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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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.