Denise and Mark Thomas are on pace to go down in Guinness World Record history. Their feat? They have exchanged wedding vows eighty-five times at eight-five different locations around the world — and all within the span of six months. Now that’s commitment!
Denise, a native Australian, met Englishman Mark while she was working in London. The couple fell in love and decided to tie the knot…in a very unconventional way. Denise and Mark were chosen out of 30,000 couple-applicants by travel company Runaway Bride and Groom to “test” wedding and honeymoon locations around the world.
As The Official Honeymooners, Denise and Mark weren’t just drinking champagne and feeding each other cake for six months straight. The couple’s official job was to document their experiences at each of the wedding and honeymoon venues. This meant daily blog updates, hundreds of photos, hours of video and countless tweets — not to mention the various challenges they faced navigating their way through unfamiliar languages and cultures.
Since the special couple depended on constant Internet connectivity to do their job, the Boingo team reached out to them early in their nuptial adventures and donated Boingo accounts. We’re thrilled to have been a part of Denise and Mark’s eight-five “I dos,” and we wish them everlasting love and happiness.
Here’s our recent interview with Denise and Mark, who share some of the highlights of their six months of wedding bliss:
- What were your 10 favorite destinations?
- Johnstown Castle, Ireland
We were the first couple to get married in 100 years during a romantic hand-fasting ceremony in this beautiful historic castle.
- Camp Tipilikwani, Kenya
Being welcomed and married by a tribe of Masai was a truly humbling and memorable experience we’ll never forget.
- Day Dream Island, Australia
Denise had to overcome her fear of sharks and stingrays because they were everywhere in the lagoon!
- The Waldorf Astoria, New York
We had the ceremony in an opulent, private suite on the Presidential floor — this city wedding was pretty special and so were the celebratory cocktails afterward!
- Aran Islands, Ireland
We were married by a Druid priest in Teampull Bheanáin, one of the smallest churches in the world.
- Shakespeare’s Garden, Central Park, NYC
It was a beautiful hot May day in the garden, the flowers were in full bloom and we went for a ride on the famous carousels afterward.
- The Menjangan Resort, Bali, Indonesia
We got married on a jetty overlooking the most pristine water imaginable. After the ceremony, we celebrated by jumping in the water!
- Malta, various places
We got married 11 times in Malta and it’s just one of the most beautiful and sunny countries in the world. We loved all of our weddings there.
- Beau Rivage, Mauritius
Mauritius is quite a wedding and honeymoon island – it’s so beautiful it looks like a screen saver! We got married on the beach!
- Breezes, Zanzibar
This place was sheer opulence — we even had a private butler to wait on us in our honeymoon villa.
- Your year of weddings wasn’t just about celebrations, cake and champagne. You had to provide reports about your experiences. Give us a behind-the-scenes description of your job.
Although we did drink a lot of champagne, we actually had a LOT of work to do. Luckily it was enjoyable work. Every day, we had to film footage for our travel videos, do tours of the hotels, take photos, and write a blog post or hotel review. We didn’t have a film crew — it was just us and our laptops! We didn’t get a day off, but we still had a lot of time to experience the beautiful places, tours and local sights.
Over the course of six months, we wrote 214 blog posts, made 130 travel videos and did about 100 media interviews. We also wrote a monthly column for the Irish Times. Internet access for us was crucial, we couldn’t have done the job without it. The only time we were off-line was when we went camping in the Wadi Rum desert to film a horse-riding trip. The rest of the time we were either writing, uploading videos, photos, Skyping, Tweeting and Facebooking!
This meant we often had to squeeze in writing on the go, especially from airports and hotels. Having a Boingo account saved us time and money on many occasions, especially at airports and hotels. Boingo allowed us to finish our work, and then get back to the pool and champagne.
- What was your favorite Boingo hotspot?
There were many! We connected to Boingo all the time – in airports, hotels, cafes, restaurants and book stores – all over. Our favourite Boingo hotspot was the Radisson SAS Golden Sands Resort in Malta. The hotel is located on a cliff and offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. We got married in a secluded area nearby that was gorgeous!
- What was the most surprising Boingo hotspot?
On our visit to Spain, we took a road trip through the South, from Malaga through Marbella, Sevilla and Barbate. In a tiny town, we were lost and trying to find both the horse riding centre we were reviewing and a church we were supposed to be filming at. We pulled in to a car park and we were checking through old emails for directions when suddenly, the Boingo app connected us to the Internet. Boingo has hotspots when you most need them and least expect them – thanks guys.
- What’s next on the travel agenda for Denise and Mark?
After flying around the world for six months, we are keen to settle down but it won’t be back in our hometown of London. Our thirst for adventure and love of the sun have been ignited by this trip, so we are settling in beautiful Newcastle, Australia. We’ll probably enjoy living in one place for awhile and working off all that cake and champagne. As well as a fantastic personal experience, it’s probably the most intense and enjoyable professional thing we’ve ever done.Mark now works for the Newcastle Jets Football Club and Denise is now a life coach and writer. Her website is http://www.deniseduffieldthomas.com
Any engaged couples out there who think they have what it takes to fill Denise and Mark’s shoes? Travel company Runaway Bride and Groom are on the hunt for a new couple to take the reins. More information here.
Here’s a lovely video montage of Denise and Mark Thomas’ weddings around the world (note: this video does not include several ceremonies that occurred most recently):