Getting Married At Sea: The Pro's and Con's Of Cruise Ship Weddings
Weddings are a wonderful time and cruises make for a fantastic holiday, so the idea of combining the two can be a dream come true. With the opportunity for a really unique wedding location, lots of ways to customize the occasion and some seriously spectacular backdrops, a cruise ship wedding can be the most incredible day. However, the cruise ship wedding is not for everyone and it’s important to think it through thoroughly before you book anything for such an important occasion.
Here are some of the pros and cons of cruise ship weddings to help you make up your mind.
Organization – Most cruise liners will be able to offer some kind of wedding planning service so if you’re looking to get some help organizing the big day this is a great way to do it. Everything from catering to flowers to tuxedo rental can be included in the package, leaving you time to spend getting ready and enjoying the event itself.
Great value – Weddings are expensive wherever you are but a cruise ship wedding offers the chance to get great value for money for a really memorable day. Comparably, cruise weddings often cost less than a similar wedding on land, so they can be the ideal option if you’re looking to have a budget wedding that’s still got all the trimmings.
You can make it your own – Cruise ship weddings can be tailored so that you can have exactly the kind of wedding you want, whether it’s a traditional event or something very ‘out there.’ You just need to bear in mind what you can and can’t take on board, and the logistics of being on a ship.
An instant honeymoon – If you’re already on a cruise then there’s no need to pay for an additional honeymoon, or to factor it into your travel plans as the honeymoon begins the minute the wedding ends. This is an advantage in terms of finances, convenience and low hassle post wedding coordination. Mediterranean Cruises from luxury cruise lines like Celebrity are especially popular for weddings as they are close enough to home for guests to fly home after the ceremony while the wedding couple stays on for their honeymoon.
You won’t be the only ones – Given the size of most cruise ships you’re unlikely to be the only couple getting married on the same ship during a single trip, so if you’re looking for an exclusive venue then this may not be the option for you.
Travel restrictions – It may not be something that occurs to you in advance but remember that some ports will have restrictions on bringing certain things onto the ship. This means that if you’re not happy to swap live flowers for silk, for example, you might have to rule out getting hitched on a cruise ship.
Numbers – Whilst some cruise ships are enormous, others are much smaller so check the size of the ships on the route you’re interested in before you start booking anything. Be sure that all your party can be comfortably accommodated and that there’s enough facilities on the ship to cater for everyone’s needs. It’s also worth bearing in mind that whoever you take with you is going to share both your wedding and your honeymoon cruise – make sure you’ve considered the reality of that before you book anything.
Getting there – Remember that you need to get to the cruise ship to have the wedding and if you miss the boat it’s not quite as easy as being ten minutes late to the church. Plan in advance so that you get to the departure point in plenty of time and whatever you do don’t miss the boat!
Like any wedding venue, there are many pros and cons to getting married on a cruise ship. If, after reading the above, the idea of having your nuptials on the high seas still appeals then this is the perfect time to get booking.
Amy is a freelance travel writer from the UK.