Once you imagine the soothing sounds of water, a slight breeze on your face, and the warm setting sun wrapped around you and your fiancé as you dance to your first song as a married couple, it’s difficult to imagine having your wedding reception anywhere other than a boat. You might wonder if there’s a boat big enough to fit all of your friends and family—and what about the dance floor? You’d be surprised to learn how accommodating boats can be and how ideal they are for creating a fun, romantic, and unforgettable atmosphere for your special day.
Just like wedding reception halls, boats come in all shapes and sizes. The size you choose depends upon how many guests you have and how much extra space you’d like. A 53-foot sailboat is ideal for you, your husband, and perhaps two to three additional people including your wedding minister. If you plan on inviting more, it’s best to explore yachts that are at least 137 feet, which can hold between approximately 15-145 guests. Most companies that specialize in renting yachts for weddings have the capacity to accommodate between 50-350 guests.
Wedding reception planning on a boat, as with any wedding reception locations, comes with a cost. Expect to pay around $100 per guest, as well as a $350 docking fee and an 18% service charge. The costs range from boat to boat depending on the company, size, and theme of your wedding reception.
As far as logistics are concerned, a typical wedding reception on a boat doesn’t vary drastically from any other reception. Each company varies in what they offer, so have an idea of what you want your reception to include while shopping around. Below is an example of what a boat wedding reception would consist of:
- Cocktail hour prior to reception that includes butler-style passed hors d'oeuvres
- Full bar services
- Catered wedding buffet
- Additional table service while guests are eating
- Wedding consultants and coordinators on hand during reception
- Dance floor, sound system
There are countless all-inclusive boat wedding packages available, making the planning process much easier. Some packages include flowers, photographer, minister, wedding cake, entertainment, and reception dinner. This type of package is very similar to what a hotel will typically offer a couple planning a wedding at their facilities.
Don’t be discouraged by the idea that a boat reception might be more expensive than a reception hall. There are many different types of boats and yacht companies that offer various packages, one of which could be a perfect fit for your wedding budget and vision.
If you choose to have a boat wedding reception, consider the following appropriate themes: Great Gatsby, Under the Sea, White Party, Hawaiian Luau, and Moroccan Tent Theme.