select - underwater weddings
Written by Brian Johnston Illustration by Marion Vitus
These days, themed weddings are all the rage, and we reckon tying the knot underwater suits not only scuba diving enthusiasts, but anyone seeking the most unusual of romantic surroundings among coral, colourful fish, and balmy tropical waters.
Bali has long been renowned for its beautiful scenery and romantic atmosphere. Now, underwater weddings are of-fered for both certified and non-certified divers alike – though the inexperienced can only tie the knot at the bottom of a swimming pool. For experienced divers, though, wedding packages include an underwater exchange of rings and vows, a champagne picnic onboard the diving boat, and underwater video of the big event.
This beloved tourist destination has long been an island of romance and escape.
Dive companies based in Sanur on Bali’s southeast coast arrange underwater weddings.
HOW TO GET THERE
Qatar Airways has daily flights to Bali via Singapore.
Given the reputation of the Maldives for islands that offer the ultimate in romance, luxury resorts, and natural beauty, it’s no surprise that wedding packages here come in all varieties. Weddings on the beach may be popular, but under-water ceremonies are available too, with several resorts offering packages that include sailing and diving as part of the experience. Among them, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island’s underwater wedding is arranged in the middle of a beautiful coral reef, surrounded by a bedazzlement of multicoloured fish. Spa treatments, a ‘hammock of love’, a pri-vate beach dinner, and a cruise on a traditional dhoni are also part of the experience. And at Angsana Ihuru, spa treatments, sailing on a catamaran, and underwater photography are also offered. Newlyweds can also enjoy canapйs sip and a drink and on a cruise as the sun sets.
For islands renowned for romance, sunsets, and scintillating blue sea, where better to get married?
Angsana Ihuru is on North Malй Atoll just 20 minutes by boat from the capital; Rangali Island is a 30-minute flight.
HOW TO GET THERE
Qatar Airways has daily non-stop flights to the Maldives from Doha.
Trang Province on the sparkling Andaman Sea in the far south of Thailand is luring adventurous brides and grooms to marry under water, with Valentine’s Day events held each year on beautiful Pak Meng Beach and the offshore coral reefs that dot the region. Some 30 couples usually participate, and enjoy a flower-filled procession by traditional long-tailed boats to offshore Kradan Island for the wedding itself, which is held some 12m below the crystal-clear waters. Diver’s sign language is used for the legally binding ceremony, and waterproof pens are on hand to sign the marriage certificate beneath the waves – even if kissing the bride may be difficult in a full diving mask. The romantic event is now listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest underwater wedding ceremony in the world.
Turn your wedding into an event in which an entire town – and some 30 couples – participate.
Trang Province lies on the western coast of Thailand, close to the border with Malaysia.
HOW TO GET THERE
Qatar Airways has twice-daily flights to Bangkok from Doha.