The Airplane Wedding
The Scene: Imagine wedding guests meeting at a hotel with just the instructions that they will be taken to the mystery venue from there and should have their schedules clear for the rest of the day & night. They are then shuttled to the airport and given their boarding passes. As curious guests try to understand what is going on, they check their tickets to see they’ll be going from LAX to LGA (or whichever airports you choose). Ok, so this will be a destination wedding? Excited, they pass through security and find their gate, which is clearly marked with all the flowers, ribbons, and balloons. Travelers going about their day stare at this parade of dressed-up people heading towards their fancy gate with no luggage.
Once all the guests have boarded, the flight takes off like any other commercial flight. Soon after reaching cruising altitude, the screens in the headrests turn on and music begins to play. On screen, guests can see the bride emerging from the back of the plane. From the cockpit, the groom and the officiator appear, with the officiator asking everyone to stand (assuming there’s no turbulence of course). As guests scramble to get up ever so awkwardly, the bride begins down the aisle and they realize that this is it; the ceremony has begun, midair! For those who can’t see, the video screens in front of them provide live shots. When the bride finally reaches the front of the plane, you can see that her train extends the entire length of the airplane! The bride and groom exchange their vows and then make their way back down the aisle, gathering up her train as they go.
As guests sit back in their seats, the flight attendants make their way down the aisles offering drinks and little bags of peanuts or pretzels. Everything from the cups to the snacks bags to the napkins that guests are served with have the couple’s names and the wedding date on them. As the bride changes in the back, everyone else enjoys some light chatter and some Sudoku competitions with the Sudoku cards in the front seat pocket (much like on certain international flights). The rest of the itinerary pops up on the screens, showing guests that they have half an hour for the “reception” where they can get up and mingle as needed before the meal is served. Come dinnertime, the bride has made it to First Class to join the rest of the wedding party for the meal. Flight attendants come around serving a typical First Class meal to all guests, with a nice salad, side, and entree. Bread and butter are handed out with the next round of drinks. Guests are free to call attendants with the call button when they need refills or want to request something. As the trays are cleared, dessert is brought out – ice cream sundaes with a Toblerone snack!
As the final “dessert,” travel pouches with the wedding date and a plane outline stitched on are passed out as wedding favors. Each includes handy items like travel toiletries, bandages, ear plugs, cozy socks, relaxing sprays, lip balm, and other travel essentials. Not long after that, everything is collected and the flight attendants take their seats for landing. The fun has only just begun! Now the entire plane is off to explore the Big Apple (or wherever the destination is). A tour bus or two come to get the guests and take them around town. The wedding photographers scramble to get as many shots as they can at each of the locations. The wedding party poses in front of major tourist attractions for the wedding photos, making this experience special and memorable. So this did turn out to be a destination wedding after all! A few hours later, weary guests file back onto the plane and get ready for their redeye back home. This was certainly not how they envisioned their day going!
The Location: Any airplane with the appropriate capacity will do, though a Boeing 737 might be a good bet since it has a single aisle down the center and three seats on either side. Boeing 747s have two aisles, which makes things too lopsided – which aisle would you use? Smaller planes are very tight and don’t really have any leeway for maneuvering in a wedding dress. Of course, you could opt for a simple dress with no train and limited “poof” if you want to squeeze into a smaller jet. The secondary location would be where you would fly from and where to. It could be cross-country or it could be more local – it all depends on your preferences. A slightly more cost-saving option would be to just fly in a big circle and return to your original airport, in which case you wouldn’t have the second half of the experience.
The Challenges: First and foremost is the question: can you reserve a commercial jetliner for a wedding? This can be a major challenge, but if you can convince the appropriate aviation folk, it should be pretty easy to get a flight route and tickets for your passengers. You better hope that the weather cooperates with you, or you might find your flight grounded for hours, which kind of throws a wrench in all those plans. If you do make it off the ground, be sure your pilot makes an extra hard attempt to avoid turbulence so you don’t find yourself falling over halfway through the ceremony. Hopefully none of your guests are afraid of flying or forgot their IDs that day, since those would make the experience rather unpleasant. Other than that, it should be smooth sailing (or flying), right?
Is this idea wacky enough for you? Would you want to wed like this? What would you change? Or, do you know anyone who has pulled this off?! Do tell!