Nautical Nuptials – Our guide to getting married on a cruise ship

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Every cruise exudes an air of excitement and romance, a memorable occasion in it’s own right, but coupled with celebrating an important event your cruise then becomes even more spectacular.

Tie the knot at sea -


Whether you opt for a wedding on the waves or you choose to say your vows at a breathtaking exotic location on the shore, a cruise ship wedding is an incredibly romantic way to tie the knot….here are some key things to consider before taking the plunge:


Sydney Harbour - Cruise Weddings -


Location, Location, Location
Select your preferred location (Caribbean, Europe, North America etc.) before you select a date. After deciding on the location, select a date that’s close to peak season for your chosen destination. However do try to avoid the very height of peak season, otherwise your trip will cost you a whole lot more. Also bear in mind seasonal tendencies (school holidays, hurricane season, Valentine’s Day etc) as these dates will also be a lot more expensive.

Sail or Shore?
There are various types of cruise weddings; Some offer weddings at sea, others at the harbour side for non-sailing guests, or in one of the ports. Some cruise lines are not as flexible and require you to have a pre-cruise wedding at the port of departure. It’s advisable to explore the options available by using a Cruise Specialist such as Iglu Cruise

Lawfully wedded…
If you do want to get married at sea by the ship’s Captain, you will be limited to only a handful of cruise lines, due to the legal limitations of the ships’ country of registration All legal ceremonies performed at sea must take place at least 12 miles from shore, again it’s advisable to seek guidance from a cruise specialist.

Engage the Experts
Engage the services of your Cruise Line dedicated wedding planner or independent on shore wedding planner as soon as possible – they have a wealth of experience and knowledge regarding legalities, to make the planning easy, enjoyable and problem free.

Cruise Ship Weddings -

Guests dilemma..
If having friends and family present is paramount to your plans, then do take into consideration the length of time your guests can travel and how much they can afford to spend. If the cruise is to Australia or the Caribbean for example, the airfare and the cruise could prove to be unaffordable to some of your guests, however it is worth enquiring about group rate discounts.

Gowns on the gangway..
There are no rules that say you have to wear a less-formal wedding gown for a cruise ship wedding, I’ve witnessed brides in full trains and elaborate gowns at both onboard and beach nuptials. If that is what you want to wear, by all means, do! However, do take into consideration the transporting of your gown, the bigger the dress the bigger the stress. Remember NEVER check-in your wedding dress – always carry it on. The more layers the more hassle, and don’t forget the more elaborate the gown the more steaming and pressing required on board. Go for lighter floaty fabrics if you can, especially in hotter climes.

Nautical Nuptials - Sailor Shot -

Plan “B”
It’s not unusual for ships to cancel calls at ports due to weather restrictions, therefore have a back-up plan in case the ship bypasses the port you’ve chosen. Remember if you book a Caribbean cruise try to avoid December and May hurricane seasons.

Try not to expect the unexpected but if it happens be prepared, I’m sure it won’t so enjoy your trip of a lifetime


Wedding On The Waves -





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