If you fly Travel Air biplanes for a living,
what do you do when you decide to exchange marriage
vows? Why, fly to Alaska and have a bush pilot marry you on
the floats of his Travel Air seaplane, of course.
Naturally you have to dress for the occasion. Flight jacket and hip boots made the perfect trousseau for the blushing bride. And of course you need a
limo. Our 6-passenger 1929 Travel Air
6000B "Limousine of the Air." was perfect.
We aren't really in the marrying business, but we happen to have the perfect limo on pontoons in those parts. Their unique monoplane is generally used for sightseeing over glaciers or the incredible Alaskan wilderness. In fact, only once before was it used to carry a bride and groom into the wilderness for an
unforgettable wedding ceremony. That was our former pilot Ken and naturalist/bear guide Chris became Mr. and Mrs. Day.
In Alaska anyone can preside over the nuptials with prior permission, presumably a carry over from the urgent days of the
gold rush. So with three days notice pilot Bill deCreeft becomes parson Bill de Creeft, and the barnstomers became well and truly married at
the foot of a glacier on the shore of Chapel Lake.
Certain delightful complications arose, but they weren't your typical aggravation over colors or canapés. Wedding cakes, for
example, are hard to come by on short notice. But once you determine that the reception will be at the moose lodge (nothing
like a fraternal Moose Lodge, by the way) well, the decision on eats was easy. We ran down to the general store, bought a
ready-made birthday cum wedding cake,
grabbed several packages of cold-cuts, threw a
jar of mustard in the cart, and snagged some sourdough bread. Ta-rah, a wedding feast fit for
There can also be minor complications when you ask the county clerk for a license.
Be careful to specify that you want a marriage license or you'll be halfway through the
form before you realize you're filling out a hunting license application...a problem when
your hunting days are supposed to be over.
On the other hand, those are the only
problems you'll have. You'll find the friendliest
people anywhere. You'll find the most incredible
scenery anywhere. You'll find glorious weather and moderate
temperatures thanks to the nearby ocean. You'll find the wedding party will include
all of your best (and newest) friends. You may even find, if
you're very lucky, that Bill and barbara's grandaughter and flower girl is really a cherub complete with wings.
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