***5 Star*** Wedding on the Sapphire Princess

Honeymoon & Wedding Cruises
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#1
35 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Back from our spectacular Wedding Cruise aboard the Sapphire Princess to the Mexican Riviera on March 19th-26th. The wedding was on Day 3 - at sea, and we had 68 wedding guests sailing with us.

We did pretty much as "high-end" a wedding as Princess has ever done at sea. We pulled out all the stops, and threw in every bell-and-whistle, so anyone contemplating planning this sort of wedding at sea on Princess can contact me regarding how to handle the chaos. (and there was an unbelievable amount of chaos in the planning phase).

Going through TWE was incredibly frustrating (I almost cancelled the whole thing), but ultimately we worked our way up the chain and were finally being helped by one of their senior managers - Ginette who who I believe really did go out of her way to help answer our many questions and try get us what we wanted - which was about 90% of what we had requested. That being said, the Staff aboard the Sapphire went above and beyond every step of the way and gave us the wedding of our dreams, and we are so incredibly grateful to them for all their hard work.

A few little details you should know about what i'm describing here that will differ greatly from the regular package Princess offers. We did a traditional Jewish Ceremony and brought our own Rabbi with us. (We did the civil paperwork before we sailed to avoid having a marriage certificate from Bermuda so we were technically legally married already). We also had some family friends who are professional florists who did all of the wedding decorations, and handled all the details a formal wedding planner would manage for us. We chose all silk flowers and brought them on board with us (22 LARGE boxes of wedding decorations). I had a friend who is a professional hair stylist and make up artist come with us - as i'm too much of a control freak to leave that to chance. The rest of the wedding party and several guests had their hair done at the salon and everyone ultimately end up looking great.

Our wedding ceremony took place from 1:30pm - 3pm in the Skywalker, and our wedding reception was from 3pm - 6pm in the Wheelhouse Bar. We did passed appetizers with open bar and a cheese station for the first hour - the 3 other food stations for the 2nd hour, and an "enhanced" wedding cake (which was spectacularly beautiful and delicious) with the dessert food station for the 3rd hour. BTW - the food was excellent the entire week.

Other "wedding events" that took place on board included a private "rehearsal dinner" the night before the wedding in the Sterling steakhouse, and a post-wedding private dinner in Sabatinis, and lastly a private cocktail costume party on the last night of the trip.

We also had quite the "Swag Bag" - ie. OOT bag - that we provided to everyone who came aboard - and most of those ideas came from this website - so thank you to everyone who shared their wonderful pictures with me.

I'm working on a website to showcase the whole trip but wanted to attach a few preliminary pictures here in the meantime..

Best wishes to everyone who is planning their own Wedding at Sea - I truly hope it turns out a magical as ours did.
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#2
Landlocked in Kansas City
1,483 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
WOW! Looks like you had a great time! I'm glad everything went well. Your pictures look beautiful!

That cake looks so good! (I would like a piece of the chocolate layer!!)

Thanks for writing a review for us!! I hope you come back and post your wedding website address, I would love to see it. Did you feel like you were going to fall off the chair when they lifted you? I've been to many Jewish weddings, and I'm always afraid the bride will fall off the chair!!

Congratulations!!
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~ANDREA~

MY PAST CRUISES:
Carnival Magic - Western Caribbean - 11/30/2014
Carnival Victory - Eastern Caribbean - 9/2/2013
Carnival Victory - Western Caribbean - 9/7/2013
Carnival Destiny - Eastern Caribbean - 5/2/2011
Carnival Destiny - Western Caribbean - 5/7/2011


MY REVIEWS:
Our beach wedding & B2B Destiny honeymoon:
http://emptynestinthemidwest.blogspo...ise-day-1.html

My HUGE Victory B2B vacation:
http://emptynestinthemidwest.blogspo...ion-day-1.html


COMING UP NEXT:
#4
Miami, FL
523 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by storkLA
Back from our spectacular Wedding Cruise aboard the Sapphire Princess to the Mexican Riviera on March 19th-26th. The wedding was on Day 3 - at sea, and we had 68 wedding guests sailing with us.

We did pretty much as "high-end" a wedding as Princess has ever done at sea. We pulled out all the stops, and threw in every bell-and-whistle, so anyone contemplating planning this sort of wedding at sea on Princess can contact me regarding how to handle the chaos. (and there was an unbelievable amount of chaos in the planning phase).

Going through TWE was incredibly frustrating (I almost cancelled the whole thing), but ultimately we worked our way up the chain and were finally being helped by one of their senior managers - Ginette who who I believe really did go out of her way to help answer our many questions and try get us what we wanted - which was about 90% of what we had requested. That being said, the Staff aboard the Sapphire went above and beyond every step of the way and gave us the wedding of our dreams, and we are so incredibly grateful to them for all their hard work.

A few little details you should know about what i'm describing here that will differ greatly from the regular package Princess offers. We did a traditional Jewish Ceremony and brought our own Rabbi with us. (We did the civil paperwork before we sailed to avoid having a marriage certificate from Bermuda so we were technically legally married already). We also had some family friends who are professional florists who did all of the wedding decorations, and handled all the details a formal wedding planner would manage for us. We chose all silk flowers and brought them on board with us (22 LARGE boxes of wedding decorations). I had a friend who is a professional hair stylist and make up artist come with us - as i'm too much of a control freak to leave that to chance. The rest of the wedding party and several guests had their hair done at the salon and everyone ultimately end up looking great.

