A Scuba Diver’s Dream Wedding

How to Get Married on your Surface Interval

For me and the underwater world it was love at first sight… that is until I met my husband Joey. We had been dating for two wonderful years before he decided to pop the question in the most unconventional way.

Scuba Engagement Post Dive

An Engagement at the Bottom of the Ocean

The timing could not have been better. My parents and his parents happened to be visiting us at the same time in Halifax. I guess that’s why Joey was so hell bent on going out scuba diving… in April. But what’s a little cold when you get to spend time underwater with the fish.

Early in the week Joey and I organized a weekend scuba diving adventure with my dad and some close friends. Given that Joey was the man behind the mission, you can imagine my disappointment when he came down with a “sinus cold” the day before our planned dive. If we hadn’t done so much planning with all of our dive friends I definitely would have saved myself the frostbite.

Paddy's Head Dive Site

Leaving “poor sick” Joey behind with his parents, my mom, dad and I picked up the rest of the scuba troops. I didn’t notice it at the time but they took A LONG time to get ready and get their gear in the car. Once at the dive site we suited up in gut wrenching anticipation of how cold the water was going to be, my mom, who is not a diver, stayed behind as shore support.

As we swam through the icy waters of the Canadian north Atlantic, a wooden treasure chest and diver silhouette materialized out of the blue. I could instantly tell from the gopro on his head that it was Joey. I flipped the latch on the wooden treasure chest in front of him and out popped this huge plastic diamond ring, almost beaming me in the face. In that moment at 20 feet underwater he pulled open a sign that said:

Of all the fish in the sea you are the only one for me. Will you marry me Alisha? Love Joey”

The perfect man proposing in the perfect place. It was the most breathtaking tear-up-in-my-mask moments of my life.

Joey and Ali Wedding Proposal

Diving into that Dream Wedding

Now that you’ve reeled in that perfect catch it’s time to start planning that perfect scuba diver themed wedding. Here is some inspirational ideas from our big day:

Picking out a Fintastic Colour Scheme

Picking the right wedding colour scheme can be tricky business. There are about as many colours as fish in the sea. The first obvious choice is blue – just like the ocean. One of the most practical things about the primary color blue is that generally speaking it looks good on everybody.

We choose a nice rich malibu blue with a side of orange (because Joey is Dutch) and a splash of red (just like the dive flag). It all went together very nicely!

Mr. Whiskers All Dressed Up For The Big Wedding Day

Don’t:
  • Just feel like you need to pick blue because that it’s the colour of water, there are also plenty of beautiful ocean themed weddings that have used shades of green and purple. Make sure it’s a colour you like.
  • Pick too many different colours (unless they are different shades of the same colour) it can sometimes get way to busy.
Turtley Radical Save the Dates

Go the traditional route with your save the dates and send out some snail mail OR embrace the technological era and code an elegant website to send to all those special people in your life. Think of catchy one liner such as; “We’re taking the Plunge” or “Diving into Marriage”, instead of the classic “Save the Date”. Given Joey’s background as a nerdy web developer we went the website route.

Ocean Wedding Save The Date

The Otterly Perfect Location

As a scuba diver at heart you are going to want an outdoor venue near the water. Keep your eyes open for boat clubs, resorts, beaches and banquet halls with gazebos and lots of waterside space for your ceremony and/or recital.

We had our wedding at a sensational banquet hall that enabled us to have an outdoor ceremony and photoshoot but then head inside for dinner and dancing. It was a good thing we went the banquet hall route as opposed to a full on outdoor wedding because it rained like crazy on our wedding day clearing up just enough for a dry ceremony and photo session.

Wedding Heart On The Beach

Wedding Invitations with a Seal of Approval

After you’ve nailed down the date, time and location it’s time to start thinking about your wedding invitations. Are you looking to purchase them pre fabricated or are you going to make them yourself? How many guest are you planning on inviting?

If you’re a crafty cat with lots of scrapbooking supplies, you might want to save a little dough and make the invites yourself. There are a lot of great looking ocean stamps and embossing stencils out there for that unique invitation look you are craving.

Scuba Wedding Invitation

Things to Keep in Mind:
  • Get lots of extra’s; stickers, ribbon, papers, envelopes of a certain colour… You want to err on the side of more as opposed to less in case you make mistakes. There is nothing worse than running out of the right coloured paper and finding out they discontinued making that brand.
  • Make spare invitations. You don’t want to be putting together invitations at the last minute when you realize you forgot to add someone to the guest list. Overshoot your estimated number by 10-15 invites and you will be golden.
A Dress Fit for a Scuba Princess

Most people would immediately think mermaid style dress for a scuba themed wedding. This mermaid opted instead for a A-line flowy dress with loose ruffles that give the allure of wispy waves in the sea. To add a nice oceany kick I spiced up the underside of my dress with ocean blue crinoline. It was the best of both worlds, I had an elegantly white dress at first glance but as I walked and lifted the side of my dress the flashes of blue made their appearance.

