How to get married at sea or on a boat is not as difficult as some may think as there are many companies who now specialise in this business all over the world. All links mentioned below can be found by clicking the Holidays, Weddings and Special Occasions category opposite.
The sea has been associated with romance for as long as can be remembered with the sounds of lapping waves on the shore, breathtaking scenery to stunning sunsets on the horizon.
Couples getting married often look for something different other than the traditional church or registry office ceremonies. Getting married at sea or on a boat can offer the bride and groom an alternative wedding that they and the guests will never forget, for all the right reasons we hope.
So to start, what do you want? and what can you afford? If the latter is not important then the world is your oyster. Sadly for most, including myself, both questions are intrinsically connected. However some companies will offer deals that are cheaper than getting married on land.
• Work out your budget?
Always leave a little in reserve. Spending ahead using every last penny will almost always result in needing funds for the unplanned or unexpected which could be so important to avoid making the special occasion a nightmare and blaming each other whilst embarking on your first “domestic”.
• Start a check list. Remember the seven P’s used in the military:
Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents P*ss Poor Performance.
To say “everything went according to plan” is such a comfort when you are relaxing at the end of the day with your newlywed partner. Keep this handy as you will be adding to it along the way.
• Which country?
This depends on available funds and the logistics of getting yourselves and guests, if you’re inviting them, to the venue. Careful decisions at this stage can be a great way of eliminating those irritating in-laws or out-laws who you have to invite but you know would never be able to make it for whatever reason. That’s got some of you thinking hasn’t it?
There are many countries to choose from when deciding how to get married at sea and some of the more popular are:
Thailand, the Caribbean, Mediterranean, USA but stunning scenery will take your breath away sailing the Norwegian Fjords.
• Get married at the harbour or port or at sea?
Static ships, boats or yachts moored at the port or harbour side generally speaking will be cheaper. The added benefit of course is not having to worry about sea sickness tablets and paper bags although some people I know feel queasy just turning a tap on.
Arranging for a vicar or clergyman/woman who will conduct the ceremony may be easier also. Otherwise you will have to be certain the captain is registered to carry out such duties.
There is a delightful paddle steamer called the Southern Comfort that operates on the Norfolk Broads in the UK. The owners cater for weddings and private functions. They feature daytime and/or evening hire rates in low and high season. Clients have an option to use the catering and live music hire or to arrange these events themselves. This is a good choice if the open sea is not to your taste.
Iglu Cruise a good place to start if you’re thinking of a cruise liner wedding. The company are agents and members of ATOL and ABTA
• Question the agent or operator about any discounts or the flexibility of the packages being offered. If you don’t ask you don’t get! Don’t be frightened to ring as many times as you need, they’re used to it and will be only too happy to help. Remember it’s your money they’re getting.
• Keep that check list handy to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything like catering, music, photographer, passports, marriage licence, disabled access if needed, a DVD of the big day and of course the rings.
• Don’t forget the honeymoon and/or excursions. Book well ahead and check for countries that require vaccinations.
The list is almost endless but this tedious task can be fun and will pay off at the end of the day making the answer a straight forward one to the question "How to get married at sea"