Check out this couple’s UNDERWATER wedding at Lake Baikal! (PHOTOS + VIDEO)
A wedding dress over a wetsuit, complemented by a round âkhorovodâ dance – all in the water and freezing November temperatures!
It is -7 Â° C outside, the water in Lake Baikal is a little warmer at 4 Â° C. A bride in a blue summer dress over a wetsuit, complete with a veil, immerses herself with her groom. They swim in sync, like a pair of mermaids, before slowly resurfacing and circling in the water.
The newlyweds are actually a pair of freedivers from Irkutsk – Natalya Chernykh, 49, and Dmitry Sokolov, 50.
Natalya is the Freediving Champion of the Irkutsk Region in 2019 and Krasnoyarsk Krai in 2020. Dmitry is Russia’s breaststroke silver medalist in 2019 and also has a Masters Degree in Freediving Sports Qualification. He also achieved the Guinness World Record, as well as the regional record, after diving to a depth of 100 meters under the ice without a tank of oxygen.
Dmitry and Natalya met in April 2018 during a pool-based masterclass on spearfishing, where Dmitry noticed Natalya’s athleticism: she had been swimming since she was nine, before switching to fast diving. and underwater orientation. After class he asked her if she wanted to try freediving.
“I thought to myself: why would I want something like this? I am 45 years old, my child is seven years old, he needs my attention. Why train three times a week, going from Angarsk to Irkutsk, which is 40 km by car? Dmitry had to persuade me over the phone several times before I finally decided to take introductory training, ârecalls Natalya.
As someone who enjoys trying new things, she agreed and the two have been together ever since, gradually starting to date. And, in 2020, Dmitry proposed.
âHe suggested that we meet for a walk on an embankment in Angarsk. We have a designer tree there that young people use to hang locks. Dmitry knelt under the tree and opened a box with a ring. It was a total surprise, ârecalls Natalya.
The couple tied the knot in November 2021, holding a regular wedding ceremony; then, a month later, they went over everything underwater (which they had originally planned to do).
Ten freedivers immersed themselves in the depths of Baikal with the newlyweds, circling them in the traditional way of khorovods, dressed in summer dresses. According to a predetermined scenario, the couple waited for the order to dive, before circling clockwise, while the rest of the freedivers swam circles counterclockwise. around them. Natalya’s wedding dress did not match the 9mm thick jumpsuit, so she had to wear a loose summer dress and a wedding veil.
âIt looks so ridiculous on land, but really beautiful in the water,â she said. âAlthough the veil kept coming off and disappearing into the water. Dima had to dive in and retrieve it several times, reattaching it to my mask.
According to her, some of the guests kept losing their skirts and frequently ran out of steam during the long underwater parts of the ceremony, so it was difficult to achieve full synchronization.
Once the diving part was over, part of the group went swimming to the Shaman’s Rock, a protected area of ââBaikal. The couple then proceeded to the banya, before joining the guests after their swim for a barbecue and a cake.
âOverall, it played out quite spontaneously. While the ceremony on land required careful planning, the water-based one felt more like a fun rehearsal – it would be nicer to have the underwater part in the summer …
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