Newlyweds Celebrate with Polar Bear Plunge
The entire bridal party joined in the event on Sunday.
Natalie and Jamie Garber's friends were not surprised that the couple, married on Saturday at St. Augustine's in Ocean City, decided to celebrate their wedding by jumping into the frigid ocean on Sunday for Ocean City's annual Polar Bear Plunge.
"They're a couple that have always been fun," said Juli Hoover, 26, one of Natalie's bridesmaids. "They're always the life of the party...we were all on board."
The entire bridal party took a dip on Sunday—the bride and her party were wearing their dresses, while the groom and his men, needing to return their rented tuxedos, wore tuxedo t-shirts.
"I wanted to trash the dress," said Natalie Garber. "Good pictures...the photographer came back today...but I can't feel my toes any more."
The couple from Pottstown, PA met as sophomores in high school, but started dating three years ago. They were married at St. Augustine's in Ocean City on Saturday afternoon, then held their reception at The Flanders Hotel on Saturday night.
After the initial plunge, a few photographs by family members, and a brief chance to dry off, the couple and their bridal party decided to head back into the ocean for a second dip while the rest of the hundreds of people that participated in the polar bear plunge were making their way to the boardwalk.
"This is totally expected from them," said Ryan Brewer, a friend of both the bride and the groom.
This year's First Night and First Day celebrations were the 20th annual New Year's celebration and the Polar Bear Plunge has been a part of the tradition since First Night's inception.
Event organizers estimated that this was the biggest First Night and First Day celebration in the history of the event. Jim Mallon, the director of community services in Ocean City estimated that at least 500 people participated in the plunge.
Fred Miller, a member of the First Night committee and a volunteer for the program since 1999, estimated that 30,000 people attended both First Night and First Day.
"The weather helped," he said. "But this shows that we're America's greatest family resort."
For more photos from the Polar Bear Plunge, see our photo gallery.