On Saturday, Rhiann Woodyard and Cheetah Platt are getting married in Thailand.
They’re also getting married in Singapore, Australia, Fiji, and the United States, and they’ve already been married in Colombia, Spain, Ireland, Morocco, Egypt, Kenya and India. Each of these destinations is a stop on the three-month “wedding tour” they’re taking around the world.
The couple, who normally live in California, came up with this elaborate plan after they became increasingly frustrated with the mounting costs that came along with wedding planning. In their budget, they could afford an “acceptable wedding,” but not their “perfect wedding,” Platt tells PEOPLE.
On top of that, they couldn’t decide what they wanted. They liked night weddings, but they also saw the appeal of getting married during the day. Outdoor weddings were nice, but so were indoor weddings.
So, instead of starting a pro-con list to choose, they decided not to decide at all. Instead, they bought a $100 tux and a $100 dress, packed them in their respective backpacks and set off to get married all over the world, as many times as they could.
Still, just like a normal wedding, their adventure took some planning. And with a 12-country tour not so easy to pull off, it took them eight months to plan the whole thing, Woodyard says, even though the only components of their trip that they figured out before they left were transportation and lodging.
In addition to how to get there and where they’re going to sleep, the rest of their trip is up in the air. None of their weddings is planned; rather, they find each “venue” as they go.
Letting Nature Decide
In Colombia, they set off on a hike in the jungle and found their spot along the way. In Thailand, they decided only the day before where they wanted to wed.
“We’re using nature as the venue,” Woodyard says. “In terms of the ceremony, the only rule is that we say our vows.”
This spontaneous attitude towards marriage may be unconventional, but for them, the mechanics work. Each wedding lasts only two to four minutes, depending on the time constraints dictated by the ceremony’s locale.
No outside officiator is present during their weddings, either. Both Woodyard and Platt were ordained online and are conducting “self-unifying ceremonies,” in which they marry each other. It’s a practice that’s legal in several states, and “once we found that out,” Platt says, “we thought, that is us.”
One Rule About the Dress
While the ceremony is conducted without restrictions, the couple did introduce one special requirement for their travels: They have to wear white – a rule that mostly came about because they thought it was cute.
“We’re dorky and we like to match,” Woodyard admits.
They also thought it was a way to make the experience even more personal.
“We wanted this to be really be our wedding,” Platt says. “And in our wedding, we wear all white.”
Most three-month-long international trips are pretty pricey, but Woodyard and Platt were committed to doing this on the cheap. To start, they refrained from being too selective when considering locations, not caring where they went, so long as they went somewhere.
“If we were picky, it would have been astronomically more expensive,” Platt says.
They spend about a week in each country, sometimes more or less (a number of cities in Thailand over the course of 12 days, but fewer than 48 hours in Egypt). Their nights are spent in Airbnb rented apartments or cheap hotels, and they fly budget airlines to get from one destination to the next. They also set up their own sort of registry that allowed their friends and family to fund their plane tickets to Morocco, or a few nights’ stay in Ireland, rather than gifting a new toaster.
Their families aren’t only involved financially. It may just be the two of them on this months-long adventure, but both Platt and Woodyard wanted to make sure their loved ones were a part of the experience.
“We want it to be interactive,” Platt says. “We don’t want it to be individual.”
Linked to Loved Ones
And while their loved ones haven’t been able to tag along in their travels, they’ve still been a part of their experience. Thanks to the Internet, they’re in constant communication. So much so, in fact, that Platt says, “It does feel like they’re on the adventure with us.”
And for one of their stops, they’ll be able to participate in person. On April 18, the two plan to marry in Big Bear Lake, California, with their friends and family watching.
The newly married (and soon to be married again) pair may be seeing the world, but if anything, their three-month-long wedding is only making them want to travel even more.
As Woodyard says: “It’s been enough time for a wedding and to meet people and to know that we want to go back.”
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