How far would you go to take the most impressive wedding photos in the history of weddings? Well, this couple has undoubtedly taken the bar up a few notches after going to extreme lengths to eschew the run of the mill weddings. Their venue was Mount Everest.
Thirty-two-year-old Ashley Schmeider and 35-year-old James Sisson spent a whole year planning and training for their wedding ceremony. This may sound weird without some background story explaining why they had to plan for their wedding that far in advance.
The lovely Californian couple had long decided that a typical wedding ceremony wasn’t the thing for them. They agreed that if they ever got married, they would do it on Mount Everest.
So, when they finally decided to settle down, they stuck to their pact and prepared for the long vertical climb up the mountainside, accompanied by their photographer, Charleton Churchill. And, as you can probably imagine, their wedding photos are monumentally epic.
A Mount Everest Wedding
It took the bride and groom, their photographer, and their very dedicated wedding ‘‘guests’’ about three weeks to reach the base camp on Everest, which is situated 17,000 feet above sea level. On the way, they had to brave the unpredictable weather, freezing temperatures, deep snow, and altitude sickness together — talk about a bonding experience to remember.
After all this effort, it is only right that the couple breaks a few records to become the first couple to ever successfully hold a marriage ceremony on Mount Everest in traditional wedding garb.
“I had attempted base camp with another [couple] in 2015,” says the couple’s photographer, Charleton Churchill, “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.”
However, the adventure-seeking photographer was contacted last year by Ashley via his Instagram handle. The bride-to-be said she wanted her wedding to be an adventurous one and asked for suggestions on a destination. Churchill suggested that they tie the knot on Everest, and the couple agreed.
“Both James and Ashley made for great trail partners,” Churchill recounts on his website. “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.”
And did well they did. 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,” Churchill writes. “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.”
As a bonus, their little adventure managed to produce the coolest wedding photos ever with some life-long memories to boot.