Lisa and Alex aka ‘2people1life’ a couple in love and taking time out to find the perfect place to get married. How? By having a wedding ceremony in each country they visit…
Hello, what a crazy adventure you have been on so far, how did it all get started?
2people1life started as a wild idea to have a wedding ceremony in each country we visit and has since spanned 4 years, 5 continents, 70 countries and over 150,000 miles, but not a moment of this trip would have been possible without all of the support we have received from all over the globe. Hailing from a small town in Yorkshire Alex and I have been friends since our teens, There was always a spark (but I would say that right?) but it took a long time and countless requests for dates from Alex for me to say yes.
We both needed time to grow as our own people before we could complete the other and that took 8 whole years. Once we got together there was no going back, we knew it was real, the true love neither of us had felt before overrode everything else and we stuck fast.
You had wedding one back home, is it fair to say it has turned into a pretty extensive honeymoon?
You could say that, though I think I’d like my honeymoon to be more relaxing when I finally get one. We have had an amazing adventure and started our ‘married’ life learning more about ourselves and each other than we ever thought was possible, also learning about how other countries celebrate the love and union of two people. It has been an incredible journey so far but after four years that honeymoon is sounding more and more appealing!
“We put the focus on exploring cultures and traditions … this reduces a lot of pressure and results in everyone going with the flow and taking pride in showing off their own countries way of celebrating love and unity”
How did that first wedding differ from the ones that have come since on your travels?
There are a few things that made the first wedding really stand out, the major one being that Alex planned the entire thing without me having a single clue that it was happening. I was told on the day of the wedding, which also happened to be the day before we left England on this adventure.
The day was filled with surprises, all of our family and friends were there, we made more new friends in our village that day than we had in the 3 years we had lived there and we also found a belief in ourselves that we hadn’t had before. A belief that we could make the wedding adventure that we had dreamed of a reality.
All of that amazingness aside, it was such a wonderful wedding day. It was so romantic and filled with typical English brilliance, from the ceremony in the local pub, to Pimms and lemonade and strawberries and ice-cream, to Fish and chips in paper cones with English champagne. The focus was around food and drink as it is our passion and we took our entire wedding party from venue to venue around the village instead of the venues catering for us in one place. Even the sun shone, it was a fabulous day and a great way to celebrate our new adventure, both marriage AND the RTW trip.
Planning a wedding is quite the challenge as it is, how do you go about doing it in a country where everything is unknown?
The simplest answer to this is that we never have any expectations. We go with the flow and ultimately we want everyone involved in helping us arrange our weddings to have a good time too. We put the focus on exploring cultures and traditions and an emphasis on borrowing things to reduce waste and costs, this reduces a lot of pressure and results in everyone going with the flow and taking pride in showing off their own countries way of celebrating love and unity.
A lesson we have learned and often tell couples panicking about their big day is that no-one else knows what is supposed to happen. There is only you that knows that the flowers are the slightest bit off the shade you wanted, there is only you that knows the cake was supposed to be served BEFORE the tea…and none of it really matters, all that matters is that you are marrying the love of your life and everyone wants to celebrate that with you, they don’t care what order they get their tea and cake in and nor should you!
It is a pretty unique way of travelling and exploring new cultures, how have you chosen your route and where to have your weddings?
Driving around the world certainly has its challenges, far too many to list actually but it has been the perfect way to see the world as we wanted to see it. We are not fans of cities or tourists and with the campervan we have our home literally on our backs so we have the freedom to come and go as we please. Really the route we have taken has been based on driving overland and trying to get to as many countries that we have been invited to for weddings as we can.
The campervan has given us the flexibility to get to remote villages in countries that have no real public transport system, it made it possible to see countries like Iraq and Iran, it has given us the freedom to choose our own timetable but most importantly it has given us the opportunity to meet SO many people on the road. People that live in the countries we are visiting, people whose lives we would never have had the privilege to be a part of if we had stayed in hotels or hostels. As a tourist reliant on tourist facilities you generally only ever meet other tourists, this was something we really wanted to avoid.
“We have had an amazing adventure and started our ‘married’ life learning more about ourselves and each other than we ever thought was possible, also learning about how other countries celebrate the love and union of two people.”
Have there been any particularly memorable or game-changing weddings?
So many, each and every wedding is wonderful for its own reason. Some are memorable for the traditions that they unearth some for the people involved, some for the outfits or locations, the list goes on, but they are all very special.
I suppose if we had to choose one or two (and bear in mind that this list is not exhaustive and changes regularly) I would have to say Antigua in Guatemala, the xaman held such a spiritually connecting ceremony that just blew our minds, the thought and the meaning behind it all was astounding. We knew at that point that there was so much more to weddings than we could have ever imagined.
New York was pretty big in the ‘game-changing’ way, we were married by Martha Stewart herself and as a result were invited onto the Ellen Degeneres show and from that some great news channels picked up our story. That was a boost for us with regards to people reaching out to us and inviting us to all kinds of wonderful places to have weddings. From Tahiti to Africa to China, we were invited all over the place.
Any bridezilla incidents where it all went horribly wrong?
Never really with the weddings themselves, but sometimes with waning energy levels I have been known to have a bridezilla moment or two.
A wedding is a pretty big deal and it is a huge day for your emotions, no matter how many times you do it, trust me, it never gets easier. The nerves, the anticipation, the butterflies are all there every time and so is the adrenalin that keeps you going through the entire day, it keeps you flying until it stops and when it stops so do I.
How long are you planning on keeping this journey going?
What started as a two year plan has quickly spiraled into four, it turns out the world is bigger than it looks on paper. We are at just over four years now, we think we will be done on the road by the end of the year and then are planning a few flying trips to places we have been unable to drive to like Russia, Iceland, maybe some of the Pacific Islands, we don’t know yet, we will see but I think that we will be hopefully planning our final wedding for some time in 2016….though don’t hold me to that!
Your original plan was to travel to Australia the long way around, is this still your final destination?
No it isn’t. It has been one of the biggest twists in the tale. The irreparable break down of our first campervan in Pakistan meant that we flipped the second half of the journey on its head. We bought a new campervan and went straight to Australia planning to drive back to India, near where we broke down, therefore completing the loop. While we were in Australia we thought we would maybe look for our future home, an area that we would like to live in. BUT, on getting there and spending 3 months driving around the south of the country we found that we just didn’t love it like we thought we would.
It is what travel does to you. It teaches you what you really like, who you really are and the things that matter to you. We left England dreaming of life on the beach in the sunshine, what we found was that neither of us like sand or swimming in the sea, we quickly get sick of Shiraz, we like to be in the mountains and love the anticipation of seasonal change. We want to be around positive people and become part of a community and while Australia is a stunning place we didn’t feel that we could find ‘home’ there.
What do you imagine your final wedding to be like?
Hahahaha, that is a good question but I have honestly NO idea. I imagine it being a loud affair with lots of laughter, music and singing and with people there from all over the world meeting and making friends. I imagine there being lots of assorted lighting and candles, lots of food and wine, and I imagine it being mostly outside amongst trees…and I think I may wear my pyjamas for some part of it…but that is today, and tomorrow I may imagine it being a very civilized affair with pretty chairs and a sit down meal. Though I very much doubt it.