I have a confession to make: I wasn't invited to the Grotto Wedding. Morgan Rose told me about it the night before while we were at Saipan Singing Superstar and thus intrigued, I decided to invite myself. This seemed like a pretty unique Saipan experience, so I wanted to watch and maybe take some pictures.
The event was coordinated by Speedy Tertle, a local Russian dive shop. Being the good wedding planners/dive masters they are, they set up the whole wedding before the bride and groom arrived. The bride and groom just had to show up.
And they showed up wearing the most original tuxedo and wedding gown I have ever seen.
The whole event was videotaped by Mike Tripp, who just released an underwater video of Saipan's dive sites. He coordinated all the picture taking. The first round of picture taking was taken at the entrance to the Grotto. Of course, after taking pictures by themselves, the bride and groom had to take pictures with all of the Japanese tourists visiting the Grotto that day.
With those pictures out of the way, it was time for the happy couple to descend the 116 stairs to the bottom of the Saipan Grotto. Gosh, this would be so much easier with a monorail...
There is a big rock at the bottom of the Grotto. One just has to hop over a little dangerous part to get there. Falling into the water here really sucks, so they had some help from the divemaster.
Then it was time to get in the water and get married! The couple put on their SCUBA gear and jumped off the big rock into the water.
From this point on my pictures suck. On top of my lens fogging up almost immeadiately, I am really inexperienced using a strobe in a cave, so bear with me, please.
The couple didn't know that King Neptune would help them tie the knot. When they jumped in the water, King Neptune was already sitting at the bottom. He motioned them to follow him to the underwater chapel.
Yes, I said underwater chapel. Speedy Tertle had set up a chapel using dive weights, a bunch of those spagetti looking toys that people use when they swim in a pool, and fake flowers. It looked pretty cool, but sorry, no pictures.
You obviously can't talk while underwater, so everyone used gestures and laminated pre-printed text to perform the ceremony. The whole thing took only a few minutes, then they swam around the inside of the cave to take some pictures near the cave exits.
I really wish I wasn't such a novice with my strobe, then I might actually have some quality photos to share. Oh well, I'll put that on the list of things to do.
That was it. Just another fun day in Saipan.