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Your wedding is bound to be a magical experience no matter where it is set, but some couples are opting for a truly unique location: the open waters. Holding your wedding ceremony at sea is an idealistic scene, with clear blue waters, a light breeze, and a beautiful sunset. The logistics are not quite as simple, but if you know these tips your wedding day will be smooth sailing.
Make Sure Its Legal
While it seems like every other movie shows a couple being married on the fly by a convenient captain, a ship’s captain generally does not have the legal right to officiate a sea wedding. The captain must also be a judge, minister, justice of the peace, or an officially recognized officiant, such as a Notary Public. If you’re looking to have your ceremony on a cruise, be sure that your chosen cruise line actually performs weddings. Although many cruise ships provide entertainment and activities for all ages while on board, some do not offer wedding services.
Consider What Guests Will Do Afterwards
The logistics of the ceremony to reception to the end of the celebration transition can be tricky when everyone is on one sea-bound vessel. If you want the clergy to perform the ceremony or you invite people who may not be fans of sailing, consider having a pre-sailaway ceremony. You can hold your ceremony and a small after party on board the ship while it is docked and then anyone who doesn’t want to sail away can debark before the ship leaves. You will also have to consider the capacity of the ship and whether you can fit everyone you want to invite. The average number of wedding guests is 136 people, according to the Knot’s 2014 Real Weddings Study. If a cruise ship has overbooked for your planned dates, your party may be bumped off of the cruise.
Plan Out Where You’re Going
Getting married at sea or on a cruise ship is an easy way to incorporate the expenses of travel into a destination wedding. You won’t have to spend the extra money flying to a remote island or stress about your guests having to front that expense as well. You will want to plan out exactly what stops you’ll be making and if your guests are willing to go along to all of the stops. As the destination will likely be your honeymoon as well, you’ll want to be able to coordinate private time with your new spouse rather than spend all of your time minding your guests.
A wedding at sea may not be for everyone, but it can be the perfect way to celebrate the love of a couple who value adventure, travel, and romantic destinations. With careful planning and realistic expectations of what a wedding at sea will be, your maritime marriage will be absolutely perfect.