Ali And Her Sea Shell Bouquet

The Bridal Party Shaking The Brides Dress

Don’t:
  • Use a crinoline colour that is too dark or it will show up through your wedding dress.
  • Wait to get your wedding shoes, you’ll want them for the dress alterations.
  • Forget to get that dress bustled, especially if you are having an outdoor wedding.
Wedding Shoes that Would Make Cinderella Jelly

Unless your getting married underwater (props to you if you are) wearing your scuba fins on your big wedding day is not really an option. Trust me I was having a hard time finding shoes and considered it.

Ali Putting On Her Shoes

Getting your hands on shoes that you will last in during the wedding ceremony and reception can be almost as challenging as finding that perfect dress. I had really hoped to find blue shoes that matched with my bridesmaids dresses but the task proved impossible. Instead I found this wicked pair of sparkly silver shoes that I made my own by painting a dive heart on the sole.

Ali Dive Flag Wedding Shoes

The Bridal Bouquet from the Bottom of the Sea

She sells sea shells by the sea shore… Instead of going with a floral bridal bouquet, set your wedding bouquet apart by using intricately decorated sea shells. I used a huge starfish as the main part of my bouquet and filled the areas around the arms with shells and pearl like beads. My bridesmaids got smaller bouquets with mostly scallop shells in a sand filled wine glass so they could put it down without breaking the shells during dinner.

The Starfish Bridal Bouquet

Bridesmaid Shell Bouquet

Things to Keep in Mind:
  • Make sure to use strong wiring and lots of colourful crinoline filling because seashells are not as malleable as flowers. You don’t want to end up with empty spaces in your bouquet.
  • The seashell bouquet will be a lot heavier than your traditional flower bouquet so make sure those muscles are nice and strong.
  • You will want to make an extra bouquet (this one out of flowers) for the classic bouquet toss. Leave it under the head table or with the DJ so that you can quickly substitute when it’s time.
A So-fish-ticated Ring Box

Instead of giving the wedding bands to the best man, find a small cousin or nephew to be the ring bearer and/or flower girls. You can have lots of fun deciding on their outfits for the wedding party and giving them fun beach props to carry down the aisle during the ceremony.

Flower Girls Dancing

We used the treasure chest from our engagement as our ring box. I had my mom help me make a beautiful pillow to place inside. Our flower girls carried some orange beach lanterns.

The Ring Chest

Wedding Accessories that are Krilling It

Once you take care of all the big wedding things, it’s time to step back and start thinking about some of the finer details. Let’s talk scuba wedding accessories:

Joey's Wedding Accessories

The world is your oyster when it comes to your hubby-to-be’s wedding swag. If you can dream it you can find it out shopping or on the internet. Why not get some cufflinks in the shape of dive flags. The red looks so nice against a white shirt or the black of a suit.

If your man is in need of a completely new suit and your feeling daring, you can get it scuba customized with a jellyfish liner and funny embroidered line of text.

For the groom, groomsman and fathers make their boutonnieres out of seashells or fake coral. It will match so well with the girls shell bouquets.

Joey With Scuba Diving Cufflinks

Joey's Shoes, Cufflinks, Bow Tie And Suspenders

The Jellyfish Inside Of Joey's Suit Jacket

Men's Coral Ocean Boutonniere

Whatever accessories you decide to get for your man, let your imagination run wild and free.

Ali's Wedding Accessories

Time to frost yourself and your maids in some serious bling for your wedding day. From hairpieces and earrings to bridal veils and garters, leave no stone unturned when your accessorizing yourself and your lovely ladies. Become the bridal siren you always dreamed of being with some of these beach treasures:

Nadine And Her Seahorse Bracelet

Ali's Starfish Earrings

Ali's Hair Piece

A Mermaid’s Wedding Vows to her Merman

What girls hasn’t seen Channing Tatum in The Vow and had her heart melt as he recites his wedding vows to Rachel McAdams. That moment never ceases to take my breath away no matter how many times I watch and rewatch the movie. In my mind those vows are the embodiment of perfection. While we may not all be able to come up with such perfectly concocted lines, something that’s bound to get you cuteness points, is if you theme your vows after the ocean.

Joey And Ali Ocean Wedding Vows

A Tide Turning Seating Chart

Oh buoy (pun intended)!!! The seating chart is every bride-to-be’s worst nightmare. Cousins with cousins, friends with friends, but what to do with the long lost relatives three times removed? Regardless of where you seat people you are bound to float some smiles on peoples faces with this hanging buoy seating chart.

Decorate around your seating chart with colorful glass bottles and maybe even a vintage scuba diving helmet.

