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Iceland Elopement | Cici and Zach’s Hotel Búðir Elopement

Iceland Elopement | Cici and Zach
Savannah Chandler Photography | Destination and Iceland Wedding Photographer

My relationship with Cici began back in 2003.  We both were working at Best Buy, sporting our khaki pants and blue shirts.  The one thing I remember most about Cici (besides her incredibly bubbly personality) was her pink Hello Kitty belt.  We’ve kept in touch, mostly over social media, over the past decade.  After leaving Colorful Colorado for snowy Montana, Cici began her relationship with Zach.  Over the course of their relationship, Zach has been stationed across the pond while proudly serving our country.  Before a volcano erupted and veered Cici and Zach’s plans elsewhere, they were set to be stationed in Iceland.  When it came time to begin their wedding planning, Cici and Zach decided to travel to the island they still had their hearts set on visiting.  Traveling half way across the world to have and Iceland elopement, the couple put out an open invitation to all of their friends and family to join them on their journey.  Insert my heart pounding here.  As soon as I received the word that I’d be flying out of Denver and into Reykjavik to photograph their Iceland elopement and Icelandic travels, I may have done a happy dance.  Or two.  Or three.

October finally came, and needless to say, the flight over was a LONG one.  Well, mentally at least.  I was overcome with excitement and wonder.  When we landed, the Icelandic fog greeted us at 6AM.  Touring the city center that afternoon, I seriously don’t think I’ve ever drank so much coffee in an attempt to stay awake.  Diet Pepsi doesn’t exist in Iceland, so only scrumptious European lattes would do during our stay.

On Monday the 13th, we picked up our bags (actually we heaved them down 3 flights of stairs with no railings) and headed to pick up our new home for the next week, a camper van.  The drive over to Bu∂ír was a tough one, the wether took a turn for the worst and the sky opened up on us.  Cici and Zach chose to hold their Iceland elopement at one of the island’s iconic black churches.  Literally in the middle of nowhere, even the mountains were engulfed in fog that day.  The amount of sideways rain was slightly nerve wracking, but we headed into the hotel so Cici and Zach could prepare for their nuptials.

The ceremony was set to be held at 2:00.  Life had other plans for the two of them.  Around 3:00, Cici was set to walk through the little white doors of the little black church in the middle of nowhere.  Although the cold kept it’s presence known, the rain subsided to a spatter and eventually to a stop.  Upon her entrance, Cici and Zach were seated at the front of the church where their 5 closest friends and family members looked on from the pews.  The priest talked of making sure to take time to be present.  Truly present.  And in this moment, I looked around to see that Cici, Zach, and all 5 of their loved ones were truly being present.  No phones, no iPads, no cameras.  Just love.  They were all truly taking the moment in, together.

Take a journey through Cici and Zach’s October 13, 2015 Iceland Elopement –



During his tour to Afghanistan, Zach had earrings hand spun for Cici.  No two are the same, including the two in the pair she wears.


Neither Cici or Zach’s parents were able to travel for Cici and Zach’s Iceland elopement.  Modern technology is truly amazing.  Cici was able to share a touching few moments with her parents during her last few moments as a Ms.

Bridgett, a bridesmaid, had told me that Cici and Zach are known to hold hands everywhere they go.  It’s become a part of who they are.




Budir, the black church, nestled among the Mountains on the Snaefellsness peninsula.

iceland_elopement_35iceland_elopement_36  Almost nearly as important as the church its self to the couple was Búðir’s black beaches.  They line the water front, connecting the ocean to the mountains.



Having a select few able to join them on their Iceland elopement and week long Icelandic adventure was very near and dear to Cici and Zach’s heart.  To travel that many miles is an incredible gift of support and love.


On the approach back to the church – some of the most stunning rock and moss formations

One thing that Cici was bound and determined to do on their Iceland elopement was to find a waterfall.  On their wedding day.  Later in the week, we’d travel to Godafoss and Dettifoss.

As we were at our secondary waterfall of the evening, the sun began to set.  I’ve never photographed somewhere where the sun begins to set, and the sky continues to provide light for that extended amount of time.  The whole sky turned a purple/pink surrounding the island’s volcano.  It was a pretty incredible sight.  iceland_elopement_60iceland_elopement_61

I’m going to seriously miss those Icelandic sunsets. iceland_elopement_62


We returned back to the little hotel on the small dirt road to celebrate the night away.

Congratulations again, Mr. and Mrs. Gengler.

More from Cici and Zach’s Iceland Elopement coming soon

Savannah Chandler Photography | Destination and Iceland Wedding Photographer
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Accommodations:  Hótel Búðir