Posted July 12th, 2009, 08:00 PM
1. Even though it is believed to be a regular event, a ship's captain generally doesn't have the legal right to perform a wedding at sea. In order for a Captain of a ship to perform a marriage at sea, he must be a judge, a justice of the peace, a minister or an officially recognize officiant such as a Notary Public.
2. Japanese ships allow Captains to perform a marriage ceremony at sea, but only if the couple has valid Japanese passports.
3. Through Bermuda law, and because the captains have Bermuda licenses to perform weddings, captains aboard Princess Cruise's "Golden Princess" and the "Grand Princess" can perform weddings aboard ship and at sea. 800-774-6237
4. A romantic alternative is to have your wedding aboard ship while it is docked in a port. You need to follow the port's requirements for such a wedding. All cruise lines offer this option.
5. Many cruise lines will require that once in port, you will need to leave the ship, swear before a judge that everything is correct with previous prepared paperwork, then go back to the ship for your ceremony.
6. If you want to renew your vows at sea, you need to show proof of a valid marriage.
7. If the captain obtains a temporary permit to perform your wedding, a Cruise West captain can officiate your wedding within Alaska waterways.
1. A wedding at sea takes planning. It's not something you can decide at the last minute.
2. Some states and locales allow you to use their marriage license elsewhere (like in a foreign port). Ask your county clerk if this is so.
3. Having a wedding at sea makes arranging the honeymoon easier. Just make sure you tell friends and relatives to leave you alone after the ceremony!
4. Couples in Bermuda must be 21 and have picture ID showing proof of age.
5. Some websites still mention Liberian law for the Princess Cruise Line weddings, but that was changed.
What You Need:
* Photo ID
* Other required documentation
* Time to plan your wedding
According to Cruise Lines International Association, cruise weddings have grown at a phenomenal rate the last few years. Five years ago, there were practically none, but this year there will be thousands. Carnival Cruise Lines alone estimates it will plan over 2000 weddings this year, and those weddings will also have a built-in honeymoon. This growth rate should not be surprising. You can have a wedding and then sail off on your honeymoon! No travel time wasted between the "I dos" and the fun. Most cruise weddings are on the major cruise lines. Wedding packages are available from American Hawaii, Cape Canaveral, Carnival, Celebrity, Costa, Holland America, Norwegian, Premier, Princess, Regal, and Royal Caribbean International. However, with the exception of the Grand Princess, you will need to "bring your own" clergyman or other official to perform the service.
Cruise weddings can take place onboard in a public room on the ship, or on a romantic shore such as a beach or a glacier. The Grand Princess has its own wedding chapel, and the captain is authorized to marry you at sea. RCCI's Voyager of the Seas has a wedding chapel, but you will need to tie the knot while in port. Many couples get married while in a Caribbean port or before the cruise begins. That way the guests can come aboard, enjoy the service, and disembark before sailing. Alternatively, you could invite all your guests on the honeymoon!
Because of the increase in the popularity of "different" weddings, some independent wedding planners have begun to offer cruise weddings. A Wedding for You, Inc. and Flowers and Cruises, Inc. are just two companies that can help you plan a memorable day.
The price range of a shipboard wedding is just like one ashore--from a few hundred dollars to thousands. You will need to consult with a cruise travel agent, an independent wedding planner, or the cruise line's wedding department to select the best package for you. Although the options may seem to be endless, many packages are similar. Just be sure that your dreams and your budget are in sync. Good luck!
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