Marriage starts out all wet at aquarium


Abbe Click didn't have to worry about her fiance John Harman getting cold feet before their wedding last night.

She knew that his feet would not only be cold, they'd be wet.

"I am so excited," said Miss Click as she adjusted the weights in her white veil. "I couldn't sleep, or eat. This is going to be so much fun."

About 250 relatives and friends and 60 species of fish looked on as Miss Click, 27, and Mr. Harman, 25, were joined in watery matrimony in the 335,000-gallon Atlantic Coral Reef Exhibit at the National Aquarium.

The bride and groom were married in the aquarium where they met three years ago, and fell deeply -- about 13 feet deep, actually -- in love.

"There couldn't have been a better place for us," Mr. Harmon said. "Nobody was surprised."

The fish did not appear shocked as the bridal party began its descent into the exhibit. Damselfish, lookdown fish and even a hawksbill turtle followed the procession of the best man, Matt Partovia, and the groom's sister, bridesmaid Diane Harman. The humans squeezed small shrimp from a bottle to attract the fish.

"Rather than rose petals, we used the shrimp," Miss Harman said. "No flower girl."

The Presbyterian minister, the Rev. Samuel McCoy, a volunteer diver with the aquarium, pronounced the couple husband and wife.

"It was different," said the bride's 14-year-old cousin, Sarah Tinney. "I thought it was neat."

The bride thought the location was only natural. "A wedding should reflect your interest, your life with the person you love," she said. "That's exactly what is going on with us."

Will news of these nuptials send other couples to the aquarium for wetted bliss?

"We doubt this will become a trend," said Amy Woodworth, a spokeswoman for the National Aquarium. "Underwater weddings are not the thing of the future -- at least not at this aquarium."

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