British polar guides are first to marry in Antarctic

A couple have tied the knot in the first official wedding on the British Antarctic Territory.

Polar field guides Julie Baum and Tom Sylvester celebrated their marriage with 20 fellow researchers over two days - starting with a champagne breakfast on Saturday.

Ms Baum, from Yoxall, Staffordshire, said: "Over the last 10 years, Tom and I have been working and travelling around the world. Getting married in Antarctica feels like it was meant to be.

"There is no better place really. I love snowy mountains and spending time in amazing places with awesome people."

The wedding celebrations were held in a chapel at the Rothera Research Centre on Adelaide Island, west of the Antarctic Peninsula, where the couple conduct their research.

Although temperatures were well below freezing and there was very little daylight, Mr Sylvester, from Sheffield, said he thought the setting "couldn't be better".

He said: "Antarctica is an incredibly beautiful place and we have made such great friends here.

"We have always wanted to have a small personal wedding, but never imagined we'd be able to get married in one of the most remote places on Earth."

With help from some friends at the Research Centre, Ms Baum made her own wedding dress using part of an old orange pyramid tent for the skirt.

The ceremony was performed by Rothera Research Station Leader and British Antarctic Territory (BAT) Magistrate Paul Samways.

The couple, who have been together for 11 years, are experienced mountaineering instructors who were chosen to join the British Antarctic Survey and manage deep-field science expeditions last year.

They have worked as expedition leaders in countries around the world, including Nepal, Peru, Ecuador and Uzbekistan.

The marriage is valid in the UK as it was registered with the British Antarctic Territory (BAT) government based in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

It is the first marriage since the BAT marriage law was reformed last year to make it easier for marriages to be arranged in the territory.


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