Are you looking for a unique wedding location or welcome party place? Considering planning a wedding on a yacht? Destination weddings can provide beautiful backdrops in all styles and types of scenery, including of course, the sea! Whether or not you love the idea of a nautical themed event, planning a party on a boat can be a great way to get your guests off property and out exploring. A yacht makes a great rehearsal dinner experience or welcome party place, but it also works wonderfully as a creative wedding venue too.
Here are seven of my tips to planning a wedding on a yacht, with or without the anchor-themed decor.
If shoes are required to be removed, give your guests a heads up ahead of time. Many private boats have strict rules to keep their decks immaculate. Ask ahead of time what restrictions come with booking the boat. If they implement a “no shoes” policy, put that on the invitation so guests know what they are walking into…literally! This is also a good time to find out about decor limitations. Plan for floral and decor you know are going to be captain-approved before you book!
Find creative ways to give guests enough seating. A yacht provides picturesque views but sometimes challenging room-to-room flow. If you’re hosting a full meal, be sure there’s enough room for guests to sit and dine properly. If it’s a cocktail party, consider guests who will want to sit for a bit but not all at the same time.
Stock seasickness pills, bracelets and holistic alternatives. Not everyone in your party will love the open waters. If you end up at sea, be sure to stock the restrooms (and possibly even an on-board kit for each guest) with all the supplies needed to enjoy the trip without the headache.
Keep decor anchored down (no pun intended). By now you’ve checked with the crew about what you can and can’t do for decor. Then consider the elements. Will the boat be docked or will you take a sunset cruise with winds and possibly less-than-calm waters? Keep all these factors in mind when setting up decor. You don’t want any spills or accidents for the flowers (or your guests).
Provide party or wedding favors that work in transit. Give your guests gifts they can use on the tour. Scarves to keep warm in the wind, sunscreen kits for a day at sea, new slip-ons in lieu of shoes, polaroid cameras to capture the moment, custom beach towels for a snorkel day – whatever your gift may be, consider giving something the guests can use at sea!
Select a menu fitting of the environment. Sometimes keeping it simple is the way to success. Discuss with the crew what your catering options are and don’t get too creative if the kitchen is limited. Great tasting food is always more popular than an elaborate menu that just didn’t work out quite right.
Have a weather backup plan. Just like any outdoor wedding setting, plan for weather issues ahead of time, especially when at sea. Be sure to book an alternative space as a backup or discuss with your crew what your options may be if the weather doesn’t permit a trip out on the open water.
And remember, a wedding on a yacht doesn’t have to be a themed nautical fete. You can embrace anchors, “tying the knot” and messages (of love) in a bottle, but you certainly don’t have to! A yacht can also be a truly elegant setting for a magical wedding under the stars (that just happens to be on water).
Images by Dennis Kwan