12 of the Craziest Places Couples Have Tied the Knot
Couples go big for their big day in exotic, adventurous and once-in-a-lifetime locales around the world.
Photo By: Alpine Image Co. Ltd
Photo By: Darby Magill Photography
Photo By: Damiano Salvadori and Donatella Barbera, D2 Photography
Photo By: Greg Lecoeur, Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo
Photo By: Charleton Churchill
Photo By: Laura Segall Photography
Photo By: Lissette and Orlando Suarez, Viridian Images Photography
Photo By: Chris J. Evans
Photo By: Damiano Salvadori and Donatella Barbera, D2 Photography
Photo By: William Lambelet
Photo By: Georgia Aquarium
Photo By: WPJA/David Zaoui
New Zealand Mountain
Mona and Steve Howe, who describe themselves as an adventurous couple, sought out a magical spot to wed. The Florida couple found a breathtaking vantage point on Cecil Peak outside of Queenstown, New Zealand, which reminded them of scenery in "The Hobbit." They relied on local wedding companies to plan the wedding from abroad, estimating it took about 100 emails and Skype sessions to work out the details, which included a helicopter ride to the peak. Since the weather was unpredictable, they had to select two dates. "New Zealand really is a magical country and I recommend it for anybody who is looking for something unique for their special day," she says.
Ice Cave in British Columbia
Canadian couple Daniel Fox and Tristan Tanovan-Fox wanted to have a wedding that others couldn’t easily replicate. The couple found their ideal location in the backcountry of British Columbia. They were flown by helicopter to an ice cave for the October 2016 ceremony. The couple advises other couples interested in an extreme wedding to be as chill as possible. "It was basically kind of almost like a shot in the dark. We just knew the company that could take us there," Daniel says. "We just knew that there were ice caves, and we had a certain time frame we were doing it. There wasn’t a lot of planning besides showing up on the day of the departure."
Marble Quarry in Carrara, Italy
Carrara in Italy’s Tuscany region is well known for its marble quarries and its weddings because there are a variety of villas, farmhouses and castles next to the sea. A quarry where Michelangelo is believed to have chosen his marble to sculpt his David remains active, so wedding parties have to coordinate with the work schedules to use the quarry. While spring and summer are the high season for weddings here, winter weddings also are possible, says photographer Donatella Barbera, who along with Damiano Salvadori operates D2 Photography. "It is a truly impressive location," Barbera says.
Underwater in Monte Carlo
Dive into a new phase of life with an underwater wedding, like one couple’s nuptials off the coast of Monte Carlo. The wedding is 40 feet underwater by Monaco’s Larvatto Beach and the ceremony is directed by free diving champion, Pierre Frolla. Couples don’t have to worry about ruining dresses or suits for the ceremony: Tux-inspired and gown-inspired scuba suits are provided by Hotel Metropole Monte Carlo.
Mount Everest Base Camp
Avid hikers and climbers Ashley and James Sissom wed on Mount Everest, the Earth’s highest mountain, in March 2017. The couple said they worked out for nine months and changed their diet before making the nine-day trek with a guide and a photographer, Charleton Churchill. They packed their gown and tuxedo in a water-repellant cardboard box that fit inside their duffel bags, sacrificing space that otherwise would have gone to items like extra socks. They fought against storms, thinning air, food poisoning and harsh landscapes to exchange their vows at the base camp. "I forgot my vows at first, but after a few deep breaths, was able to recover them and complete my promise to Ashley," James says. They departed the next morning. "Some couples have a horse-drawn carriage take them away," James says. "We had a helicopter."
Arizona State Fair
After Dereck Mast and Rhonda Hitchcock-Mast were inspired by whimsical carnival-themed weddings, Rhonda originally wanted a ferris wheel at the reception. It was too expensive to bring the ride to them, so the couple brought their wedding to the Arizona State Fair. Planning a wedding at a fair might be complicated because of various real-life moving parts—since local fairs change locations often. The state fair is held at the same fairgrounds in Phoenix. "The energy was absolutely incredible. The lights, the sounds, the smell were sensory overload," she says.
The wild and other-worldly qualities of the Icelandic landscape enchanted British couple David Blurton and Rachel Salmon. After Rachel proposed to David by one of the local natural "hot pots," (she was surprised to find out that he already had a ring), they wed in Hella, Iceland, including photos next to the Seljalandsfoss waterfall. One logistical surprise was that contracts and down payments aren’t common there. "This relaxed approach is typical Iceland," she says. "They even have a phrase for it — "Þetta reddast" — which can be translated to 'It’ll all work out.'"
Volcano Top in Maui
Before Nicole and Michael Wilhelm said "I do" on an active Hawaii volcano in 2014, they had to reach the wondrous wedding site. Their 35 guests rode 4-by-4 vehicles while a helicopter transported Nicole and her parents to the volcano at Maui’s legendary Haiku Mill, a former sugar cane processing facility. "The location in Maui, it was too beautiful to pass up," says Nicole, whose wedding aired on TLC's "Extreme I Do's." The couple met at a casino and dated for nine years. "It made it worth the wait because I could have gotten married in a hotel, I could have gotten married in a very traditional setting, but I don’t think that it would have ... made our story complete," she says.
Maspalomas Dunes in Gran Canaria
The bride and groom gave sand the brush off in their daring dune wedding on Spain’s Gran Canaria. The island has a variety of landscapes in the forms of rocks, the sea and the desert. The massive Maspalomas Dunes, located by the water, served as a sandy setting for a couple’s celebration captured by photographers Damiano Salvadori and Donatella Barbera.
Ranch in Southern France
A couple faced down the herd in the Camargue, a farming region in the south of France, where ranchers on white horses tend to their cows. Photographer William Lambelet says the wedding setting shows the commitment to the farming tradition in this region, located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Rhone River delta.
At the Georgia Aquarium, a couple exchanged vows among aquatic creatures for an unforgettable underwater wedding. Wearing scuba gear over their dress and tux, the couple said "I do" in a ceremony that went swimmingly. And they even had their first dance among whale sharks, manta rays and other sea creatures in the 6.3-million-gallon tank.
Vienna Amusement Park
Eleonore and Albin Bresson celebrated their nuptials at Prater, a public park in Vienna, where they and their guests rode roller coasters and carousels in between the ceremony and dinner. "When the carousel seats came down, they played the wedding march for us, and the crowd applauded — that was both embarrassing and adorable," Eleonore says. The moments were captured by photographer David Zaoui. Wearing a wedding dress on roller coasters was exciting and even terrifying, says Eleonore, whose dress didn’t survive the day. "I'm not planning to use it again, so I'm actually happy that way," she says.