Lonely Planet Writer

Love is in the air: couple wed mid-flight at 35,000 feet

A couple who met on board a flight from Los Angeles to Seattle, chose to make the skies the venue for their nuptials last week.

Kirsty and Jim exchanged vows on a packed plane.
Kirsty and Jim exchanged vows on a packed plane. Image by Chrstina Frees/ Frees it in time Photography

Kirsty Stratton, a flight attendant with Alaska Airlines, exchanged vows with her fiancé Jim at at 35,000 feet, in front of passengers that included her mother Billie Jo (70), who is battling cancer.

Kirsty’s mother, who has stage four lung cancer, had expressed a wish to see where the couple live, to see Kirsty at work, and to see her daughter marry the love of her life.

Kirsty's mother Billie Jo wanted to see her daughter get married.
Kirsty’s mother Billie Jo wanted to see her daughter get married. Image by Christina Frees / Frees it in Time Photography

The couple decided to honour their love of travel and Kirsty’s mother’s wish to see them marry. Kirsty had been planning a trip to Italy with her mother, when Billie Jo became ill.  The mother of the bride has a passion for travel and spent her life globe-trotting.

“My mother is the world to me … anything to make my mom happy,” Kirsty said after she walked up a very different aisle for her wedding day.

“She wanted to come out and see where we were at because she knew I was happy out here in Seattle and wanted to come and see our house here and just have a visual of what our life was like up here. And that really touched me.”

The flight from Los Angeles to Seattle was packed with unsuspecting passengers.
The flight from Los Angeles to Seattle was packed with unsuspecting passengers. Image by Christina Frees/ Frees it in Time Photography

Kirsty’s bridal outfit reflected the theme of the wedding, with shoes printed with the plane’s exterior and the words “To a lifetime of adventure together.” Kirsty and Jim vowed to take each other as their life travel companion, and pinned pilot wings on each other’s lapel, as passengers and Billie Jo looked on from the front row.

“It’s been really overwhelming but really exciting, and I’m glad that we were able to share love and joy with people and really touch people and make their flight a really fun experience,” Kristy said.

When the plane landed, the couple enjoyed a toast and  cut their wedding cake in the arrivals hall, before taking Billie Jo to their home where she spent the next few days enjoying Seattle with her daughter and her new son-in- law.

“I was really touched and overwhelmed by the amount of love and joy flooding through the cabin,” Kristy told reporters. “Not only did they make the day even more special for me, but for my mom as well.”