There’s nothing more romantic or exciting than planning your wedding. The possibilities seem endless, and with the right help and guidance, you can have the wedding you’ve always dreamed of.
Canada may have stopped tracking marriage statistics in 2011, but that doesn’t mean that there’s a lack of brides and grooms in the country.
When there are a lot of people getting married, you may want to do something that’s a little more unique so you can stand out from the rest.
Instead of going with a traditional wedding venue, consider getting married on a boat!
Boats can be a romantic venue for people that want to plan an amazing wedding. Read on to learn how to plan the perfect way to say “I do” on a boat.
How to Plan an Amazing Wedding: Boat Edition
Don’t worry, you don’t need to take sailing lessons or learn a lot of boat lingo to plan a tasteful and beautiful wedding.
In truth, planning a wedding or reception on a boat is very similar to planning a traditional wedding. There are just some things you need to keep in mind when you’re in the planning stages.
Consider the Kind of Boat
When you say that you want to have an amazing wedding on a boat, think about what you really mean when you say boat.
Are you thinking of doing a destination wedding on a big cruise liner with close friends? Do images of friends and family on a riverboat come to mind? Have you considered getting married on a yacht?
The kind of boat you choose to get married on will affect the size and scope of your ceremony. This article by Cosmo Yachts goes into the ins and outs of planning a yacht wedding. Be sure to check it out if you want a small boat wedding.
Consider Your Budget
Let’s face it, weddings can be expensive for the couple getting married and the people in their wedding party. If you’re on a very tight budget for your wedding, getting married or having a reception at sea may not be ideal for you.
Boat rentals aren’t cheap, and you’ll also need to pay money to have the crew on staff, caterers, and other traditional costs associated with a wedding.
If you have your heart set on a boat wedding but don’t have a big budget, consider cutting down your guest list so that you only have absolutely essential people around on your big day.
Cut Your Guest List
All venues have a seating capacity, and boats are no different. If you plan on having a wedding or reception on a boat try to keep the guest list as tight as possible.
Expense is one reason to keep the guest list low, but comfort is another more important reason to cut down the number of guests.
If things get too crowded, your friends and family won’t have the luxury of being able to step outside to take a breather or a phone call. Space can get tight on boats, and having too many people on board can make for an uncomfortable night.
Plan Your Theme
You can do whatever you’d like for your wedding theme, but keep in mind that you may need to make some adjustments for the boat.
Be sure to talk to the boat’s event staff about their recommendations for decorations. They’ll know the boat inside and out, and they’ll be able to tell you what works best for the venue.
Also, don’t be afraid to play up the nautical theme when you plan your big day! Invites with navy stripes or giving out personalized lifesavers as favors can be a fun way to tie in the sea theme without making it the main focus.
Think About Logistics
Even if your plan on keeping the boat at the dock for the entire ceremony, you need to think about how guests will get to the venue.
People may be able to park close by, but they won’t be able to drive directly up to the boat. Having some helpful signage around the marina and docks can help your guests find their way around.
Some boat venues may provide shuttles or vans that can get your guests to the appropriate place.
Don’t Forget the Inside
When some people plan boat weddings, they immediately fall in love with the deck and make their decision based on it. Having a beautiful and spacious deck can help make a great ceremony, but don’t neglect the inside of the boat too.
Some people think that most of the wedding will happen on the deck, some may even plan for the buffet and drinks to be on deck. Having a deck only wedding can be great, but only if the weather holds up.
You’ll want to have a plan B in case the weather gets too windy or too rainy on your big day. Some of your seasick prone guests may also enjoy having space below deck to relax.
Plan A Long (and Docked) Cocktail Hour
When you’re doing a wedding on land, a late guest or two isn’t a problem. When you do a wedding on a boat that will set sail, being late could mean missing the entire wedding!
Stress the importance of punctuality to your guests. Some may choose to put a “cast off” time on their invites so that people make it a point to be there on time.
If you want to give some of your less punctual guests a little wiggle room on arrival time, plan to have a docked cocktail hour before the ceremony begins.
The cocktail hour will keep your guests entertained and fed, and it’ll give people ample time to arrive.
Choose Food Wisely
Have you always dreamed about having a sit-down dinner at your wedding reception? You could easily have the formal dinner affair you’ve wanted, but it can cut down on space.
A buffet may be an easier option for people when you’re having a wedding on a boat. People will be able to eat when they want, and will have more space to move around and enjoy the area.
Also keep the size of the boat kitchen and catering options in mind. Some boats can have surprisingly big kitchens, and others may have limited space. If you’re concerned about kitchen size, see if you can bring in a caterer.
Plan Your Big Day
Now that you know how to have an amazing wedding on a boat, let’s talk about other ways to make your big day the best day possible.
Have you looked for a dress yet? Instead of going to the typical chain stores, why not try something a little different?
Read our post on the 6 unexpected (and best) places to go wedding dress shopping in Toronto.