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Boat Weddings: Say "I Do" To A Wedding On Water

Apr 27, 2008
Want to know where one of the hottest wedding destinations is? On water. That's right, it seems the idea of getting married on a boat is gaining in popularity each year.

And, why not? There's just something about water that just screams romance. In addition, most boat charter companies or cruise lines will take care of all the details for you in one convenient wedding package, leaving you to just enjoy your wedding.

But, what about the cost? How much is all that romance on a boat going to set you back? As with all weddings, there can certainly be a wide range of cost. But, given that the average cost for a U.S. wedding is creeping up towards $30,000, you'd be surprised to learn that you can have a boat wedding for a fraction of the typical wedding cost.

Where can you have a boat wedding? Anywhere that floats your boat...literally. You can have a boat wedding in an exotic location like the Bahamas or Virgin Islands, or popular U.S. destinations like Florida, California, Hawaii and Alaska. You can even be married on a boat in Dubuque, Iowa! If there's a body of water, you can be married on it, whether it's a cruise ship, sailboat, powerboat or gondola.

Considering that there are hundreds of boat wedding locations and options, it may be difficult to choose which one is right for you. But, here are just a few boat weddings to consider; some obvious, some not so obvious:

Cruise Ship Weddings:

When most people think of a boat wedding, they usually think of a wedding on a major cruise ship. A cruise ship wedding allows couples to have their wedding and honeymoon at the same time. Some couples choose to get married on the ship before the ship leaves port, which allows for friends and family to attend without having to join the cruise. The cruise then becomes your honeymoon. Some cruise lines, such as Princess, Azamara and Celebrity, offer weddings at sea on selected ships. Princess even offers a live webcam of the wedding, so family and friends back home can be a part of the wedding.

Wedding Aboard the Queen Mary - Long Beach, California:

Want a cruise ship wedding without having to leave port? Consider the Queen Mary, an Art Deco wonder, now operating as a floating hotel and popular tourist attraction in Long Beach, California.

You can choose to have your wedding in the Queen Mary's Chapel or on deck, with a Gazebo Ceremony for up to 100 guests, or the Queen Mary Verandah Deck wedding ceremony for up to 350 guests. If you choose to elope with the just two of you, or if you have a small number of guests (under 15 people), you can opt for the inexpensive Intimate Wedding Ceremony package. For more information on a Queen Mary wedding you can email chapel@queenmary.com.

Sailboat Wedding off St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands:

Say "I do" while sailing the magnificent waters around St. Thomas. Then, after you exchange vows, jump into the tranquil waters, wedding dress and all, and go snorkeling. You can find numerous charter companies on St. Thomas, including Weddings By Sea, that offers couples weddings on a sailboat for 2 to 6 people starting at just $550. You can reach them at married@weddingsbysea.com. St. Thomas offers newly-wedded couples a honeymoon filled with adventure and relaxation. Be sure to take the St. Thomas Skyride to Paradise Point, 700 feet above sea level, for a panoramic view of Charlotte Amalie Harbor.

The Paddlewheeler Creole Queen - New Orleans, LA:

Take a step back in time and get married on the Mississippi River aboard the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen. Though built in 1983, the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen is richly appointed in Victorian detail, from the promenade deck where you'll say your vows, to one of the elegant dining rooms where you'll hold your reception. Afterward you'll honeymoon in one of the most popular cities in America, New Orleans. And, since it's your honeymoon, you'll definitely want to take the French Quarter Love Stories Walking Tour. For more information on getting married on the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen email pbair@visitnola.com.

Gondola Wedding - Venice, Italy:

What's one of the most romantic cities in the world? Why, Venice, of course. A gondola wedding in Venice may be one of the most romantic boat weddings you can imagine, as you say your vows while gliding through the canals under bridges, and past ancient palaces and lovely villas. The hard part will be in deciding which incredible wedding photo to put on your mantle.

Gondola Wedding - San Diego, CA:

Can't make it to Venice, Italy? Then how about a gondola wedding while cruising the Coronado Cay off San Diego? The Gondola Company, which operates out of Coronado Island, provides several different wedding packages for you to choose from. You can opt to arrive to your waterfront wedding on a gondola to the delight of your wedding guests, or you can choose to get married on the gondola, with wedding guests either watching from shore or joining you in their own gondolas. Of course, this is also a perfect wedding for just the two of you. And, for a small charge, you can add a violinist or mandolin player. You can contact the Gondola Company at 619-429-6317.
About the Author
Shari Hearn is a writer and creator of Best Wedding Locations, where you can learn about cruise ship weddings and other unique wedding ideas
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