Published: Tuesday, Mar. 9th, 2021
Have you and your sweetheart spent countless nights under the stars, daydreaming of distant worlds? Or maybe curled up on the couch, streaming campy vintage sci-fi? Or maybe you watched with delight as NASA’s Perseverance rover touched down last month, beaming back breathtaking images from the distant Red Planet? (Come on, who didn’t? We landed on Mars, for Pete’s sake!)
If your relationship is out of this world and you want a wedding that is, too, grab your helmet and your finest (space)suit...
A trip to a Forbidden Planet... Read an original 1956 review of the film from the NYT.
(*Not actually on Mars… but close! We’re sorry if we tricked you…)
For an interplanetary feel with fewer travel costs, choose one of these stunning Mars-on-Earth locations. These alien landscapes are a perfect balance of barren and beautiful, with red rocky terrain to make for a memorable otherworldly experience.
This sandstone formation in the Coyote Buttes North section of the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness of the Colorado Plateau will immediately transport you. The sweeping, striated walls of The Wave look a bit like an inter-galactic skate park, carved by the wind into a crashing, tumbling crest of yellows, oranges, and reds. Only a few visitors are allowed into this section of the park at a given time, with a maximum of six people per group, and the area is only accessible on foot. A special permit is needed to visit, and lucky permit holders are chosen through a lottery system throughout the month, for dates four months in the future. Given the uniqueness of the location, and the 6 mile round-trip hike to get there, you’ll want to plan well and pack light!
This rocky, remote destination might not be what first comes to mind when people imagine a destination wedding in the tropical paradise of Maui. It’s true that Haleakala’s stunning summit views and harsh terrain are a stark departure from the typical tourist fare of lush jungle trees and sparkling blue coastlines -- it’s what gives the park’s visitors a distinctly otherworldly impression. This national park is home to a dormant volcano, a lava mountain, cinder cones, and picture-perfect views from the volcanic crater’s edge. But it isn’t just popular because of its supernatural splendor! The site is also sacred, a place where mischievous demi-gods (Maui!) and powerful gods (La and Pele!) wove their stories. Despite being extremely remote (45 minutes from any emergency services), much of the park, including the summit district, is reachable by car.
Devon Island is the largest uninhabited island in the world and one of the largest members of the Arctic Archipelago, located in Baffin Bay, Nunavut, Canada, a mere 900 miles from the North Pole. The barren polar desert is cracked and patterned by permafrost, with deep lines tracing back and forth across the surface. Filled with canyons and a large meteor-impact crater, the island has even been used by scientists to simulate life on Mars during months-long research trips! Visiting the island is wildly expensive and difficult to do, occasionally offered as part of rare Arctic travel packages, but we bet it’s still cheaper than a flight to Mars. (Watch this Google Earth tour of Devon Island.)
Haleakalā, Hawaii, taken by Jeff King
Now that you’ve chosen a unique location, you’ll need a ceremony to match! Ceremonies typically have five familiar parts: the Invocation, the Vows, the Ring Exchange, the Closing Remarks, and the Pronouncement. (Read about them all in our training pages.) Two of these key sections can be easily infused with stardust, to give the entire ceremony script a far-out feeling… the Invocation and the Vows!
Welcome your guests with a touch of vintage sci-fi campiness to add humor and set the tone from the start! You might even choose to carry your bride or groom in your arms during the procession, ala “Invaders From Mars” or “Forbidden Planet.” (This is definitely an opportunity to loosen up and have some fun!)
Watch a few 1950s space flicks, stream footage captured by Curiosity or Perseverance, or binge-watch Cosmos… Whatever gets you in the planning spirit...
Then, think about how you’d describe your relationship to extraterrestrial travelers joining you on your special day… and run with it!
Now's the time to promise your lover the moon and stars… heck, the whole solar system! There are many, many quotes about love both under and amongst the stars, so you’ll have no shortage of material to choose from. Or find a few lines about the exhilaration of space exploration, with sentiments that mirror the excitement and thrill of blasting off into marriage.
(As an added tip, these types of quotes will also work well in your Closing Remarks, as guests cheer you on to your next voyage.)
A few quotes to get you started:
“I promise you that the same stuff galaxies are made of, you are. The same energy that swings planets around stars makes electrons dance in your heart. It is in you, outside you, you are it. It is beautiful.” -- Kamal Ravikant (Author, The Witch’s Book of Mysteries)
“Behind the violence of the birthing of galaxies and stars and planets came a quiet and tender melody, a gentle love song. All the raging of creation, the continuing hydrogen explosions on the countless suns, the heaving of planetary bodies, all was enfolded in a patient, waiting love.” -- Madeleine L’Engle (Author, The Wrinkle in Time Quartet)
“If offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on.” – – Christa McAuliffe (US Teacher & Astronaut)
“Like we’re here, and at the same time, in outer space. Which of course, we are. We’re all untethered, all flying around in the dark, the same as Mars and Venus, the same as the stars.” -- Maria Dahvana Headley [US Novelist & Playwright]
“When you want something all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – – Paulo Coelho [Brazilian Lyricist & Novelist]
“We have calcium in our bones, iron in our veins, carbon in our souls, and nitrogen in our brains. 93 percent stardust, with souls made of flames, we are all just stars that have people names.” – – Nikita Gill [Indian-British Poet & Writer]
An example of suitable space wedding attire... from the vintage film Forbidden Planet (1956)
Small details make a theme! Give your officiant and guests the option of wearing iconic NASA astronaut flight suits for an atmosphere of authenticity. Or go for shiny, metallic, and retro space-sexy, if vintage sci-fi is more your style.
To keep things playful, offer guests springy Martian antennae headbands, toy ray guns, or alien-shaped sunglasses as wedding favors! These might be too offbeat or exaggerated for an average Earth wedding, but they’ll be perfection in post-ceremony spacewalk photos.
And speaking of photos, take as many as possible! You’ll want to remember this memorable day for the rest of your Earthing years, and who knows when you’ll be able to visit the Red Planet -- or Mars-on-Earth -- again?
(PS: We want to see your photos.)
Devon Island, Canada, via The Haughton-Mars Project, Mars Institute
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