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Princess Cruises' Nautical Nuptials Offer Romantic Start to a Life Together

"Tie the Knot" Program Makes Wedding Planning Easy, Complete with Unusual Opportunity for a Ceremony at Sea Performed by Ship's Captain

Imagine saying "I do" onboard a cruise ship as it sails off the coasts of an idyllic Tahitian island, or on the way to a cruise up the Amazon, with the captain presiding over the ceremony. This romantic dream can come to life with Princess Cruises' groundbreaking "Tie the Knot At Sea" wedding program.

When Princess launched its seagoing weddings program in 1998, the line made maritime and marriage history -- and turned cruising lore into reality -- by having the captain join couples in marriage. Until that point, there had been a common misconception that any ship captain was empowered to join couples in matrimony, but in truth, no such ceremony was ever conducted aboard a major cruise ship.

Grand Princess’ launch, featuring the cruise industry’s first ocean-going wedding chapel, changed myth to fact. In the program’s inaugural year, 58 couples tied the knot on Grand Princess alone. Since 2004 more than 5,800 couples have been married through the Princess “Tie the Knot At Sea” program in waters around the globe, including the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Alaska and numerous exotic destinations.

Today, Princess’ “Tie the Knot” wedding program has grown to not only offer these special at-sea ceremonies on all of its ships, but also include fleet-wide harborside ceremonies in embarkation ports or weddings ashore in select ports of call. Together these options have created the cruise industry’s most diverse and unique wedding program, offering the convenience of a wedding and honeymoon in one customizable package that makes this important event easy and hassle-free.

Get Married At Sea – A Rare Opportunity

Being married on the ocean waves, with the ship’s captain conducting the ceremony, is the most popular wedding option in the program, chosen by 82% of couples. Princess was the first major cruise line to make this dream a reality, with the line’s signature “Tie the Knot At Sea” wedding program. Princess’ larger ships feature an onboard wedding chapel, decorated in flowers and candlelight for the special day. The line offers ceremonies complete with a number of special touches that bring together the talents of the ship’s chefs, musicians and photographers. 

Every “At Sea” wedding includes music; champagne; bridal bouquet and groom’s matching boutonniere; photo and video services with deluxe canvas print; a wedding cake; a souvenir wedding certificate and the services of Princess’ onboard wedding coordinators to make sure the day runs smoothly. The happy couple can also customize their event with a variety of food and beverage, floral, photography and video choices. They can also choose to add pampering pre-ceremony spa treatments for the bride or take advantage of the ship’s tuxedo rental program for the groom, among a host of other options. Reception options further allow the couple to create their perfect day. 

Couples can choose to have a festive reception following their wedding in a number of the ship’s restaurants or public lounges. A one-hour event starts at just $21 per person for hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and an open bar. Extra add-ons include food station, a full gourmet luncheon or even one of Princess’ famous ice sculptures. Before the nuptials even begin, events such as a bridal shower, bachelor party or rehearsal dinner can be arranged.

Prices for At Sea weddings begin at $1,800 for the ceremony plus $455 for registration and license fees. The program is available fleet wide with marriages performed by the captain under the legal authority of the ship’s Bermuda registry. Princess’ wedding program assists with all required paperwork associated with Bermuda regulations.

In-Port Ceremonies – Choose the Perfect Location

            Princess’ wedding program also offers the opportunity to schedule special pre-cruise “Tie the Knot Harborside” ceremonies aboard any of Princess’ vessels, or to arrange a romantic “Tie the Knot Ashore” event in port during the cruise. As ship captains only have authority to marry couples in international waters, a non-denominational officiant conducts all in-port weddings. Harborside weddings, chosen by approximately 10% of participants, offer couples the opportunity to choose to invite family and friends to join them just for the day, or to stay for the full cruise. Ashore weddings offer a variety of romantic backdrops, such as sparkling Caribbean beaches, the Alaskan wilderness, or historic European cities. Packages for both types of in-port wedding include music, a bouquet and matching boutonniere, a photographer, a wedding cake, champagne and the services of a professional wedding coordinator. Couples can personalize their ceremony with a variety of extra options depending on the port. Costs for both Harborside and Ashore weddings also vary by port.

Of course, once the ceremony and reception are finished, the honeymoon cruise is just beginning. The wide variety of Princess itineraries offers couples the opportunity to start their married life with the perfect vacation, whether it’s lounging in a tropical paradise, visiting a cosmopolitan city or just spending time together on their own private balcony, watching the world go by.

“Tie the Knot” wedding packages can be arranged by calling Royal Ocean Events at 1-855-434-3550 or 1-778-434-3550.