Cruise Wisdom: Nautical Nuptials

Cruise Wisdom: Nautical Nuptials

What will my guests think of a cruise ship wedding?

By Cindy O’Neil

Q: Since my engagement I have been exploring all of the different possibilities for my wedding. What about a cruise ship wedding?

— Nancy T, Dayton, OH

A: In recent years, cruise ship weddings have become increasingly popular. Most major cruise lines offer happy couples a wide variety of options that can take the stress out of the big day. So deciding whether or not to get married on a cruise can be as easy as saying: “I do!”

Imagine not having to worry about finding the perfect venue for the ceremony or planning a detailed seating chart for your reception. Your cruise line’s wedding coordinator will handle all of the details for you. Your personal coordinator can arrange the ceremony and location, menu, cake, flowers, music, wedding invitations, tuxedo rentals, hair appointments, and even assist you in obtaining your wedding license.

Your wedding can be inexpensive, as little as $650 plus license fees, or go for broke and pull out all the stops. Order an open bar, a sit-down dinner for 50 of your closest friends and family. Enjoy that father-daughter dance. The possibilities are as limitless as your budget allows. Each cruise line has its own unique wedding packages with varying options. Most include a small wedding cake, bridal bouquet, and boutonniere for the groom. Some include a photo package, bottle of bubbly, and keepsake champagne flutes.

Since wedding packages vary cruise line-to-cruise line, you need to do your research before you book a wedding cruise. But even before that, you may be wondering what your attending guests will think of your big day at sea. Lucky for me, I have actually attended two weddings and one vow renewal ceremony at sea, so I can chime in here.

Each was a unique experience. My niece and her husband celebrated their wedding aboard Caribbean Princess. About 15 family members sailed on the cruise. The ceremony took place in the ship’s chapel on the first formal night of the voyage. The captain presided and….


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