Bride and Groom's Sky-High Leap to the Altar

Photo by Laszlo Andacs, LaszloImage.com

Making a wedding entrance as husband and wife for the first time is always a grand moment for a couple. But Heather Howley and Marius Ivascu of Newburgh, New York set the bar sky-high on Saturday by dropping into their wedding reception from the heavens.

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Howley, 30, owns Independent Helicopters at Stewart International Airport in New Windsor, NY and Ivascu, 31, is a pilot, skydiving instructor and member of the U.S. Parachute Team. After their Saturday wedding, Howley piloted a helicopter, opening the doors at 3,000 feet to allow her new husband to parachute to the ground at their wedding reception at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, an aviation history museum.

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The move was a totally natural one for the couple, says Ivascu. “Heather and I are passionate about aviation and she's even inspired me to get my commercial pilot's license,” he told Shine. In fact, their first date was the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome on a rainy day when flying conditions weren't ideal. After dating for almost three years, Ivascu proposed in the fall of 2011 by sneaking the engagement ring into the battery compartment of his camera which he told Howley was broken. She tried to fix it by pulling a ribbon out of the compartment and the ring, which was fastened to the other end, fell out.

On Saturday Howley piloted herself and her bridal party to the church, parking her small helicopter in the parking lot, and kicked off her heels for the ride. "It was tough flying in a poofy wedding dress and a bomber jacket but I also had on five-inch heels which were uncomfortable so I ended up flying barefoot," Howley told Shine.

After the ceremony, the couple asked their guests to meet them in the parking lot of the Aerodrome to watch Howley pilot her plane and Ivascu parachute to the ground in his tux from 3,000 feet. "The guests weren't really surprised that our wedding was aviation themed but I heard it was awesome to watch from the ground," said Howley. "People were saying ours was the most fun wedding they had ever been to."

For their honeymoon, the couple are flying themselves to Niagra Falls for a three-day getaway in Ivascu's 4-seater Cessna, naturally.

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