Picture this: It’s game time. Hair done…makeup perfect…train delicately trailing behind. To your right, the white-glove service crew is here for your moment with platters of champagne, a three-tier wedding cake and quality tissues for the family. Up ahead stands your sweetheart, smiling at the end of the aisle to the thought of forever. Behind your love, there’s something breathtaking—something spectacular…the great blue. Your forever starts now.
A wedding is arguably the most important day of a couple’s life. With so many non-traditional options in today’s world of weddings, getting hitched aboard a yacht has a certain je ne sais quoi that cannot be found on land. A wedding on the water combines luxury and idyllic scenery, making it a memorable experience for the happy couple and their guests. The ideal bride and groom for an open-air wedding will be flexible, positive and have a go-with-the-flow attitude. At Northrop & Johnson, our team of experienced brokers and charter specialists is dedicated to bringing your wildest dreams to fruition. Allow us to highlight the most important factors to consider when planning a bespoke, nautical wedding.
It is essential to work with a knowledgeable charter broker to find the perfect type of yacht for this special occasion. The couple’s vision and budget will play a significant role in the size and style of the chosen vessel. At N&J, we are proud to offer an extensive array of exceptional yachts to choose from. For example, a week-long charter to the French Riviera or Italian Riviera in the summer aboard the 116′ (35.42m) charter yacht ALHAMBRA has a low-season rate of €49,000, plus expenses; a week-long charter to The Bahamas in the winter aboard the 146′ (44.5m) charter yacht MILESTONE has a low-season rate of $175,000, plus expenses; a week-long charter to The Bahamas or the British Virgin Islands in the winter aboard the 189′ (57.6m) superyacht W has a low-season rate of $450,000, plus expenses. The price of the charter is for the yacht itself. The charter broker will explain what is included in the Advanced Provisioning Allowance (APA), from food and beverage, fuel costs and dockage, to the choice of Champagne and caviar.
One of the most crucial parts of a wedding next to the venue is the time of year. Luxury yachts are available year-round in many exotic locations. The sky is the limit when booking a wedding aboard a yacht. In the summer, we recommend visiting the East and West Mediterranean — Monaco, Spain, Croatia and Greece speak for themselves —and the East Coast of the U.S. You cannot go wrong with the Caribbean, South Florida, Australia and Southeast Asia when winter rolls around. These picturesque locations are the perfect backdrop to celebrate such a monumental event. We are proud to work with EMBARK Beyond, a strategic partner that can create fantastic additions to your charter experience, whether it be a relaxing weekend or a three-week getaway. Ever wanted to try your hand behind the wheel of a Lamborghini up the coast of the French Riviera? Embark can make it happen. Another option to consider is holding a small wedding on land and honeymooning on an exotic charter with your new partner in crime.
Couples looking for complete flexibility and customization will thoroughly enjoy the planning process. The ease of combining the ceremony, reception and honeymoon are what sets this apart from traditional weddings. The best way to truly remember an experience like this is by capturing stunning, irreplicable photos. There is no better backdrop than the sunset over the sea aboard a magnificent superyacht, something a couple and their guests will never forget. Although most charters limit their guests onboard to 12 due to maritime regulations, this allows the couple to gather an intimate group of their most essential dozen people.
While almost every detail of this special day can be planned, some unpredictable factors must be considered. Thankfully, our N&J team has the knowledge and experience to create a seamless event for the books. Like any outdoor event, the weather is always something to keep in mind. Thankfully, the yacht’s captain and crew are prepared for any possible roadblock. The yacht’s indoor space can easily be transformed into something beautiful if need be. Timing is of utmost importance on a charter, so this must be expressed to guests who plan to attend. The legal aspect of the wedding itself can be a bit complicated with an on-the-water wedding. Each country has its own requirements for marriage, so planning and researching the destination’s laws and regulations is critical to ensure legality in the ceremony. Another option is having a civil ceremony on land before the charter to obtain a legally binding marriage license and celebrating onboard the yacht.
This is where an experienced charter broker is essential to find the best yacht to fit your needs. Today’s luxury charter yachts offer a bespoke array of features that simply are not available at other venues. Each boat is equipped with different tenders and toys. Typical amenities include on-deck Jacuzzis, onboard cinemas, gyms, full bars, skylounges for reception, beautifully designed salons perfect for photos, alfresco dining, easy water access and onboard spas, to name a few. As mentioned above, when we say intimate, we mean it. Most charters can only accommodate up to 12 guests. When dockside, more guests can be accommodated for special events (not overnight). Ask your charter broker about the possibility of a tandem charter to accommodate more guests.
At Northrop & Johnson, our dedicated team of charter brokers is here to create a bespoke experience and put a non-conventional touch on every celebration. If a couple has a wedding planner, they can work directly with the captain and crew to ensure everyone is on the same page. These crews are specially trained to create a luxury experience for their guests. A wedding on the water is the epitome of a ‘wow factor’ event. Like with traditional wedding celebrations, there are so many options to make sure the bride, groom and guests feel taken care of on their special day. For example, the crew can arrange for a spa day aboard the yacht for the bride and her wedding party, a cigar roller for the groom and his guests or even a private tasting of Louis XIII for everyone aboard. The sky is the limit with Northrop & Johnson.