For most couples, a wet wedding day would be nothing short of a disaster.
Not so for bride and groom Hiroyuki Yoshida (Japan) and Sandra Smith (USA) who shunned convention last year by setting a new world record for deepest underwater wedding.
The two diving instructors tied the knot at 130m (426ft 6.1in) below the surface in a cave at Song Hong Lake, Trang, Thailand last September.
Most weddings take a lot of planning and preparation, but few require six hard months of the sort of intensive training required by the couple to prepare them in their goal to reach the vertical depths for the attempt.
Hiroyuki showing off his new wedding ring to the camera
Alongside several inquisitive fish, the wedding party saw friend and fellow diving instructor Ben Reymenants act as Hiroyuki and Sandy’s ordained minister, while cave divers Pekka Hartikainen and Charles Hosner, acted as best man and second witness respectively (Charles also unofficially acted as Flower Girl!)
Taking eight minutes to reach what was top act as the alter for the wedding, while traditional dress of a white gown and suit understandably wasn’t observed by the happy couple, the ceremony was otherwise as you’d expect.
Hiroyuki and Sandy during the ascent after the ceremony
The most difficult part of the ceremony proved to be the ring exchange. One nervous slip of the fingers and the rings and the platinum rings would be lost for eternity so they were knotted into a safety spool clipped onto Pekka for safe transportation. Once at 130 metres, Pekka passed the end of the line off to Hiroyuki, unwinding Sandy’s ring tied into it.
With not a dry eye in the house as vows were exchanged, (not least because the gas mixture used by those taking part contained helium, meaning, Hiroyuki, Sandy and Ben’s voice was comically high pitched during the ceremony, causing them fits of laughter), the ring was slid over Sandy’s finger.
The happy couple, fresh out of the water with family and friends
She then pulled the line further out from the spool until Hiroyuki’s wedding band appeared, placed it on his finger, and finally Pekka cut the line free from both rings.
No wedding is complete without the groom kissing the bride, so despite being 130 meters underwater in a cave breathing off closed circuit rebreathers, there could be no exception for the newlyweds.
Once Ben directed Hiroyuki to kiss Sandy, the pair threw their breathing apparatus upwards and turned heads so their lips could meet for a truly breath-taking moment.
After 190 minutes underwater, Hiroyuki and Sandra broke the surface of the lake as Mr. and Mrs. Yoshida as well as world record holders and were greeted by cheers of family, friends and locals.
Married life looks set to continue in a similar fashion, with the pair planning a new dive challenge in 2014 in Indonesian around the depths of 80 meters and deeper.