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Elopement In Southern Iceland, A Love Story

black and white photography for elopement.

A couple’s love story inspires all elopements, but it’s not every day the actual elopement turns into a love story in black and white photography. This elopement in southern Iceland is making us swoon.

Photographer Autumn Marshall hit the nail on the head when it came to illustrating the loving moments between the couple on their special day.

Throughout the day, they all explored southern Iceland guided by Pink Iceland Tours. With gorgeous views all around them, it was easy to fall in love with the moment.

“The solitude of Iceland’s natural beauty and the romance of Maddy and Grif declaring their love in the rain was inspiring and refreshing.” [Autumn Marshall]

Photography by Autumn Marshall

Why Did You Two Decide to Elope?

According to Madeline (Maddy) and Griffin (Grif), they always considered doing a small wedding because they both have huge families.“Grif and I never felt comfortable spending so much money on a party. We always talked about how that money could be put to better use doing something we loved more like traveling or investing in our home in Chicago.”

Like a movie, this couple’s elopement fell perfectly into place. Once they began researching the area and seeing pictures of other couples who decided to elope there, they both got excited.

Maddy’s research also led Grif and herself to understand what adventure elopements are truly about. “We had previously always thought of eloping as running off to Las Vegas, but [our research] opened our eyes to the world of adventure elopements, and it seemed like such a good feeling of that’s what we want our wedding to be like.”

Maddy then stumbled on a post Autumn made in a subreddit looking for a couple for an adventure elopement.
“Her work looked so amazing, and it almost sounded too good to be true when she told us about Kyle [her partner] coming too. We booked her before we were even engaged because we knew we couldn’t pass up on this opportunity.”

After Autumn was on board, planning was very minimal when it came to wedding day preparations. They planned on a day of exploration and used the wedding planner, Pink Iceland, to have access to a private waterfall for the ceremony.

Besides planning the logistics, everything else came very naturally. Maddy tells us she even did her hair, makeup, and brought her flowers.

The Creative Vision for This Southern Iceland Elopement 

This couple’s elopement in southern Iceland was especially unique for our team based on the creative direction Autumn took. Each picture told a story. 

According to Autumn, Iceland itself is a place that can easily leave any person in awe of its beauty, but her job was to capture Maddy and Grif’s elopement and make them the stars of the show. “I wanted to hear their love story in person and make sure to capture just that, a story.”

Autumn worked alongside her partner Kyle, who officiated the marriage, and she tells us that it was an eye-opening experience. “The intimacy of the whole day made my heart complete in a whole new way. The two things that my soul craves daily are love and mother nature.”

Kyle tells us how much fun the couple was to work with, and how easy-going the whole process was, “When we met up at their hotel, Grif (the groom) and I shared an Icelandic beer to calm the nerves. They were both just down to earth, open for anything, and that’s the best you can ask for in any couple.”

The images we are sharing are purely black and white. Maddy and Grif trusted Autumn’s creative direction when it came to their photographs, and we love the end product. Even though Autumn doesn’t purely shoot black and white, she does include a separate album of the day in this style. 

“Black and white photographs make you feel nostalgic and force you to focus on the story. It has a romantic feel to it that makes me feel like I’m watching my favorite old French film. When I first look at a finished gallery, I turn on a really good song and slowly enjoy each image like I’m watching a movie. I take in every moment of that story and feel it in my bones. An artist can only hope that their work makes others feel this same way, and with these two, I wanted to make that magic happen.” [Autumn]

The Special Moments of the Day

After exchanging their vows and saying I do, they all guided the couple to Yoda cave in southern Iceland. This cave was not only big and glorious, but they were also the only ones there! 

The plan was for Kyle to serenade the couple as they danced their first dance as bride and groom. They were surrounded by fog as water dripped on them as Kyle played the song.

This first dance was unique, intimate, and emotional for the couple. Kyle tells us that even though it was planned, he was more than excited about it. The couple, Maddy and Grif, decided on dancing to the Metallica song, Nothing Else Matters. Kyle loved transforming the heavy metal song into a somber, acoustic ballad.

“I’ve been playing music professionally since I was 15, but I never would have thought that I’d marry two strangers and play their first dance song for them. It just reminds me how lucky I am to be a part of these adventures,” says Kyle.

Following your Passion

Maddy and Grif tell us that their only concern about their big day was having it feel like just an average photoshoot. The result, however, was far from that. “Autumn and Kyle were so kind, it felt like spending the day with friends. Grif and I got to have our day of exploring. We were just lucky enough to have Autumn there to capture it all too.”

This intimate elopement shows us all to run with what feels right to you and your partner for your big day. If you love to explore, maybe something like this is right for you too. 

Maddy and Grif were able to do what they wanted for their wedding day, how they wanted. They now have these gorgeous story-telling photos to look back on.

“There is one particular photograph of me reading my vows to Grif. My chin was quivering, and I had tears in my eyes. Even though only the back of Grif’s head is showing in the picture, I can tell he’s smiling. I get happy tears just thinking about it because I have never had a photo perfectly capture exactly how I felt in such an amazing moment.”

Advice to Other Photographers and Artist

Autumn tells us how it was easy to get caught up in the beauty of being in a new place, but the love between Maddy and Grif was the highlight of the day.

“Reassure your clients, aka over-prepare them for anything and everything that could happen. Also, be 100% transparent about your passion for capturing their story.” [Autumn]

It’s safe to say that Autumn did a fabulous job creating this love story for them. What do you think?

Are you ready to tell your own love story? Check out our blog on How to Choose the Perfect Elopement Location.


Pink Iceland Tour Company

ASOS Wedding Dress

Thank you to Autumn Marshall for sharing this session, and congratulations to Maddy and Grif!

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