Most brides and grooms strive to make their big day as memorable as possible in celebration of their love – and also to impress and entertain their guests. Many couples attempt to have a wedding that will reflect their unique personalities and hobbies. For some, this means holding a ceremony that everyone will remember. With that in mind, some couples choose an even more extreme approach, like literally taking a leap of faith by bungee jumping halfway through the ceremony, or tying the knot in a zero-gravity room. In fact, there are many venues that cater specifically to the kinds of couples who want to have a unique, weird or wonderful wedding experience. Here are a few ideas for some truly unusual and incredibly memorable wedding experiences.
In a hot air balloon
Getting married in the sky is becoming more and more popular with couples who want to “soar to new heights” on their wedding day. There are several private companies in the American southwest that offer couples the possibility of getting married in the sky over the scenic Sonoran Desert, Albuquerque’s Sandia mountains, or over Carson Valley, Nevada. Another beautiful location to tie the knot in an air balloon is over Australia. A hot air balloon wedding is the ultimate choice for couples that want truly unforgettable photographs of their ceremony. Flights often lift off early in the morning or later at night, when the weather is stable. Couples who decide to get married in the air probably won’t have much room for guests in the balloon itself – just themselves, the person administering the vows, and two witnesses. A reception could be set up on the ground where guests who can’t fit in the balloon can wait for the couple to descend back to earth. The happy couple can toast their vows afterwards, gazing around at the scenery below, then start their lives together once their feet are firmly planted back on the ground.
At the top of Mount Everest
A few years ago, a Nepalese couple was the first to get married on the top of Mt. Everest. Although they stayed at the summit for only 10 minutes, it was just long enough to exchange their vows in a traditional ceremony and snap a few photos. The 23 and 24 year olds were both experienced climbers, but they kept their plans to marry at the highest point on Earth a secret just in case they weren’t able to manage the long and dangerous climb to the summit. Climbers normally have to wear oxygen masks at that height, but the couple took them off for just a few minutes during the ceremony. If you can conquer Everest together, you can probably manage just about anything in married life!
An underwater wedding
It might be hard enough to catch your breath on your wedding day if you are a blushing bride or excited groom, but imagine trying to catch your breath if you’re actually being married in a place without air, in the ocean, surrounded by fish and the blue sea. It’s perhaps one of the most unusual places on earth that a couple could choose to get married, but 10,000 leagues under the sea has become a popular option for some couples who are looking for an extremely unusual wedding. There are plenty of scenic locations in Bali, Australia, Hawaii, the Cayman Islands, Mauritius and Thailand that offer couples wedding packages, which include the ceremony itself performed under the sea. For couples who would rather stay dry (with the exception of all of those inevitable tears, of course) – yet still be surrounded by fish and water – there is also the option of being married at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort, which offers couples the opportunity to have a wedding in the Ithaa restaurant, which is located under the sea.
In zero gravity
The prospect of getting hitched can weigh heavily on a couple. So if you’re a nervous bride or groom, imagine having all of the weight literally lifted off your shoulders on the big day by hosting a “zero-gravity” wedding. The pilots on special zero gravity charter flights fly modified airplanes that perform aerobatic maneuvers in the sky to provide the weightless effect. Passengers will feel completely weightless, as though they are floating in outer space. Wedding packages offered by some of these purveyors of zero gravity flights allow couples to get married during the flights, in a completely out-of-this-world environment. The officiant of the ceremony and guests can all come along on the unforgettable ride.
At a fan convention
It’s probably the closest you’ll ever be able to get to having an outer space wedding (especially if the aforementioned zero-gravity wedding idea isn’t exactly your thing): the bride and groom dress up in a costume from their favorite sci-fi franchise, and instead of asking guests to don their black-tie apparel, they ask them to wear costumes from their favorite fandom, such as Star Wars or Star Trek. Some couples even choose to tie the knot at fan conventions, surrounded by guests in costume (and maybe even in character). Hopefully, Darth Vader won’t show up and ruin the big day.
A bungee jumping wedding
A freshly married couple can literally take a leap of faith into their new lives together if they include a bungee jump in their wedding ceremony. In 2008, a Belgian couple was married on a platform that was lifted high into the sky, and then halfway through the ceremony they leapt off the platform – wearing their formal wedding dress and tuxedo – before they kissed upside down at the bottom of the drop. The platform allowed some guests to watch the ceremony high in the air, while others waited (and snapped photos) on the ground below. For couples who don’t want to take a literal leap – but still want to be married in the sky – Dinner in the Sky in Belgium allows couples to simply be married on a platform high above the ground.
At a haunted castle at midnight
This kind of wedding gives new meaning to eternal love: Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire, the UK, is one of the most haunted castles in the United Kingdom. Among its past guests included Henry IV, the Black Prince and Henry VIII, and it was a prison for Mary Queen of Scots. The castle also welcomes couples that want to tie the knot in a very haunted setting at midnight. The “haunted” weddings are held in torchlight and there is an optional medieval-style hand-fasting ceremony that can be included as a part of the wedding. Of course, guests and the happy couple can enjoy a ghost hunting adventure before or after the ceremony. The only downside? Couples may have to be open to a few uninvited guests dropping in on the ceremony from the beyond.
Couples who would travel to the ends of the earth for each other might consider doing just that and getting hitched at the literal end of the world. In 2007, a wedding was held in Antarctica between Chilean and Russian researchers at a small, quaint Russian church located in the frozen continent. Several companies and guides will help arrange an unforgettable wedding in Antarctica. Trips set out from Cape Town, South Africa or Chile. It might be wise to plan such an expedition in the Antarctic summer (November and December). The church where the wedding between the researchers was held is big enough to accommodate 30 observers.
In a Tree House
Why not merge a childhood fantasy with the start of a new, adult life as a couple, and get married in a tree house? There are a couple of unique venues that are big, picturesque tree houses that welcome couples on their big day. TreeHouse Point in Washington allows couples to be wed amongst the picturesque tall trees in the Pacific Northwest. There’s also Loch Goil in Scotland, which is a little bit like a fairy tale wedding venue. Loch Goil is a charming tree house that overlooks a scenic Scottish lake, with space for the ceremony and then an idyllic dinner with guests afterwards.
A restaurant whose motto is “I’m Lovin’ it” is apparently, for some couples, a logical place to spend their big day. For those who want to have a fast (and budget-friendly) wedding at one of the most recognizable restaurant chains in the world, McDonalds is certainly an option. A British couple once held their reception dinner at their local McDonalds. It was a special place for them because they had enjoyed many dates together at the restaurant. Taking it a step further, McDonalds in Hong Kong offers couples wedding packages, complete with decorations, gifts and a wedding “cake,” a tower of the restaurant’s famous boxed single-serving pies.