Can You Get Married on a Cruise Ship?

Can You Get Married on a Cruise Ship? Dreaming of a unique and unforgettable wedding experience? Imagine saying “I do” surrounded by the vast ocean, with a gentle sea breeze and breathtaking views as your backdrop. Getting married on a cruise ship offers a romantic and adventurous alternative to traditional weddings. But is it really possible? Can you tie the knot on a cruise ship? In this post, we’ll find out the exciting world of cruise weddings and uncover everything you need to know before saying “anchors aweigh” to your happily ever after.

Can You Get Married on a Cruise Ship?

Yes, you can get married on a cruise ship. Many cruise lines offer wedding packages that cater to a variety of preferences and budgets. These packages often include ceremony options, such as getting married while the ship is docked, at sea, or on a beautiful beach during a port call. Here’s a closer look at what you can expect if you’re considering a cruise ship wedding:

1. Onboard Ceremonies

Cruise ships provide a unique and romantic setting for weddings. You can choose to have your ceremony in a dedicated chapel on the ship (if available) or at another beautiful location onboard, such as an observation deck overlooking the ocean. Onboard weddings are usually conducted by the ship’s captain or another authorized officer, making it an unforgettable experience.

2. Portside Weddings

Some couples opt to get married while the ship is docked in a port. This option allows for more flexibility in terms of ceremony location, potentially utilizing beautiful local venues or scenic outdoor locations. It also enables guests who are not cruising to attend the wedding.

3. Destination Weddings

Destination weddings during a cruise stop are popular for those looking to tie the knot on a sandy beach or at another exotic location. Cruise lines often work with local vendors to arrange everything needed for the ceremony and celebration.

Destination Weddings

4. Legal Considerations

It’s essential to understand the legal requirements for marriages at sea or in foreign ports. Some cruise lines offer legally binding ceremonies, while others may conduct symbolic ceremonies, requiring couples to legally marry before or after the cruise. The ship’s registry (not its location) typically determines the laws that apply to marriages at sea.

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5. Planning and Packages

Cruise lines offer a range of wedding packages that can include flowers, photography, a wedding cake, a champagne toast, and more. Some packages also provide a wedding coordinator to help plan the event and ensure everything runs smoothly.

How Much Does It Cost To Get Married On A Cruise Ship?

The cost of getting married on a cruise ship can vary widely depending on several factors, including the cruise line, the specific ship, the destination, the type of ceremony, the number of guests, and the level of customization and luxury you desire. However, we can provide some general pricing guidelines to give you an idea of what to expect.

1. Basic Packages

Most cruise lines offer wedding packages that start from a few hundred to a couple of thousand dollars. A basic package might include:

  • A ceremony conducted by a ship officer
  • Basic floral arrangements for the couple
  • A small wedding cake
  • Champagne toast for the couple and a limited number of guests
  • Some photography services

These packages are suitable for couples looking for a simple, intimate ceremony with a few guests.

2. Mid-Range Packages

Mid-range packages can range from $2,000 to $5,000 and often include additional services such as:

  • A larger, more elaborate wedding cake
  • Expanded floral arrangements
  • An extended photography session
  • A reception with light refreshments
  • Assistance from a wedding coordinator

This option might suit couples who want a few extra touches to their wedding or have a larger guest list.Mid-Range Packages

3. Premium Packages

For those wanting the ultimate wedding experience, premium packages can start from $5,000 and go upwards of $10,000 or more. Premium offerings may include:

  • A private venue on the ship for the ceremony and reception
  • Gourmet catering for the reception
  • Live music or a DJ
  • An extensive photography package
  • Luxurious floral arrangements
  • Accommodations for the wedding night and possibly for guests
  • Spa treatments for the couple

    How Do You Plan A Wedding On A Cruise?

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    Planning a wedding on a cruise ship can be an exciting adventure, but it requires careful planning and organization. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process:

    How Do You Plan A Wedding On A Cruise?

    1. Initial Decisions:

    • Set a budget: Determine how much you’re willing to spend on the wedding, including the package, customizations, travel, and other related expenses.
    • Choose a cruise line and destination: Research different cruise lines and their wedding offerings, considering factors like budget, itinerary, ship size, and desired ceremony location (onboard or in port).
    • Guest list: Decide on your guest list, keeping in mind ship capacity and potential cost implications.

    2. Contacting the Cruise Line:

    • Reach out to the cruise line’s wedding department: Discuss your budget, guest count, and desired date/location.
    • Request their wedding packages: Analyze the inclusions, pricing, and customization options of each package.
    • Ask questions and clarify doubts: Ensure you understand all terms, fees, and procedures involved.

    3. Booking and Legal Aspects:

    • Once you choose a package: Book your chosen cruise and reserve your wedding date with the cruise line.
    • Research marriage license requirements: Understand the process for obtaining a valid marriage license, considering both international waters and potential port ceremonies.
    • Ensure documentation is ready: Gather necessary documents like passports, birth certificates, and documentation for obtaining the marriage license.

    4. Personalizing Your Wedding:

    • Review customization options: Decide on additional services like flowers, photography, cake, music, or decorations to fit your vision.
    • Communicate with vendors: If booking external vendors, ensure they can work within the ship’s restrictions and schedule.
    • Finalize details with the cruise line: Confirm ceremony location, officiant arrangements, reception venue, and menu selections.

    5. Guest Communication and Travel:

    • Inform your guests: Share details about the cruise, wedding date, and travel logistics well in advance.
    • Assist with booking: Consider offering group booking options or recommendations for travel arrangements.
    • Provide updates: Keep guests informed about any changes or important information.


    Getting married on a cruise ship is indeed a feasible and enchanting option for couples seeking a distinctive and unforgettable wedding experience. Whether you envision exchanging vows against the backdrop of the vast ocean, aboard the ship, or at a picturesque port destination, cruise weddings offer a blend of romance, adventure, and convenience. With various onboard ceremony options, including chapels and observation decks, as well as the flexibility to wed while docked or during a cruise stop, couples can tailor their wedding to suit their preferences. However, it’s crucial to consider the legal aspects and understand the requirements for marriages at sea or in foreign ports, as well as to plan within a suitable budget. With careful planning and coordination, a cruise ship wedding can provide couples and their guests with an extraordinary celebration that will be cherished for a lifetime.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    Will a cruise ship captain marry you?

    A ship’s captain generally does NOT have the legal right to officiate a wedding at sea. In order for a Captain of a ship to perform a marriage at sea, he must also be a judge, a justice of the peace, a minister, or an officially recognized officiant such as a Notary Public.

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    Can you get married on a cruise ship in port?

    Yes, you can get married on a cruise ship in port. Pre-sailaway ceremonies offer the most flexibility. If you want to get married onboard and want to choose the clergy to perform the ceremony or invite people who won’t be sailing, consider having your wedding onboard while the ship is still docked at its homeport.

    Do cruise ships have chapels?

    Yes, cruise ships have chapels. Services are held in an appropriate quiet venue, including but not limited to, the Library, a secondary lounge, conference center, or a chapel.

    Is it a good idea to get married on a cruise?

    Yes, getting married on a cruise ship is a fun way to combine your nuptials with a honeymoon for you and a vacation for your guests. It offers a unique and memorable experience.

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