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Planning
Posted by Cayla Capri
Destination Weddings Sail I Do
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We’ve shed crocodile tears to Kate and Leo’s tidal romance, probably more than once. Barring a cardiac arrest or a soul-sucking, we’re definitely going to remember Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr’s cruise ship affair. Now it’s time for you to take on the same level of high-flying, high seas romance (minus the bummer icebergs and heartbreak stuff.) Cruise ships are ideal venues for those energetic couples searching for an intimate location to stage their official union. If you think you can get on board with deep sea matrimony, read on for pros, cons and handy how-to’s.
for your consideration
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Before diving in, consider just how much control you’d be willing to relinquish come w-day. If the term “control-freak” has ever (endearingly) been thrown around by pals, you might have to cut loose those Neptunic fantasies. On the other hand, if you’re unmoved by unforeseen circumstances, then jump on board; the ship’s weather-induced redirection is one mishap you may have to shrug off with tact. But no one’s trying to turn you off such a primo experience – just the opposite, actually.
Cruise ship weddings get two thumbs up and a hearty ahoy! for promoting so much joie de vivre. Plus, they usually come with a modest price tag and a host of devoted professionals ready to shoulder all the planning, stress, and any unanticipated woopses. Is your interest peaked? Your mast up? Over the Top Event’s Jaime Korey talks us through the essentials of maiden voyage-planning.
asking for help
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Have a specialist handle all arrangements and formalities, including crowd control. This is highly recommended; practically endorsed. He or she will guide you throughout the entire ordeal, guru-style, advising on on-board activities, excursions and embarkment.
Like the older bro of our dreams, they’ll take all the heat, dealing directly with vendors and the ship. If the staff’s pushing for ventures based on the business it brings, your planner will help you accept or decline based on your personality and budget. They’ve got cocktail hour and dining times covered. They’re basically magic.
the ceremony
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Ports usually host ceremonies; not ships. But you can get around restrictive nautical laws by hitching pre-embarkment. If you do get married at a port, your reception can still be aboard, in a previously-reserved private room.
the paperwork
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It’s critical you bring along birthright and citizenship. You might need to bring blood test results too, depending on the port. And other places, like Hawaii, require you get a marriage license thirty days before the wedding, if you want everything to be nice and legal. A wedding planner can clear up any other regional uncertainties you may have, so you should get one, in case that hasn’t been made clear.
timing’s everything
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For activity, itinerary and wedding-date carte-blanche, book your cruise line six to twelve months in advance.
Safety should be your foremost concern, (it should at least be secondary to sea-sickness) so avoid hurricane season like the plague. Taking such a risk could result in course redirection. You wouldn’t be getting married in your scheduled port, plus that looming over-board, danger-factor is kind of important. Cruise ships really are slaves to Mother Nature, so plan your trip accordingly:
Preferred Seasons:
The Caribbean: January-June
Hawaii: Winter/Summer
Alaska: April-July
Europe: Summer
the cruise line
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Each line offers a special venue and caters to a specific breed of clientele. If you’re looking for luxury, a kempt ship, and a down-to-earth staff, Royal Caribbean is one perfectly great option. For those seeking a young, up-beat crowd, Carnival is a good choice, but Norwegian is better for those wanting something quieter, more formal and mature.
cruise ship weddings - the disclaimer
Your itinerary may change last minute because of the weather
Wedding services are non denominational
Private rooms for cocktails can accommodate up to 40 people only
If special orders don’t arrive on time, you’ll be left with what’s on hand on board, which can be a bit limiting
cruise ship weddings - the vouch
Family and friends get to travel together
You get to experience an exotic location and its unique culture
There are so many destinations to choose from, it’ll make your head spin
It’s cost effective
Fine dining’s guaranteed
Top of the line entertainment- comedians, magicians, and jazz bands- are all at your mercy
The formal setting and Captains Cocktail are definite upshots
There might be a casino, so you can gamble
over the top events
Logo 1781 over the top events
Over the Top Events has been specializing in cruise ship weddings for several years now. But as a general rule, they’ve always strived to make the pre-wedding process simple and stress-free for clientele. They pride themselves on creativity, as well as the ability to anticipate needs and realize expressed desires, fantasies and personalities into life-size, styled-up weddings.
 
Over the Top Events offers a variety of packages to make your cruise wedding a magical experience:
Bronze Package
Includes a photographer, florist, port wedding, champagne and cake
Silver Package
Includes the bronze package as well as a wedding album, 2 Photographers , pick up and drop off, more flowers and a cocktail
Gold Package
Includes the gold package as well as an open bar, a cellist and violinist, and delivery of specialty items