Couple has underwater wedding at Mall of America
Yesterday, Rongini Mukherjee and Steve Strohbeen began their life together as newlyweds in the most awesome way possible.
The couple was married last night underwater in the Atlantis exhibit in the Sea Life Aquarium at Mall of America.
"We started planning the wedding about a year ago," says Strohbeen, the groom. "We thought about doing a destination wedding, but we thought that's kind of unfair to people to make them spend all that money to go somewhere, so we decided this would be just as good."
Roughly 70 members of their family and friends attended the festivities, which were officiated by one of the couple's long-time friends. While the guests were stationed in the glass tunnel beneath the water, Rongini and Steve were joined in the tank by several sand tiger sharks, sawfish, and sea turtles, making this wedding way cooler than anything you'll see on Shark Week this month.
"Our parents weren't really too surprised when we told them," Strohbeen says. "They expected us to do something unique and different."
The ceremony itself lasted about 15 minutes, with the couple exchanging vows and rings while dressed in their wedding best -- along with masks, oxygen tanks, and flippers.
According to John Sullwold at Sea Life, this is only the second wedding to ever take place in the aquarium, with the last happening back in 2005.
Each week, Sea Life offers visitors the chance to dive into the tanks and swim with the aqua-life, though the idea of a full-blown wedding was something new to Sullwold.
"We were all for it," he says. "We knew it would take some planning, but we love being able to provide a unique experience that people can't get anywhere else."
In the ultimate example of sacrifice, Strohbeen says that taking the underwater plunge wasn't necessarily his first choice for a wedding.
"I'm terrified of water, and she's terrified of heights," he says. "So I convinced her to try base jumping and she got me to try scuba diving. I'm still terrified of water, but I can get myself to handle it."
While the wedding was anything but traditional, Strohbeen says the honeymoon may be more predictable than one might imagine.
"We'll probably go scuba diving somewhere," he laughs. "No, really."
Watch the video below.
Continue to the next page to see the bride's underwater encounter with a shark...
Video courtesy Sea Life Aquarium at Mall of America:
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