Destinations weddings have been on the rise for some time now, and one of the more popular versions of this trend is a cruise ship wedding. According to CLIA (the Cruise Lines International Association), cruise weddings have increased by 60% in the last ten years, and it’s easy to see why:
They are convenient. Couples can choose to get married onboard at the port of embarkation, at sea in the ship’s chapel (on select ships), or on the beach at one of the ports of call. Either way, they are able to combine their wedding with their honeymoon, and bring along as many (or as few) guests as they choose. And the wedding details are all handled by a dedicated wedding coordinator (most cruise lines outsource this to a third party, since it has become so prevalent)
They are affordable. You’re not paying to rent a venue or hire a caterer, and wedding packages range from a very basic ceremony with an officiant, the ship’s photographer and a cake….to more opulent affairs with flowers, music, and a special reception afterwards. Guests can choose to purchase the level of accommodations (inside/outside/balcony/suite) that works within their budget, and no one has to worry about who’s picking up the tab for dinner.
They are fun. Whether you’re tying the knot on embarkation day or further along in the cruise, the celebration starts the minute you board the ship. Your family and friends are along for the ride, so to speak, and the party is not limited to a single afternoon or evening.
All that being said, cruise weddings do require some careful planning to make sure that you are choosing the right ship and itinerary for you, that you and your guests are getting the best value for your money, and that you’ve thought through all the logistics for the ceremony itself (different island have different rules/requirements for weddings, and you always need to have a “plan B” in case weather forces the ship to skip your port).
This is definitely one of those situations where it pays to work with a travel professional, so that you can just relax and look forward to your wedding at sea!