The July 17 wedding of a couple in Playa del Carman, Mexico, should make a big splash -- both literally and figuratively.
That’s because the ceremony is taking place underwater and the couple hopes there are enough water-logged well wishers to break the current Guinness World Record of 261 divers.
Alberto Dal Lago, 41, and Karla Ysunza, 43, decided to take the big plunge in order to express their love both for each other and the ocean.
“We always knew this was the only way our wedding could happen since we are both ocean-lovers,” Ysunza told HuffPost Weird News. “For us, expressing our love in the ocean and to the ocean is the only way we can get married.”
Plus, as a bride, Ysunza sees other advantages of having a white wedding in the briny blue. She joked, “The advantage of this wedding is that the groom will not be able to back down or run away."
Some couples meet by chance or through friends or family, but Ysunza and Dal Lago say they have bull sharks to credit for bringing them together. Dal Lago is the scuba diver instructor at a hotel in Playa Del Carmen and he met Ysunza while she was swimming near a group of the creatures.
“I was diving in an area where all the bull sharks are when I suddenly looked up and saw a special woman,” he said. ”I wanted to meet her and learn why she was swimming with the bull sharks. So I went up to her to chat and asked her to meet me at the beach.”
The connection was pretty immediate, according to Ysunza, who spends her time out of the water working in real estate and takes care of her kids from an earlier relationship. She said Dal Lago popped the question hours after they met.
“It actually happened the first night we met, at a bar,” she recalled. “We were talking about everything and suddenly he kneeled and said to me, ‘You are the woman of my dreams that I have been searching for. Will you marry me?’”
Dal Lago says his attraction was immediate.
“I was listening to her on the first night we went out and I knew she was the one, so I proposed to her at the bar,” he said. “I knew since day one that she was the woman of my dreams!”
Ysunza concurs, saying she loves Dal Lago’s eyes, love of the ocean and sharks, sense of humor and heart.
But pulling off the wedding of their dreams was harder to achieve: Dal Lago insisted they do it underwater, which required Ysunza to learn to dive.
“I knew that she didn’t know how to dive, so I told her that the only way would be diving,” he said. “So she learned how to dive and loved it! Besides the fact that we both love the ocean and the sharks made us dream of a wedding underwater surrounded by sharks.”
Judge Jorge Denis, head of the local Civil Registry of Solidarity, is officiating and recently took a dive certification course along with his secretary in order to perform the underwater wedding.
Instead of reading the traditional wedding vows to make the marriage official, the judge will use a laminated flip chart, where the dialogue will be written according to civil laws, and the key question of whether or not they agree to unite their lives will be asked.
Sadly, Ysunza’s parents won’t be able to see their bride scuba down the aisle, and will have to settle for attending a reception at a nearby beach club after the ceremony.
“[My parents] are not getting certified,” she said. “My mother has heart disease and my dad doesn’t want to leave her alone.”
However, she says they aren’t surprised she is getting married in such an unusual manner.
“My family is used to me doing these types of things,” she said, laughing.
Dal Lago admits that his parents aren’t quite as supportive.
“My mother does not agree that we are having our wedding this way, but it’s our wedding,” he said.
There are at least 160 other divers confirmed to attend the wedding, which will be held 21 feet below sea level. However, the couple will need more if they want to get in the Guinness Book of World Records. The record for largest underwater wedding was set on June 12, 2010, when 261 divers took part in the marriage ceremony of Francesca Colombi and Giampiero Giannoccaro off the coast of Elba Island, Italy. So, the couple is inviting any certified diver nearby to participate, provided they bring their own equipment.
Because of the unusual setting there are other adjustments to the traditional ceremony -- for instance, they won’t be feeding each other wedding cake. At least, not underwater.
“We will not feed the fishes or anything that will affect their ecosystem,” Dal Lago said.
As far as the tradition wedding dress? Ysunza is keeping her options open for now.
“Who said I’m not wearing a white wedding dress? Surprise, surprise!!” she said.
A wedding is supposed to be a great day in a couple’s life and Dal Lago and Ysunza hope breaking the record sends a message that even is greater than their love for each other.
Ysunza said, “For me, it is important to have a Guiness World Record since it’s an excellent platform to show the world that Mexico is also a great society that cares about the ocean."
Dal Lago agreed: “The Guinness World Record [will represent] the unity of many people that believe the same things we do and are all concerned about the preservation of bull sharks and our oceans."