Boat Weddings: Everything You Need to Know


If you dream of getting married by the water, nothing will beat setting sail and having your wedding on a boat. Whether you’re considering hosting a Savannah riverboat wedding or sailboat nuptials, here is what you’ll need to know for your nautical celebration.


Look for All-Inclusive Packages

As you’re researching your options, see if any of the charters you’re interested in offer all-inclusive event packages. Many charter companies have packages that include catering, bar services, dinnerware, and more. This not only makes your job easier, but it also will help put you at ease knowing you’re working with a team that has experience working on the boat.


Discuss Your Plan with Vendors

If you’re planning on hiring wedding vendors outside of the charter company, you’ll need to make sure they are fully willing and able to work on the boat. Some vendors may need to make adjustments to their services to cater to certain boat restrictions, so it is important to discuss ahead of time. If you are thinking of hiring outside vendors, be sure to also talk to the charter company to make sure it is allowed.


Get a Clear Idea of All Fees

When meeting with the charter company, you’ll want to be sure you have a clear idea of what the total bill will look like. Boats have unique costs that you won’t find with other venues, such as the fees for fuel, docking, permits, and the crew.


Look Up the Legality in Your Area

Once you hit the open water, you may not actually legally be able to get married. Your boat ceremony can be symbolic, but you may need to head to a courthouse to actually make it official. You might be able to work around these restrictions by getting married on the boat when it is docked. This all depends on your area, so look up local laws to see what is required to make your marriage official. Of course, if you choose an alternate on-land venue for your ceremony and use the boat for your reception, you won’t run into these issues.


Be Strict with Your Guest Count

There is no room to budge when it comes to boat capacity, so be sure you’re picking a vessel that best suits the number of guests you plan on inviting. Keep in mind that you likely won’t want to be at capacity, as you’ll want to leave room for moving around and mingling.


Have a Plan B for Weather

If you run into weather issues and aren’t able to take the boat out, you’ll definitely want to have a plan in place. Work with your coordinator to find an interior space you can use just in case.


Keep Space in Mind When it Comes to Group Photos

Since you’re working with limited space, it can be tricky to take larger group photos on a boat. If this is a concern, you may want to schedule some time to take family and wedding party photos off of the boat before setting sail.


Think of Accessibility

Unfortunately, many boats aren’t created with accessibility in mind. Be sure to talk to the charter coordinator to discuss how guests with mobility issues can not only get on the boat but also move around without issue.


Prepare for Seasick Guests

If a guest starts to feel ill, you’ll want some items available to help fight off seasickness. Ginger ale, crackers, and Dramamine should do the trick. Put these items in a clearly visible space so that guests can easily access them without having to hunt down a cure.


Make a Plan for Parking

The port where your boat is departing from may have ample parking for guests. However, if not, you’ll need to make a plan to transport guests from another lot. Talk to the charter coordinator about how many spots are available at the port lot.


If you are in the process of planning your wedding, come to the next Georgia Bridal Show near you. You will have the chance to meet with professional wedding vendors of all talents who can help bring your vision to life!


Georgia wedding vendors, as well as other wedding professionals across the Southeast, can contact us about opportunities for exhibition and online marketing with Georgia Bridal Show.