Branson to be the First to Marry Couples in Space

He’s married a couple on board a Virgin America jet, he’s also officiated the marriage of Google’s co-founder Larry Page on his private island in the Caribbean, now Richard Branson wants to marry couples as they reach the apex of their Virgin Galactic flights into space. The British billionaire already has two wedding-related bookings, one marriage and one honeymoon, and it is hoped he will obtain a licence to conduct the ceremonies for more. Certainly unique, but I wonder how popular getting hitched in zero gravity will be…

Richard Branson has broken many records. Not only has he developed one of the largest corporations in the world, he has many personal records under his belt. In 1986, he broke the record for crossing the Atlantic in a powerboat; in 1991 he crossed the Pacific in a balloon, again, breaking all records. He also has experience with weddings. He was ordained for a day last year to marry Virgin America marketing director Dimitrios Papadognonas and Coco Jones on a flight from San Francisco to Las Vegas. So now he wants to combine these two accolades: Break the record for the highest-altitude wedding, officiating the ceremony himself. What’s more, he already has his first booking.

Richard Branson (

The world’s first space-honeymoon belongs to Virgin Galactic advisor George Whitesides and his fiancée Loretta Hidalgo. They have reserved tickets for the Virgin Galactic maiden flight, costing $100,000 each. As for the wedding, the couple who have reserved their tickets remain unknown. It is hoped however that Branson will be there to talk them through their vows:

We have had two bookings involving marriage, one to get married in space and the other for the couple to have their honeymoon in space. It is possible that Richard could obtain a licence to conduct the marriage.” – Virgin Galactic spokesman

Virgin Galactic already has 200 people booked to fly into space proving there is a market for space tourism out there. Construction of SpaceShipTwo has already begun and the first test flights are expected to commence in 2009.

If you have the cash and want the wedding you’ll never forget, this might be the answer to the millionaires out there. For me, the risk of feeling a bit queasy after the stag party the night before might be enough to ground me from taking any risks in zero-G…

Source: Daily Mail (UK)

11 Replies to “Branson to be the First to Marry Couples in Space”

  1. If New Mexico is okay with this, then it seems appropriate. The whole “wedding by ship’s Captain at sea” thing is the only point that is being stretched here, don’t you think?

    As important a development as this paleo-space tourism is to the future development of true commercial space progress, and tourism will be essential to this…

    SpaceShipTwo, when it flies, can be said t be in Space, or Alan Shepherd wasn’t the first American in it, in 1961, for example.

    But saying it’s really at sea is a bit like saying a deep ocean fishing expedition is really at sea, also.

    But, America has a long tradtition of, shall we say, “theme weddings?” Under water in Florida, on the wings of bi-planes, etc. But this is pure Branson, is it not? Publicity stunt by News Release. It should boost advanced sales, and, hey, its funny.

    New Mexico’s legislature will not be able to resist allowing him the authroity, but the State being a Third Party to all marriage contracts, and the State being the State, they will undoubtedly be granting him the “authority.”

    Any serious potential bridegroom would be nervous enough, I would think, to waste the few minutes at the top of the Coasting phase to concentrate on a marriage. And if she’s serious, the bride may also feel a need to have the legalities sealed up on the ground.

    As to the 100 Kilometer High Club, that is an interesting question. There are only a few things more distracting than sex to Humans. Being on camera and floating around SST’s cabin… I think I’d require the booking of all the seats, and some further waivers of liability added to what will already be a long list.

    Fun aside, add another brilliant move by Branson to nearly as long a list!

  2. # Duae Quartunciae Says:
    April 20th, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    “One has to ask… what would be the appropriate name for the equivalent of the “mile high club”?”

    May I suggest the ‘suborbital club”? Sounds a bit geeky, but I’d be claiming it anyway if I were rich enough!

  3. Like putting clothes on models for the runway, it may not be “the thing” for many people, but it would point many otherwise disinterested toward space and a few more might get more real interest in the end. As long as there is a bit of caution in the whole thing, add the first few to the current lists of first and most peculiar. Who knows? If these newly-weds stay together, their kids might hear the story and become some of the most hearty of next generation “space cadets”!

  4. This disgusts me. A total waste of resources when we have food riots going on! I support research and exploration but……stuff….like this totally wrong and the sign of an ego the size of Jupiter.

    Down with Virgin Galactic! Space may became a playground to the hyper-rich but I don’t have to like it.

  5. Let’s not get too bent out of shape over this, besides this whole marriage ceremony carries no weight

  6. Well, the way I see it, if you’re going to fly into space (which is a once-in-a-lifetime event as it is) why not get married whilst you’re up there… but it isn’t my cup of tea. I’d be too distracted, looking out of the window all the time – not a good way to start your married life…

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