I’ve heard of lavish destination weddings before but this story pretty much tops them all. Earlier this week a Norwegian couple was married at the North Pole. The handsome groom and his blushing bride, dressed in traditional clothing, were joined by a small group of their closest friends at the top of the world. The 30-minute ceremony was performed by a Lutheran minister under a makeshift cross constructed out of skis and a celebration followed the nuptials.
For most people getting married at the North Pole would sound absurd but in this case it makes perfect sense. The groom was none other than Borge Ousland, one of the most experienced arctic explorers in the world today. Ousland has visited both the North and South Pole on expeditions in the past and even conceived of the idea of getting married at 90°N while on just such a journey. Lucky for him, his new bride, Hege, was up for the adventure as well.
The couple and their guests made their way to the Pole via the Barneo Ice Station, a temporary base of operations that is built each spring to facilitate travel in the Arctic. They flew to the base aboard a Russian An-74 aircraft that is equipped to land on the ice and were shuttled the rest of the distance to the Pole by helicopter.Once the ceremony was complete, the wedding party celebrated with music, dinner and dancing. But not unlike weddings that take place anywhere else on the planet, this one had a wedding crasher as well. British explorer Mark Wood completed his North Pole expedition just as the revelry was getting into full swing and it must have been a surreal moment for him to reach the finish line only to be greeted with singing and champagne.
After a few hours out on the ice, the wedding party loaded up into the helicopter and returned to Barneo where they spent the night before heading home to Norway. I’m sure they had some fantastic stories to share with friends and family upon their return.
[Photo courtesy Borge Ousland]