Wedding Photo Shoot in River Ends in Tragedy as Bride Drowns Under Weight of Water-Soaked Gown

A woman who was taking part in a "trash the dress" wedding photo shoot drowned last week after being pulled underwater by the weight of her own wedding gown while snapping pictures in a river near Dorwin Falls in Quebec.

Photographer Louis Pagakis said 30-year-old Maria Pantazopoulos, who got married this past June, entered the Ouareau River in her wedding dress so she could have her picture taken in the trendy style of wedding photography meant to symbolize that permanence of the marriage.

"She had her wedding dress on and she said, ‘take some pictures of me while I swim a little bit in the lake,'" recalled Pagakis.

But the dress quickly became saturated, and the weight was simply too much for the 100-pound Pantazopoulos who began to sink to the bottom.

"The photographer put down his equipment and tried to save her," Sgt. Ronald McInnis of the provincial police told the Montreal Gazette. "He grabbed her with his hands. [One witness] tried to help, but they couldn't save her. The dress was too heavy."

A scuba diver later found Pantzopoulos' body at the bottom of a nearby stagnant pool of water.

"I tried to save her," an extremely upset Pagakis told CTV through tears. "I tried, I tried, I tried."

[screengrab via CTV]