Getting Married in Iceland

Eloping in Iceland?

Iceland
Getty Images

Don't count on a warm and sunny wedding day - this is Iceland, after all! If you'd like to get married on your next Iceland vacation or are planning to elope in Iceland on short notice, keep the following Icelandic marriage requirements and regulations in mind.

You can obtain an application form from the office of the District Magistrate of Reykjavik. The official civil wedding ceremony is held at this office as well. The address is Skogarhlid 6, IS-101 Reykjavik.

What Eloping Couples Will Need to Do

  • Bring valid passports and attach both partners' birth certificates to your marriage application form. The office only accepts original documents or officially authorized copies (with a seal or stamp). They take no photocopies or notarized copies. The birth certificates and passports will be returned to you after the ceremony.
  • Bring proof of legal stay in Iceland, e.g. a plane ticket or passport stamp.
  • Both parties have to be 18 and cannot be married elsewhere already. Obtain and provide a certificate of marital status. This document cannot be older than 4 weeks prior to the wedding date. If you are from another Scandinavian country, obtain a certificate from your home country that proves that there are no impediments to marriage.
  • Divorced? Include your divorce decree in the paperwork (if applicable to locals, present an original divorce decree signed by the Ministry of Justice located in Reykjavik). If you are widowed, please include an official/legally binding document noting that the dead spouse's estate has been finalized or divided, such as a court order.
  • Fill out the application form available from the District Magistrate of Reykjavik (one witness per partner) certifying your ability for marriage. The form can be sent to you by mail if you ask, and will need to be filled out and signed by both partners, as well as two witnesses or family members to certify that you are able to get married without any legal hurdles.
  • Make sure the form is received by the magistrate office at least two weeks before the marriage date, whether by mail, fax, or in person. So make sure you get your paperwork done and take care of this sooner rather than later. If the form is NOT received by the magistrate office at least two weeks ahead of the wedding date, the ceremony will be considered canceled.
  • The fee for the entire application and civil marriage ceremony is currently IKR 7.700.

Note that the application requires two witnesses' names and birth dates. They do not have to be at the wedding itself.

After the ceremony, you receive an English-language marriage certificate from the "Þjóðskrá," the National Registry Office.

If you need personalized assistance for your marriage plans in Iceland, you can also contact one of the Icelandic embassies worldwide for further information.

FUN FACT: In some Icelandic families, long engagements are the norm, which can last three or four years. Also, there are lots of unmarried couples in Iceland and the country shows a relative lack of formal marriage. Thankfully, Iceland does not fall under the preconceived pressure of marriage nearly as much as many other countries.

For Gay/Lesbian Couples Wanting to Get Married in Iceland

In Iceland, same-sex marriage was fully legalized and made equal to opposite-sex marriage in June 2010. Any legal differences between a heterosexual marriage and a same-sex marriage (cohabitation, as it was called) were eliminated; at that time, same-sex marriages finally became fully equal with heterosexual marriages on all levels. Now Iceland only has one marriage law that applies to both heterosexual and same-sex marriage and the same requirements apply.