The eight most-asked questions about cruise weddings
The overwhelming stress of weddings can turn a lot of people off – guests included. Enter weddings at sea. Not only are they affordable – they’re hassle-free, too, since everything is looked after by a qualified co-ordinator. To make the day just that extra bit simpler, we’ve answered the tough questions for you (you’re welcome!).
Which cruise lines offer weddings at sea? P&O, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Cunard Line, Crystal Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Celebrity Cruises all host weddings at sea. To make it happen, get in touch with the Ceremonies at Sea team.
How much will it cost, and what’s included in the package? All cruise line packages differ, but weddings at sea usually start at about $2500, including a photographer, wedding cake, sparkling wine for toasting, a bouquet and buttonhole and a commemorative wedding certificate. It’s time to set your control issues aside and just enjoy the ride. Courtney wed her beau, Shawn, on a Carnival ship a few years ago, and even though they were concerned about having a ‘stranger’ take photos, they went with the flow and were pleasantly surprised. “The Carnival wedding photographer not only captured the beauty of our ceremony and reception, he also captured all of the special moments throughout the day,” tells Courtney.
So we have to organise our own celebrant? Yes. If you’d like to make it official, Australian laws require a registered celebrant to conduct the ceremony. Don’t worry about having to pay for them to cruise with you, either – most ceremonies are held while the ship is docked, so your celebrant will be able to hop off before you set sail.
Will beauty services be organised for me once I get on the ship? No. It’s advised that you get your hair and makeup done prior to boarding.
Will random passengers be watching? Ceremonies are typically held at an indoor venue that can only hold about 30 guests, so you won’t need to worry about the whole ship watching on. Only those who are booked to travel on the same cruise as you will be able to attend the ceremony, though, so make sure the important people in your life book a cabin. Some lines, such as Princess, actually have a wedding chapel onboard, perfect for those who’d like more of a religious ceremony. Then again, if you don’t mind being the centre of attention, you could hop off a Princess cruise at one of the exotic destinations on your itinerary and wed there.
How will it be catered? That all depends on your budget. P&O, for example, offers a simple – but delicious – drink and canapé reception, or you could treat yourself and your guests to a dinner at Salt grill by Luke Mangan ($49 per person for a four-course meal). One thing you can be sure of is that your guests won’t go back to their room hungry!
We’re already married. Can we renew our vows? Of course! And if you’re both cruise lovers, there’s no better place to do so than while sailing. Renewal of vows are generally priced at around the $500 mark and include a dinner for two, a photographer to capture the special moment, a bouquet and buttonhole.
What about commitment ceremonies? Commitment ceremonies are also on the list. P&O charges $550 for theirs, which includes an intimate dinner for two at Salt grill by Luke Mangan, a spa treatment, a photographer and take-home robes, and it will even be conducted by the ship’s captain or senior officer. As with vow renewals, these are also held at sea.
Did you or someone you know get married on a cruise ship? Email [email protected]!