No wonder they call them the love boats. Asian couples are discovering the romantic joys of marriages at sea.
Many couples are saying “I Do” to the idea of wedding packages on the water, which can include a planner, celebrant, champagne and wedding breakfast.
Two reasons are behind the rise in brides at sea: incredible value when compared to a land-based celebration, and the romance of the ocean.
Royal Caribbean, which operates the biggest fleet in Asia, says it has seen more interest. Their chapel on ships like Mariner of the Seas usually does brisk business, offering both weddings for up to 40 and re-affirmation of vows.
The chapel comes complete with a stained glass window and is sited at the top of the shop. Services include cakes, flowers and special music.
Packages begin at $3,195 to $3,995 – compare that with the hire of church and priest, limousines, restaurant and hall for a reception on land.
The average wedding on land costs between $40,000 and $60,000.
The cruise-ship option includes priority check-in for couples and guests, a coordinator, on-board ceremony with officiant, a photographer, recorded music, a banquet and boutonniere, chocolate-covered strawberries and sparkling wine.
Some will even help you to obtain wedding licences or provide invitations and thank-you notes. And it’s easy to let them handle all the extras – from tuxedo rentals to hair and spa appointments.
At least 11 cruise lines offer a variety of ceremony options and price points for anyone looking to plan a cruise wedding.
One warning though: getting married legally while at sea can be complicated. Legalising a wedding in a foreign port can be tricky, so ask your wedding planner to explain all the details and suggest which cruise port on your itinerary is your best bet for a wedding spot.