Caribbean Wedding At Sea – Marriage Vows On The Water
Looking to break the mold with a unique wedding ceremony and reception in an unexpected place? People travel from around the world to explore the warm and exotic Caribbean Sea waters and their many secret coves, reefs, and hidden islands. Why not place your destination wedding celebration right in the middle of this natural beauty?
Weddings at sea, with marriage vows on the water, offer opportunities for an exciting and romantic journey, tailored however you prefer and surrounded by the incomparable beauty of clear Caribbean waters and picturesque island views. Whether you choose a small private yacht or a luxurious cruise ship, no type of ceremony or reception remains off limits – in fact, many boat companies and cruises offer coordinators to help execute your dream wedding down to the last detail, all in a setting that immerses you in the middle of paradise.
Catamarans and Yachts
When considering a wedding on the water, there are a few different ways to go about it. If you prefer privacy and the luxury of your own vessel, charter a catamaran or a yacht to whisk you off through the perfect wedding ceremony at sea, and then the perfect honeymoon. This romantic setting allows for as intimate or large of a wedding as you like, whether it’s just you and your beloved, or a boat for your entire family. Yachts and catamarans come in varying sizes, and are typically large enough to hold food and a caterer, decorations, a dance floor, kitchen, and anything else needed for a ceremony. Many include luxurious interiors and designs, perfect for an extra touch of class during your wedding proceedings.
Before you jump into a ceremony on the water, however, there are a few logistics to consider. A widely held misconception is that boat captains have the authority to marry couples. Unless they double as a minister or a justice of the peace, they cannot legally marry you, at sea or otherwise (unless they’re the specially licensed captain of a cruise ship.) You must supply your own minister or other officiates, but many vessels offering wedding packages take care of this for you. Some Caribbean charter boats specialize in weddings at sea and specifically offer captains with the legal credentials to perform a legal marriage on the water. A common solution is completing the ceremony on the beach before setting off on a wedding cruise, or to get married on the docked boat. Once the vows are complete, sail off into the sunset and let the reception fun begin!
A chartered vessel wedding on the water comes with the flexibility to be as lengthy, or brief, as you would like. Complete just the nuptials at a dock, sail off for a reception or cocktail hour, or any other desired combination of events! If you prefer, extend your time to include an entire honeymoon at sea. Many boats can create itineraries for several days’ worth of island exploring, snorkeling, and sightseeing, highlighting some of the best spots in the Caribbean for your first days as a married couple.
If you enjoy high-class luxury at its finest, consider a cruise ship wedding as a second option. This increasingly popular choice melds the honeymoon right into the ceremony, on a floating luxury palace that includes entertainment, pools, beautiful accommodations, and any other amenities you could want, as well as travel through some of the most beautiful spots in the Caribbean. Cruise ships offer a variety of options for couples, often with a wedding planner and the ability to customize the ceremony to be as elaborate or simple as you prefer. This frequently includes services such as video, catering, photography, flower arrangements, and more, depending on the size of the ship you choose. Sail alone after an intimate ceremony, or invite your entire wedding party, family, and friends along for the trip! Because of the popularity of cruises and the limited space, however, it’s best to make your plans early. Begin researching as soon as you decide that a cruise might be for you, particularly if you plan on marrying in a port city – to fulfill island requirements, you sometimes have to start planning months in advance for this type of Caribbean destination wedding.
If nothing can change your desire to get married at sea in a legal and binding ceremony, a cruise ship remains one of the best places for it to happen. The cruise lines Princess,
Celebrity, Azamara, and P&O all employ specially licensed captains with the authority to tie the knot at sea, although it’s recommended you book these trips as early as possible to guarantee your date. More popular Caribbean wedding options include marrying at the dock right before the boat sets sail – many ships make special allowances for your wedding party to come aboard for the ceremony, after which they can disembark (or set sail with you, if you planned ahead of time!) Other couples choose to marry in port cities along the course of the trip, but this comes with its own set of complications. You are in charge of finding out the marriage and license requirements for your location of choice – keep in mind that some islands require residency periods or wait times. Some cruise ships help with this process, so check with your chosen line for more information.
Lastly, you may choose to legally marry at home before traveling, and then complete a symbolic wedding ceremony in whatever Caribbean location you like – in a port city, aboard the ship, or on the water. Many cruise lines specifically make arrangements for this, which allows an extra degree of freedom and flexibility with planning.
More recent options for couples to wed offer the benefits of a cruise with an exotic land ceremony. With certain packages, onshore companies will pick you up at your destination port of choice, take you to a romantic location for your wedding ceremony, and return you to the ship in time for departure, all with various amenities included. While this seems like a perfect solution for impulsive couples, remember to first research the rules of the island you want to marry on!
When planning a wedding celebration on the water, don’t forget to also consider your guests. If you have a groomsman who easily gets seasick, or an aunt with an intense fear of water, a different setting for your wedding might be appropriate. Keep in mind the Caribbean Sea may not fit everyone’s comfort level, so keep your wedding party informed of the plans. Once you ensure that everyone checks out, prepare to board your vessel, say your vows, and set out to sea on the romantic journey of a lifetime. Create memories to last long after your return home in these interesting, one-of-a-kind Caribbean destination venues!