Couple don scuba gear for wedding off beach
Plenty of brides and grooms exchange vows by the sea. Jennifer Novotny and Joe Krause dove in instead, tying the knot under 25 feet of water.
On a quiet shoreline in Far Rockaway on Thursday morning, Novotny, 28, of Port Washington, and Krause, 29, of Floral Park, Queens, donned wet suits, oxygen tanks, goggles and flippers. The couple walked hand-in-hand on a sandy stretch of beach strewn with rose petals before slowly wading into the ocean.
Under the waves, they silently recited their "I dos" -- sealing their union with a kiss in the presence of a minister.
Afterward, Krause stood next to his bride, his wet suit accented by a lime-green bow tie and a black top hat.
"I'm not the perfect man," he said, "but when you find someone whose weirdness is compatible with yours . . . well, I knew I had to marry her."
The blushing bride, who wore a white dress and veil over her wet suit, and a headpiece of seashells and coral made by her grandmother, said: "I feel comfortable with Joe. I'm not afraid to be myself with him and let him see all my quirks."
Their romance started with mutual affection for an office fish at the Long Island aerospace company they work for, and blossomed into a shared passion for diving.
"This is the flow of what Jennifer and Joe are supposed to do and be," the groom's mother, Sue Krause, of Bayside, Queens, said before the nuptials. "I believe it's 'ba-shert,' which in Hebrew means 'meant to be.' "
About a dozen family members and friends pitched a white tent on the sand for the reception.
"This is awesome; what a great idea!" said Elizabeth Marimol, 27, who lives in the neighborhood and was taking a stroll on the beach.
Her friend Denise Reid, 29, also from the neighborhood, agreed. "They are really thinking out of the box."
"This is why I became a pastor," he said before diving in to conduct his first underwater nuptials. "They deserve to get married. They are great people."
The bride's sister, Christine, 17, found the ceremony fitting -- for her sister.
"That's her. She's weird," she said with a laugh. "She doesn't like tradition. Me, I'm going to get married at the Plaza [Hotel in Manhattan]. I'm going all out."