Vows with a view: how to plan and hold a boat wedding

boat wedding

Are you tying the knot soon and are looking to have a wedding that’s different to the hundreds you’ve already attended? A boat wedding might be right up your alley (or stream). Boat weddings give you the opportunity to celebrate the union between you and your other half in style. After all, there’s nothing quite as romantic as a wedding on the water!

But like all weddings, boat weddings need to be carefully thought out – there are quite a few considerations you need to take into account, plus there’s a lot of things to plan for. If it all seems a little overwhelming, don’t worry, we’ll help you out with our ultimate guide to having a boat wedding!

Why have a boat wedding?

As we previously mentioned, boat weddings are unique and relatively rare in the world of weddings. In fact, they aren’t part of most ‘Top Types of Weddings’ – most couples opt to choose traditional weddings within churches, in parks or on a beach. Having a boat wedding can be a unique experience not just for you and your partner, but for your family and friends as well. But what other reasons are there to have a boat wedding?

Vows with a view

Is there anything more special than saying your vows and tying the knot in front of spectacular ocean views? Not many couples can say they’ve done so! Whether your boat wedding is done in a harbour with views of the city skyline or on a beach with views of the shore, you’ll be able to say ‘I do’ in an especially luxurious fashion.


Weddings can be very expensive. The average cost of a wedding in Australia alone is a whopping $65,482. Thanks to the relatively low price of hiring a boat, boat weddings can be a cost-effective way to celebrate, having the same luxury and wonder of a normal wedding without the financial cost.

All-inclusive packages

To reiterate the cost-effectiveness of a boat wedding, most boat hires include more than just the boat itself for your wedding. They can often include additional features such as catering, music, photographers and decorations. Relying on them to take care of these things instead of hiring different parties for each thing can often save you a lot of money.

Wedding & reception on one boat

Most weddings will have the wedding ceremony and reception after-party at different places. Ceremony at a church, reception in a party hall. Having to hire two different places, decorate them and moving all guests can be a headache! Having a boat will let you hold both the ceremony and the after-party in one convenient yet luxurious location.

Things to consider

If those reasons have you itching to call a boat charter company right now, we’re going to have to ask you to stop and consider a couple things! The following ‘considerations’ will help you decide if a boat wedding is truly the right decision.


It goes without saying, but a wedding on a boat can lead to some seasickness for your guests. And while you can generally expect little to no swaying or turbulent waters, it’s important to note that the water may become a little choppy.

Strict regulations

Since you’ll be having your wedding in the middle of the water, guests need to arrive at the wharf/dock on time and be prepared to stay until the boat returns for unboarding. That means guests can’t rock up fashionably late or duck out early! Your boat may also have strict policies such as no smoking – you’ll need to check with your charter company to find out.

Limited space

Depending on the boat you choose, you will have a certain amount of space on the deck. This means that you may need to trim your guest list if your boat can’t cater to a certain number of people.

Boat wedding planning tips

If you’re ready to go ahead with your nautical wedding, here are some tips to guarantee a successful, ultra-memorable celebration!

  1. Prep for seasickness

While seasickness may be inevitable for some guests, there are steps you can take to help your queasy guests and give them relief. Firstly, notify your guests of the possibility of seasickness. This way, they at least know what they’re getting themselves into and can take precautions such as anti-nausea medication.

Be sure to also bring medications and aids onboard as well. Things like ginger sweets and drinks can help settle the stomachs of your seasick-prone guests.

  1. Hire your own photographer

Being able to commemorate your special day with photos and videos is one of the most important things when planning a wedding. A good photographer can make or break the event; nobody likes looking back at terrible snapshots. Hiring your own dedicated photographer can make sure that your wedding album will only have great and memorable moments. Talk to your photographer ahead of time to discuss what kind of photos you want.

  1. Dress for the occasion

Because your wedding is being held on a boat, you can take some liberties with the dress code (without getting too out of hand of course!). Having a nautical theme can make your wedding even more memorable. Pashminas, sunglasses or boat shoes are small yet impactful dress code requirements that can really make your wedding stand out.

  1. Bad weather back-up

We can try as hard as we can, but nobody can predict the weather, so it’s always important to have a contingency plan. Check the forecast ahead of time and speak to your boat hire company to discuss options for bad weather. They may be able to help you pick a boat with shelter or indoor space.

And if it does rain on your parade, don’t let it ruin your day! Just because the sun didn’t turn up, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your wedding. Lean on your family and friends, go with the flow and celebrate your wedding day – rain or shine!

Need a boat for your wedding?

Boat weddings can take your wedding to a standard affair to one you, your partner and all your guests will remember for a long, long time. This guide has helped you plan one, now all that’s left to do is to get a boat!

At VIP Boats, our charter boats are made for weddings. With our top-of-the-line cruisers and luxury yachts, you will have a vessel that exudes opulence and extravagance. We also provide wedding packages which help you take the guesswork out of catering, music and decorations. Get in touch with our team to plan your boat wedding today!


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