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What do you do when you want a small, but unforgettable wedding ceremony in the midst of COVID? Get married in a hot air balloon! That’s exactly what Christina and Ryan did this August in Salem, New Hampshire.

About the Couple

Christina and Ryan like to say they are total opposites that mesh together well – like yin and yang. The pair met at a party at Plymouth State University but they argue about which part of the house they had their first conversation.

After a few happy years together (including a big move to Colorado and back!) Ryan proposed at Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth, New Hampshire during a Christmas stroll, almost five years from the day they started dating. Then it was time to plan their dream wedding!

After many different plans fell through, they decided to plan something bold and different: a memorable, unorthodox ceremony in the clouds.

A New Hampshire Hot Air Balloon Wedding

Their big day began in an unlikely wedding location: a plaza in Salem, New Hampshire. This was the meeting  spot for the hot air balloon ride, coordinated by High 5 Ballooning. Before they took flight, they had a beautiful and emotional first look in front of a nearby church. Family members showed up to watch the moment and cheer from afar!

This intimate scene set the stage for a sweet ceremony on the ground and a grand ascent into the air for lots of photos. We even grabbed some shots inside the deflating balloon afterwards!

Pro tip for those planning a hot air balloon wedding: be flexible! We had to be very patient and make decisions based on the wind. We weren’t able to go up as high as they originally wanted, but we still got the epic photos they dreamed of.

We topped the night off with a champagne toast, pizza and ice cream at Moo’s Place – a sweet ending to an even sweeter celebration. They plan to party with all their loved ones this month at Atkinson Country Club – I can’t wait for round 2!

Wedding Planning Advice

The couple’s advice to others planning their special day?

“Communicate your problems and questions you may have with your partner during planning. You will be able to work through a small conversation beforehand a lot more than coping with a missed opportunity after the fact.”

“Focus on each other and don’t be selfish. Work together and play devil’s advocate when necessary. Think of the “what if’s” to prepare for them, but don’t dwell on them enough to stress you. Remember, this day is for you and your partner; celebrate it like you want!”

Christina and Ryan’s choice to have an intimate ceremony certainly came in handy in the era of COVID – and what better way to social distance than in a hot air balloon?! Check out their gorgeous gallery below!


Venue: High 5 Ballooning

Florist: Chalifour’s Flowers

Gown: 125 Bridal Boutique

Tux: George’s Apparel

Officiant: Lia Liporto

Hair: Lisa Nolan

Makeup: Kaelin Nolan

Photographer: Nina Weinstein Photography

Wondering how we got some of these images? Take a look behind the scenes!

See More Weddings

Nina Weinstein is a Massachusetts wedding photographer serving all of New England. She specializes in bold, romantic wedding photography as well as engagement and family sessions. She is currently booking for 2021.