About Cruise Ship Weddings
Turn your wedding into an adventure by getting married at sea
By Linda Ray
A cruise ship wedding is a wonderful option for couples who like to multitask. The wedding and honeymoon can be combined into one extravagant affair. Family and friends can easily join the party and find activities for all ages and interests. Weddings at sea have grown in popularity so much that many cruise ships now include chapels that specifically cater toward couples who want to have their ceremony aboard the ship.
Couples can choose from an on board religious service while the ship is in port or a service off the ship at an exotic location. For a ceremony on the ship, your guests can take the entire cruise or board for a day while the ship is in port. If you get married on land while the ship is docked, your guests can fly directly to the destination.
Local Laws and Regulations
Many ports, such as those in Aruba or the Bahamas, require a one- or two-day residency period. Other ports have no waiting or residency requirements. Laws in France require that a 60-day residency be established to get married there.
Some ship captains are licensed to perform weddings, while some cruiselines have religious leaders on their staff that can officiate your ceremony. Otherwise, you can have ask a friend to become ordained before the cruise and perform the wedding.
Cruise lines usually use the services of third-party wedding planners/travel agents to plan weddings. Costs can range from $500 for a small wedding with a notary and champagne to larger events that can run as high as $75 per guest. Wedding prices are in addition to the cost of the cruise.
As cruising gains in popularity, the most sought-after cruises book well in advance. Wedding parties should consider booking about 12 months in advance to secure a spot for everyone wishing to attend. Talk to a representative from the cruise line about reserving a block of rooms for your guests -- and don't forget to ask for a discounted rate for your party.
About the Author
Linda Ray is a freelance writer and contributor to DexKnows.
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