British couple marry in first Antarctic wedding ceremony

Newly-weds on the iceImage copyright BAS
Image caption Tom Sylvester said the setting “couldn’t be better”

Two polar guides have been married in the first official wedding ceremony in the British Antarctic Territory (BAT).

Tom Sylvester and Julie Baum were married at the Rothera Research Station on Adelaide Island to the west of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Ms Baum’s dress had orange fabric from an old tent and wedding pictures were taken in temperatures of -9C (15F).

Mr Sylvester said: “Antarctica is an incredibly beautiful place and we have made such great friends here.”

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He said the setting “couldn’t be better”.

“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.”

Ms Baum added: “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.”

Image copyright BAS
Image caption The wedding guests posed outside in freezing temperatures

Image copyright BAS
Image caption The couple first met 11 years ago

Image copyright BAS
Image caption A venue for the ceremony was created on the base

Mr Sylvester had to make the brass wedding rings on the lathe in the metal workshop at the research station.

There were 20 guests from the station at the ceremony, which was performed by station leader and BAT magistrate Paul Samways.

The couple have been together for 11 years having first met at an outdoor centre in Wales.

Both are experienced mountaineers, instructors and expedition leaders and have been engaged for three years.

Image copyright BAS
Image caption The bride and her friends posed for pictures out on the ice

Image copyright BAS
Image caption It is the first marriage since the territory’s marriage law was reformed

Image copyright Neil Spencer/BAS
Image caption Mr Sylvester and Ms Baum have made Antarctic history

Mr Sylvester is from Sheffield and Ms Baum was born in Birmingham but lives in Yoxall, Staffordshire.

Their wedding was registered with the BAT Government, based in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and the marriage is valid in the UK.

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

Image copyright Pete Bucktrout/BAS
Image caption The Rothera Research Station is situated on Adelaide Island to the west of the Antarctic Peninsula

Rothera is the largest facility for the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) that the couple both joined in 2016.

It is a centre for biological research and a support hub for operations.

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