A White County couple shed their wedding attire for scuba masks and oxygen tanks Sunday, as they commemorated their wedding with a scuba diving experience.
Jason and Laura Whiteman married Sunday beneath a waterfall in France Park. But the real splash came after the ceremony, as the couple had a scuba diving lesson in the lake with their wedding attendees swimming nearby.
Laura said both she and Jason love nature, and they chose scuba diving, because they wanted to have a shared new experience after their ceremony.
“We’re doing something together for the first time,” Laura said. “It’s kind of the first of many things that we’re going to do together.”
Because Jason had proposed to Laura under a waterfall in Williamsport, the couple decided to carry the water theme over to their ceremony in France Park. About 30 guests bore witness to the marriage under a waterfall and then had a reception lunch before taking off for the water.
Both nurses at Monticello Health Care, Laura and Jason said they had noticed each other at work, but took a while before agreeing to date. In fact, Jason said Laura turned him down at first, but later agreed to their first date of a motorcycle ride.
“We’re both very observant and quiet, so it took a little while for us to ask each other out,” Jason said.
Two years later, they were married and on another adventure.
Preparing for the dive, Laura and Jason zipped each other into wet suits and watched as their wedding guests splashed around in the water. Later, they slowly sank into the lake bearing oxygen tanks and scuba masks, with bubbles on the surface marking their progress.
Daelene Powers, co-owner of the Diving Den, said this is the first time her business — which she took over from Tom and Linda Stough in March — has had a wedding couple take the plunge.
“I thought what a wonderful, adventurous young couple,” Powers said.
Paul Whiteman, Jason’s brother, also said he thought it was a very unique experience.
“It’s really neat that they were able to do this as their first thing together,” Whiteman said.
Because it was also a first for the business, Powers said The Diving Den donated the cost of the experience.
Though Laura said she was scared at first to breathe underwater, she said she loved traveling around the lake and seeing small fish through the murky water.
“It was great,” she said.
And while she also hadn’t heard of a scuba diving wedding couple, Laura’s mother, Peggy Wisdom-Warfield, said she considered the experience fitting for a couple embarking on a new adventure.
“You’ve heard of people jumping out of planes on their wedding,” Wisdom-Warfield said. “They’re going scuba diving.”
• Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or firstname.lastname@example.org.