If the traditional church wedding isn’t really your thing or you fancy upping the romance factor several notches, then a cruise ship could well be the spot you tie the knot. They’re intimate, adventurous, and give the big day an extra special touch. If you fancy swapping cummerbunds for cocktails, then take a look at this guide to getting married on a cruise.

What’s included?

First of all, be sure to check whether the cruise line offers wedding ceremonies. After that, you’d be surprised at how easy it is to book a wedding on a cruise. Usually, you’re looking at a starting price of around £1,000, which will include a decorated ceremony room, music, champagne and photography, though it’s worth checking the package for the exact details.champagne glasses clinking over looking the sea during a wedding

Princess Cruises, for example, are particularly well known for their weddings. They offer an at-sea ceremony that includes floral arrangements, a small cake, keepsake champagne flutes, food for two, and rose petals on the bed. It might seem far from the traditional ceremony, but rest assured, there’s no compromise on lavishness.

Remember, cruise weddings are usually low-key events, with a few friends and family. If you’re looking at a larger ceremony, then this will cost extra as they usually involve input from a wedding co-ordinator.

Is there any paperwork?

As with any marriage, there’s documentation to be signed before the ceremony takes place. The ship’s location determines whether it can hold legally-binding ceremonies, so be sure to do some research ahead of time. Most cruise companies leave you to do the legwork, but some will take care of the paperwork for you.newly wedded groom signing marriage papers

Can the captain perform the ceremony?

Put simply, yes. Captain-officiated ceremonies have proven popular with guests of Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises and Cunard Line. However, getting married by the ship’s captain while at sea can limit your choice of cruise line due to the legal red tape surrounding certain ships’ countries of registry. Be sure to double-check the fine print if this is something you’re planning on doing.

Does it have to be at sea?

Not at all. You can wed at the ship’s port before enjoying the rest of the cruise in each other’s company. At a cruise’s port of call, this can be incredibly romantic, but please be aware that the necessary paperwork has to be completed in advance and in accordance with the local registrar. Also, there could be a chance that unforeseen events may render your port marriage impossible, so be sure to have a back-up plan.

Additionally, some lines have their own private islands where their ceremonies can take place, perfect for that extra idyllic touch.bride putting wedding ring onto groom's hand

Will the cruise be your honeymoon?

One of the best things about cruise ship weddings is that the rest of your cruise is your honeymoon, and the intimacy and luxury a cruise provides makes the occasion all the more special. After you’ve bid farewell to your guests, the cruise opens up a whole new world of exciting amenities and opportunities, allowing you to enjoy your togetherness the way you like it.

What’s the best time of the year to get married?

Keep in mind that cruise marriages during the busiest times of the year, usually from May to September, as well as popular holidays and Valentine’s Day may incur a supplementary charge. Also, if you’re looking to get married in the Caribbean, go between December and May to ensure you miss hurricane season.

couple enjoying a stroll along the beach after their cruise wedding

Is it for me?

Though there’s an undeniable allure to cruise ship weddings, remember that they aren’t for everyone. If you’ve always pictured yourself tying the knot in the company of hundreds of family and friends, then a cruise wedding might not be for you. The ceremony usually lasts around 20 to 30 minutes, and there’ll be fewer people there.

However, if you’re looking for more exclusive nuptials, or you’re renewing your vows, then the intimacy and incredible experience a cruise wedding affords could be perfect.

Like the sound of wedding bells on a beach or high-seas matrimony? A cruise ship wedding could be on the cards. Head over to our homepage to check out our amazing selection of cruise deals. Alternatively, give us a call on 01 536 0938 and our friendly team will help you find your perfect cruise package.


About Author

Belinda Goodman

Cruise 1st veteran Belinda has a passion for travel, especially cruising. She has worked in the travel industry for over 20 years, including a 3-year stint working on cruise ships as a croupier. Belinda regularly writes for the Cruise 1st blog, with a focus on company news and advice for first-time cruise travellers.

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