Iceland Wedding Traditions

Planning a wedding can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Learning about Iceland wedding traditions is an exciting way to add unique cultural elements to your special day. From the ceremony and reception rituals that are centuries-old, to traditional attire and customs steeped in superstition, there’s something for everyone when it comes to celebrating love with Icelandic flair. In this article we’ll explore all of these wonderful iceland wedding traditions so you can find the perfect fit for your big day.

Iceland Wedding Traditions

Ceremony Traditions


The processional is the formal entrance of the bride and groom into the ceremony. Traditionally, in Iceland, it is customary for the bride to enter first with her father or a close family member escorting her down the aisle. The groom will then follow with his mother or another family member accompanying him. Music may be played during this time to set a special tone for the occasion.

Exchange of Vows:

After both parties have entered, they will exchange their vows in front of their guests and officiant. This is usually done by reciting traditional Icelandic wedding vows that are full of symbolism and meaning such as “I take you as my beloved” or “I promise to love you forever”. Couples can also choose to write their own vows if they wish to express something more personal between them on this special day.

After exchanging vows, couples typically exchange rings as a symbol of their commitment and love for one another. In Iceland, it is common for couples to use rings made from silver which represent purity and strength in marriage relationships according to ancient Norse mythology beliefs. It has become popular over recent years for brides and grooms alike to add an extra touch by having personalized engravings inside each ring before exchanging them at the ceremony itself, making these tokens even more meaningful.

From the traditional processional to the exchange of rings, Icelandic wedding ceremonies are full of beautiful customs that symbolize a couple’s commitment to one another. As we transition from ceremony traditions to reception traditions, it is important to remember that each tradition is an opportunity for two families and friends to come together in celebration.

Reception Traditions

Toasting and Speeches:

At an Icelandic wedding reception, toasts are often given by the guests. These speeches may be humorous or heartfelt, but all should express well wishes for the couple’s future together. The bride and groom will then respond with a thank you speech of their own. Afterward, drinks are shared among those in attendance as a sign of celebration and unity.

Cake Cutting and Feeding:

Cake cutting is another popular tradition at Icelandic weddings. This involves the newlyweds feeding each other a piece of cake before everyone else has some too. It’s said that whoever takes the biggest bite will have good luck in their marriage.

Dancing and music are also an important part of any Icelandic wedding reception. Guests can enjoy traditional folk dances such as ‘The Shoe Game’ or ‘The Bouquet Toss’. Music is usually provided by local musicians playing traditional instruments like fiddles or accordions, making it even more special for both couples and guests alike.

Reception traditions are an important part of a wedding in Iceland, with many unique customs that create lasting memories. Now let’s explore the traditional attire for the bride, groom and guests to complete the Icelandic wedding experience.

Traditional Attire

When it comes to traditional Icelandic wedding attire, brides typically wear white gowns with lace accents and veils. They often accessorize their look with crowns, flowers, and jewelry. Grooms usually don a dark suit or tuxedo with a tie or bowtie. Meanwhile, guests are expected to dress formally in suits or dresses.

For bridal gowns and accessories, many Icelandic brides opt for classic silhouettes like A-line or ballgown styles that feature intricate details such as beading and embroidery. Veils come in various lengths from fingertip to cathedral length; some even have matching headpieces for an extra touch of elegance. As far as accessories go, crowns made of silver or gold are popular among Icelanders—they symbolize the couple’s commitment to each other during the ceremony. Brides also tend to carry bouquets of wildflowers while wearing flower-shaped earrings and necklaces made out of pearls or crystals for added sparkle on their special day.

Groom’s attire is usually kept simple yet sophisticated—dark suits paired with ties (or bowties) are most common among grooms in Iceland. Accessories such as pocket squares can add a pop of color if desired; cufflinks may also be worn by more formal grooms who want an extra touch of sophistication on their big day.

Finally, guests should dress formally when attending an Icelandic wedding: men should wear suits while women should opt for dresses (preferably floor-length). Bright colors like red and pink are not traditionally worn at weddings in Iceland so muted tones such as navy blue would be more appropriate choices. Hats may also be worn by female guests but they shouldn’t overshadow the bride’s ensemble too much – after all, she is the star of this show.

Cultural Customs & Superstitions

Pre-Wedding Rituals & Customs:

In Iceland, it is customary for the bride’s family to host a dinner for the groom’s family prior to the wedding day. This tradition is called ‘Kvöldmatur’ and involves both families gathering together in celebration of their union. During this time, they exchange gifts and blessings with one another. It is also common for brides to have a henna party before their big day, where friends and family gather around her while she has intricate designs painted on her hands and feet using natural dyes made from plants or fruits.

Wedding Day Customs & Superstitions:

On the day of the wedding itself, Icelandic brides carry a bouquet of wildflowers as they walk down the aisle. This symbolizes fertility and good luck for their future marriage. Another superstition dictates that couples should not see each other until after they have been married for at least one year. This belief stems from an old Norse myth which states that if two people look into each other’s eyes before being wed, then bad luck will befall them in their marriage.

After exchanging vows, newlyweds often take part in traditional post-wedding rituals such as jumping over a broomstick or walking through fire hand-in-hand (both are believed to bring good fortune). Couples may also share food with guests during this time – usually cake or pastries – as well as drinks like mead (an alcoholic beverage made from honey) which represent abundance and prosperity in marriage life ahead.


Iceland wedding traditions are a unique and beautiful way to celebrate your special day. From the traditional attire, to the cultural customs and superstitions, there is something for everyone in this amazing country. Whether you choose to incorporate all of these elements into your ceremony or just pick out one or two, you can be sure that it will be an unforgettable experience for both you and your guests. No matter what kind of iceland wedding traditions you decide on, make sure they reflect who you are as a couple so that your special day is truly yours.