Weddings
The 90-minute wedding took place at Grove Beach in Kerala.

Dressed in a white wedding gown, 23-year-old Eunika stood staring at the vast Arabian Sea before her at Grove Beach in Kerala’s Kovalam.

Wearing a diving gear over her gown, she stood at the beach, clutching a red rose bouquet tightly in her hand. Hand-in-hand with her fiancé Nikhil Pawar, they took the plunge into the deep blue sea. 

(Photo by Sreekesh Raveendran Nair)

On Thursday, Grove Beach was witness to the first underwater wedding in the country. The organizers say that though underwater weddings are popular in the West and the concept of underwater weddings in India remain limited to them conducted in a swimming pool, this one is the first ever wedding held in the sea. 

Slovakian national Eunika Pogran and Maharashtrian Nikhil Pawar’s wedding ceremony played out nearly 4 meters underwater. 

For Nikhil, who is a diving instructor at Bond Ocean Safari in Kovalam, coming up with the idea of an underwater wedding was instinctive. 

The wedding that lasted for about an hour-and-a-half, was organized by Bond Ocean Safari, who provide diving services to tourists.

Jackson, managing partner of the firm told TNM that a special platform made of coconut palms, wood and leaves was built over the ocean for the bridal party of 10.

With the ocean and the corals as witnesses, the wedding saw a friend double up as a priest to bless the happy couple. The wedding ceremonies were held in accordance with Christian rituals, with the bride and groom taking their vows by holding up placards.  

After exchanging rings and garlands made of sea shells, the priest then held up a placard, which read "You may now kiss the bride". On cue, Eunika and Nikhil took off their mouthpieces and kissed each other. 

Eunika, a graduate in political science, met Nikhil a few months ago in Kovalam. But their wedding was not the only special event that took place under water. Last Monday, when the couple went on a routine dive, Nikhil pulled out a placard with "Will you marry me" written on it.

Prior to the actual wedding, the couple underwent a two-day training for scuba diving and breath-control. 

According to the organizers, no special permission is required to conduct an underwater wedding, since it is "nothing but scuba diving". 

(Photo by Sreekesh Raveendran Nair)

Speaking to TNM over phone, Nikhil said that the couple will get married in a formal ceremony in Slovakia in a few weeks. 

"We have always wanted to do something interesting for our wedding and Eunika readily agreed when I proposed the idea of an underwater wedding. Being a regular traveler and a diving enthusiast, she quickly learnt everything and found no issues underwater. After we first met seven months ago in Kovalam, she went back to her hometown and returned a month ago. Wedding was not in the plan then, but since we were confident of taking our relationship to the next level, we decided to take the plunge," Nikhil smiles.