I arrived at Hotel Borealis in Iceland at 10am that December morning and the sky was a deep midnight blue. All we knew at that point was that Christian and Teddy's wedding ceremony would be at 11:19am, right at Iceland's winter sunrise. Iceland in the winter is like surreal magic. Daylight hours in December are short - the sun typically rises around eleven am and is set close to 3, so we didn't have a full day of light to work with and the light that we did have was unlike any light I've seen before. Dusky and blue it swells into a faint sunrise and the peak is a cloudy overcast tint over the sky before it starts becoming blue like dusk again. Christian picked their ceremony spot ten minutes before Teddy walked down the aisle to him with only their closest friends and family (and bus driver!) bearing witness. Together they thanked all of their guests by name for coming to Iceland from London to celebrate their marriage - 25 guests from Cambridge, Bath, London and Wales, flew to Iceland for the weekend to celebrate Christian and Teddy. Talk about a tribe.
As soon as the ceremony was over and everyone warmed up, we all boarded a bus that Christian and Teddy had rented - they wanted to spend their wedding day showing their guests their favorite place in the world, a huge gesture of their love for the people in their life who had flown so far to support them. The rain started as soon as we boarded the bus and didn't stop. By the time we got back everyone was soaked to the bone - all of our clothes under our winter jackets were wet and I could wring the water out of my hair. Teddy couldn't care less. I've never loved working with someone as I loved working with Teddy - she embraced the cold, the gloom, the fading light and she chose to love it. Her spirit of adventure was intoxicating.
The night closed with a huge celebratory dinner back at Hotel Borealis with salmon, reindeer, bread pudding and wine, toasts and tears from crying and from laughing hysterically until it was late and everyone left the table to close the night by gathering around a bonfire outside in Iceland's winter wild.
I've been lucky enough to have been invited into quite a few wedding celebrations over the past few years and it's always the most incredible thing to show up the morning of a wedding only have Skyped with a couple and then to leave that night feeling like old and dear friends. Those are strong words but they're the only way I can describe how I felt leaving Christian and Teddy late on Saturday night in Selfoss to make the drive back to Reykjavik - I felt like I had known them for years.
Iceland is incredible, and I'll always jump at a chance to return, but it was the people, the emotion, the adventure and the story that made this wedding one I'll never forget. One for the books.