The Pros and Cons of Getting Married on a Boat

A bride standing on the edge of a boat with her groom, holding up her veil.

There are many different venues and locations to host your wedding at, and this is one of the largest decisions that you have to make in your wedding planning process. It’s also one of the first decisions that you’ll need to consider after you get engaged. One unique place to get married that some couples opt for is on a boat. These weddings come in different shapes and sizes—as do the boats. If you’re considering exchanging vows on board a boat, you’ll want to read the pros and cons below of doing so in order to understand what you’re getting yourself into and whether it’s the right choice for you personally.

Cruise Weddings: The Pros

An aerial view of a cruise ship on the ocean.

First, let’s delve into the pros associated with getting married on a more large-scale boat: a cruise. This type of wedding combines your nuptials with a vacation for yourself and your guests.


Believe it or not, cruise weddings are pretty affordable for yourself and your guests. Many cruise lines offer a range of packages per guest, complete with seemingly endless add-ons to make the packages as luxe or as simple as you want. This also makes it easy to adjust the packages to fit in with your wedding budget and the budget of your guests. Your guests also have the freedom to choose which type (and price level) stateroom best suits them and their budget and most cruise lines include meals in the price, making it an even more affordable option.

A Built-in Vacation

As discussed above, getting married on a cruise ship means that you and your guests receive a built-in vacation! This makes your wedding even more fun and allows you to spend more time with your guests. Who doesn’t love an excuse to get away, anyways?

Wedding Planners Are Included

Most cruise lines and ships include a wedding planner free of charge. This makes coordinating the logistics much easier; you’ll be working with an expert that’s done it hundreds of times before!

Cruise Weddings: The Cons

There are a few potential downsides to think about when you’re deciding whether a cruise wedding is right for you.

The Timing

It can be tough for all of your guests to have adequate time to commit to attending your wedding if it’s a multi-day affair. That’s definitely something to think about in planning to ensure all of the most important people would be able to attend.

Other Passengers

You’ll be sharing your wedding venue with quite a few other passengers who are on-board for their vacation. Whether you’re willing to share the moment with strangers is another thing to think about in planning your big day.

Less Control Over the Details

Getting married aboard a cruise ship means you’ll have much less control over the details of the day. The cruise line will likely dictate details like the cake, photographer, and entertainment. For some, not having to decide these things on their own is a plus. Others want more control over the details, so this one depends on your personal preference.

Yacht Weddings: The Pros

A bride and groom sitting on the edge of a boat after their wedding.

Another type of boat wedding to consider is those on yachts. This is a smaller-scale boat and event, as you won’t be required to be gone for multiple days with your guests. Read about the pros of yacht weddings below.

Unique and Customizable

If you’re renting out a yacht for your event, prepare for it to be a unique experience for guests as well as very customizable. Unlike getting married on a cruise line, most yacht rentals allow you to choose the details of your big day as well as other vendors that will be included in your event.

Beautiful Scenery

What could be more picturesque than getting married on the water? If this is the type of event you opt for, your wedding photos will be serene as nothing but the wide blue sea will be your backdrop. Plus, this scenery will prove to be quite unforgettable for your guests to enjoy!

A Package Deal

Many yacht weddings come as a “package deal” like cruise weddings. This means that you pay a flat per-person fee for the event and service, barring any add-ons that you wish to include as upgrades. This can certainly make planning simpler.

Yacht Weddings: The Cons

There are a few cons associated with the idea of a yacht wedding, as explained below.

Limited Guest List

Depending on the size of the yacht you rent, you may need to scale back your guest list. This is totally controlled by the size of the boat and how many passengers can be safely and comfortably accommodated.

Strict Timeline

Hosting your event on a boat means that there will be a strict timeline. If any guests are late and they miss the boat’s departure, there’s no way to sneak in late. This is something you need everyone to fully understand about your yacht wedding.

Limited On-Board Facilities

Not all yachts have expansive facilities like a kitchen on-board. This is something to consider when it comes to planning a yacht wedding. If having intricate food is important to you, there could be limitations as far as preparation is concerned when it comes to getting married on a yacht.

Boat weddings are certainly a beautiful and exciting way to share this big moment of your lives. Consider these pros and cons, however, before you commit to this idea as there are certainly ups and downs that come into play.

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