You’re getting married! Congrats! And if you are reading this, you have moved from the blissful haze of engagement to the horror that is actually planning a wedding… I’m sorry. There are so many decisions to make, where to have the wedding, who to invite, what to serve, not to mention the decorations, the dress, the hair, and literally everything else you can think of. From personal experience, I can say that one of the biggest decisions you will make when getting married is where to have the ceremony. Maybe you’re considering getting married on a cruise?
These days you can get married just about anywhere, and cruises are no exception. I recently had the privilege of standing by my best friend’s side as she tied the knot somewhere between Jamaica and Mexico. As a bridesmaid I got an up close uncensored look at the ins and outs of getting married on a cruise. So here is some key information you may want to consider before getting married on a cruise.
As with most destination weddings, the location change will affect how many people can attend your special day. This is something you need to fully consider. Is the size of your wedding important to you? Are there key people, like a beloved grandmother or uncle, who simply cannot travel? Can the people closest to you afford to attend? It completely worked out for my friend as far as guests go, she had her grandparents, extended family, and quite a large group of friends on both sides that were able to make it from all over the world to the cruise. So it can definitely work, but that depends on your wants and circumstances.
One thing most brides don’t consider when deciding on a cruise wedding is luggage. I couldn’t believe the amount of stuff my friend had in her wedding suite, and how she got it from Alaska to Florida. Think about the amount of decorations, flowers, dresses, jewelry, and tuxes you may want to have at your wedding. Take that into account with where you live verse where the cruise departs from. Luckily my friend knew someone who lived in Florida, and she sent most of the ordered item to her address, than picked it up once she landed. It is certainly not a deal breaker, but if you are not a low maintenance kind of bride, you may want to mull it over.
This is both a positive and a negative; when you’re getting married on a cruise, you give up a huge amount of control. Cruise line’s have event coordinators that work with the bride and groom up to and thru the big day… but it’s not like hiring a wedding planner. You won’t always have control over how the ceremony plays out, the order of events, or even the time of day you get married… that’s just how it goes. The upside to this is that if you are able to go with the flow, you save yourself a lot of stress, because you’re not in charge of countless details on the day of.
This one will be short… just like your wedding. Cruises do not give you the venue for the entire evening, not even close. I believe my friend had her venue from 3:30 until 7, and that was a strict curfew. You can purchase more time during planning, but don’t count on adding an hour or so for more dancing on the day of.
The best part of getting married on a cruise is that everyone is already on vacation! Whoever does make it to your special day has paid for the ticket, cashed in the vacation leave, packed the sunscreen, and is ready to party. Cruises can almost guaranty that nobody will be spending your wedding day worrying about work on Monday or if the kids are ok… they are in vacation mode. That means that everyone is smiling, tanned, and ready to dance the night away.