When it comes to planning a dream wedding, could there be anything more romantic than getting married at sea, with the breath taking beauty of the ocean as a backdrop to your special day?
A wedding at sea is the ultimate choice in romantic destinations to tie the knot and a more relaxing experience than a conventional wedding, with the cruise lines covering every detail of your momentous occasion. Here we look at three of the most coveted wedding packages to see what’s in store for the cruising bride and groom:
Royal Caribbean Weddings
Royal Caribbean offer couples packages for everything from the proposal through to reaffirming the vowels. Their simplest package for the would-be bride and groom is Paradise Shipboard which includes everything you need for a romantic wedding, all organised for you. The bride has an elegant hand tied bouquet which incorporates nine ivory-coloured roses or a tropical bouquet for island locations, and the groom has a matching boutonniere with a single bloom. You’ll enjoy a romantic wedding ceremony on board conducted by a Royal Romance Wedding Officiant with your choice of music playing, and a photographer is arranged with thirty photographs and a CD of 15 images included in the price. The package also includes a bottle of sparkling wine and a keepsake marriage certificate.
Royal Caribbean also offer a Paradise Destination package which allows you to pick the location of your ceremony. Like the on board package, everything you need is arranged for you, from flowers and photography through to transportation to your chosen destination. You’ll enjoy the perfect ceremony in your choice of exotic wedding location for a truly memorable day, with a bottle of sparkling wine to celebrate the occasion. In addition, depending on your choice of port, a wedding cake may be provided for the newlyweds.
The Celebrity cruise line similarly offers both on board and location packages for couples, with full customisation of the experience possible. Their basic ‘Shipboard’ package offers similar features to Royal Caribbean, with a romantic wedding ceremony hosted under a white wedding canopy that has been adorned with fresh flowers and flowing white sheers. Recorded traditional ceremony music is provided for you, and in addition, the vowels can be customised to your destination. The bride and groom are given an artistic wedding cake, and there is a bottle of Celebrity’s sparkling signature champagne ready to celebrate the happy moment. Celebrity do organise photography but the photographs, which are available within 48 hours of the wedding, are not included in the price.
Celebrity’s ‘Shore side’ Wedding package, like Royal Caribbean, lets you choose where you’d like to get married, with most destinations on their list offering an idyllic beach or garden setting for your ceremony.
Holland America Weddings
Whilst Royal Caribbean and Celebrity have the two basic on-board and shore side packages that can be heavily customised, Holland America has more ‘all in’ packages to choose from. Their most simple package is the Smooth Sailing Shipboard Wedding which is just for the bride and groom. It’s perfect if you’re planning an intimate wedding without guests and since none of the trimmings are bundled in, it can be a very cost effective option. The service includes a romantic ceremony and keepsake certificate, and all the extras are provided a-la-carte, so you can pick and choose whether you want flowers, photography, video or entertainment.
Holland America have thrown more of the essentials into their next package up, the Anchors Away package, whilst keeping the pricing competitive. This package includes recorded ceremony music, a rose bouquet for the bride and matching boutonniere for the groom, and a wedding cake that serves up to 8 people. There’s a bottle of champagne included and photography during the ceremony with one 8 x 10 photo included in the price too. You’ll also get a commemorative wedding album to keep your photos in, and a keepsake wedding certificate.
The next package on offer is the Rembrandt Shipboard which includes more photographs in the price and additionally, transportation for the happy couple in a private chauffeured limousine to the pier on the morning of wedding, within a ten mile radius of the port. The final on board package is the Royal Dutch Deluxe which includes an upgraded bouquet, premium champagne, more photographs, a floral arrangement in your room, chocolate dipped strawberries and champagne in your room, and a massage for two.
Holland America also offer destination wedding packages and these have been carefully planned around popular destinations and locations so you don’t have to research what might work well for you.
Whether you opt for a wedding on the waves or you choose to say your vows at a breath taking exotic location on the shore, a cruise ship wedding is an incredibly romantic way to tie the knot. With so many couples deciding to get married this way, there are some fantastic packages available that range from no-frills to all-inclusive, allowing you to take advantage of this unique experience whatever your budget.
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: Lindsay Clark.