Sept. 14, 2003 – A St. Croix couple took the plunge Saturday when, joined by 103 of their closest friends and family, they exchanged watery vows and became wedded beneath the waves in 10 feet of water off the shore of the Rainbow Beach Club in Frederiksted.
The groom, John Santino, and the bride, Toni Wilson, will now share not only their lives together, but also a place in the "Guinness Book of World Records" for having the largest underwater wedding in history.
Santino, manager of St. Croix Ultimate Bluewater Adventures, taught his bride to scuba dive just over a year ago and she seems to have taken to the sport like — well, like a duck to water. It was Wilson, after all, who came up with the idea to hold their ceremony under water, according to a release from from Ed Buckley, owner of SCUBA.
Not being able to speak their vows aloud might have deterred some couples, but Santino and Wilson were determined to have their watery wedding and created a series of laminated cards they used in place of spoken words.
Captain John "Big Beard" Macy officiated at the ceremony, which was the first of the 738 weddings he's performed over the years to take place in the sand of the ocean floor.
Buckley, who helped organize the event, said in the release that "the most important thing to us was that John and Toni became married, setting a Guinness record was a wonderful extra."
The couple also created a waterproof register to hold the 103 signatures of family members, friends and well-wishers who attended the salty affair. Although the happy pair are now blissfully and legally married, their world record won't become official until Guinness officials have had a chance to look over documents and videotape which will be sent to the organization next week.
The previous record in which 39 people were involved in an underwater wedding was set on April 12, 2001, in Key Largo, Fla.
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