VIVIAN & DRAGOS in Iceland » Hotel Budir Wedding / by Vivian Chen

// Part 1 of Vivian & Dragos’ Icelandic wedding celebration can be found here. //

The Wedding Weekend

After Thursday’s epic road trip engagement session, we all met up again for the wedding weekend. Nestled on a lava field on the Snaefellsnell Peninsula, Hotel Búðir provided the perfect backdrop for Vivian and Dragos’ celebration. Whether it was the famous black church Búðakirkja, Snæfellsjökull Glacier, the Búðir-estuary, or the expansive mountain range speckled with waterfalls, you were treated to a stunning view no matter which direction you looked. The hotel is also home to a sweet mastiff named Thor who likes to spend his evenings watching the tide go out and chasing seals. (Not that he’s ever caught one!)

Gathering 71 of your closest friends and family for a destination wedding in Iceland means pulling out all the stops. Just one day of celebration wasn’t enough so before their Sunday nuptials, Vivian and Dragos kicked off the festivities with a beach bonfire Saturday night with local drinks and barbecue. I was invited to attend and felt at home. Everyone was so warm and welcoming and I especially enjoyed introducing myself as “the Other Vivian Chen” among her friends. The evening continued and impromptu toasts were given as the moon rose above the horizon. Once the embers died down, guests were treated to roasted marshmallows and s’mores. Those who braved the dropping temperatures a bit longer were rewarded a beautiful display of the northern lights, dancing in the sky.

The Big Day

The next morning, Vivian and Dragos got ready in the hotel while guests spent the morning riding horses or exploring local lava caves. For their first look, we chose a spot next to the hotel near the dock with a view of the mountain range and the estuary. After a few sweet moment alone, Vivian and Dragos gathered with their wedding party and headed over to the ceremony site down by the beach. Their good friend Anna played a beautiful rendition of Sigur Rós’ “Starálfur” on her violin as Vivian and her father walked down the grass path where everyone was waiting. Their friend, Laura, who threw the housewarming party where Vivian and Dragos first met, officiated the ceremony. In addition to exchanging rings, they drank traditional spirits—homemade Romanian plum wine and Chinese baijiu—out of chalices. After they sealed their vows with a kiss, Vivian and Dragos lead everyone back to the hotel for cocktails. As Dragos earned his degree in mathematics, they had their guests try to find their seat assignments by answered riddles and math equations (some more successfully than others!) As the evening light faded away, everyone was treated to a delicious three course meal in the cozy dining room before heading out to the lobby for dessert and a dance party that went on well into the night. It was an incredible wedding weekend that was made even more magical because of the connection Vivian and I felt for one another.

Wedding Venue: Hótel Búðir // Floral Design: Thordis // Hair + Make-Up: Margret Magnus // Baker: Sætar Syndir // DJ: Atli Már Gylfason // Vivian’s Dress: Enzoani (Handmade cape by Vivian’s mother) // Vivian’s Shoes: Aquazurra // Dragos’ Suit: Enzo Custom // Paper Goods: Minted // Rings: ID Jewelry