Adventure Lovers Go to New Extremes to Wed

Two trends are tying the knot: adventure travel and destination weddings.

For some, a Caribbean beachfront wedding -- long the staple of destination nuptials -- has grown too tame. Too common.

"Couples are looking for any type of way to be original," said senior editor Christa Vagnozzi. "They really want to showcase their style and originality."

So, while one in 10 couples now plans a destination wedding, according to a 2007 survey by, a select crop of them are adding adventure to their nuptials, with ceremonies underwater, on skis and glaciers, in the stratosphere and the African bush.

Underwater Wedding

"To get married underwater, you have to really love the sport," said Karolin Troubetzkoy of Anse Chastanet Resort on St. Lucia. The 600-acre Virgin Islands estate hosts traditional destination weddings, as well as ceremonies near waterfalls, on mountains or amid historical ruins -- as well as underwater.

Anse Chastanet Resort on St. Lucia will bring your wedding under the sea for a $350 surcharge.Anse Chastanet Resort on St. Lucia will bring your wedding under the sea for a $350 surcharge. (Photo courtesy Anse Chastanet Resort)

And the couples Troubetzkoy has helped get married below the surface of the Caribbean have all been young scuba diving enthusiasts.

The tricky part is getting the registrar to the site of the ceremony.

"The registrars here are all a little more mature," she said carefully, adding that Anse Chastanet has put in a request to the government to employ a more "fit" registrar to accommodate the resort's more daring wedding itineraries.

For that reason, scuba brides and grooms are legally married either on the boat deck or the beach in the presence of the registrar, then slap on their oxygen tanks and dive masks and repeat the ceremony under the sea -- with the aid of slates, or plastic boards where they can write dialogue in waterproof pen.

The basic wedding package at Anse Chastanet is $895, which includes all planning services and legal fees, and the "underwater surcharge" is $350.

Click here to visit and find out more.

On Thick Ice

At the other end of North America, in a rural area ouside of Juneau, Alaska, is Pearson's Pond Luxury Inn and Adventure Spa, where owner Diane Pearson marries anywhere from 15 to 30 couples a year on the neighboring glacier.

Bride and groom kiss amid the frozen glacier just outside of Juneau, Alaska. Temperatures on the glacier are usually only about 10-15 Fahrenheit degrees cooler than on land.Bride and groom kiss on the frozen glacier just outside of Juneau, Alaska. Temperatures on the glacier are usually only about 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than on land. (Photo courtesy of Diane Pearson)

"I have a passion for love," Pearson said. "And adventure. And glaciers."

Of planning glacier weddings and serving as the officiant herself, she said, "I've been doing it for eight or 10 years now. Glaciers are 100 percent the best, and being on one is one of the coolest things you'll ever do in your life."

Whereas the Caribbean weddings -- underwater and otherwise -- that Troubetzkoy described tend to involve a wedding party of 10 to 30 friends and family, Pearson said her glacier weddings typically are just bride, groom and herself.

"People who choose this don't want anything traditional," she said. "Instead of spending between $30,000 and $60,000 on the ceremony -- which is what an average wedding costs these days -- they can have a great wedding, a honeymoon, a down payment on a house, and not have to deal with all the family issues."

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