Y'ALL. Did you know you can get married on a cruise ship with a few close friends and family and have THE ENTIRE SHIP free to explore with very few other passengers on board to play with portraits? Because I did not and I am now convinced I planned the entirely wrong wedding. That's okay though because although I did not get married this way, I DID get to photograph a wedding that happened this way! Disney cruise weddings are unique in so many ways, but specifically because they let you bring your own photographer on board with you--every other cruise line mandates that you use their photographers. Plus, on a Disney cruise, a character you love might surprise you by playing with your dress while your photographer is taking detail shots as you get pampered in the salon.
My friend Collette from Collette Mruk photography is literally an expert cruiser. Like, this was her eighteenth cruise in a two year stretch. When she texted me saying "hey, you wanna cruise on May 3rd?" I almost died of excitement because I'd seen her cruise ship weddings and all I could think was "oh my gosh I have to do that one day." Now that I have done it all I can think is "oh my gosh I have to do that about a hundred more times." Seriously, cruise weddings might be the coolest thing to ever be invented in wedding world.
Vivien and Albert chose to have only their families with them on their wedding cruise, and it was such a gorgeous intimate ceremony. We had an absolute ball together prior to the wedding doing individual portraits and a lovely first look, and after a sweet ceremony followed by an absolutely delicious cake as part of a small reception Disney includes in your wedding package, we explored all over the ship taking as many fun portraits as we could think of. Their wedding was held while the boat was at port in Nassau, Bahamas, so while most passengers were off exploring the port city, we had almost the whole ship to ourselves...which is saying something because the Disney Dream is huge. It even has a full movie theater with popcorn and everything. We definitely saw The Avengers on a massive screen while at sea and now no movie experience can ever be the same.
It is so exciting to break out of the wedding box sometimes and photograph in a completely different environment. I absolutely love all the venues I get to work at, but I've never gotten to work somewhere so unique before and I cannot wait to do it again. If you're hoping for an exciting wedding but want to keep it small, and you love adventure and Disney, a Disney cruise wedding is 100% my ultimate recommendation. Also, take me with you.