TRAVEL THERE: WHAT’S INCLUDED AND WHAT’S NOT
Celebrity’s Aisle to Isle Vow Renewal Ceremony is $595, or perhaps I should say starts at $595. I guess I knew it would cost something and $595 is a bargain compared to what a typical wedding costs, but still it was a bit ouchy for me.
This is what Celebrity includes in their Aisle to Isle Vow Renewal Ceremony:
- Pre-sailing event manager
- Romantic location onboard the ship
- Shipboard ceremony officiate
- Recorded ceremony music
- Ivory flowers for couple^
- One hour of photography service – Photos not included, but may be purchased separately**
- Specialty cake for two^^
- Commemorative vow renewal certificate
What That Means
Pre-sailing event manager – this is the nice ladies you talk to at Celebrity when you call the wedding department. I am sure some people may call and harass these ladies on a daily basis, perhaps for a year or more. I had one phone conversation with them and exchanged a handful of notes back and forth on their wedding site. I liked them. They were nice and very thorough. I’m not sure why, but there is a bit of a disconnect between them and the on board staff. I’d covered the details of the day ad nauseum with these ladies, but the on board staff merely had the briefest of outlines. I felt like a lot got lost between the cracks and it made me a little crazy.
Romantic Location Onboard the Ship – yes, but good luck knowing exactly where on the ship the ceremony will be or what time you’ll have it. I might recommend just going with an afternoon wedding in an empty dining room. They really like those.
Shipboard Ceremony Officiate – it was the Cruise Director. He was an absolute delight. He did the ceremony exactly the way I wanted it. He even cried!
Recorded Ceremony Music – Check! They have several canned songs or you can provide whatever you want. If you provide your own, there are some rules about how and when these have to be available to the crew. We opted for canned, because their choices included exactly what we wanted. I also had special music, but my bestie is an opera singer and she preferred to do the song a capella, so I didn’t have to do anything.
Ivory Flowers for the Couple – “Ceremony flowers consist of bouquet and boutonniere, two small bouquets or two boutonnieres. Flowers may be substituted or enhanced based on availability,” according to the website. It took me a while to wrap my mind around that, but then I figured out the variety was based on serving both heterosexual and same sex marriages. This got a little pricey. Since my friends had ponied up and paid to come on this cruise, the least I could do was provide ceremony flowers. The translation for “bouquet” is one rose with ribbon. I paid extra to have a six rose bouquet and had a one rose “bouquet” for each bridesmaid. We also added a boutonniere for the best man, in addition to the one provided for the groom. These little touches weren’t the most expensive thing for the ceremony, but they added up faster than I realized.
One hour of photography service – Photos not included, but may be purchased separately** – Get out your wallets. Cruise ship management knows that if they take photos, we will buy. Why else would they spend so much money on those photo opportunities with studio backgrounds, special lighting and professional photographers? I really didn’t want a photographer. Bill is allergic to paying for pictures on a cruise. I knew immediately the mere presence of the photographer would put him on edge. However, the photographer is mandatory. The resulting photos were GORGEOUS and their price was OUTRAGEOUS – as in $3500! My vow renewal was almost null and void when Bill heard that. We did buy some pictures, but it was in the three digit department, not the four digit and even then, everybody pitched in so I could have what I wanted. Thanks guys!
Bottle of champagne – One bottle of champagne isn’t quite enough for six people. I ordered an extra bottle which was $50, because I wanted lots of champagne drinking going on. Only they didn’t deliver the bottle to the ceremony. We got it at dinner, but I was disappointed. Not exactly what I had in mind. The champagne is OK, but in the grocery store you’d pay about $11 for it. You could bring your own champagne, but then they’d charge you a corkage fee. Just be aware, booze costs a lot on a cruise.
Specialty Cake for Two – Celebrity is all about this little specialty cake. Their photographers are all geared up to take those cake cutting and feeding pictures, but there was no way I wanted that to be a part of the ceremony. However, like the photographer, you are going to get a cake. So, I paid to up-size it for six instead of two. I also requested it be delivered to our dinner venue for dessert, rather than cutting it after the ceremony. My pre-sailing event manager was devastated. My onboard coordinator was devastated. My photographer was devastated. Probably the team serving dinner was devastated. That’s OK, I was the bride and I got what I wanted.
Commemorative vow renewal certificate – Yes and it was nice. It will be great in my scrapbook.
So that’s what you get. Let’s talk about the actual ceremony next time.