I have been asked many times all about my wedding day. I feel like since there aren’t so many cruise brides out there that it would be really nice to put this info out for other cruise brides. Since we are few and far between.
Being a cruise bride was the best decision for us. Yes not everyone could go but we feel in love on a cruise ship. We feel so relaxed on board and its our go to vacation. We loved the idea of getting married in St. Thomas and really it was the only way we saw our day unfolding. We recently cruised on the oasis of the seas in May. It was wonderful. The ship never even rocked and it was like sailing on glass. It’s literally like a floating island with it’s 7 different neighborhoods, natural lighting and just a wonderful design. We knew we wanted to get married in St. Thomas while in port. So that limited us to a 7 day cruise. Which really furthered limited the guest count. (Again which was fine with us.) Please know that going in. Even people that said they would def. be there no matter what didn’t show up. Please please please know this going in. It’s not possible for everyone to go and don’t take it to heart.
Pre wedding day:
We choose the first week in December due to lower cabin costs and I wanted to give people over a year to save. We sent out save the dates/invitations cards which were adorable passports full of info. I also sent an email to friends and family so they knew what we were doing. I also made a facebook event page as well.
We found the greatest travel agent ever! Beyond epic actually Sheri was my rock. She answered emails very quickly and was very knowledgeable. Also every single person that booked a cabin always said how wonderful she is. If you need a travel agent for anything I highly recommend her. If you crazy please don’t bug her lol.
Sheri Mruz <Sheri.Mruz@AvoyaTravel.com> Seriously a life savor and then some!!!
So the first thing you need to do is find a travel agent or just sheri that knows what the heck they are doing in terms of group bookings. Seriously if you find someone that sucks your wedding day will… suck. Then what happens is Sheri, cough cough your travel agent will set up a group booking and hold your cabins for a period of time. This time varies depending on how many cabins and type of cabins you need but this group booking will lock in your group rate. Pretty cool right. Group rates are determined by the prevailing rate on the date you set up the group contract. Then you need to get the word out asap and get your group to book. You will earn a TC or Tour Conductor credit for the 16th berth or 16 passenger booked in your group, based on double occupancy only. Sheri Helped me draft up an amazing email to send out to all my guest (told you she was great)
Here’s the draft, feel free to use it to your hearts content:
When your ready to book you will need this info:
Now you need to decide where the heck you will be getting married at.
+Day of Departure Bride (where you get married before the ship leave the Port)
+Port of Call Bride (Our choose!!!)
We wanted our ceremony in St. Thomas when the boat arrived for the day. We found our location after a google search and a half. The Marriott frenchmans reef. (I thought this was like 5 mins away from our dock, not so much it was like 30 mins – that’s what I get for choosing such a massive ship) We booked the Marriott for just a ceremony which included the officiant, Bill he was pretty great and did everything I asked. The chairs and set up of chairs, the gazebo, flowers on the gazebo, and a day of getting ready room (no sure if that is always included) We choose a 2:00 pm ceremony time.
Think about dinner. We wanted to treat our guest to dinner in chops grille (one of the specialty restaurants onboard) This was sort of a pain in the butt but my travel agent arranged that for us. Everything was finalized at the 90 day mark. Sheri made contact with the group booking department around the 6 month mark I believe. You could also have a really great dinner in the MDR. Our ship had amazing dinning room locations:
- Main Dining Room
- Chops Grille
- Giovanni’s Table
- 150 Central Park
- Chef’s Table
- Johnny Rockets
- Solarium Bistro
- Cupcake Cupboard
- Seafood Shack
- Windjammer Café
- Sorrento’s Pizza
- Vitality Café
The day was perfect. It was amazing being able to spend a whole week surrounded by friends and family. It really felt like our two families were able to become together as one. They bonded, our moms are friends and our siblings laughed and joked around together. It was something I didn’t think about before. So it was nice that it wasn’t just one day. We couldn’t have imagined spending all that money on just one day.
We sailed on Royal Caribbean’s Beautiful Oasis of the Seas. She’s giant and remarkably we only lost our groups once on that cruise during the 7 nights. We sailed the western caribbean. We got married at marriotts frenchman’s reef which is 30 mins from crown bay. Which feels like a lifetime!!! From the marriott to the courthouse to the hotel took around an hour. Day 2 was very rocky I felt very bad that day and I only ate an apple. Green apples aid in sea sickness. Im still rocking from the cruise actually. I wish we would have done it in May, more sunlight in the sky and less likely to rock. Apparently Nov-Feb can be rocky, I was told that cold water creates ruff seas. Lame.
