WATCH: Couple’s hot air balloon skydive wedding is the ultimate big plunge
The wedding ceremony was small, by necessity. The bride’s dress, a $20 Amazon find, was tailored for the occasion, hemmed to accommodate the straps of her harness. The groom wore a black button-down shirt and slacks, his harness a bit less obvious.
Melanie and Patrick Russell exchanged their “I dos” much like any other couple, except they were soaring over the rolling hills of central Pennsylvania suspended in the wicker gondola of a hot air balloon.
And then they took their big plunge to a terrifyingly beautiful next level.
The newlyweds climbed between the balloon’s ropes, stood on rail of the basket, entwined their hands and leapt from several thousand feet into the nearly cloudless blue sky in their first skydive as man and wife.
Melanie and Patrick Russell were married during a hot air balloon flight on July 11 and then leapt from the balloon in their first skydive together as man and wife. (Photo courtesy of the Russells)
The July 11 wedding over Smoketown, Pennsylvania was a risky undertaking on many levels, said Melanie Russell, who is originally from Glen Ridge and now lives in the Bronx with Patrick.
“The risk we took with arranging this was really great. Skydiving is weather dependent,” said Melanie, 36. The balloon flight alone needed light winds to take off and timing was a factor.
The wedding day marked the one-year anniversary from when the couple started dating officially. For the pair who met at The Ranch drop zone in New York, the morning jump seemed like the perfect way to tie the knot.
“We didn’t really have a great backup plan, we kind of just wanted to put the energy into the universe that it would happen,” she said.
Melanie and Patrick Russell were joined by family and friends for a toast after the wedding jump. (Photo courtesy of the Russells)
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