If you’re planning a wedding, you may be interested in having a space wedding. This is a special kind of wedding where you’ll exchange vows in the space, 100 kilometers above the Earth’s surface. You’ll be shot up into the sky, and spend several minutes in zero gravity. The ceremony is performed in front of up to three guests.
Yuri Malenchenko, the Russian cosmonaut who is now the commander of the International Space Station, married his American-born bride, Ekaterina Dmitriev, in July 2018. They had been planning their wedding for months before they got into orbit. However, the Russian Aerospace Agency refused to allow their marriage, arguing that they needed to obtain permission from the U.S. Government before they could legally marry.
As a result, the two were issued a marriage license in July. In addition, Malenchenko deputed an American lawyer to sign the documents. But despite all this, the Russian space authorities didn’t get in touch with the groom.
After the couple returned to Earth, they had their religious wedding in Russia next June. On the way to the ceremony, Malenchenko and Ekaterina flew 402 km over New Zealand to mark their union. Their kids loved the wedding, according to a Russian friend. Afterwards, the groom went to a reception, where the wedding guests enjoyed Italian and Russian delicacies.
A few weeks later, a cosmonaut in Houston offered to help plan the wedding. It was a great idea, but he didn’t have the proper paperwork. Therefore, Malenchenko had to send a friend to stand in for him at the airport. He also had to go through a series of tests to make sure that he was in good health and fit to fly.
Malenchenko and Dmitriev were married by video link, but their ceremony was not broadcast to the public. Although the video conference was classified as a private family conference, it was not aired on NASA television. Some attendees at the reception were surprised to see a life-size cutout of the groom, which featured two space shuttles and an impressive fruit bowl.
The wedding was conducted in Yaroslavl, a city north of Moscow. Despite the fact that Yuri and Ekaterina are American citizens, they had moved to Russia before the wedding.
There are other firms that offer space weddings. One company, Rocket Plane, has a partnership with an Oklahoma-based aerospace design and construction firm, and offers couples a variety of packages for their weddings. While the package may include some extras, such as live broadcasts, the cost can be high.
A Japanese company, First Advantage, has a similar tie-up with US-based Rocket Plane. The couple can select between a space-themed or an Earth-themed wedding, and can include live broadcasts from outer space in their package. Similarly, the Space Foundation in Colorado Springs has themed venues that will allow the wedding to be customized to their tastes.
Space weddings are a great option for couples who love the idea of expanding their reach. Though you won’t be able to see your new husband or wife, they’ll be as beautiful as they are.