A Space Wedding is a Celestial Affair

When astronauts take a leap of faith and tie the knot, they’re not just saying “I do”—they’re also stepping out of this world. And now Orlando-based company Space Perspective is offering couples the chance to do just that, launching them into orbit in carbon-neutral balloons with giant windows to view our home planet from above. The waitlist for the celestial affair is already light years long.

The couple first met at a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the historic Yuri Gagarin first spaceflight. They had a “celestial, soulful connection,” says Dmitriev. When Yuri’s mission was extended, they decided to get married while in orbit. It wasn’t a conventional wedding, though: They had a video conference between the ISS and a Russian church in Yaroslavl (he was wearing his flight suit, not a tuxedo). Guests joined them from Earth via a separate video linkup. The transmission was officially categorized as a private family conference and not broadcast publicly on NASA TV.

In addition to a traditional ceremony, they incorporated Russian folk dances and sang to each other in Russian. The bride wore a red gown with embroidered stars and flowers. She and Yuri blew kisses at one point, while a photo of her father and a space station crew member was displayed behind them on the screen. The couple’s best man, Ed Lu, played Mendelssohn’s traditional wedding march on the keyboard aboard the ISS. The couple swore their eternal love to each other in Russian, and the wedding rings were delivered to the ISS on a Progress cargo ship, accompanied by a bow tie made from the ISS’s waste material.

As for the honeymoon, there was no time to rest: Yuri had to head back to the ISS to continue his flight. Two months later, he returned to Earth and Ekaterina was waiting for him at the airport. The two married in a small church in Russia, although she had not yet renounced her U.S. citizenship. They had a daughter the following year and then moved to Yaroslavl, where she still lives.

Now, couples who want to get hitched amongst the stars will have to wait until 2024, when Space Perspective launches their new “wedding spacecraft.” The Spaceship Neptune is designed like a luxury lounge, with an onboard kitchen, bathroom, and plush seating areas. It will be powered by a tried-and-true hydrogen fuel cell that’s used by NASA. The whole journey will last six unforgettable hours, with a breathtaking view of our planet from above to enjoy.

Until then, there are plenty of creative ways to make your big day feel heavenly. Charleston wedding planner Samantha Wiley suggests draping the ceiling to “make the room feel cozy and intimate.” And to keep things playful, why not give your guests springy Martian antennae headbands or alien-shaped ray guns? Just be sure to bring a pair of comfortable shoes, too. Then again, you’ll be too busy toasting your new husband or wife to worry about shaky feet.