Whether you want to be married at sea by the captain, at a romantic port of call or even on a private island, here are the answers to your questions.
Q. Can I get married at sea by the captain?
Only on ships registered in certain countries is the captain legally able to wed couples. On the official ‘can do’ list is Celebrity, P&O, Princess and Azamara. From April 2012, Cunard will be re-registering its ships to Bermuda, so couples can celebrate their nuptials on board the QM2, including on the unique transatlantic crossing to New York.
Alternatively, if you’re happy to fill in the paperwork and legally wed before you embark, you can opt for an unofficial ceremony, in which the captain or a wedding official blesses the marriage.
Exact locations vary from on deck, in a private lounge or in the ship’s chapel (available on Princess).
Q. How much will it cost?
For a ceremony which promises romance and a wow-factor venue, getting married at sea is surprisingly good value. Packages start from £1,100 and include the ceremony, coordinator, flowers, cake, champagne and photographer. Extras include photographs, the reception (usually included for fewer than ten guests), and any romantic treats like a couples massage or champagne breakfast in bed.
Q. What if I want something more bespoke?
Looking for a live band, an intimate meal under the stars or a tower of champagne? Azamara prides itself on remembering all the little details, whilst Seabourn eschews packages for a tailor-made service.
Q. Can I renew my vows?
Yes. Last year P&O hosted 370 weddings and 205 renewal of vows ceremonies. Prices start from £250.
Q. Any tips?
Book early. It can take ten weeks to process your marriage license for weddings at sea and the availability of the captain will be limited. You also need to budget time for any special requests; remember, those couples’ massages get snapped up quickly!
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