Bride and groom kissing underwater

What Is Underwater Wedding? A Magical Submersion

The phrase “tying the knot” takes on a whole new meaning when you picture saying your vows surrounded by schools of tropical fish. Underwater weddings provide an adventurous alternative to traditional ceremonies that allow couples to immerse themselves in the beauty of the ocean. But what exactly is an underwater wedding?

An underwater wedding is a marriage ceremony conducted partially or fully beneath the surface of the water. Popular locations include warm-water destinations with clear visibility like Hawaii, Mexico, and the Maldives. During the ceremony, the couple, officiant, and sometimes guests wear scuba gear to breathe underwater. The nuptials are visible to onshore guests through live video feed and clear bottom boats.

Underwater weddings offer excitement, intimacy, and amazing photographic backdrops. But they require careful planning to handle logistics like ocean conditions, equipment, and attire. Through this article, you’ll learn all about the history, costs, considerations, and tips for pulling off the ultimate underwater matrimony.

First Underwater Wedding Takes Place off Greece’s Alonissos
First Underwater Wedding Takes Place off Greece’s Alonissos

Just be warned – you and your guests might get cold feet for an entirely different reason!

If an underwater wedding sounds too adventurous, you can consider more traditional wedding venues like a vineyard winery, bohemian forest, private estate, beachfront, or rustic barn.

The Origins and Evolution of Underwater Weddings

Underwater weddings may seem like a modern novelty, but their history stretches back decades. So where and when did the trend of getting hitched beneath the waves begin? Grab your scuba gear and dive into the origins of underwater matrimony.

The Beginning of Underwater Nuptials

  • 1960s – Earliest known underwater weddings held in groups by scuba diving clubs.
  • 1970s – Underwater weddings gain popularity in Jules’ Undersea Lodge in Florida Keys, promoted as intimate, escapist experiences.

Underwater Wedding Hot Spots Emerge

Several tropical destinations emerge as pioneers of underwater ceremonies in the 1970s-1980s:

  • Hawaii – With rocky coves, vibrant reefs and great visibility, Hawaii becomes a top spot for underwater vows.
  • Cayman Islands – Known for spectacular wall diving, its Bloody Bay Wall hosts underwater weddings.
  • Maldives – These islands surrounded by turquoise water provide ideal underwater wedding venues.
  • Great Barrier Reef, Australia – Couples can dive among the reef’s breathtaking corals and marine life.
  • Red Sea, Egypt – Its crystal clear waters, sea life and resorts attract underwater weddings.

Key Milestones in Underwater Weddings

  • 1986 – First underwater wedding is held in Palancar Reef, Cozumel, Mexico.
  • Early 1990s – Underwater video and photography improve, allowing high quality documentation of underwater ceremonies.
  • 1996 – Project Beach Wed is launched in Dominica to promote underwater weddings in the Caribbean.
  • Early 2000s – Remote operated vehicles (ROVs) allow easy live broadcast of underwater weddings to guests above water.
  • Present Day – Underwater weddings continue gaining popularity as couples pursue exotic backdrops. Destinations compete to offer underwater wedding packages.

From scuba club novelty to destination wedding trend, underwater nuptials have come a long way. Improved technology and remote tropical resorts have made underwater vows easier and more popular than ever. For adventurous couples, diving deep on their big day can create truly unforgettable memories.

Why Take the Plunge with an Underwater Wedding?

Underwater weddings offer a unique alternative to traditional ceremonies. But why might aquatic nuptials appeal to adventurous couples? From unforgettable backdrops to enhanced intimacy, there are many motivations for taking the plunge.

Underwater bride in Maldives

1. Create a Truly Memorable Experience

  • Exchange vows surrounded by vibrant sea life and coral formations for a dream-like atmosphere.
  • Have a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to start your marriage.
  • Get married “under the sea” just like Ariel and Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid.

2. Picturesque Underwater Photographs

  • Dramatic underwater backdrop sets you apart from land-based weddings.
  • Endless opportunities for creative, floating photography.
  • Vibrant marine life adds visual interest to wedding photos.

3. Next-Level Intimacy

  • Underwater settings feel more private and exclusive.
  • Being underwater together creates shared trust and bonding.
  • Filtering out distractions leaves focus on your connection.

4. The Excitement and Adventure

  • Experience a huge adrenaline rush during the dive.
  • Overcome challenges together for a sense of accomplishment.
  • Add an active, daring element versus just exchanging vows.

5. Showcase Your Shared Interest in Diving

  • Express your passion for scuba diving or snorkeling together.
  • Include friends/family who share your love of the ocean.
  • Learn new diving skills through certification courses.

Take your wedding to new depths by exchanging vows underwater. Creating unbreakable bonds beneath the waves is sure to bring you and your partner closer.

