A wedding can take many forms, from a simple ceremony at a local church to a grand affair with hundreds of guests. However, if you want to go even more out of the ordinary, a Florida-based company is offering couples the chance to get married in space, as long as they have a willing partner and deep pockets.
The company, called Space Perspective, has already announced that it will soon begin offering flights to the edge of space. The voyage won’t be as nerve-wracking as a full-on space mission, but it will offer plenty of opportunities to make memorable toasts with nothing but the stars and planets for your backdrop. It will cost $125,000 per seat, but for those who can afford it, the experience sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
In August 2003, a U.S. citizen of Russian descent named Ekaterina Dmitrieva became the first woman to marry in outer space when she and cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko wed via a video linkup between Houston and the International Space Station. She walked down the aisle in her white dress while he stood at his post on the station wearing his standard flight suit. They were able to conduct the ceremony in accordance with Texas law because it was technically considered a private family event and not a public event broadcast over NASA TV.
When he emerged from the ISS, he was greeted by his bride at the airport in Yaroslavl, Russia (she had kept her American citizenship despite her marriage to a Russian citizen). He reportedly wore a tie with a space shuttle design on it for the occasion. Afterward, they went to a small Russian church where she was given a traditional Russian wedding dress and he was outfitted with a special bow tie made for the event.
Sadly, their marriage did not last. It’s believed that the couple grew apart and that Yuri was unable to cope with the isolation of being in orbit. Although he returned to his profession and made two more trips into space, he never regained his former status as a cosmonaut. Apparently, the first space wedding infuriated his superiors, and contracts signed by cosmonauts now include a clause that prohibits them from getting married during a space mission.
Nevertheless, it’s possible that the next wave of weddings will take place in virtual worlds such as Second Life and the Metaverse. These “weddings within games” could eventually be combined with real-life venues to create a more cohesive celebration. This could allow for larger guest lists and gift registries that feature non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. While it’s still not legal to hold a virtual wedding in the real world, we’re hoping that laws will catch up with this new technology sooner rather than later.