Scuba diving is a shared passion for Ethan Studenic and Morgan Whittaker, inspiring the soon-to-be groom to ask for his future wife’s hand in marriage under the sea, using an engagement ring hidden in a shell.
Studenic spent five years planning the extraordinary proposal for his then-girlfriend of 10 years, and she said “yes” last summer during a scuba diving excursion at the Caribbean island of Bonaire. Now, the couple looks forward to marrying in April, news agency South West News Service (SWNS) reports.
“Five years ago, I had the idea of an underwater proposal. I thought it would be cool, really unique and interesting,” Studenic, 30, said. “I decided to propose on the first reef we dove together.”
Years before, the pair visited Bonaire in the Leeward Antilles together for their first vacation away and Whittaker’s first time scuba diving, making it a special place they hold dear.
“I wanted it to be a romantic proposal and I’m not the greatest at that kind of thing,” Studenic said. “I thought if I could go back to Bonaire, I could recapture that magic of our first vacation away together.”
When they traveled back to Bonaire with friends last July for a diving expedition, Whittaker, 28, had no idea that her beau had packed along a ring, which also had a connection to their favorite Caribbean island.
Thoughtfully, Studenic had sea glass saved from their first Bonaire trip crushed and embedded into the engagement ring. Bringing the ring 30-feet down into the sea, however, would pose some unique challenges.
Nervous that Whittaker would see the ring at the airport, Studenic even asked one of the couple’s friends who was along for the diving trip to hide it in his suitcase.
On the fateful day, the longtime couple was accompanied by four friends on the dive, who all swam with cameras to photograph the big moment.
“We swam for a bit and I tried to look for a good spot,” Studenic recalled. “Then I went down and when I was sitting on the sand, I pretended to find a shell.”
“Once Morgan got a little closer, I opened the shell up,” he said, revealing the words “Will you marry me?”
Happily, she said yes and the two embraced, before swimming up to the surface together.
“I was pretty shocked,” Whittaker remembered. “When he first reached down, I honestly thought he was picking up a wild animal.
“When he was opening up the shell I was seriously worried and then I just sat there in total shock. I said absolutely yes.”
“Ethan introduced me to scuba diving and it is one of the things we love most in the whole world so it was wonderful to have the proposal in that setting,” she added.
Whittaker and Studenic will tie the knot in April before 100 members of their friends and family. The couple first met at college in math class in 2008.