Getting married on a yacht seems like an exclusive luxury reserved for only the rich and famous. In reality, it doesn’t have to be! Sure, yacht charters can be pricey but the benefits attached are well worth it, and a yacht doesn’t have to be worth millions to have said title. If you’ve ever walked by a harbor, you’ve probably seen plenty of (small) yachts in your life. Costs will vary depending on the location, type of boat, and services but there is a high likelihood that if you’re set on getting wed at sea, you’ll find something within your budget.
While this article will focus on getting married on yachts or similar large vessels, the same applies to any type of boat—even a picnic deck boat or a catamaran. So on that note, let’s look at the pros and cons of getting married on the water.
The Pros of Getting Married on a Yacht
If you’ve never given thought to getting married on any type of boat, the following points may convince you otherwise.
Unless you’re chartering a vessel that takes 20 minutes to walk from one end to the other, most likely your ceremony and reception will take place within close proximity. This alone will not only make everything easier, but you won’t have to worry about the cost of transportation from point A to point B for your guests. In addition, if you’re willing to rent overnight, the boat can double as accommodation for your out-of-town guests, which can end up saving everyone money.
Following up on the point of “convenience,” let’s talk about your wedding photos. First of all, being on a yacht or any boat is an amazing photo setting. But secondly, having access to a boat allows you to essentially go anywhere—it’s like having a private taxi, but on water. Depending on where you live, you might have opportunities to access some secret beaches or uninhabited islands that will serve as perfect spots for shots of your special day.
It Can Double as a Honeymoon
Once your guests leave, feel free to transform your chartered yacht from a party pad into a honeymoon hideaway. (Just make sure to hire a housekeeping service to clean things up after your big day.) But seriously—hiring any type of boat for several days will bring down the average cost dramatically. And if you were planning on going away on a honeymoon, what better way to do it than having the freedom to roam around anywhere the sea will take you?
It Can Be Affordable
Considering all the above points, you can see why hiring a yacht for your wedding may actually save you money. The fact that you won’t have to worry about seeking out specific vendors (which is a huge time-consumer), will save you your sanity at the very least. And adding an overnighter to your charter will likely be much cheaper than booking separate hotel rooms for your guests.
If you’re chartering from a yacht company that specializes in event planning as well, you might be in luck. Many such companies offer special packages that are essentially all-inclusive. It’s almost like having a personal wedding planner thrown in for free! And not only will you be provided with top-notch service, but you’ll also end up getting quite a good discount on everything.
The Cons of Getting Married on a Yacht
Depending on the couple, some of these may not be cons at all, but it’s worth considering all of it before you make your reservation.
Although we just spoke about the affordability, it’s up to you to double-check the numbers since they vary greatly. Before you sign anything, make sure that what you paid is what you’ll be really paying. Sometimes, there are additional costs such as fuel, docking fees, taxes, or tips that are not accounted into the base price tag. Hence, make sure you look over your contact or ask the chartering company about this ahead of time.
Obviously, since you’re getting married in a location of limited space, your guest list will also be limited. (Of course, some couples will probably see this as a benefit if they want to keep their wedding small.) You may also run into the issue of certain people you want there declining the invitation because they’re known to get seasick.
Guests can also become a problem if they’re known to be “fashionably late.” When it comes to having a wedding on a yacht, you can’t exactly let guests sneak in during your vows, nor can you hold off departure because someone detoured to get their Starbucks fix. On that note, it’s recommended to say the “departure time” is actually at least 30 minutes beforehand.
Not-So Official Officiants
Contrary to popular belief, not all boat/yacht captains are licensed to marry, so it’s best to double-check before you book. Having said that, this doesn’t mean you can’t marry at sea—only that your wedding won’t be legal. In which case, you can always sign off at the city hall before or after the ceremony, or have a separate officiant there.