The Best Places To Take The Plunge For Your Underwater Wedding

Underwater weddings allow you to exchange vows against spectacular aquatic backdrops around the world. But what destinations offer the most iconic underwater wedding locations? From tropical atolls to Caribbean coves, here are top places to say “I do” beneath the deep blue sea:

Picture-Perfect Tropical Havens

  • Bora Bora – This French Polynesian island has transparent lagoons and overwater bungalow resorts ideal for underwater weddings.
  • Hawaii – Popular spots like Kealakekua Bay and Hanauma Bay offer rocky nooks and unbeatable visibility.
  • Maldives – Couples can choose from over 1,190 islands with bright reefs for their underwater ceremony backdrop.
  • Palau – Jellyfish Lake and other sites provide unique underwater scenery unlike anywhere else on Earth.
  • Galapagos Islands – From sea turtles to reef sharks, you’ll be surrounded by incredible marine life as you exchange vows.
Bora Bora Tahiti

Intimate Caribbean Settings

  • Jamaica – Montego Bay and Ocho Rios feature coves perfect for underwater weddings.
  • Turks and Caicos – Providenciales is renowned for remarkable wall diving spots to say your nuptials.
  • Cayman Islands – The island’s dramatic underwater walls create spectacular wedding ceremony settings.
  • Dominica – The clarity surrounding Champagne Reef and other sites is ideal for underwater vows.
  • Cozumel, Mexico – Marine parks like Palancar Reef and Columbia Reef are popular for underwater weddings.

Memorable U.S. Locations

  • Florida Keys – John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and Key Largo offer vibrant reefs.
  • Hawaii – Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island contain world-class underwater wedding venues.
  • La Jolla Cove, California – This protected marine area lets you exchange vows with leopard sharks.
  • Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida – Its fresh 72°F spring is perfect for underwater weddings.

Let your love run deep by choosing one of these stunning underwater wedding destinations around the globe. Start your married life surrounded by the wonder of the sea.

Navigating the Depths: Key Logistics for an Underwater Wedding

Underwater weddings offer an adventurous and breathtaking experience, but require careful planning and coordination. Here are key logistical aspects to consider when orchestrating your aquatic nuptials:

Securing an Underwater Officiant

  • Find an officiant with scuba certification willing to conduct the ceremony underwater.
  • Provide any necessary diving equipment and underwater communication devices.
  • Have the officiant practice maneuvering their scripts/materials underwater ahead of time.

Choosing an Underwater Photography Team

  • Hire an experienced underwater wedding photographer and videographer.
  • Inspect examples of their underwater work and equipment.
  • Have them scope out underwater sites beforehand to plan shots.
  • Consider supplemental above-water photographers/drones to capture more angles.

Selecting Attire for Underwater Mobility

  • Pick a lightweight wedding dress with minimal train that won’t balloon underwater.
  • Consider mermaid style dresses, barefoot sandals, securing a veil with combs.
  • Choose formal swim trunks or shorts for the groom, no jackets/shoes.
  • Add weights if needed to prevent outfits from floating up.

Handling Underwater Decorations

  • Attach flowers to wrists/gear so they don’t float away. Use silk/wood flowers.
  • Anchor decor items or marry them to sunken wrecks, reefs, etc.
  • Use glow items, underwater lighting to embellish the ceremony site.

Orchestrating Underwater Guest Viewing

  • Provide underwater cameras live-streaming the vows to guests above water on boats/shore.
  • Use clear bottom boats so guests can peer down at the ceremony.
  • Limit guests to close family/wedding party who can dive underwater.

Take the plunge with confidence by preparing for the unique logistics of underwater weddings. Then get ready for a truly memorable, magical day beneath the sea!

Plunging Into Costs: What to Budget for an Underwater Wedding

Underwater weddings deliver stunning aquatic backdrops for your nuptials, but also come with a higher price tag than traditional ceremonies.

Plunging Into Costs: What to Budget for an Underwater Wedding

Here are key expenses to account for when planning your underwater matrimony:

Venue Fees

  • Tropical underwater wedding destinations: $2,000 – $5,000
  • Domestic underwater venues: $1,000 – $3,000
  • Resort buyouts for exclusive offshore underwater sites: $10,000+


  • Underwater wedding photographer: $2,000 – $5,000
  • Underwater videographer: $2,000 – $5,000
  • Drone operator for aerial shots: $500 – $1,000

Scuba Diving Equipment Rentals

  • Bride/groom gear rental: $200 – $500 per person
  • Officiant gear: $200 – $300
  • Guest gear (if diving): $100 – $200 per person

Underwater Decor

  • Custom anchors for decor: $300 – $500
  • Underwater lighting rigs: $500 – $1,000
  • Waterproofing floral arrangements: $300 – $500

Travel Costs

  • Tropical underwater wedding destinations tend to be remote, increasing overall guest travel expenses.

Don’t let higher costs sink your underwater wedding dreams. Set your budget early and get creative reigning in expenses where possible. The unforgettable experience will be well worth it!

