It’s been said that love can move mountains, but they have proven that it can also climb them!
The pair always knew a typical wedding ceremony wasn’t the thing for them, so they agreed that if they ever got married, they would do it on Mount Everest. When they finally decided to settle down, they stuck to the pact.
The California couple, accompanied by their photographer, Charleton Churchill, prepared for the long vertical climb up the mountainside. When they landed in Nepal, in early March, they found out that planning the journey was nothing like going through it.
Together with their wedding ‘‘guests’’, they spent about three weeks to reach the base camp on Everest, situated 17,000 feet above sea level.
It was a bonding experience to remember, as they all had to cope with the unpredictable weather, freezing temperatures, deep snow, and altitude sickness together.
The photographer explained:
“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.”
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, 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 contacted him last year on Instagram, asking for his suggestion on a destination, as she wanted an adventurous wedding.
He advised them to tie the knot on Everest, and they agreed.
Churchill recounted on his website:
“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.”
Photos are really important, especially on events like weddings, as when some memories fade, photos are there to remind us of the great moments we experienced.
Every single photo tells a different story, and the amazing ones this couple took reveal a unique one!