WATCH: St Lucia’s first-ever underwater wedding
St Lucia’s beautiful waters served as the location of a wedding for the first time ever on Thursday, September 12, 2019.
Diving enthusiasts Julie Gilchrist and her now-husband Sean Gillian, who are from Ontario, Canada, were married underwater at Royalton Saint Lucia during St Lucia’s third annual Dive Fest festivities.
The bride spoke with Travel Pulse Canada ahead of the special day saying, "Saint Lucia is one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. We had attended the wedding of some dear friends in Saint Lucia in 2017. My fiance Sean completed his open water check out dives during that trip, as well. When I attended the second annual Dive Fest FAM last year, the Saint Lucia Tourism Board and I started talking about the idea of holding the wedding underwater.
Between the friendships we've made, the spectacular diving, and the romantic time that we have shared in Saint Lucia together, it made complete sense to celebrate our love for each other and get married there.”
Tourism minister Dominic Fedee had previously posted to Facebook, "Adding to Saint Lucia’s prominence as a romance destination, a highlight of the 2019 festival will be an underwater wedding by a returning travel agent and her partner, who participated in the 2018 edition of DiveFest and is inspired by Saint Lucia. This will follow with their destination wedding, which will also welcome their family and friends from the USA."
St Lucian company Eastern Carribean Diving facilitated the wedding.
The wedding was officiated by skilled diver attached to Ti Kaye Resort, Lesta Lawrenson. This was his first underwater wedding.
The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) promotes the exploration of Saint Lucia’s underwater flora and fauna as another niche offering, in addition to the niche markets of romance, adventure, family, and health and wellness. DiveFest also includes an underwater treasure hunt, a lionfish derby, photo seminar and competition, themed dinners, and island tours.
Lawrenson said the event is popular with diving enthusiasts and beginners alike.
“Every year during DiveFest we get an influx of beginner divers—people who have never done it before, and they get hooked. We also have many who start the course at home and then visit Saint Lucia to enjoy the reefs and get certified.