'Serial wedders' from Regina have married 12 times

From Vegas to Timbuktu, Karl Fix and Sandy Beug have exchanged wedding vows in the the desert, the jungle, and even on the open sea. The Regina couple has married and remarried a dozen times around the globe.

Karl Fix and Sandy Beug have exchanged vows in different cultures and countries

'Serial wedders' from Regina in search of the 13th occasion to exchange vows, Karl Fix and Sandy Beug keep doing it in different cultures and countries 2:05

Karl Fix likes to joke that his wife can't divorce him because no lawyer in the country could dissolve all of their marriages.

"It's my insurance policy," Fix, 65, said with a laugh. "My wife is a 55-year-old, beautiful dentist. One of these times she's going to wake up in the morning, take a gander over and say, 'What the hell am I doing here?'"

Since 2004, Fix and his wife, Sandy Beug, have tied the knot 12 times in 11 countries.

From Las Vegas to Timbuktu, each time the couple tries to embrace new cultural or religious rituals.

Their most recent ceremony took place just over a week ago on a ship off the coast of Greenland.

"It was pretty magical," Fix said.

The couple stood on the deck of a ship anchored a kilometre away from an enormous ice cliff and marvelled at the perfect silence broken only by the brief sound of cracking ice.

The ship's captain performed the ceremony then serenaded them with a Greenlandic love song.

Nuptial bliss begins

The serial weddings started simply enough.

Back in 2004, as they planned their first wedding, they decided to hold three ceremonies; the first in South Africa, the next near Fix's birthplace in Germany, and the third back home in their new house in Regina.

Then, Beug lost their marriage certificate from South Africa.

So, when they travelled to Timbuktu in Mali two years later, Fix found a local official who agreed to marry them.

The husband and wife dressed in the traditional blue gowns of the Tuareg people and had an Islamic ceremony in a tent in the sub-Saharan desert.

"It was a fascinating cultural experience," Beug said.

A framed copy of the wedding certificate from Timbuktu hangs on their wall.

Weddings around the world

Fix and Beug loved the experience so much that it inspired future weddings. The next year, they had a Hindu ceremony in Kathmandu, Nepal.

That was followed by three tribal ceremonies conducted by local chiefs in Africa and the Amazon.

In Kajana, Suriname, a chief spit rum into their hands three times as a blessing from ancestors.

The husband and wife have travelled to roughly 100 countries together and find that experiencing local nuptials gives them a unique perspective on how people live and celebrate in each place.

Of course, as with most weddings, it doesn't always go as planned.

In Ethiopia, Fix had asked villagers to surprise his wife with a traditional wedding dress made from cow hide. However, the animal had been freshly butchered and Beug refused.

"It was really smelly and parts of me were hanging out," Beug explained, shaking her head. "We got into quite a shouting match. I ended up in tears."

In some cases, Fix secretly plans the weddings months in advance. Other times, such as in Las Vegas, it's a last-minute decision and a scramble down the aisle.

It can be romantic, Fix said, but more than anything, it's fun.

"It just reaffirms that he's in love with me," Beug said.

The couple received legal certificates for five of the weddings, while the others weren't documented.

Now, after 12 ceremonies, Fix said he's likely planning their last set of nuptials — a ceremony he's calling "Lucky 13" — next month in Mongolia.

"I don't want to turn it into a thing, like Guinness Book of Records. That's not the reason we did this," Fix said. "It's just fun. Life is short."

Then he cracks a joke about the fact that 13 weddings means 13 honeymoons.

About the Author

Bonnie Allen

Senior Reporter

Bonnie Allen is a senior reporter for CBC News based in Saskatchewan. Before returning to Canada in 2013, Allen spent four years reporting from across Africa, including Libya, South Sudan, Liberia and Sierra Leone. She holds a Master's in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford. @bonnieallenCBC

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