Saturday, May 8, 2010

Go on a Zip Line in my Wedding Dress


Zip lining has always been something I wanted to try. I came close a few years ago when I helped to chaperone some students at their yearly Grade 5/6 Camp. Zip lining was listed as a team-building activity, and I was very excited to try... until I found out that I was required at the school that day and couldn't join the 5/6 students on the zip line. I'm still bitter about missing out on that opportunity. But I was able to make up for this disappointment... on my wedding day!

My ziplining outfit - my wedding gown! (And some pants.)

That's right. Instead of having a dance and watching drunk people doing the worm, wear ties around their foreheads, and fight over drink tickets, my wedding celebration consisted of donning a pair of capri pants and a tank top underneath my wedding dress and hooking myself up to some suspended wires overtop of a jungle. Joey and I got married in Costa Rica with just us and a few random people to act as witnesses, and as soon as lunch was over, we ditched everyone and headed to a place called "Wingnuts Ziplines".

The view from the top - best wedding celebration ever!

We'd visited Wingnuts the day before our wedding, since last minute planning seemed the appropriate thing to do considering the laid-back nature of our entire wedding planning strategy. The day of our wedding was actually all booked up, and Wingnuts originally turned us down. However, when they heard we were planning on zip lining in our wedding outfits, and that I would be wearing a dress and tiara, they opened up two spots for us quickly. Their company believed in the spirit of adventure, and this, they told us, definitely qualified!

Joey flies through the Costa Rican canopy on the zipline

So, on April 1st - yes, my husband and I got married on April Fool's Day; would we have it any other way? - we ventured to Wingnuts Ziplining and tried zip lining for the first time. The gentleman leading our group wasn't too sure what to make of me, at first. I assured him I had pants on under my dress, as he had to buckle me into my harness, which wrapped around my pelvis area. Every time he had to hook and unhook me from the zip lining wires, he had to dive under my wedding dress while I held the folds up as high as I could - a very interesting sight for the other people in our zip lining group! I looked about five months pregnant when my dress was sitting naturally on my hips, since the zip lining buckles and hooks rested right on my lower belly. My look turned out to be a saving grace for one family. The mother of the family was terrified to go down the zip line, but when she saw me dressed in a gown, with huge gloves and a belly full of buckles, her feelings of anxiety disappeared completely.

One happy couple, way up high in the jungle!

I was the first in our group of 12 to buzz down the zip line into the jungle. The guide hooked me up to the wires while I held my dress up to my chin, then gave me a brief explanation on how to maintain speed while moving along the wire, and how to slow down as I reached the next platform. With that, I was off, my dress billowing in the breeze and snagging on the tree tops. It was such a rush! It was easy to keep the speed, and hard not to want to go faster. Then the quick trip was over and I was at the next platform, ready for more. Joey followed behind me, holding a video camera and smiling like a fool. We did this for about 14 more platforms, stopping midway for a snack and a chance to feed a manticooti, which is like a large jungle raccoon.


By the end of the voyage, my dress was virtually ruined, torn and dirtied at the hem, and wrinkled beyond belief at the waist from scrunching my body as I swept through the jungle canopy. I didn't mind in the least - that rumpled garment tells more stories than any perfectly preserved gown sealed in a dry-cleaner bag! Time to start planning my next zip lining outfit...

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