Consider Getting Married on a Yacht

| March 25, 2004 | 0 Comments

Yacht weddings offer a unique and imaginative alternative to catering hall, restaurant, and banquet style weddings. Once aboard your own private yacht guests enter a world that is usually reserved for the rich and famous. Luxury surrounds you as you embark on a romantic voyage of wedding bliss. Imagine dancing and dining as you gently cruise NY Harbor in Lady Liberty’s Shadow. Pass under the landmark bridges whose lights sparkle like diamonds against the backdrop of the New York Skyline. Your guests will marvel at the famous buildings as they trade stories and reminisce. A truly memorable experience is inevitable.

As an event planner I have had the opportunity to attend many affairs. There is little that can compare to treating your guests to changing panoramic views combined with imaginative cuisine, first class accommodations, great entertainment, and attentive professional service. Many couples and guests have grown tired and bored of traditional wedding affairs, in traditional rooms, with traditional menu options.

Wide Selection of Yachts

With a variety of yachts to select from there are many options available to you in terms of the type of wedding event you imagine. I had a couple who told me they wanted to do a sophisticated wedding and reception that would be memorable and unique. She wanted the ceremony and the reception at the same place with first class cuisine and lots of outdoor activity, with very little sitting at a table. I immediately suggested a yacht. We held a simple ceremony outside followed by a champagne reception. Cocktail hour consisted of a vast selection of high end passed hors d’oeuvres and a simple seafood raw bar.

We followed cocktail hour with a gourmet pasta station, an imaginative salad station, and carving board with various accompaniments. Dessert was a fabulous wedding cake, passed petit fours, assorted chocolates, and fresh fruit. The band was set up outside and the dancing took place outdoors under the stars. Of course the food and service was impeccable, but the guests were most enthralled with the views and the absolute splendor of a unique and different affair. As we pass the Statue of Liberty the band played “God Bless America” followed by “New York, New York” while the Famous NY Skyline lit up Manhattan and the summer wind gently blew.

Traditional Style Ballroom Wedding

Another couple wanted a traditional style ballroom wedding but also wanted to be different. They selected a yacht that could seat all there guests for dinner on one deck with a dance floor. The cocktail hour was on a separate deck from the dining. After cocktail hour ended guests were invited to the dining deck where they had their band and dance floor set up. All the traditional events (such as the introductions, first dance, parent dances, champagne toast, wedding cake ceremony, and garter and bouquet toss) were done while all the guests were together in one room. They had a formal sit-down dinner service with dancing between courses, and sit-down coffee and dessert service. Another elegant affair, however more traditional. Again the guests were delighted to do something different and unique.
Interior of Yacht
From these two examples you can imagine the possibilities are endless. You can choose to hold just the reception, or you may opt to do the ceremony on board as well. A vast selection of vessels is available to accommodate various personal tastes and budgets. Accommodations vary from formal, elegant yachts to casual party boats, and everything in between. Some vessels are arranged like private yachts, while others are more ballroom style. You may prefer a sleek modern vessel or a classic yacht, the choice is yours.

Wedding Yacht Point of Departure

Another option to consider is your point of departure. All the yachts have a home port but can relocate throughout the metropolitan area. I have focused on New York Harbor, but you may prefer a more natural setting, such as Long Island Sound or the upper Hudson Valley. There are docking facilities throughout the boroughs of New York, as well as New Jersey, Connecticut, Westchester and Long Island.

Does Weather Matter?

Of course, the question often arises, “What about weather?” The answer is simple, it really doesn’t matter. The important thing is to select a vessel that is the right size and style for you affair. You want a yacht that is climate controlled and weather enclosed, that is, air conditioned and heated. If your guests can be comfortably accommodated weather will not be a big factor. Most yachts are large and stable, so no matter what the weather your guests will be comfortable. All the yachts cruise protected waters; you will not be in the ocean where there are swells and waves. They cruise the river where the water is gentle and you don’t get rough or uncomfortable conditions. It is an extremely rare instance where a guest succumbs to motion sickness; however some guests may choose to take preventatives if they feel they are susceptible.

When couples select a yacht for their wedding they often take advantage of the inherent nautical theme. Favors, decor, and color selections are based, many times, on the fact that they are entertaining on a yacht. I have seen everything from fish and seashells to Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge themes. Music can also reflect the atmosphere with everything from “Love Boat” to “Gilligan’s Island” and “In the Navy”. Obviously this is not for everyone, but it can be a fun twist. Of course the photo opportunities are incredible. Sunset, Statue of Liberty, bridge, and NY Skyline shots are abundant. Some couples also have photos of the guests taken with the yacht’s life ring (depicting the vessel name). This makes a wonderful keepsake.

Make Your Wedding Memorable

Deciding where to have your wedding is an important decision. Think back to the weddings you have attended and try to remember what you Happy Coupleliked and didn’t like. Chances are most of them will be indistinguishable from one another. You arrived, had cocktails, and maybe hors d’oeuvres. You ate, danced, and went home. What was the most memorable thing? If you attended a wedding aboard a yacht I guarantee that would be the first to pop in your head. Of course it would be, it was different and unique.

I recently received a phone call from a bride upon returning from her honeymoon. She told me the phone calls and messages are pouring in… “What a great success, Bravo!”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: David Hackert, of Prestige Yacht Charters and Lexington Classic Cruises, is a wedding planner specializing in Hudson River Wedding Cruises, NYC Wedding Cruises, and Jersey Shore yacht weddings. For information call 212.717.0300 or visit www.prestigeyachtcharters.

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