View Posts By:




Exploring Iceland with Jessica & Matt

Welcome to 2014! Way back in ’13 we travelled through the countryside of Italy, to the villages of Thailand, past the deserts of Morocco and on to the beaches of Ibiza. But now, friends, we’re going to Iceland. With two incredible photographers – Jessica and Matt – who have captured every last corner of beauty. Oh and PLEASE pore through the gallery as the food, the towns, the beaches are so worth it.

We are Jess and Matt. We’re adventurists and photographers from Toronto. In March we had the chance of a lifetime to explore a country we had only dreamt of visiting: Iceland. Tickets were incredible affordable. We had a list of things we wanted to see but didn’t plan much else. We started in colourful, vibrant Reykjavik. The people, the design and the clothing were nothing we could have ever expected. It was a good thing we didn’t bring that much cash on hand or else we would have singlehandedly contributed to the rising tourism rate in that beautiful country.

The second day we met up with fellow photographers from Seattle, Yuriy and Julia Manchik. We explored the Golden Circle in an amazing Land Rover Defender and did a little bit of off-roading. We got really crazy and snorkeled in glacial water in the Eurasian continental divide called Silfra. It was freezing but an experience that can never be replaced. All underwater images were taken with our GoPro Hero3. Next we decided to take a bit of a guided tour to visit volcanic rock, explore the famous black sand beaches and trek on a glacier! We even got to taste Iceland’s famous lamb stew. Perfect for a cold day exploring outdoors.

The next part of our trip had us exploring on our own. We rented a little Toyota Yaris and drove north along the west coast towards Isafjordur. Google Maps gave us a different route than what locals would even dare to drive and we found ourselves driving along the side of mountains on gravel roads and atop snowy mountain peaks, IN OUR LITTLE YARIS! We made it out alive though and arrived safely in one of Iceland’s most northern fishing towns. Exploring all of the tiny towns had us in awe at the simplicity of the lives these individuals chose to live and had us slightly envious at how careful they were. It was also amazing to find what was likely the only Filipino’s in Iceland living in Flateyri, a coastal fishing town of 273 people. We chatted about how they got there and where they were from and they knew the town in the Philippines where my mom was born!

Instead of driving 7 hours back to Reykjavik, we decided to hop on a tiny plane from Isafjordur’s airport, hopped in another rental and headed east until we found the spot along the highway where we parked and trekked an hour until we found the Douglas C-47 that crashed landed in 1973. It was eerie but amazing to explore the wreckage, sitting on the wing while we had our lunch.

The perfect way to end our trip was with the Blue Lagoon. We decided to splurge and spend the night at the hotel. It was so worth it. The design of the place was amazing and hotel guests have access to a private lagoon of geothermal water after hours to relax before bedtime. The entire trip was one of the most amazing experiences we’ve ever had. A trip to Iceland was only in our wildest dreams but fate got it’s way and it will never be forgotten. Highly recommended for all your adventurists out there looking for something fun and unique that won’t break the bank since everything to do is outdoors and free!

Photography: Daring Wanderer

Iceland Wedding by Nordica Photography

Oh how I love this gorgeously simple and elegant Iceland wedding. The super tiny dark gray chapel where the adorable couple said their “I do’s” has got to be the cutest and sweetest church I’ve ever seen in my entire life. If Iceland is anything like these amazing photos by Nordica Photography, then I seriously need to book a ticket. Like now. Check out the gallery for even more goodness!

Click here to see the entire gallery of images!

From Nordica PhotographyDoug and Annika are globetrotters in a lot of ways, having lived all over the world. They are American, and at the time that they were making their wedding plans, were making the transition to move to Singapore. Amongst there years of traveling, they made their way through Iceland, which is where they got engaged. So, they planned to have their wedding there. This made sense for a few more reasons, because Doug had family in Canada and Annika in Sweden, so it was a nice mid-way point for the wedding to take place.

How we, Nordica, came into the picture was a story in itself. Without going into the long winded details, basically we have targeted Iceland as a country we’d do anything to go to for a wedding. So, we made a rather shameless SEO induced blog post about this and low and behold, Doug and Annika found it. After a few Skype chats, we were booked and Iceland bound for their wedding. Our minds were blown, and still are today, how it all came together.

The wedding was a decent size for a destination wedding, with about 80 people, and the location was the famous Hótel Búðir, which is in the westernmost tip of the Snaefellsnes peninsula. The details were locally inspired, and everything came from around the Snaefellsnes region. Annika’s bouquet was comprised of local flowers, the ingredients for the dinner all were local, the DJ was hired from Reykjavik and came up for the evening, and all the touches around the hotel were designed by local Icelandic artists. It was an Icelandic wedding to the core.

So, from one simple blog post many months ago up until the dancing that ended at 5AM at Hótel Búðir, this was a once in a lifetime experience for the couple, the family and friends, and certainly us as photographers. It was a destination wedding that was incredibly unique unto its own, and certainly inspiring for couples who have a quench for massively unique destination wedding locations.

Venue: Hótel Búðir / Wedding Photography: Nordica Photography

Travel Inspired Paper Goods by Sara Giessen

There are insanely cute paper goods and then there are these. Invites that are so stinkin cute, so beyond , so over-the-top amazing that they get their very own category. These fun bits of paper were designed by Sara Giessen for a lovely wedding abroad in Iceland and they involve, maps, travel, scrabble letters, twine, books – are you dying yet? Not only that but they also come with a cute little diddy of a film by KC Giessen that gives you a behind the scenes viewing of the making of an invitation…set to really cute french music of coarse. I ask you, what could be better? If you aren’t on beautiful paper overload yet, check out the gallery for more pretty images from KC Giessen and Kyle Hale.

Creating Christina & Mark’s Wedding Invitations from KC and Sara on Vimeo.

From Sara Giessen:

Christina and Mark married on June 26, 2010 in Budir, Iceland. We were inspired by the locale, using travel, maps and books as the basis for all the wedding design. I designed and crafted a wedding package for Christina and Mark including a Save the Date postcard, hand-bound hardcover books for the invitations, vintage train ticket styled programs and personalized tags for the escort cards.

Photography: Kyle Hale (on-site) and KC Giessen (detail photographs) / Save The Dates, Invites, Programs, Escort Cards: Sara Giessen / Wedding Styling: Jillian Clark