Weddings take a lot of planning – the catering, the guest list, the flowers, and more. Perhaps one of the most difficult decisions to make is the venue. After all, everything else on the wedding list can be affected by your choice of setting. If you’re outdoors, you need reliable weather or a good marquee company! And if you’re indoors, you need to know that the room for your reception will be the most beautiful space in the building.
Of course, some people are determined to include incredible landscape backdrops for their wedding photography. It makes sense. The couple in the photo look stunning, so they should be somewhere that is equally amazing. This is one of the reasons why destination weddings are so popular. It’s quite handy to already be at your honeymoon destination as well!
So what are your options for a stunning landscape? You might marry on top of a mountain with far reaching views of the country. Or you might prefer rolling hills and fields of wildflowers as your backdrop. For many, the allure and the romance of the water calls. A beach wedding or even a wedding on the water can be one of the most beautiful and idyllic places to marry.
The allure of water side weddings
There are many places around the world to choose from. Of course, few beat Venice if you wish to marry on the water. The water in Venice is mostly still, easily accessible, and offers some stunning shots for your wedding photos. Have a look at the Vittore Buzzi Photographer website to get some ideas about your own choice of wedding pictures. You’ll see that Venice can offer beautiful architecture, romantic gondola rides for the happy couple and incredible waterways for that perfect wedding venue.
Picking a European destination like Venice offers you far more than just the chance to enjoy your wedding on the water. The ancient buildings of Italy are so incredibly ornate. The detail in each one will look amazing in your wedding photos. Then, of course, is all that gorgeous Italian antique furniture! Who wouldn’t want a photo of the bride sat in such an incredible chair or stood upon a cast iron balcony above the water?
Ceremony of reception
So what should you consider if you want to have a ceremony or reception on the water? Each destination is different. In some places, you must wear a life preserver by law. This can be tricky to deal with in a wedding gown! And heels and boats don’t always work well together. A floating platform might be a better way to deal with this situation. In some places, you can find a good sized decking area at the end of a short pier. This gives you the illusion of being out on the water, but you’re not all at sea. Speak to your wedding planner to see what precautions must be taken.
What about a beach wedding? Again, in some places, there are restrictions. Still, they can be easily overcome if you know what you need to do. For example, in most parts of the UK, you must legally marry within the four walls of a registered building. That doesn’t stop you performing a ceremony before (or after) the legal part, anywhere you like. This might be considered a renewal of vows, or simply a public affirmation of love. It means you can still have photos of your both on the banks of the lakes in Cumbria or even Loch Ness.
Cruise ships are well known for offering weddings and honeymoons. Most cruise ship chapels are very small so would suit a small guest list. You would most likely be married by the ship’s Captain, but this doesn’t mean your ceremony can’t be religious. The Captain may have restrictions about where the ship should be during the legal part of the ceremony. You might also find you have to book quite far in advance to ensure you get the wedding you’re hoping for.
As you and your guests will be at sea, you will probably enjoy your honeymoon on board. There is plenty of choice for entertainment with the other ship’s guests, but if you want a more private venue, you may have to pay quite a bit extra. Food and drink, of course, will never be a problem. The service is often second to none, and you will have a good choice of accommodation and extras while you are onboard.
Is it legal?
In some places, you can hire a private yacht and the Captain there can perform the legal part of your ceremony for you. Some advertise this as a special service in different parts of the world. It’s best to check if the ceremony is legally binding or if you need to have a registrar service at your local courthouse before hand. You can usually only legally marry the person you are married to once. But you can renew your vows or indulge in an affirmation ceremony that has no legal bearing at all. It can be just as romantic as the real thing, and there is nothing stopping you from getting dressed up and exchanging rings.
Don’t forget – every legally binding marriage must be witnessed, so make sure your witnesses don’t get seasick! While receptions on the water can be lots of fun and a great theme for the event, there needs to be safety precautions too. Alcohol and the water don’t mix, so make sure everyone is well looked after. As for romantic photos? Imagine the moonlight reflected on the water behind you and your new spouse. What about a photo of you both dipping your toes in the foam as the wave reaches the beach? What ideas might you have?
A wedding on the water can be wonderfully romantic, and it can offer some of the best backdrops for your wedding photography. There are plenty of ways to make the most of your watery theme too. While most guest lists on board boats might be quite small, a beach wedding or pier venue can offer all the space you need for everyone. Enjoy your beautiful day.