We have a pret-ty amazing double feature for you guys today! Jess + Matt, like so many couples out there, struggled to decide between the intimacy of an elopement and a fun party with family + friends that they could fully design themselves. Ultimately, they decided on both and we’re so honored to share their story today on GWS in hopes that it will help inspire some of you to go with your gut when it comes to your big day!
First up, is Jess + Matt’s gorgeous vow reading in Iceland, featuring some of those most epic backdrops ever, ever, ever. The lovebirds share, We had visited Iceland before and knew that is where we wanted to return for our elopement. The vast landscapes, incredible waterfalls and serenity of the fjord mountains drew us in. We spent 10 days prior to our wedding day exploring Iceland and invited our wedding photographers Sarah K Byrne + Dylan M Howell to join us on the last 3 days.
In love with Jess’ gorgeous dress? We know we are! She shares, We were so fortunate to have Jade of Lady Evelyn hand make a dress specifically for the Icelandic landscape, which she so generously leant to us, shipping it to our AirBnB address where the owner unpacked it a few days before we arrived so that it would de-wrinkle and air out.
With a tentative plan on locations to explore, we caught a ferry out to the Vestmannaeyjar islands in south Iceland. Covered in volcanic rock, wild sheep and puffins, it was the perfect backdrop for day 1 of our explorations. Trekking up the side of a mountain and changing at the top, we were rewarded with a spectacular view of the town and the surrounding ocean. A curious local hiker passed us at the top of the ridge and highlighted that the weather was the best they had all year and we were very fortunate. The wind picked up, taking all of the material of the dress with it, as we stood in a whirl of tulle and hair. Everything felt right. This was one of our favourite moments from our time in Iceland.
After taking the ferry back to the main island, we took a quick stop at Seljalandsfoss. It was 10 pm, the sun had just set but the sky was filled with beautiful muted light. From behind the falls, the mist looked magical.
We love Jess’ 2nd dress (which she also wears for her Toronto wedding), a discontinued Dessy dress, which was 3 sizes too big and altered to fit. She purchased it for just $75!
When you get engaged, it’s easy to get lost in wedding magazines, pinterest and the opinions of genuinely excited family and friends. Before committing to anything, sit down and prioritize your day. Thinking about what you value most will help set your budget on where to invest the most time, effort and money. We put photography highest on the list. Once we knew what we valued most, aside from marrying each other, we had a better idea of how to go about budgeting for our elopement and wedding.
Don’t miss Jess + Matt’s gorgeous handmade wedding in Toronto, coming up in a bit!
photography: Sarah K Byrne + Dylan M Howell // location: Iceland // bride’s shoes: Ecote from Urban Outfitters // groom’s shoes: Johnston & Murphy // bride’s dress: Discontinued Dessy dress, 3 sizes too big and altered to fit, purchased for $75 and custom Lady Evelyn dress // bride’s ring: Specimental //groom’s suit: Topman // bowtie: J. Crew // groom’s ring: Wedgewood Rings