While we have yet to recover from the grand Ambani-Jamnagar bash, the sequel to Anant and Radhika`s pre-wedding gala (pt. 2) has just come to a close. On a cruise with handpicked A-listers, the duo mapped Italian seas from Palermo to Portofino from May 29 to June 1. 
The guests regaled over themed soirees including `A Holiday in Rome,’ an opulent toga party, `Le Masquerade` in Cannes, wrapping up with a `La Dolce Vita` sundowner in Portofino. Towards the end, celebrations went a notch higher with Backstreet Boys, Katy Perry and Pitbull delivering their trademark hits to an ecstatic audience. 
With the cruise weekend emerging as the stuff of dreams, we have not shied away from taking notes from the lavish reception. For those who wish to tie the knot on a cruise, sit back – as we have done the legwork for you. Midday.com spoke to city-based wedding planners, luxury cruise providers, and wedding photographers to uncover essential tips for planning a cruise wedding. 
Tips from a wedding planner’s diary 
Planning a wedding on a cruise can be a challenging yet memorable experience. Here six helpful tips by Dreamzkraft to ensure a seamless cruise wedding: 

Book early
Cruises are popular vacation choices, and wedding spots can fill up quickly. Secure your booking as early as possible to get the best venues and dates, and to ensure ample time for planning and coordination. 

Choose the right cruise line and itinerary
Each cruise line offers different amenities, packages, and destinations. Select a cruise line that aligns with your wedding vision, whether it`s a family-friendly ship, a luxury liner, or a destination that holds special meaning for you. 

Consider the guest list
A cruise wedding typically involves travel and time commitments for your guests. Discuss your plans with key guests early on to ensure they are available and willing to join you. Offer flexible options for cabin types and lengths of stay to accommodate different budgets and schedules. 

Plan for the weather
While cruises offer stunning outdoor venues, the weather can be unpredictable. Have a backup plan for outdoor ceremonies and receptions, such as an indoor venue that can be quickly set up in case of inclement weather. 

Coordinate with the cruise line`s wedding planner
Most cruise lines offer wedding planning services. Collaborate closely with the cruise line’s wedding planner, who will be familiar with the ship’s capabilities and can help coordinate logistics, from decor to ceremony timing and reception details. 

Personalise your wedding package
While cruise lines offer various wedding packages, don’t be afraid to personalise them to reflect your style and preferences. Add personal touches, such as customised decor, a special menu, or unique entertainment options, to make your wedding truly your own. 
Tips from a cruise staff’s diary 
While sailing overseas, one must be mindful of the legal formalities and marriage registration as they can vary depending upon your location and nationality. Jurgen Bailom, the president and CEO, of Cordelia Cruises recommends completing the legal marriage registration before or after the cruise. Research and understand the legalities involved, such as obtaining marriage licenses and adhering to any residency requirements of the countries you visit. 
Diving into the planning intricacies, he notes that cruise weddings are inherently more complex than land-based weddings due to the unique logistical challenges involved. It requires managing port clearances and coordinating the minutest details of the setup. Often, couples get their own wedding planners, he remarks, which requires close collaboration with the internal wedding operations team. 
“Such weddings also bring the opportunity to combine the elements of traditional wedding planning with the logistics of organising an event on a cruise ship. The setup entails a variety of themes and venues onboard, including stunning outdoor decks and versatile indoor spaces. Special requests such as arranging for a sacred fire for pheras or coordinating sunset ceremonies can also be opted for. 
Fit check
Cruises offer onboard laundry services including professional dress steaming and suit pressing. The onboard staff of professionals are available to assist with all the fashion needs offering last-minute alterations for both the bride-groom and the guests, informs Bailom. 
Couples can either draft their themed set of events or choose from the cruise package as they offer entertainment options while on board. Cordelia’s flagship show “Balle-Balle” is a crowd favourite, shares Bailom. 
Other entertainment options may include a magic show, an Indian Cinemagic show, a Burlesque show and other intriguing shows at the Marquee Theatre. While sailing on a cruise, there’s always something or the other happening on different decks of the cruise like live music, salsa lessons, DJ parties, karaoke nights, and a variety of recreational activities such as swimming, spa treatments and fitness classes and hence it’s never a dull day while on board. 

Foreign excursions
International cruises offer various shore excursion packages that offer beach outings, cultural tours, adventure sports, culinary experiences and a lot more that the couple could wish for. 
A cruise wedding is a destination and venue rolled into one! The all-inclusive nature of the cruise affects factors influencing the budget like venue selection, decor, entertainment and additional services. 
Tips from a wedding photographer’s diary 
As a photographer covering cruise weddings, Megha Israni outlines crucial factors to consider: 
1. Time with the couple is limited due to numerous activities, so plan specific photo sessions.
2. Due to mobility constraints, opt for minimalistic equipment and avoid carrying heavy lights.
3. Indoor settings may lack rich backdrops and have dark patches, especially in dimly lit bars and restaurants, so bring a small flash.
4. Utilise the well-lit deck for major photo shoots.
5. Understand the ship`s lighting and layout with a thorough pre-wedding reconnaissance.
6. The ship`s movement can cause instability, so avoid using heavy stands and lights.
7. Drones are not permitted; use creative angles and a fisheye lens for expansive deck shots and consider incorporating available stock drone footage of the ship. 

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