April 2019

Pros & cons of cruise ship weddings

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

What better way to do it than to have your wedding on a cruise where you sail the open seas. Versus running around town to check out dozens of venues, could you imagine looking at dozens of beautiful destinations?

Places like Glacier Bay in Alaska, Budapest, Hungary, or Durnstein, Austria, and St. Petersburg, Russia are among the top cruise ship destinations.

A wedding at sea on the open water as the sun sets simply cannot be beaten. For the couple who loves an adventure and wants to use a cruise to tie the knot, this might be the best consideration. But before you start planning your wedding on a cruise, there are a few pros and cons you need to consider. Planning a cruise wedding does come with its share of logistical challenges that land-based weddings do not have.

Is a cruise ship wedding for you?

What Are The Pros And Cons To Having A Cruise Ship Wedding?

I’ll breakdown what you need to know before you decide to host your wedding on a cruise ship, from which cruise line to pick, what is included in a cruise wedding, to not having enough time at port. The best advice is to make sure you ask the right questions before committing to the idea.

Here Are the Pros To A Cruise Wedding

Cruise Weddings Offer Some of the Most Beautiful Backdrops

While there are plenty of great land-based wedding venues, it’s hard for them to stand up against Boracay White Beach in the Philippines. Not all weddings require tons of flowers, draping, and lighting. An outdoor ceremony at one of the most beautiful beaches in the world will impress anyone. I can promise you that your bank account will thank you for allowing your surroundings to set the mood.

The Benefit Of A Pre-Sail Ceremony

For couples who want to invite friends and family who are not actually going on the cruise, this is a great option. Guests not a part of the cruise can board the ship before the ship sails. This allows the couple to have their wedding ceremony and have an after party before guests have to leave. This works well for couples who don’t want a wedding reception and want to use the cruise as their honeymoon.

A Variety Of Onboard Activities

Enjoy onboard performances

Most cruise ships come with a daily schedule of activities for you and your guests to choose from. This aids in making your wedding trip more of an experience. You can go full throttle on Carnival’s first coaster at sea. Princess Cruises offers Rio’s Carnival onboard and other festivals around the world depending on where you sail from. Carnival even offers a

Serenity Adults Only Retreat

Even if you want to relax after your wedding, most ships have spas, lounges, fitness classes, and other low profile activities. I recommend checking out what each ship offers to better align with your adventure needs.

Cruise Ships Are All-Inclusive

When planning a wedding the #1 thing you’ll consider is how to keep your wedding budget in check. Most ships offer you the essentials that are included in the cost. This includes food, beverages, entertainment, transportation, and hotel services. Some may argue that because a ship doesn’t include alcohol that it is not really all-inclusive. If you are looking for a truly all-inclusive cruise ship, consider:

  1.       Regent Seven Seas Cruises
  2.       Crystal Cruises
  3.       Silversea Cruises
  4.       Seabourn Cruise Line
  5.       Viking Ocean Cruises

Stay Within Your Wedding Budget

By now I’m sure you have heard how out-of-hand wedding budgets can get. The beauty of having your wedding on a cruise ships offers you full visibility of what things costs. Why is this different from land-based weddings? Weddings on land can fluctuate. Your guest count can go up, you might need more flowers, you now want a dance floor wrap. There are many variables that can increase the overall cost of your wedding when at home.

Should you have a cruise wedding, you’ll know the price ahead of time. Unless you add on miscellaneous items while on-board you can expect this to be a flat fee. A few things that are not normally included in your cruise fee are airfare and excursions.

Cruise Lines Are LGBTQ Friendly

You can find a variety of cruise lines like Carnival who offer weddings for same-sex couples. Carnival launched its Bermuda weddings in 2018. Cunard also welcomes LGBTQ couples on their three ships.

Here Are the Cons to A Cruise Ship Wedding

Quick Port Visits

Getting married in port

If you decide to have your wedding ceremony while at a port, understand that the port calls may only be a few hours. The standard port call is somewhere between five and nine hours, However, there are some cruise lines that focus on immersing you into the destination. This allows you to be there overnight or even a couple of days. Either way you need to factor in the length of your trip an the time it takes you to get off the ship, set up, and get ready for your ceremony.

