Bride Krissy Petrarca Cutler prepares to wed Mike Cutler beneath the surface at Molasses Reef. CONTRIBUTED

Newlyweds Mike Cutler and Krissy Petrarca Cutler put on the fins, buoyancy control device, regulator and mask. Holding hands, the two stepped off the boat for a memorable dive at Molasses Reef on May 14.

Wearing a veil and wetsuit, Petrarca Cutler swam to Mike Cutler to exchange wedding vows beneath the Florida Keys waters. They were joined by 30 others on the dive boat who shared the special occasion with the Cutlers. Three snorkeled while the rest were underneath the surface watching the ceremony. 

An underwater wedding seemed fitting. The two met on a dive boat roughly three years ago. They’ve been together for a year-and-a-half. They’re dive instructors and both work for Pirates Cove Watersports at Reefhouse Resort & Marina at MM 103.8 in Key Largo. 

“We both love diving and Molasses is our favorite,” Petrarca Cutler said. “We have this tattoo with Molasses Reef and divers holding hands.” 

Petrarca Cutler, 35, from Rhode Island, has called the Keys home for the last four years. In addition to being an open water instructor, she serves as director of conservation for Pirates Cove Watersports. Mike Cutler, 53, from the southern California and Arizona areas, has been in the Keys on and off for more than 10 years. 

A reception was held at Blackwater Siren where they enjoyed tacos and wedding cake. The summer season will keep the two busy on the water. Come the fall, they plan to travel to various places, from Egypt to Peru. 

“We’re adventurers,” Petrarca Cutler said. “I always said I was never going to get a house or get married. We got a house and I got married.”

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Jim McCarthy is a northerner who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures for warm living by the water. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since his graduation from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 3 years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. “One of my college professors would always preach to be curious,” he said. “Behind every person is a story that’s unique to them, and one worth telling. Behind every community is resiliency and resolve in difficult times. As writers, we are the ones who paint the pictures in the readers minds of the emotions, the struggles and the triumphs.” Jim serves as President of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club, which is composed of energetic members who serve the community’s youth and older populations. “It’s a group that lives by the motto ‘Service Above Self,’” he says. “We’ve done service projects at the Tavernier nursing home, sitting down and socializing with residents. “We’ve also supplied cameras to young students exploring the Keys ecosystem.” Jim loves sports, family and time exploring underneath the water depths.