Irishman and American fiancee take their wedding sky high in hot air balloon ride
Cork native Patrick Russell and his fiancee Melissa Ilemsky recently took their love to new heights when they incorporated their shared passion of skydiving into their wedding vows.
Having met on a skydive adventure in New York two years ago, the adrenaline junkies found it only fitting to exchange vows while airborne.
On July 11, their one year anniversary, the couple ascended over Pennsylvania in a hot air balloon accompanied by friends and family. While in the air, the couple exchanged vows and then jumped hand-in-hand as newlyweds.
The couple decided against doing a jump from an airplane in order to capture a more romantic atmosphere from a hot air balloon, and scheduled their vows to coordinate with sunrise.
“To be floating in an air balloon is different from being in a plane travelling at 120 mph,” said Russell. “In a balloon it’s like you’re floating through the sky.”
Still, the adventurous couple got their adrenaline fix in the hot air balloon. "Your adrenaline is pumping - it was really wild," the American bride Ilemsky told The Ray D’Arcy Show.
In a YouTube video shared by Russell, you can feel the couple’s nerves and excitement as they approach their hot air balloon. Not straying too far from tradition, Melissa was walked to the balloon to the tune of ‘Here Comes the Bride’ while donning a white dress she purchased on Amazon. Of course, their stunning video and pictures from the ceremony are anything but traditional.
Keeping the nuptials intimate, Ilemsky’s mother, an ordained minister, oversaw the exchange of vows in the air. Also on-board was Russell’s mother who flew over from Ireland for the occasion.
“I later found out that she thought she was going to have jump from the balloon too,” Russell told a laughing Ray D’Arcy about his mother.
As if vows at sunrise weren’t romantic enough, Ilemsky’s brother also joined the intimate gathering and offered a rendition of Snow Patrol’s ‘Chasing Cars’ on guitar to accompany the aerial ceremony.
Did you and your partner have an adventurous wedding ceremony? Tell us about it in the comments!