A destination wedding held aboard a cruise ship, dockside or at a port of call no doubt adds an extra air of romance to an otherwise joyous occasion.

And if this is something you’re considering for your wedding day, know that nearly all cruise lines offer complete wedding packages, including catering, photographers and guest accommodations. Several even feature on-board wedding chapels. As a bonus, the cruise or destination location serves as a ready-made honeymoon spot for the newly married couple.

Exotic locales and cruises with tropical ports of call are a standard aspect of many destination weddings — and with good reason. After all, it’s difficult to imagine a more romantic honeymoon destination than a cruise to the Caribbean or jetting to Bali or Fiji. However, river cruises, cruises to Alaska or journeys to exciting urban locations such as Tokyo or Zurich are just as breathtaking and romantic, and also create lifetime memories for the couple and their guests.

Here are some other tips and tricks to consider when planning a cruise destination wedding.

1. Attend to the Basics

Weddings involve dozens of moving parts: venues for the ceremony and reception, invitations, flowers, wedding party apparel, catering for the reception and, of course, the honeymoon.

Add possible language barriers and foreign currency to the mix, and it’s not difficult to imagine why hiring a wedding consultant who specializes in destination weddings would be a wise investment. With professional handling the basics, the happy couple can concentrate on adding special details that make their celebration their own.

2. Make Arrangements for Guests and Vendors

One of the main duties of a travel agent or wedding consultant involves making arrangements for local vendors. However, couples who wish to use their own vendors must be prepared to cover their travel and accommodation costs, in addition to paying their service fees.

Now, the same expectation to cover accommodations doesn’t apply to guests attending destination weddings or wedding cruises, although covering costs for the wedding party is a generous gesture. However, the couple should book hotel rooms within a reasonable travel distance to the wedding site. It’s also necessary and prudent to provide advance notice to guests of your upcoming nuptials, so they can make arrangements to attend the big day.

3. Getting to “I Do”

Planning a destination wedding or ceremony at sea requires addressing additional logistics that don’t apply to weddings in the couple’s home city. However, there is no denying that such ceremonies are romantic and memorable. For the happy couple and their lucky guests, these settings are truly the basis for the celebration of the beginning of married life.

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