July 13, 2009

Scuba shop to offer underwater weddings

A Florida scuba shop says it is seeking pastors, priests, rabbis and other religious officials for its latest promotion -- underwater weddings.

Pro Dive International of Fort Lauderdale said it is recruiting clergy members for its first underwater weddings to be conducted within the next few months, The Miami Herald reported Monday.

Debbi Ballard, 47, a Jewish cantor, said her training with the scuba shop involved use of a mask with a microphone that would allow her to communicate with a bride and groom while guests listen and watch a video link from a boat.

Reform Rabbi Barry Silver of L'Dor Va-Dor congregation in Boynton Beach, Fla., said the ceremonies could be legal under Jewish law provided certain traditions are kept intact.

Ballard said the company has a system that would allow the groom to smash a light bulb -- a common substitute for the traditional wrapped glass -- with his flipper and special cups give the bride and groom the opportunity to sip wine during the ceremony.

Pro Dive owner Doug Huberman said underwater wedding packages start at about $1,500. Huberman said he and his wife will be among the first to renew their vows under water.