With same-sex marriage recently legalised in Australia, we believe there’s never been a better time for any and all couples to plan a truly unique wedding experience – getting married at sea.
Everyone loves a destination wedding, and even more unique is making the ultimate commitment on a ship or in an exotic location. While saying your vows you’re already heading to that romantic destination with friends and family, or on your own as newlyweds.
Anything is possible, and, like all weddings, it comes down to personal preference and budget. A cruise wedding can still be significantly cheaper than many land-based weddings and you have the ability to already be on your honeymoon!
But before you send out your nautically themed invitations, there are a few things we suggest you consider.
Pretty as a Picture
So now you and your partner are fully onboard that this is the way to spend your dream day… the next decision to make is where and how you would like to tie the knot to capture memories that will last a lifetime.
While many larger ships will have a dedicated wedding chapel, all ships will have superb photogenic locations including sweeping staircases with crystal chandeliers, floral archways (on request) and ocean backdrops.
There are a wide variety of wedding packages and options to choose from, some with additional charges. It’s all simply a matter of research and finding the plan that suits your needs and budget (most cruise lines have a dedicated department or person to help you manage this).
For couples up for something more unique, why not take your vows 300 metres above the ocean on Royal Caribbean’s ‘North Star’ observation pod or airborne, skydiving in iFly!
While your ship can head off to any destination, another option for an all-inclusive celebration, enabling almost everyone you invite to attend, is a home-town portside wedding!
As long as the bride and groom are sailing, your guests will be permitted to join onboard for the ceremony and celebrations, and either join you for the cruise or disembark and leave you to enjoy your honeymoon alone as newlyweds.
Another alternative for those sailing is to arrange the quirky location ceremony; on a beach or in a winery, a European castle or cathedral, or on a glacier in Alaska… the choice is yours!
Please be mindful to choose your destination carefully for legal recognition of your marriage, same-sex or otherwise.
The Wedding Planner
Most cruise lines offer wedding planners and packages, that can manage everything for you. This can range from an onboard to an onshore wedding and everything in between, freeing up your time and energy, so you can sit back and enjoy getting married rather than worrying about the planning.
Aside from arranging the photographer, music, cake and flower arrangements, wedding planners can also help with your overseas visa and nuptial legal logistics.
A celebrant or even the Captain of your ship officiate the legal nuptials. If you’re lucky you may come across a romantic Captain who will offer you the opportunity to renew wedding vows. Anything is possible in the romantic world of cruising.
The Unique Touches
While nothing much beats a great wedding, there are the little touches that can create a lasting impression. Below are a few additional offerings that some of the cruise lines offer:
- Bartenders will create a special wedding cocktail in honour of the big day
- Live cam footage so those at home can feel like they are part of the ceremony
- Turn-down with chocolate coated strawberries and rose petals on the bed
- In-room champagne and flutes, with his and her robes
- Online gift registries
- Priority check-in
- Onboard credit or even upgrades for the bridal party
It’s really important to check that while most cruise lines do offer wedding services and packages, some are not legally permitted to officiate while in open waters or, if they do, it can take up to eight weeks for the legal paperwork to be approved. You have considered how and when the license marriage certificate is registered and recognised by Australian authorities such as your state’s Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
All of these things need to be looked into and with the help of your travel specialist, you’ll be able to find the perfect cruise for your big day.
Call Cruise Express today on 1300 766 537 to discuss your dream wedding!