Tying the Knot on the High Seas

Tying the Knot on the High Seas: The Ultimate Guide to Cruise Ship Weddings

Love is an adventurous journey, and what better way to embark on this new chapter than by combining your wedding with the allure of the open sea? Cruise ship weddings offer a unique blend of romance, adventure, and convenience that traditional venues might not provide. Whether you’re dreaming of saying “I do” with the backdrop of the ocean’s infinite horizon or in an exotic port, a cruise ship wedding could be the perfect choice for you. Let’s navigate the four popular ways to tie the knot on a cruise, each offering its own flavor of romance and adventure.

1. Courthouse + Symbolic Ceremony on the Ship

The first port of call for many couples is a simple courthouse wedding before setting sail. This approach ensures that all the legalities are taken care of in advance, allowing for a stress-free celebration aboard. Once on the cruise, you can indulge in a symbolic ceremony that’s as intimate or as lavish as you desire. Imagine exchanging vows on the deck at sunset, surrounded by your closest friends and family, with the sound of waves gently applauding your union. This option is perfect for couples who want the legal formalities out of the way, preferring to focus on the ceremonial aspect in a beautiful, stress-free setting. Symbolic ceremonies can be customized to your liking, making them a deeply personal reflection of your love story.

2. Courthouse + Symbolic Ceremony in a Foreign Port

For those with an insatiable wanderlust, marrying in a foreign port might just be the thing. Similar to the first option, this choice involves a courthouse wedding prior to embarkation. However, the highlight here is a symbolic ceremony held in one of the cruise’s exotic destinations. Whether it’s on a sun-drenched beach in the Caribbean, amidst ancient ruins in Greece, or under a canopy of flowers in a quaint European town, the world is your oyster. This option not only offers the thrill of travel but also the chance to say your vows in a location so breathtaking, it feels straight out of a fairy tale. Embarking on daily adventures in new towns, and embracing local cultures, can add an incredibly enriching layer to your wedding experience.

3. Legal Wedding on the Ship

Opting for a legal wedding aboard the cruise ship adds a layer of convenience to the matrimonial voyage. Some cruise lines offer packages that take care of legal documentation, featuring onboard wedding coordinators who ensure that your big day goes off without a hitch. The ceremony can be held onboard while the ship is either docked or at sea, with options ranging from intimate gatherings in private lounges to extravagant affairs in the ship’s main atrium. Legal cruise ship weddings give couples the chance to enjoy all the pomp and pageantry of a traditional wedding, framed against the mesmerizing backdrop of the sea. This option is ideal for couples looking for a mix of convenience and adventure, wrapping the legal and ceremonial aspects into one memorable experience.

4. Legal Wedding in a Foreign Port

Finally, for the ultimate blend of romance and wanderlust, consider having a legal wedding in a foreign port. This option requires more planning, as you’ll need to navigate the legal requirements of the destination country. However, the effort can be well worth it for the unparalleled experience of marrying in a breathtaking overseas locale. Imagine exchanging vows in a historic church in Italy, on a tropical beach in Thailand, or in a lush garden in the South of France. Each destination offers its own unique charm and opportunities for incredible wedding photos. This option is perfect for couples who dream of an international wedding, offering an unforgettable start to your life together surrounded by the beauty of a foreign land.

Navigating Legal Waters: A Vital Consideration for Onboard Weddings

When deciding on a legal wedding aboard the cruise ship, there’s a significant logistical consideration to keep in mind—where your marriage is officially recognized. Cruise ships are registered under specific countries, and it’s this nation’s laws that govern your marriage legality. Consequently, your marriage certificate needs to be processed and sent from the country of the ship’s registration, not your home country. This means that receiving your official marriage certificate can take considerably longer than a traditional wedding. This timeframe can vary widely depending on the ship’s registry and the bureaucratic speed of its country. Couples should plan accordingly, especially if needing the marriage certificate promptly for legal name changes, insurance updates, or other official documentation post-honeymoon. Understanding this detail ensures you embark on your matrimonial voyage with clear expectations, making the adventure of a legal wedding on the high seas as smooth as possible.


A cruise ship wedding presents a sea of possibilities, from the simplicity of a symbolic ceremony to the adventure of an international legal wedding. Each option offers its own unique set of advantages, catering to different tastes, budgets, and dreams. Above all, cruise ship weddings encapsulate the essence of romance and exploration, promising a beginning to your marital journey that’s as boundless as the ocean itself.

Remember, Linda’s Travel Hut, LLC specializes in creating memorable experiences just like these. From handling bookings to offering personalized advice, we’re here to ensure your cruise ship wedding sails smoothly from start to finish. So why not let your love set sail on the open seas, where every sunset brings a new horizon and every port, a new adventure? 

With Linda’s Travel Hut, LLC, your dream wedding isn’t just a destination—it’s a journey.