If your handy at wood working make yourself and your new hubby a custom scuba Mr. and Mrs. head table seating tag. My talented dad crafted this up for us:

Mr And Mrs Scuba Signs

Wedding Seating Chart Buoys
Where will you Drop Anchor Seating Sign
Bottles and Scuba Helmet Decor
Table Names and Centerpieces with a Porpoise

There are so many interesting idea’s out there when it comes to table numbers and centerpieces. Joey and I pretty much sold ourselves on what we would do for our wedding centrepieces early on; fishbowls recreating all the dive sites that we have done together. It was a very laborious task but so rewarding once completed. In total we had 14 tables in which we recreated some reef dives, lake dives, wreck dives and even our recent dive in Iceland’s Silfra fissure that we had done together.

Wedding Center Pieces

Beside the fishbowls, instead of going with plain old table numbers, we decided to make our own dive flags with the name of each dive site printed across the white stripe.

Things to Keep in Mind:
  • How will the flag stand up? We used cement in the bottom of each seashell so it would be strong enough to stay upright
  • How big are the tables? We had a few things to put in the centre of the table and it was important to make sure we had enough room. We didn’t want to overcrowd the guests
  • What colour is your tablecloth? You don’t want your centerpieces to get lost in the colour of your tablecloths. If you are going to do something busy like this, stick to a plain white tablecloth.

Ali Getting The Table Names Ready

A Jawsome Gift Table

Rope your gift table into the whole ocean theme of your wedding by decorating with seashells and lights.

On top of the decore Joey and I also decided to make our card box out of a lobster trap. The only modification we needed to add to the trap was a handle for guests to open the top and deposit their cards.

Lobster Trap Card Cage

A Clamtastic Cake

Red velvet, vanilla, pistachio, pink champagne… Bakeries are getting pretty creative when it comes to wedding cakes. Find a flavour that tickles your taste buds and get it creatively wrapped in fondant and decor. There are so many great cake ideas of oceanic proportions out on the web you’ll certainly find something you adore.

Don’t Forget:

To make sure everyone got to enjoy wedding cake for dessert Joey and I ordered an extra mini cake that was gluten free, peanut free and dairy free for all those guests with allergies. Cost wise it was a little extra, but it went a long way in making sure all our guests needs were met.

Starfish Wedding Cake

My favorite part of the wedding planning was fins down the cake tasting. Joey and I agreed on a four tiered vanilla and strawberry filled cake with the top layer flavoured as carrot cake to save for our first anniversary.

We wanted to keep our cake looking chic so it was iced in plain white and decorated with small perfectly crafted starfish in various shades of blue and orange. To top it off my dad helped us put together the most adorable scuba diver bride and groom cake topper. Both scuba divers were Christmas ornaments that we drilled and anchored with a metal rod onto a thin round plexiglass base. I even added a miniature veil to the girl figurine.

Scuba Diver Cake Toppers

Ocean Themed Props for a Beachin’ Photo Booth

Having a photo booth at your wedding is always a fun idea. It is so entertaining for guests during the cocktail and reception hour, it allows people to take home a funny photostrip memory of the night and it’s a great way to incorporate your guestbook into a visual memorabilia of that big day.

Ocean Themed Guest Book

Bring a little scuba flair into your photobooth by making sure you have some ocean themed props for the taking. Guests will love to frolic with the fishes in front of the camera.

Ocean Themed Photobooth Props

Dolphinately Don’t Forget the Late Night Snacks

It’s not enough anymore to only host a wedding dinner and reception. Society has slowly increased the wedding standards to cocktails, appetizers, dinner and finally the late night snack table. Some wedding couples go the savory route with pizza’s, meatballs and an assortment of other hot and cold finger food. Others, like us, decide to have a sweet table. The wedding candy bar is every guest’s favorite indulgence and worst nightmare. Jars and jars of unsupervised candy, chocolate and cookies just sitting there waiting to meet your mouth.

Candy Table Food at Ocean Ali and Joey's Ocean Wedding

Give your late night candy bar a wave of excitement by finding whale shaped candies or better yet making these uber cool sand dollar cookies.

Candy Table Sand Dollar Cookies

Planning a wedding is no easy feat. Our big day took months and months of preparation and we could never have done it without our family’s help. The crazy amount of preparation actually reminded me a lot of scuba diving. Any diver can attest that you spend more time preparing for your dive (i.e. getting your camera ready, assembling all the gear, setting your tank up, suiting up in your wetsuit…) than actually being underwater. I guess my scuba diving lifestyle had prepared me for this day, a day that required a heap tone of preparation for a short but absolutely amazing reward.

Joey and Ali Scuba Wedding Sprinkles

I am the luckiest girl on the planet to be o-fish-cially married to my dive buddy for life!

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