Cristina + Dioni // Iceland Wedding

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Cristina and Dioni were married on March 14th, with a ceremony in Jökulsárlón, Iceland.

These two had planned two separate wedding ceremonies and celebrations. The first was in San Diego for their extended family and friends. The second, 3 weeks later in Iceland for their immediate family and wedding party.

My wife, Jacqueline Bui, as well as my friend Jermain Lighburn helped me with the two days of shooting for this awe-inspiring Icelandic celebration. Jermain helped with the lighting, which was incredibly important during the first day when we shot at at Jökulsárlón, Iceland, also called Glacier Lagoon. This was where we shot family and bridal portraits. While we were traversing the lagoon, with its ice and rock formations, the groom, Dioni, accidentally fell in the water! It was just as cold as you’d think it would be! Once he was rescued and dry, we took an off-roading Jeep to the Ice Caves for the ceremony.

The ceremony was performed deep inside the ice caves and was one of the most memorable parts of the whole trip. These caves were otherworldly in their beauty. After the ceremony, we were sure to capture plenty more portraits in the ice caves to capture that ethereal look. The thickness of the ice made it look like they were deep underwater at some moments, and on another planet in others! It was such a unique setting for their vows and truly a magnificent experience. Once we were done there, we headed back to Glacier Lagoon to wait for the Northern Lights.

The Northern Lights were inspiring to see in real life. It was a little tricky capturing them because a storm was rolling in, and we could only see the lights for about five minutes at a time. But we got them!

On the second day, we traveled around Iceland to several different locations for pictures. We made sure to go to Reynisfjara Black Sands Beach and the famous plane wreckage on Sólheimasandur Beach. I wanted Cristina to lay atop a small iceberg by the beach, though safety was a bit of an issue because of the crashing waves all around us. The waters were a lot more violent than I’m used to in Southern California! If you’re not paying attention, they can grab you in an instant and pull you into the ocean. But we got the shot—and everyone was safe.

It was quite the hike out to the plane wreckage—two miles through cold temperatures and hail. The whole hike was 4 miles round-trip, and it was freezing. Even with my gloves, my equipment still felt icy to the touch. We had also wanted to shoot at a few waterfalls but ran out of time. We were exhausted—but it was well worth it!

Dioni & Cristina, thank you for letting me be part of your extraordinary trip! I had so much fun exploring Iceland with both of you and having adventures in the cold, in the waves, and in the caves.

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Jimmy Bui

I am a wedding and conceptual portrait photographer based in Southern California. When I'm not shooting weddings, or planning my next weekly photo for my Music to Life series, you may find me at Disneyland or the zoo spending time with my beautiful wife and daughter.
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