A wedding is perhaps the most important and memorable day of your lives, a day to remember forever, and cherish as the start of a new life. For others, the wedding day is just the prelude to the main event, and their focus is on the marriage, not the wedding. No matter how you view your wedding day, it’s likely that you have definite ideas about what you want that day to be like, and how you want it to be remembered, whether it’s a simple close family affair, or an elaborate church wedding with hundreds of guests.
These days, there are many more options for wedding locations and destinations, and weddings don’t even have to be held on dry land. For many reasons, cruise weddings are an increasingly popular option for couples who want to create a memorable wedding experience for themselves and their closest friends and family members. Having a cruise wedding can have some real advantages, and is guaranteed to give your special day a unique and celebratory feel.
No Stress No Fuss Wedding and Honeymoon Planning
If you’re in the middle of planning your wedding and honeymoon, or have just started thinking about these important events, you might be feeling a little bit overwhelmed by all the planning that’s involved. The huge amount of planning that a traditional wedding requires is one reason why cruise weddings and honeymoons are so popular—much of the wedding planning is already done for you, and the honeymoon itself is completely no-stress, with literally everything, from accommodation to food and entertainment, included. No itinerary to plan, no need to worry about whether you’ll miss your honeymoon flight—you’re already on your honeymoon.
Large cruise ships that offer cruise weddings typically have cruise wedding packages that include an all-in-one option, where every last detail is planned for you by a personal wedding planner. This option makes planning the wedding very simple, and definitely makes it easier to enjoy the day without having to worry about last-minute details.
The Perfect Intimate Wedding Setting
Cruise ship wedding chapels are typically not overly large; instead they’re usually small and intimate venues, with seating room for a small to moderate number of people. And these days, the chapels are elegant and tastefully decorated, a far cry from the cheap-and-tacky Vegas-style wedding chapels that most people have in mind when they think of cruise weddings.
If you’re dismayed by the idea of a large wedding, but are having trouble explaining this to friends and relatives, the cruise wedding provides yet another advantage—it gives you a good reason to explain to distant relatives and acquaintances exactly why they’re not invited, but without any risk of offending anyone. Of course this is unlikely to be a major influence for anyone who’s thinking about a cruise wedding—there are other solutions to this problem, after all—but it’s definitely another nice plus!
Flexible Ceremony Options
One of the best aspects of a cruise wedding is that you have a surprising amount of flexibility in terms of planning the actual ceremony. You can opt for the traditional wedding aboard the ship while it’s cruising, but there are actually other options as well. For example, if you want to be married by a particular celebrant or other officiator, but definitely want to be married aboard the ship, you can choose to have the ceremony while the ship is docked at its embarkation point. That allows you to have a large wedding ceremony with many guests, if you want it, a reception aboard the ship, and the cruise itself as your honeymoon. Some of the largest cruise companies have private islands available for marriage ceremonies, while others can perform legal marriage ceremonies at sea.
Another option is to have the wedding at a port of call included in the cruise itinerary, although when choosing this option, it’s important to be sure you’re not cruising at a time when unfavorable weather conditions might prevent the ship from docking.
Getting Married at Sea
There are some legal issues that are relevant for cruise weddings, depending on where you want to have the actual ceremony. One is that if you want to be married at sea by your ship’s captain, there are legal limitations that relate to the country where the ship is registered; for example, ships like those in this news story can marry people at sea, because they’re registered in the Bahamas, where the law allows for weddings in international waters. Another is that for cruise companies with private islands available for ceremonies, some may require that the legal parts of the ceremony take place at a port before the island ceremony, which for some people might make the day seem a little disjointed. It’s always good to know exactly what each option entails beforehand, because it can affect how you feel about and remember the day.