Weddings come in all shapes and sizes. Some spouses enjoy an intimate ceremony, while others opt for a pompous and grandiloquent occasion. But whether it’s a big or small event, most couples try to find original ways to add a unique spin to their big day. From snazzy entertainment and memorable bonbonnieres to mouth-watering menus and peculiar dress codes, there are endless options to make your wedding that extra special. But how far are you prepared to go?
Over the years, people across the world have celebrated their marriage in grand fashion or in unusual manners in order to secure world records. Some may not have been glamorous, but they were events that very few brides and grooms will have the chance to experience. Here, we look at some of the wildest and most impressive wedding world records, detailing where, when, and how they came about.
First zero-gravity wedding
Ever thought about floating into matrimony? If so, you are not the only one to have had a weightless ceremony in mind. In June 2009, New York-based couple Erin Finnegan and Noah Fulmor tied the knot aboard a specially modified zero-gravity Boeing 727. Flying thousands of feet over the Gulf of Mexico, this was the first wedding in the world to be held in zero gravity conditions.
The couple admitted that keeping the wedding dress under control was no easy task. However, to prevent their rings from floating away, they tethered them with nylon string. In order to recreate a weightless experience, the Boeing executed parabolic manoeuvres, both climbing and descending regularly throughout the one-hour flight.
Priciest castle wedding
Reciting heartfelt vows in a magnificent castle wedding venue is a shared dream among brides and grooms. Immersed in history and regal architecture, getting married in a palace is a truly romantic experience. But, if your names are Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, it can be a pretty expensive ceremony too.
The Hollywood actors’ wedding took place at medieval Odescalchi Castle, near the town of Bracciano in Italy. How much did the event amount to? It reportedly cost around $2m. Expenses included airfares and accommodation, a whopping $180,000 for 300 bottles of fine wine, and live music from well-known Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli. Katie wore two Armani Prive wedding gowns, and Mr Armani himself was on hand to make any last-second amendments.
Deepest underwater wedding
According to some cultures, a “wet bride is a lucky bride”. Essentially, it is used as a comforting saying to console spouses that happen to be getting married on a rainy day. In 2013, Hiroyuki Yoshida and Sandra Smith took this literally and even went one step further.
Hiroyuki and Sandra, two passionate diving instructors, exchanged rings at 130 metres below the surface in a cave at Song Hong Lake in Thailand. The planning of their big day required six months of intense training, but – in the Bee Gees’ words – it was the perfect ceremony to demonstrate how deep their love is. Using gas mixtures that contained helium, vows were exchanged in comically high-pitched voices, causing memorable and emotional tears of laughter.
Highest altitude wedding
Fluctuating from one extreme to another, in 2013 five brides and grooms sealed the deal during a Fiji Airways flight. As the aircraft reached an altitude of 41,000 feet, the pilot gave his special onboard passengers the green light and, with watery eyes, the couples began their ‘highly’ unique wedding.
Once the ceremony was over, the newlyweds and their guests toasted with glasses of champagne and continued their trip from Auckland (New Zealand) to Nadi (Fiji). Throughout the event, the captain – assisted by the Manager Line Operations of Fiji Airways – made sure an even altitude was kept at all times.
Largest wedding in a prison
When thinking about Brazil, the first images that spring to mind are its amazing forests, splendid beaches, and joyous carnivals. However, none of these were the backdrop of a record-breaking wedding that took place in the city of Sao Paulo in 2000.
Organised by local evangelical churches and prison officers, Carandiru jail was the unusual setting for a huge mass wedding. For the occasion, the prison’s Cell Block 6 was transformed into a church, and 120 inmates happily married their better half. In fact, officials believed that the event could actively help the men’s rehabilitation.
In this respect, is fair to say that the dress code was not what you would expect from a traditional wedding. Brides wore white, while their husbands had prison trousers.
Longest wedding veil
As for wedding dresses, there is no hiding that identifying the ideal gown and outfits for the special day is essential. Maria Paraskeva, a bride from Larnaca (Cyprus), had a lifelong dream, and successfully achieved it in 2018. What was it? Break the Guinness World Records title for the world’s longest wedding veil.
Months of work and €4,000 euros later, Maria finally obtained what was a seemingly never-ending veil. Measuring almost 7,000 metres, which is enough to cover the length of 63 American-football fields, the veil took around six hours to unroll to its full length. However, the final result was outstanding, and Maria went on to kiss her groom in grand style.
So, will you attempt to beat one of these records? Or would you rather opt for a more classic ceremony? Whatever your plans are, this list of wild and wonderful weddings will give you the inspiration you need to make your big day as special and unique as can be.