Last month, new clients enlisted our help to plan their destination wedding this coming spring.  After narrowing down their options to two countries, we were excited to dive right in and show them a variety of wedding venue options in both Portugal & Iceland. Wanting to schedule a site visit before the holidays, we quickly put together an extensive site visit trip for the four of us to explore each option complete with various venue tours, hotel stays, private tastings with culinary teams and transportation.  Each country is so very different, but each equally as magical!

We'll be sharing a closer look at our adventures in each country here on the blog!  First up - Iceland!



Iceland was a new destination for us and we were excited for the challenge of planning this client visit there.  Iceland, even during the low season, was spectacular.  What a gorgeous country with the nicest people.  In international event planning, I can't stress the importance of relationships enough.  Planning from afar is all about finding the best vendor partners on the ground and a site visit is truly the only the way to really kick the tires.

Even though we only had less than five hours of daylight during our entire stay, we were able to experience so much beauty!   We started our journey in Iceland's charming capitol city of Reykjavik, staying overnight at Hotel Borg.   We were up early with breakfast meetings and a quick tour before heading to the docks to catch a ferry.  Although closed for the winter, we arranged for the island of Videy to be opened just for us as we wanted our clients to see the charming event space.   We envisioned this spot for a one-of-a-kind welcome reception when guests arrive into Reykjavik.  I can already imagine waiters greeting guests as they board the ferry with a celebratory cocktail to start the weekend off right!   The view from our private ferry ride looking back on the city lights was amazing!



We returned to Reykjavik (still dark) to meet Johannes, the manager of Hotel Budir, who picked us up for our three hour journey north to Budir.  It was a magical drive as the sun rose over the beautiful sky.  With just shy of five hours of daylight total, we pulled over every so often to check out different wonders of Iceland.

Here's us looking at seals... we were incredibly close!!



Crossing a little stream to get back to the car...



Our favorite experience in Iceland was when Johannes pulled over and we jumped out to admire the scenery.   He whistled and out of nowhere...



...three Icelandic ponies come running over the hill.  Were we in heaven?!  It was surreal!  They ran right up to us and were very friendly.   The ponies graze the hillsides during the winter - how amazing is that?!



 



We were so excited... I mean, we were only into our second hour of daylight in the country and already we had met Icelandic ponies.  How can you top that?  We hadn't even reached the hotel yet and we already fell in love with Budir.    What more could we possibly see?  Well, would you believe me when I tell you we also managed to walk the base of a glacier, see natural hot springs coming out of the ground, hike volcanic rock following the sheep trails, visit black sand beaches and see a hint faint of Northern green lights.  All in one day.  With less than five hours of daylight.







Anyone of these gorgeous spots would be idyllic for a wedding, don't you think?  Before we move onto Portugal, we'll be sharing a tour of Hotel Budir next, so stay tuned!

 All photos via Amber's iPhone.

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