Is this the coolest wedding ever?by Kayla Becker | December 18, 2016
Pull out your tissue box and rev up your Pinterest board — you’re about to get a serious case of wedding envy. Gary McCreary and Damon Lang might just have had the coolest ceremony ever — the two were married during their cruise on Seabourn Quest on Cuverville Island, Antarctica last January, surrounded by towering icebergs. Best of all, this clever couple wore tuxedos (a.k.a. "penguin suits") for the ceremony which was attended by (you got it!) actual penguins.
Before you start planning your own Antarctica wedding, you'll want to heed Damon's advice.
The weather is unpredictable, so he suggests it can be a tough experience for Type A brides and grooms who must be in control of everything.
"You must be very flexible," Damon says. "The only constant on the White Continent is change."
The couple experienced Antarctica's unpredictability firsthand — a storm threatened to ruin their ceremony. When Gary woke up at 5 am, he drew back the couple’s curtains to find torrents of snow beating down at a 35 degree angle.
"I was thinking, well maybe there's a 50/50 chance of this actually happening today,” Gary said.
Luckily, the skies started to clear and, little by little, sun started peaking through the clouds, which gave the island an other-worldly glow.
Once they got the thumbs-up that the wedding was still on, the two took to the arduous task of suiting up in full winter gear, with their suits underneath, and then made their way toward the island in a Zodiac. When they arrived, they then had to trudge through the snow to the perfect spot — with the cruise ship, penguin colony, snow-covered mountains, and icebergs all in view — and remove their outer laters to reveal their tuxedo jackets. (They had made a practical choice and paired those with waterproof trousers and snow boots.)
The ship's captain, Captain Geir-Arne Thue-Nilsen, performed the ceremony, and afterward, ship singer Susan Jade sang an a capella version of their song — Elton John’s “Your Song.”
The couple said the Seabourn crew was thoughtful through it all, from planning the ceremony to arranging for professional photos from the line's tour manager and providing Veuve Cliquot Champagne afterward.
“It’s things like this [the champagne] that were really touching to us,” Gary said. “They really thought about everything.”
The crew even took extra care to keep the snow and landscape pristine, without any human tracks, for what turned out to be some of the most swoon-worthy wedding photos we’ve seen.
“It was so hard to take it all in," Gary said. "All the emotions swirling about and then add to this the incredible, special, and sacred place that Antarctica is — it was all just so perfect."
So what was the coolest part of the coolest wedding? Gary had secretly booked the cruise two years in advance with the intention of getting married. The couple, who’ve been together for 14 years, said the idea came about because Antarctica was on their bucket list.
"We always say, 'we go to the ends of the earth for each other,'" Gary said. We think they’ve proved that one.
Kayla Becker is a New York City-based contributor to ShermansCruise and the assistant editor for the site.