Did you know that each Valentine’s Day in Thailand a mass Underwater Wedding Ceremony is held in Trang province? The event even has an entry in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s “largest underwater wedding ceremony”.
For over two decades this remarkable event, which combines traditional Buddhist wedding rituals with an extraordinary setting, brings together 30 couples (from Thailand and around the world) to the beautiful island of Koh Kradan. To join the underwater ceremony, couples need to have a scuba diving license, or they can opt to take a short two-day diving course provided by the organizers and receive a limited time scuba diving certificate (it expires after 15 days). This course obviously takes place a few days before the ceremony.
The dive takes place in the open ocean, near one of Trang Province’s massive limestone karsts, with a sunken platform providing an altar and the brides and grooms dressed in their underwater wedding gear. Couples descend via guide ropes to a depth of 12-15 metres where they meet with the district officer who will witness and approve their marriage certificate. Meanwhile a squad of camera-equipped divers hover over the scene capturing all the action.
Apart from the main event below the surface, there are street parades, parties, lavish dinners, fireworks, civic receptions, and media events to commemorate this annual tradition. For two full days the lucky couples chosen to take part are run through this barrage of attention—waving, smiling, and posing for many a photo.