Credit: Princess Cruises

How to get married on a cruise ship - everything you need to know about weddings at sea

Author: Harriet Mallinson

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Cruise ship weddings are the dream way to say "I do" for many couples, but how they do actually work? This is your guide to what a cruise wedding really entails.

Sailing into the sunset is the final scene of many a romantic movie – but what if it was just the start of your real-life journey?

By getting married onboard a cruise ship, you can embark on a love boat of your very own with everything taken care of, not to mention a very memorable plotline indeed. Jack and Rose who?

Princess Cruises is one of many lines that offer cruise ship weddings, but you might not know what to expect from nautical nuptials.

Well, stay in the dark no longer. Here is what you need to know about marrying at sea, from packages and prices to photos and cake. *

*Bride or groom not included. Please provide your own...

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Princess cruise wedding

Princess Cruises offers three different types of cruise ship wedding packages: At Sea Wedding Cruise, Harbourside Wedding Cruise and Ashore Wedding Cruise.

These romantic celebrations are available on all Princess ships and are accompanied by experts to help make your big day go off with a bang. Ahem.

- READ MORE: Best Princess excursions for food and drink -

You'll also have a ready-made honeymoon as you sail off afterwards on your multi-destination itinerary of choice – perfect for those struggling to agree on one hotspot.

Athens and antiquities for me, south of France and sunbathing for you. Look at us nailing compromise so soon on in our marriage!

Another bonus? A cruise wedding is much cheaper than a ceremony on land which, in the UK, sets a couple back, on average, £17,300. A Princess wedding (which in itself sounds like what our childhood selves would have dreamt of) will cost you a mere fraction of this.

An At Sea Wedding Cruise is officiated by the captain of the ship. Credit: Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises cruise ship wedding packages

Princess Cruises At Sea Wedding Cruise

Yes, you guessed it, this one sees couples married out on the high seas, officiated by the captain no less! We have always loved a man in uniform...

With this option, guests can join you on the cruise – or maybe just go for an intimate celebration à deux, the choice is yours.

- READ MORE: Perks of going all-inclusive with Princess Cruises -

The ceremony takes place in either the onboard wedding chapel or the library, depending on the ship, and comes with an array of wedding essentials.

A wedding coordinator, photographer and videographer will be on hand to make sure everything runs smoothly, the music is to your request and the footage of the event is exactly what you wanted. What was that about movie-worthy moments?

The ceremony takes place in either the onboard wedding chapel or the library. Credit: Princess Cruises

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The At Sea package includes: A one-dozen-rose bouquet, a boutonniere, a nine-inch single layer wedding cake, a bottle of sparkling wine, two Princess logo Champagne flutes and a keepsake wedding certificate.

Fear not, you can add on plenty of extras to really go all out. If you want to splurge on flowers, for instance, Princess can create a floral arch at the end of the aisle! Step aside Brooklyn Beckham. The cake can also be upgraded – simply check out the many designs available.

- READ MORE: Discover California's wine country with Princess -

As for booze, choose a sparkling wine or Champagne-only package, or add a bubbly option to any of Princess' open bar packages.

To soak up the alcohol (settle down now, Jim) you can add on hors d’oeuvres, with the ship's culinary staff there to design a gourmet menu to your taste.

As for the knees-up afterwards, pick from the onboard lounges to host your reception – plus make the most of the sea views for your cruise ship wedding photos. Just check the direction of the wind first…

These romantic celebrations are available on all Princess ships. Credit: Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises Harborside Wedding Cruise

If you have guests attending but not sailing, then this cruise ship wedding package might be the one for you.

As with the At Sea bundle, the nuptials themselves take place in either the chapel or library onboard the ship, however, the ceremony will be performed by a local Officiant (don’t worry, we hear there are plenty of fancy dress Captain uniforms available online should you really want to spice up your wedding night…).

Inclusions are: a half-dozen-rose bouquet, a boutonniere, a nine-inch single layer wedding cake, a bottle of sparkling wine and a keepsake wedding certificate.

- READ MORE: Which cruise lines have their own private islands? -

Princess Cruises Ashore Wedding Cruise

Ah now, this is the exciting one. Fancy getting married on a beach in the Caribbean or a glacier in Alaska? It's hey presto with Princess.

Pick from the line's exotic destinations and enjoy a day you'll never forget as you declare your love in some of the world's most beautiful hotspots.

What's more, Princess' wedding coordinators can even incorporate local traditions into your ceremony if you fancy it, giving your special day an exotic flair. No steel drums for us though, please.

Highlights of this option are: Ceremony performed by a local Officiant, destination vows, bridal bouquet, boutonniere, speciality cake for two, a bottle of sparkling wine and a keepsake wedding certificate.

Pick from the line's exotic destinations and enjoy a day you'll never forget with an ashore wedding. Credit: Princess Cruises

Now, we hear you, prezzies are a key perk of getting married (full set of Le Creuset pans anyone?) – but do you miss out on a decent haul by opting for a watery wedding?

Panic not, you can get your mitts on gifts by creating a personalised registry for loved ones to make contributions to cruise fare, beverages, spa treatments, shore excursions, photographs and more.

All the other classic wedmin (wedding admin, keep up) is taken care of, too. You’ll receive your own custom webpage that can be used to create the registry, email, announcements, save-the-dates, invites, track RSVPs, plus share and print photos.

Don't believe us? Trust the happy couples who have opted for a wedding at sea and shared their Princess cruise wedding reviews.

"Our wedding onboard the Crown Princess was absolutely lovely. The flowers, service, photos, cake and meal at Sabatini’s were all fantastic," enthused one duo. "I can’t imagine planning this wedding with anyone else!" said another.

Right, time to find a husband.

- READ MORE: Most incredible animals to see on Princess excursions -

Cruise ship wedding prices

  • Princess Cruises tie the knot at sea package starts at $2,500 (roughly £1,900)
  • Princess Cruises tie the knot harbourside starts at $2,000 (roughly £1,500)
  • Princess Cruises tie the knot ashore starts at $3,000 (roughly £2,300)
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