Alison & Matt's Icelandic wedding & Philadelphia library reception #Real Weddings: Global#cape#destination wedding#iceland#library#literature theme#non-floral centerpiece#outdoor#pennsylvania#philadelphia#pink dress#two weddings#wedding boots Updated Oct 12 2015 (Posted Mar 19 2010) Offbeat Editors The Offbeat Bride: Alison, Editor (and OBT member) Her offbeat partner: Matt, Marketing Administrator Location & date of wedding: Wedding at the Glacier Lagoon Jokulsarlon In Iceland, Reception at The Free Library of Philadelphia — 09-09-09 wedding and 09-26-09 reception What made our wedding offbeat: We got married at a glacier lagoon in Iceland. Flying our closest family members to Reykjavik then driving them six hours across the country and back in a busy but beautiful four day trip. We were married by a fantastic Asatru priestess, who worships the traditional Norse gods. We drank out of a horn! I wore pink (and in Iceland a giant blue cape). We then went on our honeymoon in Paris (awesome!) and came back for our reception at the Free Library of Philadelphia where we drew inspiration from the Library. We had library card seating cards, book invitations, bookmark favors, author and book table names. And we got inspiration from the theme of Jules Verne-ian adventure — hot air balloon and floating ship centerpieces, castle in the sky cupcakes. Instead of a cake cutting, we had gingerbread versions of ourselves and bit off each other's heads. And since we met in film school, we projected musical scenes from films during cocktail hour. Tell us about your ceremony: We didn't totally know what we were going to get with an Asatru ceremony but it was really great. In the Asatru ceremony, the priestess makes the circle sacred then the bride and groom enter. We make our vows and drink from the horn. And then at the end, everyone is welcomed into the circle and anyone who wants to can speak and drink from the horn. Johanna included the four elements, noting both their creative and destructive powers, and we really wanted nature to be a big part of the ceremony so we appreciated that part greatly. What was your biggest challenge: The biggest challenge was really just the culmination of all the little challenges. As far as destination planning goes — Once we got to Iceland, Icelanders were as nice and friendly and helpful as the guidebook says. But in the planning process, they're just like very chill over there. Particularly about getting back to you. So finding out all the necessary info, like about getting legally married for instance, was a lot of work. I am not that chill. But persistence, and starting early, were key. Our reception was supposed to be on a beautiful terrace overlooking the city, but it got rained out (or rained in rather). There were supposed to be four balloon centerpieces but we ran out of helium after one (that tank lies!). But you just gotta roll with it. Also, my ideas were bigger than my ability to execute them. I am not actually a crafty person, but the kind of things I wanted also did not exist if I didn't make them myself. And it turned out, at least in my case, that DIY was not actually cheaper — especially since I had to try some things more than once. What was the funniest moment of your wedding or reception?: At the reception there was a fun impromptu moment when we were on the steps taking pictures and everyone starting yelling, "Slide! Slide!" and we slid down the banister. Advice for other offbeat brides: Start early and leave yourself the time and room in the budget to mess up and keep trying. If you are bargain shopping, which we certainly were, leave yourself a whole lot of time to research, call, show up, wait for the sale, haggle, research again. It took me six months to get Icelandair to quote me a price for group airfare that was acceptable to my budget. For other items, I waited for sales and bought several things from wholesalers. Also, try your best to find vendors and helpers who get what you're doing. Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?: Gingerbread: Ginger Betty's, Quincy Necklace: Milady Jewels, Etsy Cupcakes: Flying Monkey, Philadelphia Boots: Timberland Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss & Burberry Supplies for DIY: I got a lot of stuff at World Market (baskets, firefly lights, ships, etc…) & a lot of supplies from the Fashion District in LA. My dress fabric was from Mood. Catering: Soup To Nuts Cuisine The dress was handmade by a local designer. The rings are from Todd Alan Studios Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!: PREVIOUS The other side of the veil: one bridal shop employee shares her perspective NEXT Lauren McGlynn Photography is relocating to the UK! Show/Hide comments [ 35 ] OMG I LOVE LOVE LOVE this! I live right next door to the Free Library and my husband and I just got back from Reykjavik on our honeymoon! All of these pictures are absolutely BEAUTIFUL from the ceremony to the reception. And even though you said that you got rained in, the reception in the downstairs level of the FL looks absolutely stunning! It's such a beautiful space 🙂 Reply Gorgeous! Those shots in front of the glacier are just drool-worthy! Reply Oh. My. God. Amazing. How did you keep your heads from exploding from the sheer awesomeness of everything around you? Reply WOW! That is a beautiful location! Congratulations! Reply this is by far the coolest thing I have ever seen. well done! Reply Wow, the colors are so vibrant that it almost doesn't look real. What a great idea for a location! Reply God, I love this wedding. Also, I bet since the Icelandic economy is struggling these days, there are some great travel deals to be had! Simply gorgeous…congratulations! Reply Wow. What a beautiful wedding and amazing backdrop! The ceremony sounds very unique and I love that your guests chanted for you to slide down the banister. How fuN 🙂 Reply Congratulations! What