Every couple feels on top of the world on their wedding day. But one California couple just made that metaphor a reality by literally exchanging vows on top of the world. Ashley Schmieder and her husband James trekked for three weeks, threw on a wedding gown and tux, then got married at base camp on Mount Everest. In fact, they became the first couple to ever successfully do so in traditional wedding garb.
So, if you think your wedding pictures are impressive, prepare to be blown away.
“The temperatures ranged from -8 degrees to 10 degrees Fahrenheit,” explains Churchill. “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.”
After the pictures were taken, they could not leave right away as planned. The weather worsened, as it often does on Everest, rendering conditions unsafe for a helicopter to arrive and, consequently, forcing them to spend the night.
“After sleeping on the glacier, hearing the cracking below us, on top of hearing the thundering avalanches all night, the helicopter came, and early,” recalls Churchill. “The faint but ascending juddering sound of the helicopter in the distance was a beautiful sound. I saw the look on James and Ashley’s face, and they were relieved. We all were excited. The pilot, hooked up to oxygen, took James and Ashley first because the air was too thin at base camp to take all four of us and our bags. They dropped James and Ashley off at a lower altitude, and then returned to get me and Naga, our guide. Within a few hours, we were back to Kathmandu on a bus, warmed up, and back to our hotel with some of the creature comforts we missed while on the mountain.”
Not to mention, with the coolest wedding photos around.