Getting Married Legally At Sea Is Complicated

The process of marrying overseas can be time-consuming. Legalizing a wedding in a foreign port can also be tricky. You want to be sure that your documents will remain valid in your country. In some cases, you might need to do the legal paperwork before or after your cruise wedding.

A few other requirements you might encounter are:

  1.       Blood tests
  2.       Affidavit of Eligibility to Marry
  3.       Documents translated into the language of the country you will be married in

The State Department offers more details to consider when trying to have a legal marriage abroad.

Cruise Ship Weddings Come With A Small Guest Count

If you are the type of couple that is looking for a celebrity wedding with a 3,000 rose hanging installation, you might not be happy with the simplicity of a cruise wedding. Are you looking to invite 300 guests to your wedding? Understand that more people will decline your cruise wedding than if it was on dry land. Cruises are not for everyone and many fear being surrounded by so much water.

For destination weddings, you can expect about 50 percent of your invitations coming back as a NO. Although cruise ships can be an advantage, they still come at a higher price point. Because of this, many guest will decline your invitation.  

Be Mindful Of Cruise Surcharges

Cruise weddings are on the rise and cruise lines have taken notice. Many cruise lines now levy surcharges for certain times of the year. This means you’ll pay more if you want your wedding on Valentine’s Day or in May and June. If you are having your wedding on a new ship, you can expect to pay a surcharge for that too.

Don’t Count On The WiFi

The internet has become a big part of our lives. Americans check their phones 80 times a day, says the New York Post. The problem is that many cruise ships still do not offer WiFi to meet your online needs. This can be frustrating to any couple who wants to share their wedding with family and friends back home.

For the ships that do offer Wifi, it is not free. Pricing still remains high as internet connections at-sea cost millions. Some cruise lines are finding alternatives. Carnival does offer a social media package at $5 a day since it doesn’t require a log of bandwidth. Other cruise lines offer packages by the minute or megabyte. Disney and Royal Caribbean charge 35 cents per MB.

You May Not Be The Only Couple Getting Married

Are you the type of couple who wants a private wedding? If so, a cruise is not going to offer you this. Additionally, understand that you may not be the only couple getting married on your ship. While getting married on land does offer you being the only couple getting married at the venue that day, this may not be the case on a cruise.

beautiful scenery to cruise ship weddings

In Conclusion

Most couples who are repeat cruisers will find getting married on a cruise ship as the best choice to make. Others might be up for the thrill, but need to do more research to make a decision. Whichever end of the spectrum you find yourselves on, understand that being flexible is vital. While it may be hard to remove what you’ve seen at land-based weddings from the process, it’s important to be as educated as possible.

Consider hiring a Cruise Ship Wedding Planner or a travel agent that is familiar with what cruise weddings involve. When it’s all said and done, wedding cruises are a good option. The open seas, the food options, beautiful destinations, and entertainment all make for a beautiful story to be told. With careful planning and an open mind, you can truly have the wedding of your dreams.

Help finance your cruise ship wedding with a Honeyfund honeymoon registry.

Bio: Andrew is a proud Army Veteran who likes to call himself an Event Storyteller. As the CEO of Andrew Roby Events, he has 13 years of planning experience working with brands such as The CW, The Knot, CNN, Fox, The International Spy Museum and many others. What gets him really excited is the chance to work with charities such as Ms. Veteran American, The Cinderella Foundation and volunteering with So Others Might Eat.

Andrew says “It’s not just about planning events. It certainly isn’t about me. It’s about making sure my clients get the best help to reach their bottom line.”

 

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Wedding invitation etiquette

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

So, you’ve finally popped the question, and you’re starting to plan your special day. It’s an exciting time as you begin to start the new chapter of your life. However, all the things you have to think about can get a little overwhelming, so much so that mistakes can be made.

