Cruises make a great venue for weddings. You can all be aboard a beautiful ship and see exotic locations together. Plus, they can help plan your wedding so that a lot of the stress is taken off your shoulders.

What Should You Know About Cruise Weddings Before Signing Up?

There a few things you should know about cruise weddings, because there are quite a few different aspects to getting married on the water!

1. Cruise Wedding Prices

Cruises can be surprisingly less expensive than land weddings typically are. They can range from the lower end of around 1,500 dollars to the top cost of a cruise. Different cruises have different prices.

For example, Carnival Cruises have a few packages – cost will depend on the amount of guests you’re bringing. For up to 10 guests, the Intimate Gold package is 1,450 dollars. There is also the Intimate Platinum for 1,539 dollars and the Intimate Diamond for 1,629 dollars.

There’s the Grand Ceremony Gold which allows up to 50 non-sailing guests for 1,852, and then it goes up from there with the Platinum and Diamond packages.

Finally, they have the Classic packages that range from 2,412 dollars to 3,032 dollars. All these packages have a wedding planner, cake, honeymoon dinner, photography services, and more – all included. 

Be warned though, there can be seasonal surcharges. Because cruise weddings are becoming more popular, surcharges are added during popular months like May and June. They may even add surcharges if you want to use one of their newest or more popular ships. 

2. Not Every Cruise Will Help Plan Your Wedding

Main market ships have embraced full service wedding packages. Others that are more in the high priced luxury category, like Seabourn and Crystal, don’t offer wedding packages. 

3. Not All Captains Can Perform Weddings

If your goal is to get married at sea by the captain, make sure you see if the cruise line offers this service. There are legal limitations that are based on ships’ countries of registry. 

Make sure to double check that this option is available before you sign up and pay. It would terrible to have everything set and then find out at the last minute that this one item is the only thing they don’t have. 

4. You May End Up Having a Symbolic Wedding

Because there are a lot of legal complications when it comes to cruise destination weddings, you may end up having a symbolic wedding.

Depending on the country you go to, you may not be allowed to legally marry. Some countries have requirements, like having to live there for a certain amount of time, which is impossible when on a cruise. 

When marrying on the ship, you have to follow the rules of whatever country the ship is registered, which can be easy or difficult depending on the ship. 

Make sure to do your research before boarding with your bouquet in hand.

5. Pre-Sail Away Ceremonies May be the Best Option

You do have the option of getting married onboard a ship before it takes off. This is great if you want to have guests but they can’t afford to be on the cruise.

You can have a clergy perform the ceremony and have an after party before the boat set sails. Then your honeymoon can be on a cruise!

One thing to note, this type of ceremony can be a little rushed because everything must happen between guest embarkments. 

6. Do Not Do a Cruise Wedding If You Want Control

If your dream wedding is something where you have a say in every small detail, then cruise weddings aren’t for you.

If you want a large wedding with lots of guests, cruise weddings are not for you. 

If you’re worried about having a small cabin on the ship, don’t like the idea of having to eat with other people, and are worried about being stir crazy on a ship, then cruise weddings definitely aren’t for you.

7. You Don’t Have to Go to Another Country

If you would prefer to stay in the states, there are other options for cruises. For example there’s the Hudson River Wedding Cruises in New York. You will get your own private charter cruise and they will work directly with you or your wedding planner.

You can also do a cruise in Boston, Maine, Alaska, and more. 

Cruise Weddings Still Take Planning

While cruise weddings will not take as much planning, it’s still far from easy. 

You have to decide how many people you want at your wedding or maybe you would rather it be just you and your new spouse. 

You have to pick which cruise line to use and the package that works best for you.

Also, don’t forget the legalities involved with these types of weddings. 

Talk to your wedding planner and the cruise line to make sure you understand everything. That way you can decide if you want a wedding on board before it sails or a symbolic wedding on a tropical island.

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