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"I love photography because it gives me a chance to meet new people, document love, take adventures, all while being artistic. I love the outdoors and watching human connection unfold and this fold lets me do both of those at the same time. It's such an honor to able to photograph couples on one of the biggest days of their life and I will never take it for granted. I appreciate every single couple that let me in to document their story."

Alivia and Zach wanted to do something a little different than a traditional wedding for their special day. Both of them have traveled to Iceland several times, making it the perfect place for their elopement. They exchanged vows in a deserted area surrounded by mountain tops. With only their immediate family being present, it made for a special weekend full of mini-adventures along the southern part of Iceland. Upon arrival we trekked to the beautiful Blue Lagoon hot spring to destress, drink juices, and get ready for the exciting weekend we had ahead. While we spent the first day relaxing at the hot springs, the following day we woke up early (if you’re in Iceland in May… the sun doesn’t set until around 2 am and rises at 3 am) and began our day by visiting a few waterfalls, hiking to the abandoned airplane and relaxing in the hot tub at our favorite place, Midgard Adventure. Alivia and Zach’s wedding day started slow with breakfast and getting ready in separate rooms with family and friends all around. They began the big day with a first look before we hopped in a giant Expedition to go to the ceremony site. After a long, bumpy ride we finally made it to a deserted place with a tiny little building in the middle of nowhere. Snow top mountains surrounded us as the clouds passed over frequently. We began the ceremony and they made it official by sharing their vows and exchanging of rings. We then ventured off to a few more special places that our incredible tour guide showed us; including waterfalls, wild horses and the infamous black sand beaches. Iceland is such a uniquely gorgeous spot and makes capturing such photographic people a breeze. I cannot wait to visit Iceland again in the future and explore more of this amazing country. I am forever grateful to have photographed my first destination wedding in such an amazing place with even more incredible people. Cheers to Alivia and Zach!

Pictures by Brady Bates

Website & Instagram

Gear: Canon 5d Mark & IV 5d III & Canon 85mm 1.2 & Canon 50mm 1.2 & Canon 35mm 1.4 mark ii

Location: Southern Iceland

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