RAWDON, QUE. - A "trash the dress" photo session turned into a tragedy Friday afternoon when a new bride drowned in the river of the Dorwin waterfalls north of Montreal.
Maria Pantazopoulos, 30, entered the river for the photo shoot around 2 p.m. and her wedding dress absorbed the water and weighed her down.
"She wanted to enter the water with her dress for the photos," said photographer Louis Pagakis. "I asked her if she knew how to swim and she said yes."
Pagakis said he tried to pull her out of the water but the wedding dress was too heavy.
Provincial police spokesman Ronald McInnis said the 30-year-old's body was found around 6 p.m., about 50 to 100 feet away from where she fell.
The woman was at the falls participating in the photo session where brides wear their gowns in areas they wouldn't normally on their wedding day.
Pantazopoulos was a real estate agent from Laval, Que., just north of Montreal. She was married on June 9, McInnis said.
A witness told QMI Agency the bride was in her wedding dress, standing on a rock in the water, when she slipped and was carried away by the current.
"She was Anglophone, and she started screaming, 'Help!'" the witness said.
Pantazopoulos' husband was not with her during the shoot.
Police said witnesses were brought to hospital and treated for shock.