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Everything You Need To Know If You Are Getting Married At The Sea

Are you planning to wear your wedding dress at sea? When you get married at sea, it will give you all the romance you could dream of; the exotic port locations, the open ocean backdrop, the built-in honeymoon.  It might be the reason why many couples nowadays opt to have their weddings at sea.

After getting engaged, and you are confident that you want to celebrate your wedding aboard a ship, there are several things that you will need to decide before your wedding day. Whether you are organizing for a destination wedding at an international port or want to have a wedding ceremony on board a ship with few guests, the following are some of the things that you should know.

  • Is it legal to get married on a ship?: To ensure that your wedding celebration is legal while having it on a cruise ship, you will have to, first of all, secure a marriage certificate. Some ships have marriage license coordinators. Choose one, and the coordinator will help you with all the paperwork and details that are required to have your wedding legal both while on board or in whichever country you want to hold the ceremony. Once you are married on a cruise ship, you will be given an official marriage certificate, which can be used as legal proof of your marriage.
  • Is it possible to get married in international waters?: Some couples decide that their marriage will be in international waters in port destinations; depending on the country where the ship is registered, you will be required to get a marriage license of that country. For the marriage to be valid, it has to be conducted as per the laws of that country where the ship is registered. The shipping company will help you with the requirements during your wedding planning stage.

  • How much will it cost you to get married in a cruise ship?: The cost of getting married on a cruise ship will largely depend on the port destination where you will decide to carry out your wedding ceremony. On the website of the cruise ship, you will have a variety of wedding ports, including information regarding the estimated prices for both land weddings and shipboard weddings, venue options, and marriage licensing requirements.

When you get married on board, it offers benefits of a destination wedding minus any inconveniences. Again, it tends to be a better deal as compared to organizing a wedding event at a luxurious resort on land.

Most of the event and wedding packages on board ship include essential like the deck or indoor venues for the wedding ceremony, indoor wedding reception reservation with beverages and foodservice, couple’s floral arrangement, champagne, and cake, as well as a photographer.

Once you are decided on your wedding type,  the cruise ship’s event manager will help you in choosing the appropriate location. A wedding package that is tailored for the two of you will also be provided. It will ensure you have a wedding on a cruise ship that is stress-free.

  • Can the ship captain conduct your wedding ceremony?: A notary public holds most of the weddings on ship for Americans in the USA and other non-denominational officiants who are located at international ports. But if you would wish the ship’s captain to officiate your wedding ceremony, then you will have to get married while you are sailing in international waters.

When wedding ceremonies are conducted at sea, the ship’s captain officiates it and abides by the laws of the country where the cruise ship is registered. So check out where your intended cruise ship is registered and ensure to comply with the marriage laws of that country. You will need to have a wedding license for the country beforehand.

Also, when you get married at sea by the captain of the sea, the wedding ceremony cannot be held on night or day of embarkation, and it has to take place between 10 am and 2 pm to allow the staff of the ship to do their duties.

  • How do you go about planning for a wedding on a cruise?: If you have decided that you are going to have your wedding on a ship, the particular cruise ship you have chosen will ensure to help you with your wedding planning.

You will have to start by familiarizing yourself with the various wedding ceremonies and event packages which the ship offers by visiting their website. Go ahead and research multiple wedding ports and try comparing details, including marriage licensing details and pricing, before you finally select.

Once you choose your wedding destination, you should search for the available dates as well as times, fill a request form, and one of the ship’s events manager will be able to contact you so that the wedding planning can start in earnest.  From there, the ship of choice will ensure to take care of all the details, making both of you sit and relax, waiting for the embarkation date.

  • Are there wedding planners on cruise ships? : Check out with your chosen cruise ship and find out what arrangements they have and if they have wedding coordinators as well as event planners. Event managers are generally in charge of planning the requirements before you board the ship.

They will be able to answer whatever questions you might have, narrow down your choices of venues, assist with the bookings, help in ensuring you get the right documentation required for your ceremony.

For the wedding coordinators, they will come in at your point of contact during your cruise ship. They will work to help in guiding you all through the course of your wedding day celebrations and to ensure your wedding ceremony as well as your wedding receptions, go on without any hitch.

Get more information regarding getting married on a cruise by checking out the information at the ultimate bride’s survival guide.  It would help if you were enlightened as you await for the embarkation day.


Photo by Asad Photo Maldives

Photo by Jonathan Borba

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