A Wedding in Bodrum

IMG_1632The whole purpose of our trip to Turkey was to celebrate a wedding.  And oh, man, did we.  It was one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve been to, and that’s saying a lot.

It would have been hard, considering our setting, to have anything less-than-gorgeous.  But it wasn’t even the scenery that made the wedding so beautiful–it was the palpable love and the well-thought-out ceremony and the dual-language/dual-cultures coming together.  When the gorgeous bride walked down the aisle, the expression on the groom’s face left not a dry-eye in the audience.  It was a privilege to witness that kind of love.


Everything sparkled that night, but nothing more than the bride and groom.

And then, to make the magic more complete, the wedding included a story I think I may tell forever.

Toward the end of the reception, fireworks further down the beach drew guests away from the dance floor and out onto the sand.  The groomsmen took this opportunity to scoop the groom up, carry him down the dock, and throw him, fully clothed, into the sea.  You would almost expect nothing less.  But then, as the groom swam to the ladder to climb out of the water, his wedding band—three hours on his finger—slipped off and fell to the sand in ten feet of water.

He refused to get out.  He shouted for a light, and a dozen cell phones were produced and shone on the water, inky black in the night.  He dove down again and again, searching for the ring.  Matt, standing on the dock, stripped off his suit and dove in to help.  My friend Allison‘s husband sprinted back to his room in the hotel, where he had snorkel gear packed in his suitcase, and, dashing back with it, jumped in to help search as well.

Minutes dragged by as the three of them dove down over and over, trying to search the sea floor without disturbing anything, lest they bury the ring in the sand.  The bride sighed and said it was alright.  The groom still refused to get out of the water.  Guests gathered on the dock, hoping against hope.  But it was so dark and the water was so deep and the ring was so small.

And then, suddenly, the groom emerged from the water, fist held high, clutching the ring in absolute triumph to the cheers of everyone there.  It was nothing short of miraculous, and a sign, I think, of something that was meant-to-be.


Underwater Ring Recovery Team

Later Matt said he had no idea, honestly, how the ring was found in the deep and the dark.  It was impossible to see anything.  I asked him why he jumped in, why he stayed in, and he replied, “Did you see his face when she walked down the aisle?  If you said we had to swim to that far island over there in the dark to find that ring, we’d have jumped in.  You don’t give up on that kind of thing.”

You don’t give up on that kind of thing.  And that kind of love, it endures.

Happy wedding, Lexi & Cengizhan.  Thank you for sharing it with us.

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3 thoughts on “A Wedding in Bodrum

  1. cengizhan

    I appreciate that Matthew Rushing and Kyle O’Neill jumped into the sea and helped me. If they weren’t there with me, ı wouldn’t have found my ring.

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