This couple hiked for eight days to get married on Mount Everest
Some people say that getting married makes you feel like you're on top of the world. This was almost certainly true for James Sissom and Ashley Schmieder, who tied the knot earlier this year on Mount Everest, the planet's highest peak.
After nine months of training and preparation, eight days of hiking, and three attempts at saying the right vows, the couple from northern California were wed at base camp at an altitude of 5,364 metres (17,598 ft).
The location seems fitting for a pair whose first date was was an overnight hiking trip in Yosemite National Park, as Sissom explained, "This is already something we had planned on doing in the future, but not necessarily for a wedding."
During their acsent, the adventurous couple camped out at tea houses, kipping in sleeping bags that are specially-designed to withstand temperatures as low as -40 degrees. However, due to the poor insulation of the buildings, Sissom and Schmieder would wake up covered in ice that had formed from the condensation of their breath. Not ones to give up easily, though, the couple persevered - even continuing to do work on their laptops as they made their way higher and higher up the notorious mountain.
Amazingly, even when Sissom was suffering with asthma and other altitude-related breathing problems on the day before the couple were due to seal the deal, they refused to abandon their mission. When it came to the big day, the groom was able to recover with the help of an oxygen tank and a great deal of determination.
Speaking about the special moment, Schmieder said "We couldn't believe we were finally there, and exchanging our vows was kind of the cherry on the sundae. It was pretty special."
However, her new husband jokingly stated that, "It was the least glamorous wedding day you could imagine." The couple both wore long-johns under their traditional marriage garb, and had to don warm jackets between shoots to avoid getting too cold in the sub-zero temperatures.
The pictures tell a different story, however.
The photographer, Charelton Churchill, wrote on his blog that,
"It was truly a moment of awesomeness, knowing where we were at that time, and how hard we worked to get there, this moment was finally happening. They were getting married surrounded by an orchestra of mountains. The Khumbu Ice-fall right behind them, the starting point in climbing to the summit of Mt. Everest. Truly unreal."
"I didn't feel like the prettiest bride on my wedding day," said Schmeider. "I was really blown away when I saw [the pictures] and I don't know how he made us look like we did."
The couple found Churchill via Instagram, where he describes himself as an "adventure photographer". It was actually he who suggested that they get married on Everest, and the couple just ran with it. "I mentioned Mt. Everest base camp, and well…here we are now," he wrote.
It's fairly safe to say that the couple made the right choice with their photographer - and obviously with each other. There aren't many people out there who would go to the extreme of trekking up Everest to get married, but for Ashley and James, this adventure was just one of many that are still to come.