Lonely Planet Writer

This adventurous couple got married at Mount Everest Base Camp and the photographs are incredible

An adventurous couple decided to take their wedding to incredible heights by eloping at Mount Everest Base Camp, in an incredible celebration captured by their equally intrepid wedding photographer.

This adventurous couple was married at Everest Base Camp.
This adventurous couple was married at Everest Base Camp. Image by Charleton Churchill

James Sissom and Ashley Schmieder became the first couple to exchange their vows at in Nepal’s base camp in a wedding dress and tux, according to photographer Charleton Churchill. Charleton, a long-time wedding photographer, explained on his website that he has wanted to complete the incredible feat since 2011. “It’s one of the most epic and beautiful locations in the world that’s difficult to get to, and nobody’s done it before. So we are thrilled to have finally pulled it off,” he wrote.

This adventurous couple was married at Everest Base Camp.
This adventurous couple was married at Everest Base Camp. Image by Charleton Churchill

But getting the amazing photographs was no easy accomplishment for anyone involved – the trio trained for a year to get up the mountain, including the two to three weeks actually at Everest, in order to acclimatise to the conditions.

This adventurous couple was married at Everest Base Camp.
This adventurous couple was married at Everest Base Camp. Image by Charleton Churchill

Charleton had previously attempted base camp, but the earthquake in Nepal scuttled those plans. But last year, Ashley contacted him and said she wanted an adventure wedding, but wasn’t sure where they wanted to go. Naturally, Charleton had the answer.

This adventurous couple was married at Everest Base Camp.
This adventurous couple was married at Everest Base Camp. Image by Charleton Churchill

While the glamorous photos make the couple’s trek to base camp look quite effortless, Charleton does note that it took some pain and suffering to pull it off. James suffered from shortness of breath and needed oxygen, and their concerns meant he had to head to base camp carrying oxygen. The wedding would have to be quick and they intended to leave by helicopter.

This adventurous couple was married at Everest Base Camp.
This adventurous couple was married at Everest Base Camp. Image by Charleton Churchill

But, they eventually made it to base camp, and James and Ashley were married. But their gorgeous formal wear also meant that it was a struggle to keep everyone warm, particularly Ashley in her wedding dress, when the weather was between -5 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

“James and Ashley exchanged vows at Mount Everest Base Camp right in front of the famous Khumbu ice-fall where people use ladders to manoeuvre over crevasses, and with the beautifully carved Nuptse Face in the backdrop,” he wrote.

This adventurous couple was married at Everest Base Camp.
This adventurous couple was married at Everest Base Camp. Image by Charleton Churchill

However, the helicopter did not arrive in time to take them down, which meant that they had to sleep there. While it was not great for James, they had oxygen for the night and they left the next morning.

Read the full story on Charleton’s website.