise things in Wales helped the whole eloping at last minute thing feel relatively straight forward.
When we arrived the day before our wedding, I couldn’t believe how beautiful our suite was. We had the junior suite which had it’s own hot tub and towels folded into the shape of swans which I got overly excited about and refused to let Aaron use for the entire time we stayed.
My big sister and her family all shared an apartment which the hotel manager upgraded for us. I thought it was so sweet of them to go to that effort but when I checked out their new ‘room’ (read: mansion) I was gobsmacked. They had a dining room, hot tubs, an open fire, huge bedrooms and so many bathrooms my niece actually found an additional bathroom a day later whilst hunting for her slippers. It became a bit of a running joke and even thinking back on it now I still can’t believe how swanky it was … When going to check it out for myself we got lost as it had two front doors complete with letter boxes and bells. I adored our suite but I think hands down they won on the best room front.
Despite the wind, rain and snow we had experienced in the days prior, on the morning of our wedding we awoke to sunshine and barely a cloud in the sky.
I had laid all my makeup brushes and products out in the order I would need them, so set about doing my hair whilst keeping a close eye on the clock. I asked my bridesmaids and mum to not come in the room, as I wanted to concentrate. Doing my own hair and makeup wouldn’t have been my first choice but it was an easy sacrifice and actually worked out pretty well. I loved having that time to reflect on what I was about to do and how much this day meant to me.
We had pretty much sacked off tradition entirely at this point, Aaron had even been with me when I bought my dress and I wouldn’t have changed a thing about any of that, so he came into my room to finish getting ready (although it took him around 10 minutes vs my three hours). In keeping with the Icelandic theme, I got him little silver whale fluke cufflinks and he wore a black tie which matched my sash.
My dress was one of the first things we bought so it felt like I’d been waiting to wear it for an eternity. I picked an ivory Vera Wang ballgown style dress, with masses of tule which I wore with a cathedral veil -also by Vera Wang- with diamantes on the trim. I figured I’m only ever going to do this once, so I went for a massive dress with a long train. I think my dress was probably the most traditional aspect of our wedding, although wearing it to hike up to a glacier probably was a first.
I love the black sash which often accompanies Vera Wang dresses and fell in love with it when trying it on. I wear so much black it had to feature somewhere! I managed to find my sash on Etsy for £3 which was considerably cheaper than the branded version, win.
I can’t walk in heels to save my life so before we even decided to elope, I had picked out flats. I fell in love with these sparkly trainers by Steve Madden which were surprisingly comfortable on the day and which managed to hold their own whilst being trampled across volcanic rock, sand and mud.
My bridesmaid K got me the most beautiful pearl jewellery which matched my dress perfectly. I didn’t want much bling -ignoring the aforementioned shoes which were mostly hidden- but the little bit of sparkle on my veil and jewellery was just right for me.
The only additional thing I purchased after deciding to elope was a furry white bolero to keep warm.
Just before I put on my dress our mums came to join me and helped me finish getting ready. My bridesmaids came down to get me and we experienced the struggle of walking with such a huge dress, which turned out to be a three person job.
The three of us walked up the hill from my room to meet the rest of our family and Aaron who were all waiting for us by the car. Seeing everyone dressed in their formal clothes and looking so lovely was really emotional, I couldn’t believe that it was really time to go and get married.