Tying the knot on a yacht - Organising a wedding on a superyacht
Written by Luke Wheeler
Last updated: 13/06/2017
Your wedding day should be the most special, memorable day of your life, full of friends, family, and amazing memories. And if there’s one sure way to create a lasting memory for you and your guests, it’s a wedding on a luxury yacht.
This is not a budget wedding option! However, increasing numbers of superyachts available for charter and event hire are leading to more couples choosing to tie the knot on a floating palace.
But planning a wedding doesn’t get any easier when at sea – if anything, there is more to consider. We’ve put together some tips to help you plan your dream wedding on board a yacht.
Preparing a yacht wedding - what are the challenges?
Getting things to and from the venue is a little trickier than usual when it’s a floating yacht berthed at a marina.
Before setting any plans in stone it’s essential to ensure everyone who needs access to the yacht will be able to get it. That includes provisioning companies, event planners, and anyone involved with loading and unloading equipment or fixtures.
Bear in mind weight and capacity limits when planning entertainment and guest lists, and perhaps employ the assistance of an event planner who has experience of running events on yachts.
Space and guest numbers
The largest deck of a yacht is typically where a wedding of such calibre would be held, but don’t be fooled; even the largest yachts may surprise you in how few guests can actually fit comfortably on board.
Once you take into account how your ‘wedding area’ probably won’t be square, plus with the seating, items and décor, you’re often left with less space than initially imagined. Smaller guest lists are commonplace for yacht weddings; they’re typically more intimate occasions.
That said, you don’t necessarily have to hold the wedding out on the deck. Plenty of yachts boast large, luxury internal spaces that rival many wedding venues. It may mean sacrificing the open ocean views, but if a larger guest list is essential for your wedding, this could be a great option.
Food service at a yacht wedding – sit-down service, or buffet?
Buffets are the go-to choice for feeding a larger group of people, as batches of different mains, sides, sauces and so on, can be prepared for large groups of people continuously as guests serve themselves exactly what they’d like. At yacht weddings, guests are likely to want to spend less time sat down at the table and more time out on the deck, admiring the views – naturally making a buffet a great option.
Table service is still a popular option, but can often be a bit trickier on board a yacht with limited resources and space, particularly if the guest count is beyond what the galley was originally intended to cater for. For the ultra-elegant yacht wedding, table service will often be desired so it’s best to try and plan this as far in advance as possible – know how many people will be eating, what they’re going to want to eat, and what’s realistically achievable given the number of guests, size of the yacht and crew, etc…
Yacht wedding legalities – don’t get caught out
Typically, yacht weddings are held outside of the country where the couple take residence, which can raise several legal hurdles and have a large effect on your planning and timeframes.
It’s just as important to find out what determines a legal binding of marriage in your own country of residence, as it is to find out the same about the country you’ll be marrying in. For example, in Greece you must be present in the country at least one week prior to the wedding ceremony to have a legally binding marriage, and in France you must have a civil ceremony at the town hall before any religious or secular ceremony.
Insurance also needs to be considered, even if the yacht is in the country of residence. Insurance policies are known for being ‘easily voided’ if you haven’t checked through all the small print. Yacht insurance (if the yacht is privately owned) can be voided by having too many guests on board, and wedding insurers will have to take the venue into consideration, depending on what you’re having covered.
Don't forget the flowers
Fantastic floristry makes a wedding, and this is no different aboard a superyacht. Steffen Funfsinn from Jardin D’Alice Flowerdesign explained to us that floristry can do more than enhance the yacht or venue itself, setting the scene for the day ahead. Read more about superyacht wedding floristry here.
Have a great time!
A wedding on a yacht is a truly special occasion, and all the planning will be worth the effort when a truly memorable day is created for all who attend.
Of course, you can always have an event management company take care of the bulk of all the hard work – you can browse entertainment and event management companies on Yachting Pages.