WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Imagine traveling the world with the love of your life and getting married dozens of times, once in every country you visited, for free with the help and services of locals. Sounds like a pretty pie-in-the-sky concept, huh? Well this fantasy has become a reality for Alex Pelling and Lisa Gant, a couple from Manchester, England who are "on an adventure of a lifetime".
"For two years we're going to drive around the globe in our 24 year old camper van 'Peggy' exchanging vows in the most unusual and unique wedding locations we can find," the couple's blog, 2 People 1 Life, reads.
This story is one for true romantics: The couple knew each other for 9 years before getting together and wanted to share the experience of travel.
"As soon as we got together we knew we wanted to travel together," Gant wrote in an e-mail interview (she and Pelling are mid-journey right now and she wrote they were somewhere in Uruguay at the time of the interview). "We started right away with saving and selling all of our belongings. We talked all the time of getting married but never made it official (i.e. with an engagement). It seemed like it had taken so long for us to finally get together that there was just no rush for marriage, we were going to be together forever anyway."
And this is where the story really begins, as Gant said the couple decided they needed a focus for their travels.
"We didn't want to visit every church or every art gallery in the world so we thought about what we wanted from our trip," Gant explained. "We wanted to meet the local people, experience the local culture and understand what makes them tick. We are crazy romantics and to give us some purpose we decided to maybe look for somewhere to get married. We had looked at getting married in the UK and found that everything was so 'normal' and we really are not that conventional so we thought about looking for unusual places to get married in each country as we traveled. We thought we could share our experiences via a blog for those people like us that didn't fancy the usual English wedding and then of course, a bottle of wine or two later, we decided it would be a good idea to have a ceremony everywhere we went! How else could we really write about it!"
You're probably saying, 'gee this is great but it's got to get excessively expensive', but Pelling and Gant get by with a little help from their friends...er strangers.
"Alex arranged a complete wedding before we left England with the help of 25 local businesses...it all started by accident really and became something amazing...the whole thing was a surprise to me and happened the day before we flew to Canada to start our adventure," Gant wrote. "Anyway...we carried on with the weddings and it wasn't until the photographer from our first wedding asked us why we hadn't asked for the help of other local togs to capture our special days...we were up to wedding 6 by (that time)! We said, because we didn't think they would be interested...anyway, we asked and were blown away by the response."
Local businesses and residents are now providing services at the couple's ceremonies voluntarily. Their ceremonies are now often planned in advance via social media.
"The photographers and videographers come along, the planners help gather as much support as possible and whoever else wants to be involved and we make plans to arrange a wedding that reflects the countries' cultures and traditions. The people that help us make this trip possible, they help us because they are like us...they love to embrace life, love and adventure! They all give us their time and share their skills with us and we in return try to spread the love for them."
You can visit the couple's blog to follow their journey, and if they stumble into your region you can attend the local ceremony as well.
"We want to meet people that live in the countries we visit and have an insight to the way THEY celebrate unity or marriage, not go to 30 western weddings in foreign places," The bride-to-be explained. "Those weddings are fab and we love them and may even end up having a western wedding in a strange place but the point of our journey is to experience the way other cultures celebrate marriage. It is one thing the whole world has in common: unity."
They've already been to Canada, Hawaii, Colombia, and Peru to name a few, and plan on returning to the States in early October. They then plan on shipping their van across the pond and continuing onto Europe and possibly even Australia.
Follow all of their travels online and you could even make your way to their final wedding.
"We have a wedding registry with Zankyou to try to raise awareness and money for UNICEF," Gant wrote. "If anyone makes a donation they are entered into a prize draw to be flown out to our final wedding...wherever that might be!"
Take a look at the photos above, courtesy of various photographers that have worked with the couple, from their ceremonies thus far.
Some people get stressed out by getting married only once: Gant and Pelling are clearly cut from a different cloth.