Travel Happiness: Wedding solutions
If pre-nuptial nerves are turning your altar-bound clients into bridezilla and her uneasy groom, help is on the way. Have a storybook wedding at sea with once-upon-a-time overtones on the only cruise line that can legally marry couples at sea.
For an extraordinary wedding experiences that's sure to produce smiles and soothe jitters all around, and leave the bride feeling like a privileged princess herself--it's hard to upstage Princess Cruises when it comes to luring lovestruck souls with not only spectacular scenery, but with programs that offer seamless preparation.
Engagement Under the Stars
Newest on the slate of Princess packages is one guaranteed to help a wannabe groom pop the question to the object of his affections in a manner she will never forget. Debuting aboard the sparkling new Crown Princess--kicking off its own inaugural season this month in honeymoon meccas the likes of Bermuda and the Eastern and Western Caribbean--is Engagement Under the Stars, a scenario that's sure to launch the couple into instant stardom. It starts in a secret session with the ship's videographer for the suitor to create a persuasive proposal, and winds up with his best efforts projected on the new ship's giant outdoor movie screen shortly before the evening's feature film begins. The unsuspecting fiance-to-be will be lured to the scene under the guise of seeing the movie.
The Engagement package also includes such treats as photos of the proposal and an engagement portrait session, dinner for two at Sabatini's Trattoria or Crown Grill, a couple's massage in the spa, a 10 percent discount off fine jewelry in the boutique (in case he forgets to bring a ring), and a $100 credit toward a future wedding afloat.
Fairy Tale Wedding
The cruise line's famed Tie the Knot program is the only nautical nuptials in waters around the globe where couples are pronounced husband and wife by the captain himself. You might want to add that hundreds of weddings have taken place each year aboard Princess ships since the 1998 launching of the Grand Princess and its oceangoing wedding chapel, the cruise industry's first. These weddings, in fact, have been set up by seasoned consultants with the skills and know-how to customize a day for the scrapbooks.
Princess lines offer three options in wedding packages: Tie the Knot at Sea, when the ship's captain performs the ceremony; Tie the Knot Harborside, which takes place only on embarkation day and is a likely means of including non-sailing guests; Tie the Knot Ashore, when an exotic spot beckons irresistibly as a wedding site.
While every wedding at sea includes live music, a wedding cake and champagne, a bridal bouquet and boutonniere for the groom, an album of photos, and a souvenir-wedding certificate, there are numerous choices that personalize the package. Live music for the reception, for example, might mean anything from a DJ to a steel drum band.
"The bride and groom select their favorite music, colors, and flavors," she notes, "and it's the "At Sea" package that really provides the most options and creativity because we're not pressed for time. Weddings in port include similar offerings, but, of course, we are on a tighter time schedule."
Participants in the wedding program also score assistance with the required paperwork for marriages performed by the captain under the legal authority of the ship's Bermuda registry. And the coordinator is at the ready when it comes to handling such sartorial matters as the groom's tuxedo (the ship has a rental program), and the bride's pre-wedding pampering (spa and beauty salon appointments are arranged).