How To Get Married on a Cruise

Bride drinking wine

Getting married on a cruise ship can be one of the most romantic and memorable ways to tie the knot.  If you're planning to get married on a cruise ship, you and your significant other should think ahead about what kind of wedding you would like to have and where you would like to have it.  Would you like to exchange vows while at sea or would you rather say your "I do's" while at port?

Only three cruise lines offer weddings at sea despite the common misconception that any ship's captain can perform the ceremony.  A captain covering the vows also has to be a notary and, in reality, most of them are not.  That being said, there are a few cruise lines that offer weddings at sea: Princess Cruise Lines, Azamara Cruises and Celebrity Cruises.

On each ship, the captain presides over the ceremony.  The couple can choose to have just one witness chosen by the captain or they can have a regular wedding at sea with guests in attendance, as long as their friends and family are part of the cruise.  More guests can attend for a short period of time if the ship is docked.

Azamara Cruises offers a wide variety of wedding packages, including in-port options and at-sea options.  Fees start at around $2,500 for a basic wedding with the captain in attendance.  While at port, you can choose to have your wedding performed on the seven continents that Azamara services; guests can even be married in a castle or at any of the other many stellar spots where the cruise ship docks.

Princess Cruise Lines offers a wedding at sea package that starts at around $2,300 and includes a ceremony preformed by the captain at a wedding chapel located on the ship. A ceremony lit by candles is one of the options available along with wedding flowers, special vows, live music and a wedding coordinator.  This cruise line offers harbor-side options which would be ideal if you wish to have the wedding and then sail off on your honeymoon by yourselves.

Celebrity Cruises has a package which starts at $175 per couple, with an additional charge of $45 per person if the wedding is performed while harbor-side.  If the couple wishes to get married at sea then the package starts at $2,500 and includes private receptions as well as a specialty restaurant available for their reception.

Planning a wedding at sea involves starting early and knowing which license and other paperwork you may need to have your ceremony performed by the captain at the location you've chosen.


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