In May 2015 I received the loveliest request from Christian to help him plan an underwater proposal in Roatan, Honduras. Having been a scuba diving instructor there previously, I could not have been more excited to get involved with this scuba diving proposal.
There are a few things you need to get in order to have a perfect scuba diving proposal. The first is a dive shop that’s willing to help. In this case, both Coconut Tree Divers (my home shop) in West End and Infinity Divers in West Bay stepped up to the plate! The sign was made in Tegucigulpa but, to be honest, you could have your instructor write it on a underwater board for you and present that instead (although that sign is freakin’ amazing).
(If you are brand new divers, please discuss those limitations with your instructor. The excitement of a proposal coupled with the average diving risks mean you’ll need to be just a little bit more careful)
In any case, just over a year later and these two lovebirds are already hitched!
Here’s their love story as told by Christian himself…
“Love at first sight” –it’s probably the most over used phrase couples jokingly use to describe their first encounter. I am a very lucky man to be able to say those words and truly mean them.
When I saw my wife for the first time it was when I was serving as a missionary volunteer in the largest public hospital in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. She was a final year pediatric resident making round in the neonatal intensive care unit where I was filming footage for a documentary.
While filming I noticed her through my camera lens. I was fascinated with the passion she displayed for each one of the newborns in her care. She lit up as she attended to each and every one of the babies fighting for survival. She had a glow about her – maybe intensified by the fact that I thought she was the most beautiful woman I had ever laid eyes on! She had a bubbly personality, long dark hair, a knock-out smile and Angelina Jolie lips.
I was so intimidated by her beauty that I didn’t even speak to her the first, second, third or even fourth time I saw her. But every time I would travel back to Honduras to serve in the hospital, I would go hoping to see her again. It wasn’t until my fifth trip to Honduras in September of 2014 that a mutual friend of ours arranged a blind date.
Now, I want to make it clear that I had never been a believer in blind dates and had never previously agreed to go on one but this was an extraordinary exception that I willingly agreed to. I was finally going to get to meet the girl who had brought joy into my life without either of us ever even uttering a word to each other.
Our first date was in a coffee house restaurant in Tegucigalpa. Although I only knew very limited Spanish and my wife spoke only basic English (at best) and we could only communicate through hand gestures and Google translations – it was a magical night.
In spite of the fact that I was scheduled to return to the United States the very next day, we decided to keep in touch. “Keeping in touch” turned out to be constant communication, (via Skype, Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, and Viber) and multiple visits back and forth between Honduras and the United States for both us. We were crazy about each other.
In 2015, I moved to Honduras to volunteer full time for the not-for-profit organization I co- founded in 2013. During this time I lived a majority of the time at my (now) mother-in-law’s home. I was totally immersed into the Honduran culture and was embracing the time I was able to spend with my (now) wife.
In April of 2015 we planned a trip to Roatan (Bay Island), Honduras to enjoy a weekend together. By this time, I knew she was the one I wanted to spend my life with. I began trying to think of a magical, unique, and exciting way to propose.
After communicating with her family, I decided to surprise her with a private scuba diving expedition in the magnificent coral reefs of Roatan and propose while under water in the mysterious ocean waters. When discussing the scuba diving proposal idea with close friends and family, there was some legitimate concern about how she would answer since she wouldn’t be able to talk underwater. However, my desire to propose in such a way that would show my love was as deep and beautiful as the ocean waters outweighed any concerns.
The scuba diving proposal was nothing short of perfect. Many thanks
to the private dive team that assisted in the proposal and helped choreograph the dive. We designed a route that would start in waist deep water by the shore and slowly continue to submerge deeper until we were diving through the amazing coral reef.
The instructors stopped at an open area where the rays of sunlight filtering down showcased the white ocean floor. As the underwater photographer distracted my wife with photos, the other members of the dive team unraveled a ten foot sign that read, “will you marry me?”
I was simultaneously reaching for the ring that was securely placed in one of the pockets in my diving jacket. At just the right moment, she turned around, and saw me and the sign! After hugging and kissing under water, we made our way back to shore to celebrate.
Months later we celebrated our wedding with friends and family in a religious ceremony in California. Now we reflect on how crazy our story is. Our paths crossed in a totally random way and against all odds, we found a love to last through the ages. Love is magical……..it is like a magnet, pulling two people toward each other, through any obstacles they are faced with, just to be together. I am very blessed to be able to call the love of my life, my wife.