A Real Story: Iceland Adventure Wedding - Hotel Rangá - Book Today


Stacey Nelson and Jerry Stover walk across a black sand beach in south Iceland in front of the Atlantic Ocean.

A Real Story: Iceland Adventure Wedding

After getting engaged at Hotel Rangá, Stacey and Jerry returned to Iceland for an adventure wedding. Keep reading to learn more about their special day.

Stacey Nelson and Gerald “Jerry” Stover celebrated their Iceland adventure wedding at Hotel Rangá. In fact, they said, “I do” during an intimate ceremony at a hidden cave in the nearby valley of Fljótshlíð. We loved hosting this couple and are excited to share a glimpse of their special day. Below, Stacey and Jerry share their engagement story and the story of how they decided to be married in Iceland.

Stacey Nelson and Jerry Stover walk across a black sand beach in south Iceland in front of the Atlantic Ocean.
Jerry’s lopapeysa was made especially for the wedding by a local knitter.

Workplace Romance

Jerry: “Stacey and I met as a result of our work. I own a company that builds custom cabinetry, and Stacey worked for a company that provided granite countertops. After crossing paths several times, there was an obvious attraction between the two of us.

Stacey made the first move. She knew I wanted to ask her out but was having trouble making it happen. To her credit, she managed to convince me that it was all my idea and I’m thrilled she did. We’ve been together ever since.”

Hotel Rangá's Royal Suite, a spacious hotel room filled with luxury furnishings.
Jerry proposed to Stacey in Hotel Rangá’s Royal Suite.

An Icelandic Proposal

“After carrying the ring in my pocket all the way to Iceland and panicking that I would lose it every second of the day, I had to find the perfect place for the proposal.  My first effort was in a beautiful spot looking over the Blue Lagoon. However, the weather was cold and wet and made me rethink the location. Another attempt was foiled because I couldn’t stop shaking from nerves and was exasperated by the cold.

The perfect moment finally came on our first night at Hotel Rangá. We were staying in a beautiful room (the Royal Suite) and were warm and cozy. After settling in for the night, it finally seemed like the perfect moment. My wife tells me that I handed her the ring and said, ‘You should just have this.’  I am confident this phrase was the unintended result of being exhausted by the various near misses and multiple failed attempts.

Ultimately, the relief and comfort I found while relaxing with the woman I love in what has become my favorite destination on earth caused my heart to act before my words could catch up. My brain was apparently doing the best it could at the time.  Though my attempt at being romantic fell drastically short of my plans, it became the perfect moment.”

Stacey, Jerry and their three children stand in their wedding clothes in the small cave known as Gapí in south Iceland.
Stacey and Jerry were married in this small cave known as Gapí. Photo by Lárus Sigurðsson.

Why Iceland?

Jerry: “We decided to get married in Iceland for many reasons. To put it simply, Iceland is beautiful, magical, mysterious and the perfect backdrop for a wedding. In addition, it was special and meaningful to both Stacey and I to return to where we were engaged. Returning to Hotel Rangá, sharing a place that means so much to us with our family and getting to see their awe in all that is Iceland made it the obvious choice.”

Stacey and Jerry are married by the District Commissioner while surrounded by their three children and a flutist playing a song.
Stacey and Jerry say, “I do,” as they are married by the District Commissioner. Photo by Lárus Sigurðsson.

Meaningful Moments at Hotel Rangá

Stacey: “We picked Hotel Rangá to help with the wedding because that is where we were engaged and it has a significant meaning to us. Hotel Rangá has a cozy cabin feel, and it offers sanctuary in its remote location with amazing views of the mountains, glacier and river.

We made a reservation for Hotel Rangá’s Royal Suite because we were engaged in that room, and it had plenty of room for all seven of our family members to hang out during the day. Also, the room has a huge bathroom where we ladies got ready on the morning of the wedding. We also booked two Deluxe rooms for our family.

The Hotel Rangá staff were fantastic and made us feel special. We worked with the Hotel Rangá wedding coordinator to arrange everything from my hair and makeup to transportation. Everyone was so very nice and on time. The morning of the wedding was really easy, and as a result, I did not stress over anything.”

Stacey and Jerry on their wedding day with their three children in front of the small cave known as Gapí in south Iceland.
This small cave is open on one side, making it a lovely place to host a wedding ceremony. Photo by Lárus Sigurðsson.

The Big Day

Stacey: “Hotel Rangá’s Wedding Coordinator made the process a breeze. She did all the work and it turned out perfect. Along the way, she gave me options about flowers, dining, decor and more. Then, then I would pick my favorites.

We knew from day one that we wanted to have the wedding outdoors. After looking at photos, we decided to get married inside a small cave known as Gapí. It was the perfect choice. We were very fortunate and had a beautiful day, but it was nice to know that if the weather became inclement (which is often the case in Iceland) we had the cover of the cave while still enjoying the view of the outdoors. We couldn’t have asked for a better backdrop—the river and nearby Eyjafjallajökull glacier were absolutely gorgeous.

