The Wide World of Destination Weddings

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By Lisa Light, Spokesperson for Princess Cruises
As published on the website of Princess Cruises

There’s no doubt that the idea of a destination wedding has captured the imagination of the modern bride (and groom). Every year more and more couples decide to ‘get away from it all’ and say their vows in spectacular locations around the globe. In fact, today more than 10 percent of all nuptials are now destination weddings.

It’s not hard to understand why these away-from-home ceremonies are becoming all the rage. Getting married on a sun swept beach, a charming Italian villa or even far out at sea adds an extra air of romance to the event, and certainly creates once-in-lifetime memories. It’s a wonderful adventure that couples can share with their friends and family, and there’s no need to plan a separate honeymoon.

Although destination weddings can seem daunting sometimes, and are complicated by local regulations and marriage license requirements, there are many resources to help plan a special and beautiful ceremony far from home. Many locations that host frequent weddings offer the ease of a local coordinator, who can make planning simple and easy. For extra ease of planning, a cruise can be an especially good option, because most lines offer convenient packages that include everything a couple would need to tie the knot.

In fact, cruise ships are a great way to organize a stress-free destination wedding. Most lines give you a choice of locations around the world, or you can have the ceremony in the ship’s home port, before you set sail. This is especially convenient for guests who can’t join you on the cruise.

But I think one of the most romantic ways to get married is at sea. Despite the lore passed down over the years, not just any ship captain can marry his passengers. But with Princess Cruises, couples can indeed live out that fantasy, and have the captain join them as man and wife as they sail the ocean waves.

Princess is the only major North American cruise line that makes this dream a reality, and the line’s unique “Tie the Knot At Sea” wedding program makes it simple to plan a worry-free special day. A dedicated wedding coordinator helps couples arrange their nautical nuptials, whether in the onboard wedding chapel or elsewhere on the ship. Everything is taken care of, from the official paperwork to the many special touches from the ship’s talented chefs, musicians and photographers.

These “At Sea” wedding packages include everything needed -- live music, champagne, flowers (including the bridal bouquet), a photographer, a wedding cake, and a souvenir wedding certificate. Naturally, the happy couple can also customize their event with a variety of food and beverage, floral, photography and video choices. Ships have many great places for a reception – and couples sometimes have been known to invite new friends they’ve made on the cruise. Even more fun, brides (and grooms, of course) can also choose to add some pre-ceremony pampering, such as a trip to the spa.

One of the other special perks on Princess is their exclusive Wedding Cams. This is a great feature for those with many loved ones who can’t join them, as friends and family can log onto the Internet to see a live picture of the ceremony that refreshes once a minute, allowing them to virtually follow the action. The Wedding Cams are located in the ship’s wedding chapels, so are available to couples using these rooms.

And all this is included in a package that would cost considerably more at home – in both time and money. Princess “Tie the Knot” packages are also available for weddings in port and in the pre-cruise homeport, and all include the same ease of planning with a dedicated coordinator – an infinitely valuable resource.

Of course, once the “I do’s” have been said, and the reception toasts are finished, the honeymoon cruise is just beginning. And couples literally have the world at their feet with so many destination options – whether the bride and groom want to start their married life by lounging in a tropical paradise, exploring a cosmopolitan city or just spending time together on their own private balcony, watching the world go by.

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