Redgrave couple get hitched on Mount Kilimanjaro
When Victoria and Larry Holt became engaged, they decided to use their wedding day to fulfil a life-long ambition.
Having not wanted to organise a traditional wedding ceremony, the happy couple climbed to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to exchange their vows as the sun rose over the famous 19,000ft peak.
They were joined by a party of 30 guides and daring friends and relatives as they officially became man and wife on December 1.
Instead of a big white dress and a dapper morning suit, the bride and groom kept wrapped up in warm climbing gear – only donning a veil and a top hat to mark the special occasion.
The couple, from Redgrave, near Diss, then spent the first night of their married life huddled together in a tiny tent with two thick sleeping bags before heading down the slope and back home.
Mrs Holt, 34, a business advisor, first met her future husband through work about 16 years ago. They got back in contact about three years ago and Mr Holt, 51, an automotive engineer from Canada, proposed in the spring.
'One day, right out of the blue, Larry popped the big question and asked if I'd marry him and then uttered the immortal words of 'I thought we could do it on top of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania',' said Mrs Holt.
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'He swapped his suit and me my wedding dress for climbing boots and gaiters for what must have been the most challenging and arguably the most romantic exchanging of vows at 5,895 metres.'
She said 300 guests, plus their partners, were invited to join them on the climb, but most – somewhat understandably – decided to graciously decline the offer.
'I've never been to Africa and it was a lifetime ambition of mine to climb it. Larry and I met over 15 years ago and I mentioned it to him back then and he said he'd love to do it too,' added Mrs Holt.
'It seemed the perfect opportunity for us to tie the knot and I am so happy that friends and family from both sides of the Atlantic didn't think we were totally crazy and decided to join us on our wedding adventure.
'I know most brides say that there wedding day is the best day of their lives, but I can honestly say that mine was the most magically memorable day of my life.'
Training for her athletic big day has also inspired Mrs Holt to jump into a new business venture. She will be opening her own private gym near Stowmarket at the beginning of January and another one in Banham in 2012.