If you have your heart set on marrying while on a cruise, check with the cruise ship company before you make your booking to ensure you can do it. Some will only allow you to have your ceremony on the ship while still docked at the port,especially if you want to include non cruising friends as wedding ceremony guests. Your guests would leave the ship before sailing. Other cruise ships are geared for weddings while on the high seas and others cater for weddings at locations en route, for example, a beach, an island or glacier.
Getting married while on a cruise is increasing in popularity once again with some companies advertising wedding and honeymoon packages. Some cruise ships will even broadcast the ceremony live via web cam satellite broadcast over the internet to your family and friends back home!
* In order for a ship’s captain to marry anyone, he or she must have the pre-requisite qualifications to do so, for example, a JP, a Notary Public, a celebrant or an officiant.
* Some cruise lines have arrangements with celebrants or officiants in various countries and as long as your documentation has been cleared and meets local requirements with that celebrant, you can marry – usually while the cruise ship is docked in port.
* Some cruise ships have their own wedding chapels. Public rooms are also used as ceremony venues.
* Some wedding planners are also offering cruise weddings.
* Japanese ship’s captains can marry Japanese citizens who have valid passports.
* Captains aboard Princess Cruise Line’s “Golden Princess” and the “Grand Princess” can perform weddings aboard ship and at sea because they have Bermuda licenses allowing them to do so. You must be 21 years of age and have proof of identity..
* Cruise West captains [with temporary permits]can conduct your wedding ceremony in Alaska Waterways.
So, before you make any bookings at all, check with cruise ship companies to see which one provides the service that fits best with your wedding ceremony plans. Don’t forget to ask about your documentation and if you can have input into your ceremony and vows. Double check before you leave, you don’t want any unpleasant surprises.
For more wedding ceremony information check out Elizabeth’s e-books on wedding ceremonies and eloping weddings.