The Pros and Cons of Taking the Plunge with an Underwater Wedding

Underwater weddings provide an exotic setting for exchanging vows, but are they the right choice for your nuptials? Consider these key pros and cons before diving in:

Pros of Underwater Weddings

  • Unique, memorable experience unlike any land-based wedding.
  • Breathtaking underwater photographic opportunities with vibrant marine backdrops.
  • Increased intimacy being enveloped underwater away from distractions.
  • Excitement and adventure of including scuba diving on your big day.
  • Express your shared passion for the ocean if you’re both water-lovers.
Beautiful bride and groom lovely kiss underwater

Cons of Underwater Weddings

  • More complex logistical planning for an underwater setting.
  • Limited guest counts since many can’t scuba dive to join you underwater.
  • Potential safety risks like currents, marine life, drowning, decompression sickness.
  • Possibility of poor visibility, weather changes, or equipment issues ruining underwater plans.
  • Higher expenses associated with underwater photography, venues, and travel.
  • Restrictions on attire, decor, and overall wedding aesthetics.

The Takeaway:

For daring, aquatic-loving couples, the pros of unique memories and amazing photos outweigh the added challenges of underwater weddings. But they aren’t for everyone. Ensure this fits your wedding style before taking the plunge!

Underwater weddings trade off simplicity and guest accommodations for adventure. But they provide more privacy than busy beachfront weddings

Diving Into Your Big Day: Tips for Pulling Off a Smooth Underwater Wedding

Ready to take the plunge with an underwater wedding? Use these tips to ensure your aquatic nuptials go off without a hitch:

  • Start planning 12+ months in advance to secure your dream underwater wedding venue and vendors.
  • Hire an experienced dive team to coordinate underwater logistics like gear, safety, and maneuvering underwater.
  • Scout underwater sites in-person with your dive team to map out positioning, photo angles, etc.
  • Have backup plans for poor visibility, weather changes, or other interruptions forcing you above water.
  • Ensure you and your partner feel completely comfortable swimming, diving, and maneuvering underwater with gear. Complete any needed scuba certification/training.
  • Add above-water elements like drones, offshore patios, or clear-bottom boats to include non-diving guests.
  • Waterproof items like your dress, bouquet, makeup, vow scripts for smooth underwater functioning.
  • Account for underwater communication challenges by keeping vows/ceremony order simple. Use underwater slates or signals.
  • Take safety precautions like checking weather and water conditions, having rescue divers, and planning decompression stops.
  • Hire a great underwater photographer/videographer and do an underwater “first look” before the ceremony for ideal photo ops.

Planning an underwater wedding may feel like uncharted waters, but following these tips will have you smooth sailing on your big day beneath the sea!

What to Wear When Saying “I Do” Under the Sea

Your underwater wedding opens up a whole new world of attire considerations. Here’s how to dress for exchanging vows beneath the waves:

Bridal Attire

  • Simple, lightweight gowns without heavy fabrics that could billow up. Consider crepe, chiffon, or silk.
  • Mermaid, column, or sheath style dresses that won’t float upward.
  • Barefoot sandals or going barefoot to avoid cumbersome shoes.
  • Hair upswept or braided back to prevent covering your face underwater.
  • Waterproof makeup or minimal makeup to withstand immersion.
  • Weighted accessories like pearl hair combs to keep veil/train in place.
  • Jewelry secured with silicone rings or thread to prevent losing.

Groom Attire

  • Swim trunks or formal board shorts instead of a suit.
  • Rash guard shirt or bare chest. No flowing shirts that can blow upward.
  • No shoes, socks, belts, or ties that can float away.
  • Waterproof or minimal grooming products to maintain hairstyle.
  • Optional: Turn shirt/shorts into button-down wetsuit top for warmer water protection.

Scuba Gear Touches

  • Personalize gear with custom names, art, colors.
  • Decorative weighted belt for rings, flowers.
  • Matching scuba masks for the bride/groom.

True style has no boundaries – even underwater. Adorn yourself in attire perfect for plunging into marital bliss beneath the waves.

Plunge Into Your Own Underwater Wedding Adventure

Underwater weddings offer an entirely new world of options for adventurous couples looking to make their nuptials a truly unique and memorable experience. From picking the perfect aquatic location, handling logistics like photography and attire, to tips for smooth execution, this article covers everything you need to know to plan your own underwater matrimony.

An underwater wedding infuses your big day with levels of beauty, intimacy, and excitement land-based affairs can’t match. As you embark on tying the knot beneath the waves, remember to prioritize safety, communicate underwater challenges to your vendors, and swim through any nerves knowing you’re creating once-in-a-lifetime memories.

Have your own underwater wedding experience or insights to share? Reach out in the comments below! The lure of underwater romance continues calling couples to make the journey deep down the aisle. Take the plunge when you’re ready, and let the magic of saying “I do” underwater wash over you.

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