Jeanne MacPherson & Bill Gallea, Married 21 June, 2004

Awww, I’m loving these truly romantic wedding stories that ‘pilot’ brides and grooms have shared with us! Thank you to Jeanne MacPherson (a.k.a. the instructor) and Bill Gallea (a.k.a. the flight student) for their lovely story and pictures. If your own wedding story includes an airplane, if you were married aloft or at an airport, we’d love to hear from you. Please email your story to LadyTaildraggers@gmail.com for our “Flying High Weddings” series!

Bill Gallea began his flight training with me in May of 2002. He received his Private Pilot Certificate in February, 2003, and in December we flew a Mooney from Helena, Montana, to Kitty Hawk for the Centennial Celebration of the Wright Brother’s First Flight.  On our return trip back to Montana, as Bill taxied away from the fuel pump at the Mobridge Airport in South Dakota, he braked to a stop and asked me to marry him. This was on the Winter Solstice.

Jeanne MacPherson 3

Our wedding ceremony took place on the Summer Solstice at our favorite Montana backcountry airstrip. I flew in the groom, the Minister and his wife in our J model V-tail Bonanza (my wedding present from Bill).  We took our vows at Meadow Creek in the beautiful Montana wilderness overlooking the South Fork of the Flathead River.

We were married at a backcountry airstrip in Montana (Meadow Creek) June 21, 2004

We were married at a backcountry airstrip in Montana (Meadow Creek) June 21, 2004

The celebration continued with a picnic lunch and a hike upriver. We put away the leftovers from our wedding meal, including half of a delicious Earl Grey chocolate cake, and since our hike was to be short we didn’t hang the food coolers. When we returned, we found that a bear had eaten our wedding cake and was just coming back for the rest of the picnic. The good news is we have some good pictures of our wedding guest bear.

A bear ate our wedding cake!

A bear ate our wedding cake!

The following week, we flew our Bonanza from Helena, MT to Grand Marais, MN for our week-long honeymoon kayak and camping trip around the Slate Islands in Lake Superior. This time our visitors were wild caribou.

We drove to Rossport Canada and kayaked and camped for a week on Lake Superior

We drove to Rossport Canada and kayaked and camped for a week on Lake Superior

Bill designed our wedding bands. They feature symbols for flight, earth, water and wildness…. and that has been our life thus far~!

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