Ahoy mateys! The captain of a vessel generally doesn’t possess the legal authority to preside over a wedding at sea. For a captain to legitimately oversee a marriage ceremony while aboard a ship, they must also be a judge, a minister, a justice of the peace, or a certified officiant such as a Notary Public. It is conceivable, however, that a captain may perform a non-legally binding or symbolic wedding ceremony.
In other words, a captain will need additional qualifications in order to perform a legal wedding ceremony on a ship, but they could still conduct a symbolic or non-binding union.
Therefore, for a captain to officiate a wedding on the open seas, they must have additional credentials.
This could include being a judge, a justice of the peace, a minister, or a legally appointed officiant like a Notary Public. However, a captain can still offer a symbolic or non-legally binding marriage if desired.
What Does the Law Say?
You may be surprised to find out that the law doesn’t explicitly give captains the authority to perform wedding ceremonies – even if they’re a judge, justice of the peace, minister, or notary public.
Although no state has authorized ships’ captains to officiate marriages, if the captain is a recognized officiant, they may be able to perform the ceremony.
According to the U.S. Navy Code of Federal Regulations, a wedding officiated by an American captain isn’t legally binding, and the captain may face punishment from the Navy.
So, what’s required to get married on a ship?
What is Required to Get Married on a Ship?
To legally wed on a ship, one must acquire a special license and usually obtain a marriage license in advance; surprisingly, only a small percentage of captains are actually certified to officiate a wedding.
This is because most states have not enacted a statute explicitly authorizing ships’ captains to officiate a marriage. What’s more, cruise ships require a special license to perform a wedding in international waters, so most cruise ship weddings occur in port.
So, if you’re planning to get married on a ship, it pays to be well-prepared and to check with your cruise line in advance to ensure you have the necessary documents.
As far as the captain’s role is concerned, they can serve as witnesses to the marriage, but they cannot legally officiate the wedding without the necessary credentials.
What’s next? The captain’s responsibilities must be taken into account when planning a wedding at sea.
What Are the Captain’s Responsibilities?
Planning a wedding at sea comes with its own unique set of considerations, and it’s important to be aware of the captain’s responsibilities before setting sail.
Depending on the country of registry, the type of ceremony, and the captain’s qualifications, they may need to have additional credentials in order to perform a marriage. For instance, obtaining ordination as a minister of religion or becoming a notary public may be necessary to officiate a wedding in some jurisdictions.
Being aware of the legal implications of the captain’s responsibilities is an integral part of the process of getting married on a ship.
The captain is responsible for ensuring the paperwork is in order and that the marriage is legal. They need to be familiar with the regulations and requirements of the country where the marriage is taking place and must make sure that all the necessary documents are prepared and available.
In addition, the captain should ensure that the ceremony is conducted in the presence of witnesses as required by law. Without the captain’s knowledge and experience of the legal requirements, it would be difficult for couples to get married at sea.
As such, the captain plays an important role in making sure everything runs smoothly and that the marriage is legally recognized. So, the next step in planning a wedding at sea is to make sure all of the necessary documents are in order.
What Documents Are Needed?
Making a wedding at sea a reality involves gathering the necessary documents, and it’s important to be aware of what’s required.
Did you know that in some countries it can take up to two weeks to obtain a marriage license?
Here’s what you’ll need to bring:
- Enhanced driver’s licenses
- Certified copy of birth certificate
- Photo ID
Cruise ships need to have a special license to perform a wedding in international waters, so it’s essential to arrange for a marriage license from the US or foreign port far in advance.
The cruise line’s wedding department or consultant can provide assistance with the details and ensure your wedding goes off without a hitch.
Before choosing a location, it’s important to consider any special requirements, such as blood tests or age limits.
Knowing what documents are necessary and any other pertinent information will help make your dream wedding a reality.
With a little preparation, you can make your shipboard wedding a beautiful and memorable event.
Are There Any Special Considerations?
Are you aware of any special considerations that you should keep in mind when planning a wedding at sea? First, you should be aware of any restrictions/laws that may exist in the country of the ship’s origin. It’s important to make sure you’re within the bounds of the law as far as marriage is concerned.
You should also be aware of any customs that may be associated with the ceremony. Depending on the cruise line, there may be certain expectations and traditions that need to be followed.
Lastly, it’s important to make sure you have all the necessary documentation in order to make your marriage legally binding. This includes your marriage license as well as any other documents that may be required by the cruise line.
When planning a wedding at sea, you should also be aware of the cost associated with the ceremony. Depending on the cruise line, you may be required to pay for the captain’s services as well as any additional decorations or amenities that may be needed for the wedding.
Additionally, you should factor in any additional fees that may be required for the marriage license or other documents. It’s important to make sure you have all the necessary funds in order to properly carry out the ceremony.
It’s also important to make sure you’re aware of any additional requirements that may be needed in order to make the marriage legally binding. Depending on the country of the ship’s origin, you may be required to register the marriage in that country in order for it to be recognized by the law.
Additionally, you should make sure that the documents you receive from the cruise line are sufficient enough to be legally recognized. Being aware of all these requirements is essential to ensure that your marriage is legally binding and recognized.
You’ve asked the question: can ship captains marry couples? The answer is yes!
However, there are several things you must keep in mind when considering getting married on a ship. You’ll need to make sure you have the right paperwork, and also that the ship captain is willing to fulfill the responsibilities involved. It’s not an easy job, but it’s certainly doable.
With the right preparation, you can make your special day even more special by getting married on a ship. Coincidentally, your wedding could be the first one the ship captain has ever performed – how special would that be?
So, don’t let the idea of getting married on a ship slip away – put in the work, and you can make your dream wedding a reality.
Clifford Slater is a seasoned writer with over 25 years of experience in boats and fishing trips. With his extensive knowledge and expertise in boats and fishing, he has become a recognized authority in the industry. Clifford has made it a point to regularly visit popular fishing destinations such as Florida and other places in the USA to stay up to date with the latest trends and techniques in the field.
Over the years, Clifford has acquired a wealth of knowledge about boats and fishing, which he has shared through his writing. His articles and books are widely read by fishing enthusiasts and professionals alike, and his insights are highly valued by those seeking to improve their skills in the field. Clifford’s passion for boats and fishing is evident in his writing, and his readers appreciate the depth of his expertise and his ability to communicate complex topics in an engaging and accessible way.
Clifford Slater’s impressive credentials and dedication to his craft make him a trusted authority in the world of boats and fishing. His commitment to staying up to date with the latest developments in the industry, combined with his deep knowledge and understanding of the subject matter, ensures that his writing is always informative and valuable. For those seeking to improve their skills or simply enjoy the beauty of the sea, Clifford’s writing is a must-read.