TOOELE — For Allan Wood and Emily Lucero Wood, the high point in their marriage so far might have been the first few seconds. On Thursday, they tied the knot 13,000 feet high above the Tooele Valley.
The bride and groom capped off their high-flying wedding by jumping out of the airplane and floating gently to earth.
"I loved it," said the grinning bride after she was safely back on the ground. "I loved the free-fall when you're just falling and the wind's just hitting you and your mouth's all blowing in the wind and it's just awesome."
The groom considered the implications of the jump for his brand-new marriage. "I guess it leaves a lot of high expectations to live up to," said Allan Wood. "Got to keep things exciting and have a great time."
Neither of the newlyweds are veteran skydivers. It was the bride's third jump and the groom's second. As novices, they weren't allowed to jump together. Each was partnered with a veteran tandem skydiver.
In all, 12 people bailed out of the Beechcraft King Air shortly after the ceremony. The bride, the groom, the preacher and two witnesses jumped, each with a tandem partner. Two experienced skydiving photographers also jumped to capture some very unusual wedding pictures.
More nervous maybe at the skydiving rather than the wedding. I guess it does add an extra element, the jitters.
–Allan Wood, groom
Lucero acknowledged that some friends and relatives thought they were crazy to literally "take the plunge" on their wedding day.
"I think some of the family was a little bit shocked when they heard that we were doing so," the bride said.
Just before going airborne for the ceremony, the groom admitted being a bit nervous. "More nervous maybe at the skydiving rather than the wedding," Wood said. "I guess it does add an extra element, the jitters."
As it turned out, Wood and his tandem partner made a soft landing right on target at the Tooele Valley Airport. His bride landed safely a couple of hundred yards away. She quickly ran and jumped into her new husband's arms and gave him a big kiss.
"I'm just glad to be married to my best friend," the bride said, "and to do it in such a fun way."
They'll probably be bragging for a long time about a marriage that started so close to heaven. When asked if he saw "Cloud Nine" up there, Wood laughed and said, "I think we both did. Cloud Eighteen."
They said they've discussed the idea of jumping again on a future wedding anniversary, possibly with some relatives.
This is one marriage that might actually get stronger if both partners decide to bail out.