Unique Places to Get Married: Underwater

If your idea of a fairytale wedding is more “Little Mermaid” than “Cinderella,” the idea of getting married underwater might appeal to you.  With so many people intent on making their nuptials memorable, scuba diving weddings have grown in popularity and are now available in several top dive destinations worldwide. Few guests will be able to forget the sight of you exchanging vows surrounded by tropical fish and beautiful corals.

So how does it work? Most companies that offer underwater wedding packages will arrange dive certification for the bridal party and guests, but if guests want to watch without diving, the ceremony can be arranged for a shallow area where they can snorkel and observe from above. As for the actual exchange of vows itself, speech is generally not an option, so you can be supplied with underwater paper and ink to write and exchange underwater.  To ensure the legality of your marriage, you will have to sign a register on dry land.

Intent on taking plunge? Try one of these underwater wedding destinations:

Florida Keys

married underwaterThe best-known place for scuba divers to get hitched is at the Christ of the Abyss statue in Florida Keys. This underwater statue is a second casting of the original Il Christo Degli Abissi, designed by Guido Galletti, which lies in the Mediterranean off Genoa, Italy. The highest point of the statue lies within a few metres of the surface of the extraordinarily clear water, making it an ideal attraction for snorkellers and one of the most photographed dive sites anywhere.

As well as attracting recreational divers and snorkellers, the statue is a popular spot for underwater weddings (and funerals). More than 200 couples have tied the knot beside the statue to date.

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Sangiang Island, Indonesia

married underwater 2Beautifully clear water and bath-like temperatures make the Sunda Straits of Indonesia (between Java and Sumatra) a wonderful site for diving, whether or not you have marital intentions. Sangiang Island, in Anyer, caters for scuba weddings. Guests assembled for the arrival of the bride can look forward to psychedelic anemones, stunning corals, and a host of tropical fish species. If you want to explore after the ceremony, the Sunda Straits have many popular dive locations including the active volcano Anak Krakatau and some major wrecks (such as the HMAS Perth and the USS Houston, which were sunk by the Japanese Navy during World War II, in 1942). Try to make a date for the dry months of March to November, when the diving is most reliable.

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Ginnie Springs, Florida

married underwater 3If you want to get married underwater, but you don’t want to miss out on the ballroom experience, arrange the ceremony for the “Ballroom” cavern at Ginnie Springs, Florida.  Ginnie Springs offers an underwater wonderland of enormous grottoes, rainbow-hued fish, and the crystalline waters of seven natural springs. The Ballroom cavern is not a spot for novice divers, so you, your guests, and the person officiating will need cave diving experience. After the ceremony, many wedding parties celebrate by floating down the Santa Fe River on tubes.

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Caragh Mulvihill is self catering manager at PlacesToStay.com, a convenient website for booking more than 4,500 attractive and affordable rental properties across the island of Ireland.