A space wedding has become a reality. In 2013, Ekaterina Dmitrieva and Yuri Malenchenko tied the knot in orbit while on a NASA mission. The two were joined in marriage via videoconference with a live satellite broadcast. The bride wore a specially designed dress, and the groom wore a custom-made tuxedo from J.Lucas Clothiers. The wedding rings were designed by jeweler Chris Ploof and set with precious stones. The ring was designed with the space station’s zero gravity environment in mind.
The wedding was broadcasted on television and in Japan, despite the strict cosmonaut contract that prohibits a wedding in space. In the video, the bride marched in to “Absolute Beginners” by David Bowie. In the audio recording, she recited the song’s lyrics to the bride. The spaceman, Yuri Malenchenko, performed a proxy ceremony in Houston, but he was not physically present. He blew kisses on the bride and congratulated her. Ed Lu played the wedding march by Mendelssohn while Yuri Malenchenko and his bride remained in orbit.
The couple’s wedding was transmitted via video link to Yuri’s family in the United States. The couple walked down the aisle to “A Beautiful Day,” by David Bowie, and posed with a life-sized cardboard cutout of the bride. The best man played the wedding march on a portable keyboard. The astronauts even had a photo album during the event. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that the couple will never forget.
While the wedding transmission was classified as a private family conference, the ceremony lasted about an hour and a half. Yuri Malenchenko was dressed in a formal flight uniform and Ed Lu played a David Bowie song. The couple’s ceremony was filmed live on satellite and viewed by a live audience from Houston. A satellite feed of the ceremony was broadcast on the wedding reception. This footage was then transcribed and aired on television for a few weeks.
In addition to the video transmission, space marriages are illegal in space. However, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and the Japanese government have both said they are willing to make this possible. They are also offering capsule flights. The average cost of a trip to the moon and back is 240 million yen ($2.2 million). This wedding has a photo album with a video of the couple. The re-transmission was considered a private family conference.
The first space wedding took place on the ISS in 2009. The ceremony was carried out from Houston to Yuri’s home base in Florida. The two opted to marry in a satellite after a year. The ceremony was referred to as a proxy marriage as Yuri Malenchenko remained in Houston. While it was technically not legally possible to have a wedding in space, the ISS did offer the chance for the couple to get married in a unique way.