We used angels accents I got 1 bridal and 3 bridesmaids along with 3 boutonnieres. They turned out nice. It did seem like the website was a bit crazy how it was laid out and the contract was huge. I think It could be slimmed down. I paid for extra large flowers so I had a full bouquet which was a good idea since I though the bride maids (which were bridal) were too small. Im planning on putting them up for sale soon.
Martina Liana 359
One of my brides found this dress for me. I wanted a keyhole back but they all were just so heavy. This dress is so amazing. It is two dresses in one. It has the under part whichÚ is a silk satin so its lightweight but it has boning in it to keep me in place and skinny. Then the Chantilly lace dress goes over top of it. It also had a purple-ish sash. I wore a long chapel veil. (so fun) I also plan putting the dress up for sale too.
Bridesmaid Dress :
Nordstroms – adrianna papell
Groom and Groomsmen:
Suit studio – That was a hot mess, The suits didn’t fit well at all. We went and got them all sized and it was a waste because they were all baggy. We had too spend $100 per suit to get them resized. The fabric also had a strange plaid pattern. Bad. I wish we just got jcrew suits. The boys wore suspenders and chucks tho so that fixed the problem.
Marriot’s Frenchman’s reef. Beautiful location. Gazebo area on a cliff in a garden overlooking the ocean. You walk down stairs and its perfect. That was the best part of the day. The only thing was during the planning process I got transferred so many times to new coordinators. We had to re explain everything. I got the photographers amended in the contract (They didn’t allow outside photographers/videographers) So it was annoying re talking about the wedding. I was worried that I needed to spruce up the ceremony sites but the quotes were insane. and it didn’t need it. The location was breathtaking. The Marriott has an officiant. His name is Bill Arnet and he was fantastic. I wrote the whole ceremony and he happily read it.
Hair and Make up:
Sugar and spice. They were awesome. very quick very amazing that they were able to add extra hair dressers within a day.
Root Photography, I brought them on the ship with me. It was the best decision ever we even took an extra engagement session on the ship
We used islander taxi. It really wasn’t that good. They were there when we got off the boat but we had to wait around for someone to pick us up. We used two drivers. One for my bridesmaids to go and get ready and hang out at the hotel. We got ready at the hotel. Then My husband (eeek) and I took one car to the courthouse then too the marriot. It took about an hour for us and 30 mins for the wedding party. We were at the crown bay port. The harbor-site port is like 15 mins away, that would have been awesome. On our way back from the resort to the port I paid for an hour and a half of pictures around the island. his tire was flat so we lost all that time. Which really stunk. But we took pictures around the cruise ship instead.
I wanted to do cocktail hour at the solarium deck 16 but it was hott and people were walking around in speedos so as my videographer suggested we moved it into the viking crown lounge. then we had to move it into the pinnacle lounge which was perfect. It was just us. We brought our own bose and played our one first dance song : Jackson waters sail away. I loved it so so much.
Dinner : Specialty restaurant at chops grille
I wish we had one table. It was sad that I had to choose in fact I always had to choose who to sit with. That drove me nuts. Apparently if you go to the Md. on the first day and request a large table they can do it. I should have done that. It drove me insane to walk by the 16 seat table every night in the mdr. Everyone loved dinner in chops. Deck 8!! But seriously they could have squeezed us together. There was also a wedding party of 23 on the other end of the dinning room which is interesting considering the fact that they were so mad about my 13.. But my amazing travel agency helped with that.
Cabin: Crown loft suites 1708 (port side) It was nice because on the 2 sea days we had the sun for laying out if we wanted.
We stayed in the crown loft suites which was the best decision we made. So many people were always in our room and we felt like it really was our honeymoon. Its amazing and it totally spoiled us. We didn’t really get to indulge in all the suite perks tho because we were with so many people.
It turned out awful the night before our wedding we found out that the cruise ship time is one hour ahead of island time. So that really messed everything up. I called from the cruise the transportation and hair and make up and they all were able to make it work. I called multiple times to confirm cruise ship and island time. Royal told me the ship would change. It didn’t. Because of daylight savings time. apparently. So I would recommend double checking when you get on board so that while in port in the US you can call them and make any arrangements/changes needed.
Our timeline went like this:
Cruise arrives in port: 9:00 ship time/10:00 island time
I wish I would have done hair and makeup on the ship (got ready in our room, it was large enough)
1.) Find a great Travel agent or just call and email Sheri Mruz <Sheri.Mruz@AvoyaTravel.com> Words can not explain how beyond wonderful she was!
2.) Nail down your cruise date and the date and time for your Ceremony location
3.) get the word out about your wedding adventure