Our wedding ceremony took place from 1:30pm - 3pm in the Skywalker, and our wedding reception was from 3pm - 6pm in the Wheelhouse Bar. We did passed appetizers with open bar and a cheese station for the first hour - the 3 other food stations for the 2nd hour, and an "enhanced" wedding cake (which was spectacularly beautiful and delicious) with the dessert food station for the 3rd hour. BTW - the food was excellent the entire week.

Other "wedding events" that took place on board included a private "rehearsal dinner" the night before the wedding in the Sterling steakhouse, and a post-wedding private dinner in Sabatinis, and lastly a private cocktail costume party on the last night of the trip.

We also had quite the "Swag Bag" - ie. OOT bag - that we provided to everyone who came aboard - and most of those ideas came from this website - so thank you to everyone who shared their wonderful pictures with me.

I'm working on a website to showcase the whole trip but wanted to attach a few preliminary pictures here in the meantime..

Best wishes to everyone who is planning their own Wedding at Sea - I truly hope it turns out a magical as ours did.
I am glad to see someone else had as much control as I have now with their wedding. You really can make a cruise wedding your own. I wish I could extend my reception but Carnival doesn't allow it. Beautiful photos and Congrats!
#5
Philadelphia
1,394 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Yay! It's great to hear from another Princess Bride! Was the Wheelhouse Bar very open? Did you have non-wedding guests around you or peeking in? If you end up putting all of your photos in an online album please let me know, I'd love to see more pictures.

My coordinator told me that I couldn't have my wedding and reception in different locations, did you have your locations decided before you got on the ship?
#6
35 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by Artemis908
Yay! It's great to hear from another Princess Bride! Was the Wheelhouse Bar very open? Did you have non-wedding guests around you or peeking in? If you end up putting all of your photos in an online album please let me know, I'd love to see more pictures.

My coordinator told me that I couldn't have my wedding and reception in different locations, did you have your locations decided before you got on the ship?

Locations - ahhhh, one of the MANY issues. Having never sailed on the Sapphire before, we didn't really know what to expect. Since we were such a big group, and had so much stuff to set-up they gave us 2 different rooms for the wedding - one for the ceremony and one for the reception, but i don't know if this is standard practice or if they were making an exception for us.

There were many discussions about the locations for the different events with TWE. It wasn't until 6 weeks before the cruise that the venues were confirmed, and it wasn't until 5 weeks before we sailed that they confirmed we could keep the wheelhouse for the 3rd hour of our reception private for our group only.

The folks at TWE have never been on the boat before and weren't able to answer the majority of our detailed questions (ie - how wide an aisle runner to get? where would people be seated during the ceremony? what exactly is included in the food stations? can we see pictures of the food stations? what format to bring our wedding music with us to give to the DJ - CD's, flash-drives, DVDs?)

In the planning phase, we decided to go on several "Bon Voyage" tours of the Sapphire (through Princess - at $39 per person) before the wedding, so we had an opportunity to see the different venues and get an idea of what to expect and what to bring. We even paid the extra $250 fee to have someone from TWE meet us and give us a personalized tour on one of the trips, but she wasn't much help and we felt it was a total waste of money. They wouldn't allow us to set up a meeting with the on-board Cruise wedding coordinator during our tour either, which was particularly frustrating, as I believe having had the opportunity to talk with one of them about how they've done things in the past - what worked and what didn't - would have eased a lot of the stress of uncertainty. We brought our florist/wedding planner with us on one of the tours, and a camera and tape measure and walked about answering most of our questions ourselves.

When they finally told us the confirmed locations, I was a little skeptical about Skywalkers for the ceremony - i really didn't want a "Disco" feel, but we brought some nice decorations and were able to change the "mood" in the room dramatically (thought I have to give that credit to our florists). The big windows let in beautiful sunlight which actually enhanced the mood and the pictures so far are amazing. I wanted an indoor ceremony due to the uncertainty of the weather conditions and my concern over too much wind from the moving vessel that might reek havoc with my veil, and this way I feel we got the best of both worlds. We held the "Bedeken (Veiling) and Ketubbah signing ceremonies on the dance floor, and set up the Chuppah and held the rest of the ceremony on the other side of the room. We did take some family and wedding party pictures outside on the deck as well since the weather was so nice and the views spectacular at sea.

The Wheelhouse Bar was great for our reception. They allowed us to close all the heavy drapes to make it feel more like a 1930's night-time supper-club, even through it was bright and sunny outside, which was exactly the look we were going for. We brought in little electric "tea lights" that we placed on all the tables to soften the mood. They had all the doors except the one near the forward elevators closed and blocked with a sign that read "private event." So everyone entered from that one door. We weren't bothered by any non-wedding cruisers as far as i could see.

Hope that helps!
Here are a few more pictures....
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#7
Alexandria, VA
1,078 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Beautiful pictures!!
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#8
Bronx, New York
2,448 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
.....and in the end it was a wonderful wedding!!!

Congratulations and thanks for giving us a review!
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Cruising Ship Wedding Planning.....!!!

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#10
35 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by Blondie4017
Was there enough room to dance in the Wheelhouse bar?
We felt there was plenty of room on the dancefloor. We had 70 people doing a jewish dance called "the Hora", and it was tight, but do-able. My husband and i did a choreographed swing dance with aerials as our first dance and had plenty of room.

Best Wishes!
#11
35 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
someone asked me to bump this thread.
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#12
1 Posts
Joined Dec 2017
Wow, storkLA! Amazing wedding! I'm also trying to plan a Jewish wedding on a princess cruise and I'm having so much trouble figuring out all the details. Not sure if you're still checking this thread, but would love some advice on getting decor on the ship (particularly the chuppah! I had given up hope of having one, but your pictures make it seem doable!).