Thailand – Each Valentine’s Day, on the southern shore of Thailand’s Trang Province, hundreds of happy couples dressed in black-and-white tuxedos and flowing wedding gowns tie the knot – underwater.
Donning scuba gear and grabbing witnesses with similar outfits, these courageous soon-to-be mister and missus submerge 10 to 15 meters below the waters of the Indian Ocean to recite their vows, than sign the wedding registration below the waves.
Held at Pak Meng Beach in the city of Trang, the Trang Underwater Wedding Ceremony has grabbed international attention since its beginning in 1996.
The ceremony has landed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest wedding ceremony of its kind, has attracted participants from around the world, and helped put the city of Trang on the map.
In 2009, the Trang Underwater Wedding Ceremony will be held from February 13th through the 15th.
The adventure begins for many bridegrooms and brides at the Trang Airport. Afterwards the couples process around the city of Trang by ‘tuk tuk,’ as they’re heralded by marching bands, musical troupes, and decorated vehicles.
The next day, the couples are transported to the beach, where they change and head offshore to begin the traditional Thai-style marriage under the water.
In 2007 the world famous event opened to the LBGT community, granting the couples official “lovers” certificates instead of marriage certificates, as same sex marriages are not allowed under Thailand law.
Couples who decide to participate in the ceremony can expect to find in the Trang area some of Thailand’s most beautiful white-sand beaches, colorful coral reefs, lush rainforests, tropical islands, sea caves, and several National Parks. The area is an oasis for nature lovers. The city of Trang has many high-quality hotels and resorts to choose from, as well as night markets, clubs and bars.
For more information on the Trang Underwater Wedding Ceremony, visit the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) website at http://www.tatnews.org/events/events/feb/2328.asp?id=2328 . The TAT offers a unique 3-day/2-night package to the ceremony at 25,000 Baht per person. The package includes accommodation, meals and transportation.