a gorgeous wedding! Would you mind sharing where you got your rings from? They're very nice. Reply WOW! I didn't think my desire to visit Iceland could get any stronger but i think these photos did just that. Those glaciers are mind-blowing. Not to mention those boots and the bride's blue cape are INCREDIBLE! I LOVE! Reply This slideshow should be a marketing ad for Iceland! I had no idea how stunning that continent is… Reply DrCrime- How funny! I guess we have similar taste in places, yes? Lily- Oh, yeah, rings 🙂 They're from Todd Alan Studios: http://www.handwovenbands.com/ But getting married or not, I totally recommend Iceland. I had never been there before the wedding, but it's a really like no place else. They have glaciers and volcanoes and waterfalls and hot springs and black sand beaches and really green grassland and all kinds of amazing things. Reply WOW!!! And how cute are you in your boots?!?! Reply @Alison must be! Because I am absolutely drooling over everything you did! Reply This is so totally rad, love it. I mean, just LOOK at the scenery! Reply @alison I forgot to mention that we also did books for our reception as well. I think we must definitely be on some similar wavelengths (or maybe separated at birth?!) Reply WHAT THE WHAT on those centerpieces! Oh my god, I gasped audibly when I got to that picture. Also that view and the boot picture, so pretty and so cute. Reply Jokulsarlon! We were just there last summer. Such a beautiful, magical place…what a wonderful wedding venue. Reply I Love this! Iceland looked gorgeous! The ceramony was different; unique and completely Awesome!!! Reply Absolutely gorgeous!!! Congrats! Reply Thanks everyone! DrCrime – totally possible!! Where are the links?? eliza – the centerpieces would be *really* great if they came out the way I envisioned in my head, but still came out better than I probably thought they would be with my meager craft skills (plus some great helpers!). Jackie – no way! I had never been there till I got married there, but yeah, it's everything I thought it would be and more! Reply I've been in love with Iceland for a while now. I'm glad to hear it's as wonderful as I've read. Congratulations! Reply Oh my god! This is absolutely stunning! I so want to photograph an Icelandic wedding now! X Reply @alison here are some shots on flickr but the photographer's pictures are in the mail right now (sooooo excited to get those!) http://www.flickr.com/photos/crimefighter/4447972294/in/set-72157623531926595/ Reply what a beautiful wedding and it all looks simply wonderful :)congrats Reply Inspired insanity! I am humbled by your awesomeness. Reply I'm amazed by the beauty of your wedding. Iceland is just gorgeous. And I love seeing more Asatru wedding ceremonies. I'll be having one here near Philadelphia, so it won't be quite as picturesque but I like the idea of witnessing oaths in front of your family or chosen community. Also, hot air balloon centerpieces are the cutest thing ever. Reply I have been endlessly searching for information on the internet on renting out the free library for a wedding reception. Any help you can offer would be so great! Reply DrCrime- Awesome! I love your centerpieces! For some reason the mug just puts it over the top for me. rainy- "Inspired insanity" — ha, what a great term, I absolutely adore it 🙂 Sara – Asatru! Right on! As I mentioned, I didn't know a lot about the religion honestly, I had looked into it but there's only so much info out there, but the ceremony was beyond beautiful, more than I hoped for. I know yours will be amazing too!! Jaime- Yeah, The Free Library is not good with the info about renting it out. Contact Sabrina Rossi at RossiS [at] freelibrary.org. Also, check out the Philadelphia Vendor thread on the indiebride forums, there's several Library brides. It's a great venue! And thanks again to everyone for their kind words. It's so much fun revisiting the wedding. Reply So my crazyinsaneobsessive desire to get married in Iceland isn't so nuts after all!! What a beautiful wedding you had! I am in LOVE with Iceland and have been there once before. It's just so incredible. Big up on you for following your heart getting out their with your loved ones. You're photos really are beautiful and I can only imagine that the ceremony was even more so. Reply we are trying to organise our wedding for iceland too but finding the celebrant is painstaking! We want a civil ceremony like this, where did you find your celebrant? your photos are gorgeous! Reply Hi. I love you wedding. WeÂ´re planning on getting married in Reykjavik next summer and are having some trouble finding a photographer. Did you have a local photographer you can recommend? Camilla Reply To Alison, what was the name of the designer who did your dress? Very Princess Bride, somehow… Reply Very late to the game with the answers– a) Our celebrant wasn't civil, she's Asatru (it was a religious ceremony). But I believe any elected official or something like that can officiate civil marriages in Iceland. If you just talk to the Syslumindurinn (sp?) they can hook you up. b) We brought our photographer with us. There's a lot of really amazing top notch photographers in Iceland who do magazine shoots there. But they were really expensive so it was cheaper for us to bring a talented friend and pay for his travel (but he took pics for free, because he's the most awesome) c) The awesome lady who designed my dress is a local LA designer — http://www.rachelleappelle.com/. Her other stuff is way different, but she's just super talented. But last time I talked to her she was pretty busy with her full time job, I don't know if she's doing custom work anymore. Reply I am totally in love with the balloon centerpiece! Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Sign me up for your offbeat awesomeness newsletter! No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.