Weddings have become something special for many people and the planning for the actual venue has become long and complex. There is the dress, the flowers, the cake, the venue location, the vows, the dance and so on. Every couple wants to make it memorable and remember it with great satisfaction as they grow older.
Each wedding is unique and it is a special event for the loving partners, but what really amazed many people is the unusual wedding plan of the Ashley Schmeider, 32 and James Sisson, 33. Namely, they have decided their venue to take place at the magnificent mountain range, the Mount Everest. This particular location requires a whole year planning and physical training.
This young couple never liked the traditional wedding ceremony, and in their talks when they were still boyfriend and girlfriend they talked that if they ever get married, they would do it on Mount Everest. The “D” day has come and they decided that it is time to get married, but they did not turn away from their original plan, they stuck to their pact.
Mountains can be very unpredictable and even though “love can move mountains” they had to go through some real hardships like unpredictable weather, freezing temperatures, deep snow, and altitude sickness.
In this venture the couple was accompanied by their photographer, Charleton Churchill, and with their wedding ‘‘guests’’ they climbed the mountain. All of them prepared for the long vertical climb up the mountainside, but when they landed in Nepal, in early March, they did not expect it to last so long. They needed three weeks to reach the base camp on Everest, situated 17,000 feet above sea level.
Nonetheless of all the hardships and physical effort, it was a bonding experience that they will for sure remember till the day they die.
Ashley contacted Churchill on Instagram last year to ask for a destination suggestion, and she told him that she wanted an adventurous wedding. Although Churchill tried to shoot a wedding at this mountain he was not successful with the previous couple, but nonetheless he recommended this location to Ashley and James who both agreed upon Mount Everest.
“I had attempted base camp with another [couple] in 2015, but the devastating earthquake of Nepal, including the massive avalanche that swept EBC [Everest Base Camp], turned everyone around off the mountain. I wasn’t sure if I would find another couple to get married on Everest anytime soon.”
Ashley and James became the first couple to ever successfully hold a marriage ceremony on Mount Everest in traditional wedding garments, and this actually made this wedding ceremony so unique.
Here it is how their photographer explains the whole venture:
“The temperatures ranged from -8 degrees to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. So, your hands would quickly freeze if left out of the gloves, like when I tried to film and take photos. I actually had to turn a live Facebook filming off because my hands were burning cold…
Also, James and Ashley married in the -5 degrees to 5 degrees Fahrenheit range, and in her wedding dress. We especially had to keep her warm… downing soup, food, drinking hot liquids, and moving, all vital.”
“Both James and Ashley made for great trail partners. We were like a family. Ashley is a tough girl who crushed it on the mountain trail and maintained a great pace.
James is a great man who took care of Ashley, always looking after her needs. Plus, he’s a comedian who made us laugh often. It can be difficult after a few days on a long mountain trek with all the pressure and lack of resources to maintain a smile, but we did well.”
On March 16, 2017, “James and Ashley exchanged vows at Mount Everest Base Camp right in front of the famous Khumbu ice-fall where people use ladders to maneuver over crevasses, and with the beautifully carved Nuptse Face in the backdrop.
Their epic wedding was surrounded by all these famous mountains. It was beautiful, short, and we captured a few photos before packing and getting ready to leave.”
Churchill is well aware of the meaning of having photos of special events as memories tend to fade away, but the photographs are always there to remind us of all the great moments we have experienced.
The photos of Ashley and James are unique telling us an extraordinary story of love and promised bond.