Wil­low & Mike

Wil­low McLean and Mike Burns had only known each other for a few months the first time they went to Ice­land.

The Coast - Halifax Weddings Guide - - Wedding Album - pho­tos by Applehead Stu­dio Pho­tog­ra­phy

Nav­i­gat­ing not just the ethe­real Nordic ter­rain, but the road to get­ting to know each other, the cou­ple was flab­ber­gasted by the beau­ti­ful things they dis­cov­ered.

“It was just the most amaz­ing place ei­ther of us had ever been to,” says Wil­low. Upon get­ting en­gaged, their hearts and heads re­turned to that trip. Even­tu­ally they de­cided that’s where they wanted to say I do—in the pres­ence of just their two best friends and an ad­ven­tur­ous crew of Applehead pho­tog­ra­phers—and they’d host a more tra­di­tional wed­ding at home a few weeks later.

“I was never some­one who thought a lot about get­ting mar­ried, and nei­ther did Mike. We wanted to do some­thing more orig­i­nal, some­thing that was spe­cial for the two of us,” says Wil­low. “And there wasn’t a place that was any more spe­cial to us than Ice­land.”

They re-traced their steps, shar­ing their favourite vis­tas with their friends and re­liv­ing the mo­ments that made them fall for each other in the first place. One of them: climb­ing a vol­cano on the West­man Is­lands at mid­night, which is where Mike picked flow­ers, Wil­low changed in a pop-up tent and they said their vows in the freez­ing cold twi­light. “It was a quick cer­e­mony but it was some­thing we wouldn’t have wanted to do in front of a bunch of other peo­ple,” says Wil­low. “It al­lowed us to have a more per­sonal cer­e­mony, just our­selves. The pri­vacy al­lowed for more au­then­tic­ity.”

The fun didn’t start or stop there. The new­ly­weds and their besties toured around, camped and hiked—stop­ping for epic pho­tos and tent-changes along the way—squeez­ing ev­ery last drop out of their cel­e­bra­tion. “Yes we did this pri­vate cer­e­mony,” says Wil­low, “but we man­aged to stretch out our wed­ding fun for a full week in­stead of just one day.”

—AS

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