The following is a sit down session that I had with Scott Lara, a man of the cloth and frequent cruiser.
Scott…I understand that back in March, you actually performed a wedding on board the Monarch of the Seas…tell me about that..
You know Doug, I have known several friends that have had their weddings on cruise ships. I actually have a daughter that will get married one day, and as a potential father of the bride, the cost of a wedding is daunting! Some weddings can be upwards of $10,000 and that’s on the low end. Consider this, food, renting a facility for the reception, pictures, alcohol, etc. Well, if you have your wedding on a cruise, it is much less expensive!
Does each cruise line have their own wedding department ? How does that work?
Well Doug, one company pretty much does it all for all the major cruise lines. When you call the cruise line, they will direct you to them. They talk directly with the bride regarding all the planning.
So, back to you performing that wedding back in March on the Monarch..how did that go?
Well…some good things and not so good things. That’s why I am so glad our subscribers are with us here on Cruise Radio…giving them the tips to making their cruising experience the best it can be! The wedding party and guest were allowed to board one hour early…and for us frequent cruisers..that’s a plus! The wedding planner met us inside the port facility where you check in. After we checked in..gave our credit card numbers, showed id etc. we were allowed to board. We had a little over one hour to get to our cabins..freshen up, get dressed then on to the Circuit lounge with over 200 chairs near the back of the ship. There was a person from the RC who played the music when she came down the aisle..the wedding took about 30 minutes and then we went to he Viking Lounge for the reception..lots of food, open bar for a little over an hour. It was great…and maybe we can post some pics of the wedding on Cruise Radio.net
You mentioned some not so good things…
Well, I mentioned I have a 25 yr old daughter. Guys, I’m talking to you…one of the most important things for a bride regarding a wedding is pictures. You can’t relive those moments. The photographer has to be a 10. Unfortunately, one of the RC photographers did the pics. Not a guy from the wedding company I mentioned..RC. You get the guy for free, for an hour, but if you want him for another hour, it will cost you a little bit. So, when the bride went downstairs to the photo area to pick her pics..she was livid. The pictures didn’t turn out good..the lighting, the angles, etc. Then the bride said..I want THAT picture, THAT one and uh….THAT one… The RC guy says..uh..no..you can pick PACKAGE number A, B or C, you can’t pick and choose which pics you want.
Doug..It was world war 3! Every night at dinner we heard how mad she was that the pics were not good, etc. And I don’t blame the bride. It was RC’s fault. So, the point of the story…Brides…find a land based photographer you love..you love his work, you love his camera, you love his professionalism and you love his references! Then you won’t be disappointed. Now, he wont be able to come on the ship..click click click and leave the ship You will have to buy him a cabin for the cruise…3 day, 4 day, whatever. Now granted, you may not like to spend that money, but if you want good pictures, then bring Mr. Man along. You wont regret it.
Any other thoughts?
Weddings on a ship are cost effective, fun, lots of family, etc. If you are considering getting married, consider doing it on a cruise ship.