Our Cruise Wedding Aboard the Carnival Miracle
It’s hard to believe that almost 3 months ago, Frank and I got married on the Carnival Miracle Cruise Ship in the Port of Long Beach! I remember searching high and low for information about cruise weddings on blogs and wedding sites and really didn’t find all that much that was current. I hope that the blog posts I publish on The Mommy-Files about our Cruise Wedding will not only serve as a history for our family, but will also benefit someone who may be looking into the possibility of doing a cruise wedding.
I loved how easy and hassle-free it was to plan our wedding with Carnival Cruises! It was a little different from other weddings in that you had to pay for the wedding and a portion of the honeymoon up front, but I loved that I didn’t have to plan EVERYTHING!!! We chose the TIME TO CELEBRATE…BIG package for our wedding. The package price of $1,975 was for up to 20 people (including the bride and groom) and included the Wedding Ceremony, a 1½ Hour Celebration, Bouquet & Boutonniere, Open Bar, Hot & Cold Canapes, Tiered Wedding Cake, Champagne Toast, Ice Carving (way awesome!!!) and Expert Photography Service. I would say to definitely pay for the Lido Lunch. In our case, our guests didn’t have a chance to eat because we were rushed to our wedding once boarding, but otherwise, they would have been waiting for a few hours for the wedding to start and food while waiting is a great idea. I believe it was only $7.50 per non-sailing person for the Lido Buffet.
You’ll want to book your date as soon as possible because Carnival only has 2 weddings a day (basically per cruise). The first one to book has the choice to have a DJ (I believe we paid $55 for that service) or the Piano Bar. With the DJ, your wedding reception will be in Frankenstein’s Lounge. It was different, but definitely a memorable place to have our reception! There was a big Frankenstein in the background!
When planning your wedding, keep in mind that you can have up to 50 non-sailing guests (this is with the biggest package), but you’ll need to pay for any guests over the 18 + groom and bride. You won’t need to pay for the guests until they are confirmed closer to the wedding date. While you can only have 50 non-sailing guests, you can have as many sailing guests as you’d like. We only had 6 other guests sailing with us, while another wedding party that day had all 20 of their guests sailing with them. It varies.
On our wedding day, we were told to be there before 10:30, as we would start boarding at 10:30 a.m. and anyone not present may not be able to board the ship for the wedding. Frank and I headed straight for the Captain’s Lounge, which is where we met our Wedding Coordinator and the Wedding Officiant. They walked us through the itinerary of the day and then said we could hang out in the Captain’s Lounge, but since all of our family and friends were outside, we decided not to hang out there. Unfortunately, there was quite a delay and we didn’t board until about 1:30 p.m. Fortunately, there was a food truck nearby and we were able to buy the kids some snacks to hold them over until we got on the ship. Everyone in the wedding party (except for the bride and groom) had to be dressed and ready in their wedding clothes. I would be getting dressed in our cabin.
Once we had clearance to board, we were the first ones on the ship. In fact, the Wedding Coordinator took me to our state room and I basically had 15 minutes to get dressed. They tell you to have your hair and makeup done prior to boarding and I’m glad I did! All I had to do was slip into my dress and touch up my hair and makeup. Well and have my bridesmaids tie up the back of the dress (I didn’t even realize it tied until they were doing it in the state room – ha ha)! I had no idea what our state room would look like, but it was gorgeous! It had a balcony, a couch, a big bed, a big bathroom and had swans and a heart made of towel figures waiting for us. We hung up my wedding dress and snapped a few pictures on the cute hanger I bought on etsy that said “Mrs. Gurnee.” I totally recommend this as a bridesmaid gift or even a gift for the bride to give herself (hee hee)!
The Wedding Photographer met us in our cabin and took a few pictures of the end process of getting ready. He followed us to the Wedding Ceremony site and took more pictures. He was really nice and great to work with! Unfortunately, it was his last cruise to be working on because he wanted to spend more time at home with his girlfriend and family. I’m so glad I had two of my closest friends (Colleen and Tanya) there to help me get ready!
Before it was time to leave the room, my mom and stepmom came in to help with the veil. I had forgotten to ask my hairstylist to put the veil in my hair before we left the hotel. Thankfully, these two amazing women added the finishing touch. I was so glad to have them both in my room before it was time to head to our wedding. They went with me to the ceremony site.
When I got to the doors leading to the Phantom Lounge (where are ceremony was going to be held), my Dad and the Wedding Coordinator were waiting for me. I was both nervous and excited at the same time! Frank hadn’t seen my dress yet, so I really wanted to know he thought I looked beautiful that day…and he sure did! I was amazed at how quickly the whole ceremony went! I wasn’t at all nervous once I was up with Frank and we held hands. I could tell how happy he was to be getting married and how much he truly loved me! I couldn’t wait to start our lives together as husband and wife – Mr. and Mrs. Gurnee!
After we were officially married, it was time to take a few pictures with our wedding party and family. I loved how the pictures turned out!
After pictures, we headed to Frankenstein’s Lounge for our reception. We entered Frankenstein’s Lounge to our wedding song – “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri – and proceeded into our First Dance as husband and wife. Following our First Dance, my dad and I had our Father Daughter Dance.
After the traditional dances, it was time for the champagne toast and cutting our cake. Let me tell you – the cake was amazing! The package we paid for included a three-tiered cake and a pretty heart topper.
After we cut the cake and enjoyed our champagne toast, we mingled with some of our guests. The staff had a table set up for us and my Maid of Honor got us some appetizers while my husband’s Best Man got us some drinks. I wish I would have eaten more, but know that I really enjoyed what I did eat!
After the reception, everyone who was not sailing had to disembark from the ship. The rest of us had to head to our muster stations for safety briefing. Frank and I were still in our wedding attire because we were going to take pictures around the ship afterwards (another blog post to come). Our Wedding Day was amazing and more than I ever imagined it would be! I am the luckiest mom and wife in the whole world!