Celebrating your wedding on a cruise ship is something that is different, new and exciting. Over the last couple of years many couples have decided to hold the ceremony to exchange nuptials onboard a cruise ship.

It’s having a great wedding, reception and honeymoon all in one with your family and friends that are part of your wedding. There are special wedding planners for cruise ships or you can plan your own.

When making the decision to have your wedding aboard a cruise ship you need to determine some critical options for your ceremony.

This article can outline how to make the event fabulous and all that it can be and that the wedding couple wants.

  • Decide what cruise ship you would like and where you would like to go. Did you want to cruise to the Caribbean and hold the ritual on the beach with the setting sun in the background and the ocean in the background? As the bride, determine if you want to get married in Alaska or in the Caribbean.


When planning the cruise, how long would you like the cruise to last? Are you paying the costs of everyone to go or will they pay their own way? Can your guest get the time off work? All of these will be used to determine how long you will be gone on your cruise.


  • There are some ship captains that can perform the wedding for you on board the ship. Others require you to bring your own official for the ceremony. If you plan on getting married off of the ship, what are the laws for the country you plan to marry in?


Carnival Cruises offer the wedding at sea package which generally includes everything. The official for marrying, champagne, toasts, cake, music and photographer are all part of the package. These cruises only travel to the Alaska coastline. If you don’t want to get married in Alaska, this won’t work for you.


Royal Caribbean cruises offer a wedding package that requires you to marry in one of the ports, not on the ship. There is no special wedding package. You are responsible for everything tied to your ceremony. The laws for marriage in the ports are something that you need to check into. How long do you have to wait for a wedding license, etc?


Disney will cruise you to their private island in the Bahamas specifically equipped for marrying couples. Married on shore and returning to the ship sailing back to Florida and offering you admission to the amusement parks.


  • Bride and groom couples are not the only couples to be married at sea. Same sex marriages can also be performed on designated cruise shipping lines; this includes GLBT, Disney and family friendly Rfamily cruises.


  • Set a budget just as you would if you were getting married at home in a church. Stay within that budget. Determine if you will cover the costs of any of the wedding parties cruise expenses? If you are driving to the port, include these costs. Where will you have dinner? Will you have a reception at home or on the ship? Possibly in port? You may want to include shopping as well as dining out. Also include travel and event insurance, just in case.


  • After making your basic decisions, you can consult a friend or family member that had a cruise wedding or a cruise wedding planner. They go far beyond traditional wedding planners with their services. They will help you select a cruise line. Assist with getting your airfare to the cruise boat. Select a location appropriate for your wedding and include any paperwork or legal documents needed pertaining to the wedding.


Deciding to have your marriage on a cruise ship can be wonderful if that’s what you would like. However, you need to make a lot of decisions not involved with having a regular wedding. Plan early and stay within your budget.

If you have guests, make certain they have their tickets for the transportation and cruise ship paid early. Get a definitely yes or no early. Understand that you may be honeymooning with your in-laws. If you are ok with that, have a wonderful time.