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Lovebirds who have ‘married’ 67 times searching the world for the perfect wedding location have save

Author: Tara Green
by Tara Green
Posted: Jan 31, 2015
lisa said

Lovebirds who have ‘married’ 67 times searching the world for the perfect wedding location have saved the best ‘til (almost) last and will finally tie the knot in Australia

The big wedding day can be an overwhelming and stressful experience for many couples but a British couple can't seem to get enough of it as they arrive in Australia to plan their 68th ceremony on their four year mission to find the perfect wedding location.

You wouldn't know Alex Pelling and Lisa Gant, from Manchester, had already tied the knot 66 times when they first laid eyes on each other before their 67th big day in Queenstown, in New Zealand, on Wednesday.

As the love struck pair prepared for their arrival in Melbourne to plan the ideal wedding Down Under - they admit that the Kiwi ceremony has made it into their top five of most idyllic locations since starting their journey three and a half years ago.

The adventurous couple have had a traditional wedding ceremony in every destination they have visited on their quest but are yet to legally exchange wedding vows.

The blissful pair were still glowing when Daily Mail Australia caught up with them the following night before stepping on the plane.

'It was a perfect reflection of New Zealand as a country - it was laid-back it was heartfelt, it was beautiful,' Lisa said.

'Everyone went the extra mile to make it all of the things we hoped it would be - everybody just pulled it off.'

Most of the previous weddings involved the couple getting ready together in their camper van but in Queenstown they were given the opportunity to get dressed in separate rooms.

'We really like each other - that's what keeps us going,' Lisa said to describe their chemistry.

'We rarely get that first look so it was a real treat.'

Photographer, Emily Adamson, said despite being professionals at getting married by now - the couple were still nervous and emotional when they first saw each other.

'They are so genuinely in love that it's crazy - it was really nice to witness,' Adamson said.

Far from a Bridezilla, Lisa left it to the Kiwi photographer to organise most of the finer details for the big day.

'She was one of the first people to contact us when we started in 2011 - that was when we expected the trip to only take two years,' she laughed.

'It's really cool that she has followed us through our journey from the beginning.'

Another unique experience for the blissful pair was taking their first ever helicopter ride to Cecil Peak to have their photos taken overlooking the dramatic backdrop of Lake Wakatipu.

'I was petrified beforehand but I was fine as soon as we took off and the scenery was stunning,' Lisa said.

The intimate wedding party then jumped on a boat for 45 minutes to take them across to Mount Nicholas station where the ceremony was held lakeside.

'It was blowing a gale and then it stopped for the ceremony - the sand stopped blowing in your eyes - it all just went really quiet and peaceful and then the second it was over the wind started up again so we went back to the wool shed,' Lisa said.

The couple walked down the aisle together to receive a traditional Maori welcome by Adamson's husband, Joe Cowie, and then the pair were presented with traditional Maori cloaks to wear throughout the service.

'We felt privileged to have a Maori welcome - it set the scene for the entire ceremony,' Lisa said.

The hopeless romantics have only been reduced to tears a few times through their 67 ceremonies - and Queenstown was one that really moved them.

'The celebrant had us crying because she was talking all about our hands and how we are going to be together for all of time,' she said

Before getting back on the boat, the wedding guests sat around on picnic blankets mesmerised by a spectacular bonfire.

Although the couple still have their Aussie wedding to get through before their romantic mission ends in Singapore, New Zealand rates in their top five best wedding locations so far.

'New Zealand shocked us every corner we went around in our camper van - it's just been beautiful with every turn,' Lisa said.

Far from a Bridezilla, a Kiwi photographer Emily Adamson is organising most of the finer details for the couple.

'She was one of the first people to contact us when we started in 2011 - that was when we expected the trip to only take two years,' she laughed.

'It's really cool that she has followed us through our journey from the beginning.'

The couple, who have a Facebook page and blog documenting their expedition, came up with the idea when they decided to move to Australia.

'We both applied for residency and thought we would circumnavigate the world testing out possible locations and then settle in Australia,' Lisa said.

The journey has taken a lot longer than they expected but the duo will finally arrive in the land Down Under on Thursday - the day after their New Zealand jaunt.

'We fly into Melbourne and first go across to Western Australia before going down the east coast,' she said.

'We plan to take three to four months but we have no idea at this stage where the ceremony will be.'

The travellers rely on the goodwill of friends and strangers all over the world to help them out after they both threw in their jobs and sold their possessions to take on the challenge.

