Planning a wedding is one of the most stressful events of your life — so try getting married 67 times. Alex Pelling and Lisa Gant from Manchester have done just that in a quest to find the perfect wedding location.
Now in Australia to make that total 68 times, these two love birds are my idols. I married Gerard three times in one year and if it weren’t for him putting the handbrake on my addiction to walking down the aisle I’m sure we could have given Alex and Lisa a run for their money. But as I discovered, they have done it the smart way. For free!
Migrating to Australia via a world trip in a camper van, Alex and Lisa have toured the world with a difference. Best friends for eight years and a couple for three, they wanted to get married, but not in the traditional way. So they embarked on their wedding world tour, trying out different venues and customs along the way and documenting it via their website, 2people1life. What they have discovered is a plethora of vendors willing to help them achieve their dream and find the perfect wedding location.
Alex and Lisa, why did you decide to do this?
Alex: Basically, we felt a bit pushed into the way that you have to get married in England. You have to be inside a registered building, physically inside, and we didn’t want to do that so we decided to go find somewhere cool to get married.
When I married my husband in Bali, one of the traditions was for the groom to walk down the aisle behind the bride hitting her with a stick, and then have a duck peck rice off your foreheads. I’ve got some friends who got married in Western Samoa and part of the ceremony over there is to hit each other with a fish. Have you struck anything like that in your travels around the world?
Lisa: No fish yet! That’s an odd one
Alex: I’d say Lisa wants to do that roughly everyday to me, ’cause I’m annoying. Glad we got past that one.
Alex, guys generally hate weddings. How did she drag you around for the ride?
Alex: Well, ironically, I’m actually the wedding planner. We divide our jobs as every married couple does. I do all the moving forward and Lisa does all the blogging and writing. She does the website, she keeps it all up to date and she does all the social media, and I’m the wedding planner. Go figure.
How are you affording it?
Alex: Well, the main expense is petrol. We drive around in a campervan and we ship that, drive it, live in it and sleep in it. For the weddings we basically borrow. We borrow outfits, we borrow people’s time and services, and it’s all about people coming together helping us and us documenting it on the blog. There’s always this great buzz about the ceremonies because we always get the same mentality of people coming together, a little crazy, a little adventurous, lots of thinking outside the box, and it’s always just a great time.
Is just one big gift grab for you guys? How many toasters have you received?!
Lisa: Ha! We wish. We don’t really get gifts. We got one gift from the second wedding and it was a little coffee pot, and we use that every single day, so we’re doing well.
I don’t want to mock you in any way, shape or form because this is so romantic, but if you were to split up would you have to get divorced 67 times?
Alex: No, and there’s more irony in that — because we’re not actually legally married yet. We’re just making sure that we get on okay before we make the big step.
How come you’re not legally married yet if you’ve done all these ceremonies?
Lisa: Well, there are a number of reasons. One is it’s too complicated. I’m sure you see the complications in getting married many times. And the other reason is …
Alex: … Because we are going to choose our favorite place at the end and get married there. It’s all about looking for the best place, and at the end we’re going to invite everyone we met along the way and have a great big party.
Tell me about some of the ceremonies you’ve done, and how they’re different to an ordinary Australian/English wedding.
Alex: The Zulu wedding was the only ceremony that was completely focused on the groom. Traditionally, around the world it seems to focus more towards the bride, because she’s better looking and her dress is more elaborate, all the main reasons. So it was very interesting and strange to be put on a pedestal because normally I can just hang in the background and drink a few beers.
Lisa: I think another one was the Colombian ceremony. I arrived on a donkey, and that was obviously hilarious, and at the ceremony we had to have a sheep present, just because that was the way it was. The best bit about all these weddings is the strange traditions we are experiencing along the way.
To follow Lisa and Alex’s wedding adventure and view their photos and videos, check out 2people1life.com.
What’s the most interesting wedding you’ve ever been to? Share your stories in the comments below!