A Space Wedding For Non-Astronauts

When Yuri Malenchenko walked down the aisle via video link in Texas 16 years ago, it was the first space wedding in history. But it didn’t just make headlines—it changed his life forever.

In the end, he got back in line to become an ISS crew member, and he’s gone on to serve on two more missions. But his space snafu caught up to him in 2019 when he was denied a promotion because of the “disrepute” caused by his wedding. And while he did eventually get his job back, it’s clear that the whole affair was never forgiven.

Getting married in space can be quite the experience, and it’s not too difficult to do if you’re an astronaut with the right resources. For non-astronauts, the good news is that a company called Space Perspective has come up with a dream-like way for couples to take their vows high above Earth. The company is offering seats on its six-hour Spaceship Neptune flight, which can carry eight passengers and one pilot in comfortable reclining seats. The voyage is powered by renewable hydrogen, eliminating the need for rockets and their carbon footprint.

The company’s website describes the trip as exhilarating and celebratory, with plenty of time to contemplate just how breathtaking it is to see Planet Earth from this perspective. Astronauts often describe seeing their home from space as a paradigm shift that changes their outlook on life.

But this ethereal experience isn’t cheap, with tickets starting at $125,000 per seat. Couples who are interested in tying the knot can sign up for the waitlist on the company’s website. It’s expected that the first available slots will be in late next year.

Malenchenko wore his standard uniform for the ceremony, and Dmitriev a wedding dress and a bow tie. His best man, fellow cosmonaut Ed Lu, played Mendelssohn’s traditional Wedding March on a keyboard aboard the ISS. The couple had 200 or so guests at the original ceremony, which was broadcast on NASA TV. Then they posed with a life-size cutout of him and his wife.

While it’s likely not feasible for most people to take their vows in space, this is only the beginning of the space tourism industry. Companies like Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin are also putting their money where their mouth is, with plans to have regular commercial flights by 2024. And if you don’t have the budget to travel to the edge of space, the company SpaceBalloon is offering a similar experience at a more affordable price point. Its Spaceship Neptune can transport eight passengers and a pilot in its spacious, carbon-neutral balloon, which has enormous windows for the perfect view of the Earth below. The company has already sold 1,000 tickets for its upcoming flights, which are scheduled to launch in 2024. You can book your trip on its website here.