Proposal meant taking the plunge
A Taranaki couple has made the finals of a national competition in which the winners get a $60,000 wedding of their dreams.
And if 26-year-old Regan Diggelmann's unique proposal to Abbie Bates, 25, qualifies them for the big prize, the pair would charge through.
Dive instructor Diggelmann proposed to his 25-year-old student diver Bates 25 metres under the sea in the tropics - while surrounded by sharks.
The couple are now making a public plea to all of Taranaki - and further afield - to vote for them online to give them an equally spectacular wedding.
They are the only couple of the four finalists who live outside Auckland
"It would be an amazing start to our married life," Bates told the Taranaki Daily News yesterday.
Before entering the annual competition hosted by New Zealand Weddings magazine, the couple were making plans for their own wedding in November.
"Our wedding was going to be very low key."
In comparison, if they win the big prize, they will get the full treatment including their own wedding planner, a ceremony and reception at the Abbeville Estate with live bands, and a honeymoon in Vanuatu at an adults-only retreat called the Havannah.
They found out they made the semifinals in June. They completed a series of questions which have got them through to the finals of the Win Your Dream Wedding 2014.
The two met in 2009 when Abbie was doing a diving course in Tauranga and Regan was her diving instructor.
She has completed her Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology something her step-father Dave (Chaddy) Chatfield of Chaddy's Charters - currently holidaying overseas - is very proud of.
Diggelmann was born and raised in Tauranga with a degree in applied science and marine biology.
With a love of the sea in common, the couple headed off on a trip to Fiji as part of the seven-strong crew on the Whai, a 48-foot steel catamaran.
Along the way the two were diving on the Minerva Reef world-renowned as a spectacular diving site.
"There were sharks everywhere. It was amazing, so beautiful," she says.
Unbeknown to Bates, her fiance had written his proposal on a waterproof book. Another diver went along to capture the moment.
He called her over and there it was on the page, "Will you marry me."
All she had to do was draw a circle around the correct answer, "Yes."
To vote, go to icexchange.wufoo.com/forms/q18caav50jxhudj/ to register and vote. Voting closes on July 31 and the results are expected soon after.
Taranaki Daily News