A cruise ship can be a beautiful, exciting venue for a wedding. Everything you need – from airy spaces to amazing food and drinks – is on board. Many cruise lines offer complete wedding packages and will be happy to work with you to arrange a personalized and memorable ceremony.
Options for shipboard weddings include having a ceremony:
On the ship before it sails. This means guests can come on board for the ceremony but don’t have to cruise along with you. It’s a nice option if you want the cruise to be a honeymoon for two, without your entire wedding party coming along.
On the ship while at sea. With this choice, the people you want to have at your wedding can sail along with you. While an on-deck ceremony can produce stunning photos, be sure to select an indoor backup in case it gets a bit windy.
In a port of call. Saying “I do” on a tropical island or in a historic park can be wonderful. Just know that you may not have much control over the surroundings; if you’re on a public beach or in a town square, people may stop to watch.
Do you want to be married by a ship’s captain? That’s possible on some cruise lines, although the ship may have to be in international waters at the time of the ceremony. Also, not all captains perform wedding ceremonies. For the ceremony to be legally binding, the captain must also be a justice of the peace, minister, notary, or judge. Don’t worry: if the captain can’t perform your ceremony, the cruise line will arrange for another officiant.
Here are some additional tips for getting married on a cruise:
Make your cruise and wedding package reservations early. Some cruise lines ask for at least two or three months of advance notice if you want an onboard or onshore wedding.
You may need to limit the number of guests. Many cruise wedding packages specify a maximum number of guests; no problem if you want a smaller, more intimate wedding.
Some choices may be limited to what’s on board. You may not have as wide a choice of cakes, music, or flowers as you would on land. However, a streamlined set of choices can also remove some of the usual wedding stressors.
To learn more about weddings at sea or to get started planning yours, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.
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