Getting Married at Sea
Tying the knot on the glistening sea, perhaps just off the shore of a tropical paradise, is undoubtedly a romantic idea. But, is this a realistic possibility?
With various legalities to navigate, just taking a boat out to sea for a marriage ceremony would be incredibly difficult! However, luckily there is an all-inclusive, stress-free way to achieve the dream of getting married at sea. Since 1989, cruise lines like P&O and Cunard have been offering couples unique ceremony options onboard their vessels. A cruise ship wedding means you will can marry, sleep and honeymoon all in the same place! Bring your friends and family along and you can have an unforgettable wedding, all at a fraction of the cost of a UK ceremony. So what does a cruise ship wedding entail? Below, we have laid out the different ways a cruise ship wedding can work.
A Cruise Ship Wedding
On average, a couple in the UK can spend up to £30,000 on their wedding. While a cruise might seem like an extravagant option, the calculations soon disprove that! An average cruise fare works out at about £4,000 each for a suite on a two-week Caribbean voyage. Plus another £5,000 for business-class flights – and couples will about £17,000 better off! That’s enough to consider inviting close friends and family along – and treating them to a reception on the big day. Also, if you marry at the start of the cruise, the rest of the voyage can be your honeymoon which saves another £8,000 or so.
Also, instead of having to pay for individual suppliers, everything, except your outfits, is included and arranged for you! Simply choose your music, flowers and venue, and then the cruise line’s wedding planner will take everything from there. When on board, the ship’s event organiser takes over, booking hair and make-up appointments in the spa, decorating the venue and organising everyone. Perfect for a relaxing wedding experience! However, you are responsible for sorting out the licences and finding out whether the ceremony will be legally recognised in the UK. But, this is really your only concern. There are so many packages from different cruise lines to choose from so you are guaranteed a dream wedding!
When it comes to the actual service, you have three options. You could either get married on land, onboard while docked or onboard while floating in the middle of sea. Your choice of service may be affected by choice of cruise line or legal aspects as laid out below.
If your heart is absolutely set on getting married in the open sea, this is possible in specific circumstances. Your ceremony would be performed by the captain but your ship will have to be registered to either, Malta, Bermuda or the Bahamas for legal reasons. This means you’re likely to have to travel with P&O, Princess, or Celebrity cruises. Marriage ceremonies on Disney Cruise Line and Paul Gauguin Cruises, in the Caribbean and South Pacific, are symbolic only. This option means a ceremony in a function room or some ships even have a chapel!
In Port and On Land
Some cruise lines offer you the chance to get married while docked in some fabulous locations, as this means the ceremony can be legalised more easily. Then, a non-denominational officiant or member of the local clergy can come aboard and carry out the service, rather than the captain. This also means your guests don’t have to join you for the entire cruise. Instead, you can invite friends and family on board for the day, before they leave to continue their holiday in your port location.
There are also many romantic and unconventional locations on cruises’ itinerary for you to get married on land. Paul Gauguin Cruises offers symbolic weddings on its private islet off the coast of Taha’a in French Polynesia, or in a luxury resort in Bora Bora. With Princess, you could tie the knot on a cliff in San Francisco or on a beach in St Lucia. Celebrity Cruises offers a winery on Santorini in Greece, the Vatican in Rome, or the town hall in Florence. Norwegian Cruise Line suggests a rainforest garden in Juneau, Alaska. Disney Cruise Line has private islands in the Bahamas. All these luxury options means you can have a unique, luxury wedding then simply step back on board to start your honeymoon! The perfect wedding solution for a brides who want to marry abroad without any of the stress!
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