These newlyweds wanted to take their love to new heights ― literally.
California couple James Sissom, 35, and Ashley Schmieder, 32, tied the knot at the end of March in the most unlikely of places. The pair got married at Everest Base Camp after spending three weeks hiking to get there.
“After much deliberation, we decided a traditional wedding was not the right fit for us,” Schmieder told the Daily Mail. “As much as we would have loved to share our special day with our family and friends, we were both drawn to the idea of eloping during an incredible vacation.”
There are two Everest Base Camps on opposite sides of Mount Everest. South Base Camp in Nepal, where the pair tied the knot, is located at an altitude of 17,500 feet. North Base Camp in Tibet is located at an altitude of nearly 17,000 feet. Hikers position themselves at base camps because it’s safer than the harsher conditions on Mt. Everest above.
Despite the unlikely venue, Sissom and Schmieder did not shirk the traditional wedding wardrobe. Sissom wore a suit and Schmieder wore a gorgeous wedding dress.
The wondrous day was documented by adventure wedding photographer Charleton Churchill.
Churchill detailed the trek in a blog post on his website. He wrote: “It started snowing hard a few days into the journey. According to our Sherpa guide, it dumped more snow on us than it had all winter. The temperatures ranged from -8 degrees to 10 degrees Fahrenheit from 14,000 ft. camp and above, so your hands would quickly freeze if left out of the gloves, like when I tried to film and take photos.”
“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, on top of keeping warm, downing soup, food, drinking hot liquids, and moving, all vital.”
Despite the hardships, the crew made the wedding magic happen.
“When we arrived to base camp, we were told we have 1hr and 30 minutes to eat, get married, pack up, and get on a helicopter. So, we ate, drank, and got married in an hour. James and Ashley exchanged vows at Mt. 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 wrote in his post.
Photographs of the nuptials do not disappoint. See more beautiful pics from the wedding below: