Blue Orchid Events has a sister company, Blue Ocean Events. We wanted to combine our experience within the private yachting industry and the lure of destination weddings to create an absolute one of a kind wedding experience. After 5 years of traveling while serving the elite, we have gathered quite the repertoire of intimate locations and connections to provide you with a seamless planning process. As the only known liaison between the two industries, we know all the right questions to ask to ensure the vendors and crew can coordinate appropriately to maximize the hospitality standards and luxury experience for you and your guests.
As we live in South Florida, the yachting world is common to us, but we know that some of you may be scratching your heads at the idea. This blog post is to help unveil the opportunities that hosting a wedding on a yacht can have.
What exactly is a yacht?
A yacht is a motor or sailing vessel over 30 feet in length. The largest yacht in the world is a whopping 592 feet. That being said, it is no longer the case that only the top 1% of the world owns these luxury vessels. We have worked for car dealership owners and the Princes of the Middle East. Most like to compare yachts to cruise ships. The main difference is that a yacht can only sleep 8-12 people without strict regulations for safety and taxes being applied for higher occupancy. The yacht may have a fitness center, swimming pool, and a movie theater, which is all for the exclusive use of the 12 guests. The interiors are works of art, handcrafted to the liking of the owner. Every stateroom and staircase is made from exquisite materials and custom made furniture that makes you feel that you are in the fanciest of hotels. Depending on the size, traveling on a yacht gives you unbeatable, up close and personal experiences with the most sought after vacation spots in the world. Each yacht will have a crew consisting of a captain, engineer, stewardesses, deckhands, and chefs (the larger vessels having personal trainers, masseuses, helicopter pilots, and dive masters.) The crew is responsible for the guests’ 24/7 safety and ultimate enjoyment. As a crew member, you are trained to provide the highest level of service, not found in any other industry, to create unforgettable activities and hospitality standards.
What budget do I need in order to consider a yacht wedding?
The term yacht wedding alludes to the fact that there is some major money to spend. To charter a luxury yacht for one week, you are looking at $50,000 to $500,000. This would include yachts ranging from 80ft to 200ft. The price per week only purchases the vessel. Additional costs outside of wedding elements are called the APA (advanced provisioning allowance), which include fuel, dockage, crew tips, food, alcohol, toiletries and adds up to be about 30% of the charter cost. The yacht will be your ceremony, cocktail, and reception venue depending on the number of guests. The rest of your budget will cover photography, videography, entertainment, additional catering (the yacht has a world-class chef onboard), attire, rentals, florals, and non-local vendor travel fees.
To help you visualize it all better, let’s breakdown a previous yacht wedding budget of $100,000 in the Caribbean. They had 36 guests.
$60,000: one week on a 100ft yacht
$18,000: APA-Fuel, Food(for the entire week), Alcohol, Catering by the Chef and Chief Stew, Yacht Brokerage Fees, Crew Tip
$22,000: Planner, DJ, Florals, Photographer/Videographer, Rehearsal Dinner on land
A wedding on land can cost you anywhere from $100,000 to $300,000+ for a single day. Why not give you and your closest friends and family a whole week of wedding fun for the same price?
What are the most affordable travel destinations?
As we are a South Florida based planning company, a wedding in the Caribbean or Bahamas is the best all-around choice for budget and consideration for your guests’ travel expenses. The Bahamas, however, does add a 4% tourist fee for chartered yachts. There are so many islands that each offer something special in the scenery and local vibes. We can easily send our dream team of vendors to these places or hire out all local help.
The great thing about working so closely with the charter brokers in the area is that any destination is accessible for a cost. We can plan your wedding in Bora Bora or Mykonos.
What are the pros of having a yacht wedding? What are the cons?
Pros: This is THE highest quality of hospitality in the entire world. Imagine a 5-star restaurant and a 5-star resort mixed in one go, with a completely customized experience onboard including the activities that you do down to the very laundry detergent that you prefer. The days before or after your wedding can be spent riding jet skis, fishing, or sunbathing on remote beaches with full service hor devours and cocktails. Each day your bedsheets are ironed, the windows cleaned and fresh desserts made. A luxury yacht is a floating cocktail hour with full bars built into the interior and exterior of every deck. There are also on average 4-5 guest cabins on board, so you get to just crawl into bed at the end of the night and wake up to mimosas and breakfast ready.
Cons: A yacht wedding is not for the couples who want 100+ guests at their wedding. Each size yacht will have a maximum occupancy and will cut down your list quite a bit. If you wanted to have a multiple course sit-down, white-glove service dinner reception for your guests, then we would host this either at a nearby hotel, banquet space, or tented reception. The furniture and design of yachts are not conducive to large dinner parties. It’s perfect for a heavy cocktail reception OR ceremony and cocktail hour onboard, dinner reception offsite with the after-party back on the yacht. In order to have more than 12 guests on the boat, it would have to be dockside. It is near impossible to get cruising permits for larger groups. Also, there is a strict no-shoe policy onboard all yachts, so if you are shoe-queen, think again!
Is the honeymoon included?
Absolutely! That is the biggest take away from booking your wedding on a yacht. The minimum amount of time that you can book a luxury yacht for is a 5-7 day charter. The wedding will be the first day ideally with the honeymoon happening directly after. You will plan the itinerary and desired locations, meals, beverages, and events with the captain and broker to give you the most intimate honeymoon you can imagine. The costs discussed above ($50-500k) include this entire week. You can stay at the dock or most prefer to anchor in serene locations with sandy beaches a short boat ride away. All the planning and waiting for your wedding will end in a week of relaxing and playing in the sun with your loved one or bring along some friends.
This is a once in a lifetime event, where would your dream wedding take you?
We would love to answer any other questions you may have about having your wedding on a luxury yacht! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us directly (248) 840-4204.