Wedding bouquet at Hotel Rangá filled with pink roses, purple blooms, green leaves and white accent flowers.
Stacey’s bridal bouquet matched her dress. Photo by Lárus Sigurðsson.

An Iceland Adventure Wedding Theme

Stacey: “Choosing the flowers and decorations was by far the easiest decision that I had to make. I wanted Iceland to be my decoration. The grass, clouds, glaciers, rivers and caves made every image perfect. I sent a picture of my dress colors and asked Hotel Rangà’s florist to make a small bouquet and boutonniere based on those colors. They turned out perfectly.

Our favorite thing about Iceland is the scenery. When we were there in December of 2017 (when Jerry proposed), everything was iced over and the colors were a mix of magical blues. I found a dress that I liked on Etsy at Wardrobe By Dulcinea and I asked Inge if she could change the colors from blush to blues.”

Jerry Stover and his son wear traditional Icelandic lopapeysa as they pose with hotelier Friðrik Pálsson in the Hotel Rangá lobby.
Jerry and his son wore handmade Icelandic lopapeysa on the big day. Photo by Lárus Sigurðsson.

Custom Lopapeysa for the Family

Stacey: “I also found a local Icelandic woman by the name of Jóna Örlygsdóttir on Etsy that custom makes Icelandic sweaters. Her shop is called Lopia. My favorite part about the sweaters are the back. My husband’s says JLOVESS in the middle of his runes and my new son’s has BOGO in the middle of his.

I have told my new son from day one that I bought his daddy and got him for free, so “Buy One Get One” will always be my nickname for him. Jona even hand-delivered the sweaters to our hotel in Reykjavík to make sure everything fit properly. We will keep those sweaters forever. They were my favorite part of our attire.”

Woman wearing tulle skirt and white shirt takes the hand of a guide as she exits from a large white super jeep in south Iceland.
The family explored south Iceland in a super jeep after the wedding ceremony. Photo by Lárus Sigurðsson.

A Super Jeep Iceland Adventure Wedding

Stacey: “Our actual wedding ceremony only lasted five to ten minutes at most, so we spent hours touring around in the Super Jeep going to different locations and taking pictures. This was by far my favorite part of the day. We got to see all kinds of cool places that you just can’t access in your rental car. It was fun to watch our family’s faces light up every time they saw a new glacier or waterfall. I would highly recommend this to anyone considering it. Our driver was also amazingly sweet and knowledgeable.

The dinner reception was held upstairs in Hotel Rangá’s private dining room. We only had eight guests, but the room was large and could accommodate many more. The food was outstanding. We had salmon two ways, shrimp with dill, sous-vide beef and baked Alaska. The presentation was exquisite. It was so much more than I expected and worth every penny.”

Icelandic kransakaka wedding cake on gold platter with small Lego bride and groom figures.
Stacey and Jerry chose a traditional Icelandic kransakaka. Photo by Lárus Sigurðsson.

An Icelandic Kransakaka

Stacey: “The Icelandic wedding cake is closer to an American cookie and tastes nothing like our traditional cakes, but we knew this before choosing it.  It was such a pretty cake, and it tasted delicious.”

Stacey, Jerry and their three children wear wedding clothes and pose in the small cave Gapí in south Iceland.
Stacey, Jerry and their three children. Photo by Lárus Sigurðsson.

Who took your wedding photos?

Stacey: “We wanted a local Icelander to take our photos. After doing some research, it was easy to pick Lárus Sigurðarson. We are so glad we chose Lárus because he was up for anything. He had so much energy—we were hiking in and out of caves, small creeks, waterfalls. He shared his knowledge of all of the local attractions, so it was like having our own private tour guide.

Lárus even met us in downtown Reykjavik one day and walked with us to JS Watch Company to help me surprise my husband with his wedding gift—a handmade watch which he had been eyeing since our first visit to Iceland. I would absolutely recommend Lárus for any photography needs.”

Stacey Nelson and Jerry Stover embrace on their wedding day in front of the Eyjafjallajökull glacier.
Stacey and Jerry embrace in front of the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. Photo by Lárus Sigurðsson.

Do you have any good advice for couples planning a wedding in Iceland?

Stacey:”Planning a wedding in a different country can be overwhelming. The paperwork alone in my country was enough to have me second guessing my choice. I did not have the chance to see my dress with the guys’ outfits or the flowers until we unpacked everything the day before.

My advice would be to just take the day for what it is—the day you get to commit yourself to the love of your life. The day itself does not have to be perfect, but my choice for a husband is perfect. We had wonderful weather, and our flowers were beautiful. My dresses didn’t come out exactly as I wanted them but who cares—I married my best friend.”

Stacey Nelson and Jerry Stover stand on a bridge on their wedding day with Eyjafjalljökull in the background.
Stacey and Jerry were engaged in Iceland and decided to return for an Iceland adventure wedding. Photo by Lárus Sigurðsson.

Contact Us Today to Start Planning

If you want to plan an Iceland adventure wedding at Hotel Rangá, contact us today. Our dedicated Wedding Coordinator will walk you through every step of the way. Read some of our wedding blogs to learn more about how to marry in Iceland.

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