Getting Married the Cunard Way

If we didn’t know better, we’d say with just a drip of sarcasm that the reason it took Cunard 172 years to do weddings on their ships, it’s because they wanted to get it right.

The real reason, however, is that British law prohibited weddings on British ships. When one of its stablemates, Carnival, had more than two thousand wedding ceremonies on its ships the people at Cunard realized what they’ve been missing. So they re-registered their three ships (Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth) in Bermuda, allowing them to bypass British law.

If you want to ask why it took Cunard 172 years to realize that, go right ahead.

Despite the uproar (relatively speaking) in Great Britain — the ships were, after all, named after and christened by members of the Royal Family — Cunard and its three “Bermuda” ships are now offering couples the chance to get married the Cunard way.

What’s the Cunard way?

Only one wedding per day. This is an exclusive club, and two would erode that exclusivity. A wedding co-ordinator to hold the hands that will bear the rings. A hairdresser, make-up person and manicurist. Photographers to capture the moments digitally, both still and video. A reception, of course.

Oh yes, and luxury, because that is always the Cunard way.

More couples are turning to the sea for their wedding days. Cruise-ship demands are up 60 per cent over the last decade, and often the reason is financial. A Cunard wedding costs $2,500 plus $575 for the marriage license, and no doubt there are avenues of up-sell…i.e., a harpist. But, like all weddings at sea, you find out who really wants to be a guest when they pony up the cost of going on a cruise so they can be there for your big day.

And if you do it the Cunard way, it really is…well, a “royal wedding.”

Holland America Zaandam
22 nights
April 15, 2012
Kobe, Kagoshima and Nagasaki (Japan), Busan (South Korea), Vladivostok and Petropavlovsk, (Russia), Kodiak, Glacier Bay and Sitka (Alaska), Prince Rupert (BC), Inside Passage, Vancouver
Inside $1,649

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