A cruise wedding can be the ideal, low-stress way to tie the knot without tying yourself in knots coordinating vendors, planning seating charts, choosing music, tasting menus and otherwise arranging every single detail of the day on your own. But while cruise ship weddings can be easier, you do lose some flexibility because of the constraints of getting married on board.When more than one soon-to-be-newlywed couple is on the same ship at the same time – and maybe even three or four couples are sharing this special time – you may feel like your big day is no more than a matrimonial assembly line. Fortunately, cruise lines are willing and able to help you customize your event and make it truly memorable just for you – if you know where to get creative with a cruise wedding.
When more than one soon-to-be-newlywed couple is on the same ship at the same time – and maybe even three or four couples are sharing this special time – you may feel like your big day is no more than a matrimonial assembly line. Fortunately, cruise lines are willing and able to help you customize your event and make it truly memorable just for you – if you know where to get creative with a cruise wedding.
Choose Your Cruise Wedding and Date Carefully
One of the easiest ways to make your cruise wedding unique is to take steps to be the only bride and groom on board. Smaller, more intimate cruise lines may offer exclusive wedding options, when you are guaranteed to have the only wedding on a particular sailing, but that is not usually an option with larger, more popular lines. That doesn’t mean there will automatically be multiple ceremonies, however. Choosing your wedding cruise date carefully can help you keep your event more unique and special. Avoid common vacation periods – holidays and weekends – to minimize the chances of other couples getting married on the same cruise. Seven-night cruises are also popular wedding options because of the built-in honeymoon, so if you can opt for a longer cruise, you may be the only wedding couple on board.
Skip the Embarkation Cruise Wedding
Embarkation day is the most common option for cruise weddings, for several reasons. Not only do these first-day weddings give couples the option to have more non-sailing guests attend their ceremony, but getting married before the cruise is officially underway maximizes the length of the cruise honeymoon. But this is also a busy, crowded day in the public areas of the ship, when many guests are milling around before they can access their cabins. Not only may you share this wedding day with other couples, but you can be gawked at by curious guests through the entire event. Instead, opt to get married at a port of call during the cruise, and you’ll get the same amazing service from the cruise line as well as more unique options for your special day. Many ports of call are available for weddings, including Barbados, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Jamaica, Cozumel, the Cayman Islands and the Virgin Islands, but the exact destination will vary depending on the itinerary you select and what options are available for port weddings on that sailing.
Use the Cruise Coordinator
Every cruise ship wedding has one thing in common that you absolutely want to have – a coordinator to help you arrange all the details of your special day. This consultant is the expert for your on-board wedding, and can answer all your questions about the options to make your wedding unique. They can also offer advice and guidance for just how to customize your event, and can work with you on any special concerns you may have regarding difficulties like allergies or special needs. Your wedding coordinator will also be your go-to person for any desires or requests you may have, such as bringing your own CD of wedding music, incorporating a favorite flower into the bridal bouquet or adjusting colors. While not every request may be possible to fulfill, they will try their best to make your special day everything you’ve dreamed of.
Dress for Your Dream Cruise Wedding
Your attire is something you can completely control and customize for a cruise ship wedding. Why not use any money you’re saving by not having a land-based event and make your dress and tuxedo even more spectacular? You might consider colors to coordinate with the cruise, or flowy fabrics and designs that mimic waves or the wake of the ship. And don’t forget the jewelry, shoes, veil and other accessories that can truly make your wedding attire stand out. Just take care to transport the dress to the cruise appropriately without it getting crushed or misshapen in luggage, and bear in mind that most cruise ship dry cleaning services cannot guarantee service for a garment as specialized as a wedding dress.
Vows From the Heart
The one part of your cruise ship wedding that will truly be your own is the vows you and your beloved exchange. While the officiant the cruise line arranges will be happy to provide classic, time-honored vows for your ceremony, you can also recite your own personalized vows, individual promises and declarations just between the two of you. Even if another couple on board happens to choose the same hors d’oeuvres, serve the same drinks, carry the same flowers or even decorate with the same colors, their vows will never be exactly what you and your partner share together.
No wedding is 100 percent guaranteed unique – not on land, and certainly not on a cruise ship – since the same dresses are available from different retailers, certain flowers are always popular favorites and key music is played at ceremonies and receptions over and over again. But if you carefully consider the different options cruise lines offer, you can take steps to personalize your special day and make your cruise wedding as unique and wonderful as the love it unites and celebrates.