Etc.

Here comes the b-r-r-r-ide!

As weddings go, the ceremony in which Chris McQuade and Louise O'Meara tied the knot left everyone completely cold. But then the Wigan, England, couple and their families pretty much knew that would be the case when the big day arrived last month. Start with the fact that Chris, a plumber, and Louise, who works in an accounting office, are in their early 20s and not yet at their peak earning years. As they researched what formal weddings in their own country would cost, it quickly became apparent that they didn't have the means to pay. So they looked into alternatives, which led them to Finland's Lapland region – where the average yearly temperature is 32 degrees F. (the freezing point) – and an igloo on the doorstep of the Arctic Circle. "Everyone," explained the groom afterward, "gets married somewhere hot; we just wanted [to be] different." The wedding party arrived three days early and traveled to and from rehearsals, dinners, and the like aboard snowmobiles, dogsleds, and in a sleigh pulled by – yes – reindeer. As Louise walked down the aisle to take her vows, the indoor temperature was minus 12 degrees F. Her gown (and presumably her thermal underwear) matched the white of the snowy walls. But the couple said they thought the whole thing was "brilliant." And then they left the rest of the wedding party shivering while they flew off on their honeymoon ... to the Maldives, where the daily high has plunged as low as 81 degrees F. only once since Dec. 1.

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