'We just had to sell our house back in England - the world is bigger than it looks on a piece of paper,' she said.

'So now we are homeless in a campervan and couldn't be happier.

'We have warned friends that we will be turning up on their doorstep begging for a bed.'

The kindness from the complete strangers has been very overwhelming.

'We couldn't have done it without the help we have had,' Lisa said.

'It's not about spending and being lavish - it's about giving time.'

After their fair dinkum affair in our Great Brown land - the next and final stop on their adventure will be Singapore before deciding on which location - out of all 69 - will be the most idyllic to officially become husband and wife.

Lisa, 32, and Alex, 34, had been friends for eight years when they began dating in 2008.

In 2011, after four years living together, Alex and Lisa made the brave decision to uproot their lives and follow their dream to relocate in Australia, beginning their location hunt.

Just one day after they said I do for the first time in a traditional ceremony in their hometown of Didsbury, they started their search for the very best place Down Under.

The couple rented out their house and sold their possessions to get funding for their trip. Lisa quit her job as a retail manager for Marks and Spencer while Alex sold his car body repair business.

On their way to Australia, the couple decided to travel the world and their idea slowly transformed into finding the best place in the world to wed, by trying each one out, embracing the local marriage cultures and traditions as much as possible in every location.

Their aim was to find the most exceptional and unique wedding locations possible, blogging about their experiences so others could better chose where to tie the knot themselves.

Alex said: 'Lisa and I are crazy romantics - we had looked at getting married in the UK but found that most things on offer were very conventional and we really are not.

'So we thought about looking for unusual places to get married in each country as we travelled around.

'We thought we would share our experiences via a blog for those out-of-the-box thinkers like ourselves that didn't fancy the usual wedding.

'Then, a bottle of wine or two later, we decided it would be a good idea to have a ceremony everywhere we went so we could experience them all first hand.

'Our friends and family thought we were crazy, but once we explained the idea they loved it - as long as we didn't get legally married by accident.

'The point of our journey is to experience the way other cultures celebrate marriage. It is one ritual that the whole world has in common - unity.'

Their blog has had millions of views, and their Facebook page has more than 47,000 followers, as they experience the wonderful variety of cultures and traditions around the world.

Introducing themselves on their blog the couple say: 'We are Lisa and Alex, a couple in love, who, on failing to find the answer to the all important question; ‘Where can we get married’, decided to have a wedding ceremony in every country we visit in search of the perfect place to tie the knot!

  • On an adventure of a lifetime, we are going to drive (and ship) around the globe in our 27-year-old camper van Peggy exchanging vows in the most unusual and unique wedding locations we can find.
  • Not wanting to drag a "White wedding" around the World, we decided to try our hardest to embrace the culture and local traditions of each place we visit.
  • We want to experience the difference in every ceremony and find out what it is that makes the bringing of two people together, such a worldwide tradition, and of course let YOU know!’

The couple have experienced a vast range of unorthodox ceremonies in more than 30 countries, including a vampire wedding in LA.

They have also enjoyed their 'big day' in destinations most people can only dream about, such as Las Vegas, New York, Hawaii, Marrakech and Bora Bora.

They've tied the knot in an ancient Pagan ritual in Lithuania, and even had a topless Embera tribe wedding in Embera, Panama where they were painted with traditional tribal tattoo designs and beads.

Their experiences have been supported by local experts including shamans, Zulu chiefs in South Africa, pastors, vicars, rabbis and even a Voodoo priestess.

And even got married 30,000 feet above ground on board a flight to Tahiti.

Lisa said: 'We are together 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and live in a 6 feet by 16 feet space in the camper van.

'And we take it turns to make each other breakfast in bed every day.

'If there is anything that can make a couple sure that they are meant to be together it is surviving this trip without a single argument.

'But we still get nervous before every single ceremony.'

Each wedding, along with its preparation is captured by a photographer, who also shares their experience on the couple's website.

Their first wedding was a traditional English ceremony in Manchester, attended by 40 of their closest friends.

Lisa chose a stunning cream Charlotte Balbier gown, which she has worn at 14 of her subsequent weddings (including one underwater!), and carried a bouquet of peonies, sweet Williams, lavender, mint and vintage English rosebuds for her dream ceremony.

  • I felt like a very spoilt princess!’ Lisa says on her blog. ‘About 30-40 of our family and friends sat there to see our first wedding!'

And the loved-up pair have no plans to stop until they find their dream spot.

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Author: Tara Green

Tara Green

Member since: Dec 22, 2014
Published articles: 108

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