Let’s scale things down. One of the first things you’re going to do is send out invitations, and it’s important to get these right because they’re the first impression many of your family and friends are going to have of your big day.

So you get things right the first time, here are 8 of the most common etiquette mistakes made in wedding invitations, all so you can avoid them!

Avoid Wedding Invitation Mistakes

Send invitations on time

#1 – Sending the Invites in Good Time

The absolute latest you should be sending for a wedding is eight weeks. Any later, or closer to the date, than this and this, can cause serious problems with people not being able to get the time off work or being able to get everything they need.

This is even more important if you’re having the wedding away from home, or in another country, and you need to make sure there’s enough time to get everything prepared. Be timely.

#2 – Keeping Things Nice and Visual

It’s easy to go overboard with the color palette of your wedding invitation while trying to make it stand out and eye-catching. However, it’s always best from an aesthetic standpoint to keep things nice and neutral and balance your nice bright colors with more neutral colors to keep things balanced and looking great!

#3 – Not Getting the Start Time Right

“It can be really tempting to put an earlier start time on your wedding invitation because you want people to get there early and on time, but people know to get there early, and you putting an earlier time will mean everyone is waiting around a lot longer than needed, and this can cause people to get irritated!” shares Mark Harris, an event manager for Ox Essays and State of Writing.

Buy the proper postage

#4 – Buying Postage without Weighing the Invitation

For most weddings, this won’t be a problem, but sending off a lot of invitations can be expensive, especially if you don’t get it right the first time. It’s so important to make sure you’re weighing your invitation sample, especially if it’s made from card or comes with extras before you pay for postage.

If you get it wrong, you’ll need to pay for postage all over again, and this can be a costly mistake that could have been spent on other things.

#5 – Not Checking for Typos

This is a point that should go without saying, but we still see so many wedding invitations being sent with typos and mistakes, and this just ruins the overall feel of the invitation. Even if you’re not a professional writer, here are some online tools to help you get it right.

My Writing Way /  Academadvisor – Use these tools to check and correct the grammar used in your wedding invitations.

Boom Essays – use this website to edit and perfect the written content of your wedding invitation, as mentioned by Revieweal.

Studydemic – Use this website for copywriting tips to help you plan and write out the content of your wedding invitation.

Essay Roo / UK Writings – These are two online proofreading tools to help you spot and correct any mistakes or typos in your content.

Via Writing – As mentioned by UK Top Writers, use this tool to generate captivating headers and titles for your invitations.

Academized / Paper Fellows – These are two online formatting tools to help you structure and layout your wedding invitation content.

#6 – Include Pre-Paid RSVPs

It’s considered rude for people to pay for their own RVSP to your wedding, so make sure you’re including a stamped and addressed envelope so they can simply reply and pop it in the mail without having to think about it too much.

Of course, this doesn’t matter so much if people are replying by hand!

#7 – Not Writing the Exact People

When inviting someone, it’s very easy to slip up by writing; we cordially invite the ‘Johnson Family’ to our special day or something along those lines. However, this is a huge risk because who you consider being the Johnson family might not be who they think is the Johnson family, and may have just invited dozens of people without even realizing.

For this reason, it’s vital to make sure you’re inviting exactly who you want to invite, and you’re specific with your invites, so there’s no room for miscommunication.

Include all the details

#8 – Include All Essential Details!

There’s nothing worse than sending out an invitation that hasn’t got all the information you need it to have on there. From dates, times and addresses, to dress codes and special wishes, make sure you’re sending out invitations with everything, so you don’t need to send out two or make calls to everyone!

Conclusion

As you can see, there are lots of common mistakes that people make when it comes to their wedding invitations, which is why it’s so important you’re aware of them and can avoid yourself! Enjoy your big day!

Help your wedding with a Honeyfund honeymoon registry.

Bio: Freddie Tubbs is a lifestyle and relationships blogger at Big Assignments and Australian help blogs. He regularly attends psychology and blogging events and contributes post to online magazines and blogs, such as Elite Assignment Help.

 

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