Sheffield & South Yorkshire

British couple to marry in first Antarctic wedding

Julie Baum and Tom Sylvester Image copyright Neil Spencer/BAS

Two polar guides are set to become the first couple to be officially married in British Antarctic Territory (BAT).

Tom Sylvester and Julie Baum will tie the knot at the Rothera Research Station on Adelaide Island to the west of the Antarctic Peninsula.

The ceremony will take place over the weekend and be performed by station leader and BAT magistrate Paul Samways.

Miss Baum said: "Getting married in Antarctica feels like it was meant to be. There is no better place."

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

The couple will not be holding out for good weather though, with temperatures well below freezing and very little daylight.

Mr Sylvester, from Sheffield, said: "Somebody suggested to me that we should get married in Antarctica and I dismissed it as something that wasn't possible.

"But it turned out that Paul could do it as he's a magistrate and then suddenly it became a possibility and I just jumped at the idea."

He had been due to be stationed at the Halley IV research station but was drafted in to the team at Rotherha after the British Antarctic Survey closed Halley IV for the winter for safety reasons.

The couple, who have been together for 11 years, are among a team of about 20 people who maintain the station during the Antarctic winter.

They are experienced mountaineers and were selected to join the British Antarctic Survey in 2016 to manage deep-field science expeditions.

The wedding celebrations will include a champagne breakfast, short ceremony and a party with live music.

Mr Sylvester added: "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."

His parents Barbara and Paul will not be at the wedding but said they were "absolutely thrilled".

The marriage will be registered with the BAT Government and will be valid in the UK.

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