10 months ago
This happy couple started married life on top of the world—after having exchanged their vows on Mount Everest.
Dressed in a full suit and wedding dress, James Sissom and Ashley Schmieder spent days scaling the mountain range in order to be photographed in front of such a breathtaking backdrop.
Their big day was captured at Everest Base Camp, around 17,000 feet in the air, having battled the likes of freezing temperatures, snow, and altitude sickness along the way.
“After much deliberation, we decided a traditional wedding was not the right fit for us,” Ashley said. “As much as we would have loved to share our special day with our family and friends, we were both drawn to the idea of eloping during an incredible vacation.”
In order to prepare for such treacherous conditions, the couple spent more than a year planning for the trip, which lasted three weeks.
“We both are avid lovers of the outdoors and had experience at altitude up to 14,000 feet, but we knew the three week Everest Base Camp trek would be far more physically and mentally demanding than anything we’ve experienced,” Ashley noted.
The American couple were accompanied by wedding photographer Charleton Churchill, who had only a small window to shoot the occasion, as temperatures stood at between -20 and -15 Celsius.
“I wanted to document a real couple getting married, the journey along the way, the pain, the happiness, the tiredness, the struggles, as well as the romantic chemistry of the couple.
“More than that, I wanted to portray the contrast that exists between the intimidatingly majestic mountains and the small, fragile love between two humans,” Charleton said.
With no family members in attendance because of the harsh conditions, James and Ashley used social media to keep their relatives in the loop, with Charleton live streaming their trek and sending regular updates back home.
“Eloping half way across the world can make the experience feel isolating because all the people you care about are not with you to share this wonderful occasion,” Ashley said. “We experienced no such feeling…we are fortunate that not only did we receive breathtaking wedding photos, but also documented our entire journey.
“How many people have the opportunity to embark on an adventure such as this and have it entirely documented professionally?”