Here's our little story, if it helps:
We went on our first cruise 2 years ago, with my mom and a group of people from her work. My mom wanted me to come along, and she knew I wouldn't go without FI. So we had our own room, Mom had hers, we had a blast. But we felt so bad my Dad, brothers, sisters weren't there. So the next year we planned a bigger family cruise, my Mom and sister and two brothers, my other sister and her husband, my FI and I, more family friends, it was great. Still felt kind of bad my Dad wasn't there (he doesn't go anywhere) and his mother (she's all the family he's got).
We also got engaged on that cruise.
So at the airport on the way home as I'm showing off my ring and everything, people start joking about our next cruise being a wedding criuse. Haha, funny.
We agreed we wanted to get married in 2012, we were thinking May 26, 2012. I even booked a reception venue here.
Then some other friends of ours went on a cruise and this time we stayed behind because we wanted to raise funds for a wedding, etc. Then we started joking about the cruise wedding idea again - more haha, etc. Finally idk at what point but we looked at each other and said - why not?
So we made a list. His #1 person, my #1 person, followed by #2, #3, #4 etc of WHO would absolutely have to be there in order for us to go through with it. My #1 was my Dad, and his was his mom, which we both had to then turn around and check if they would be medically able to travel as they are both getting on in their years and both have health issues.
Then my #2 was my mom and his #2 was his best man, who he really didn't know if he would agree as he was out of work at the time (but has since started working yay).
It was only after we went through the list and these very important people said that they WOULD attend.. then we started the planning process. Oh and we gave people over a year's notice so they have plenty of time to save up and everything. So now we're officially booked, its going to happen on my Dad's birthday, April 28th, 2012. Eeek! Excited.
In the end, a DW was just more 'us'. And our family loves cruising, so why not the cruise ship wedding. I couldnt see ourselves getting married at home with everyone's kids running around (I think kids are great but I have been to weddings where parents let them run all around the altar and up and down the aisle through the whole ceremony and I'm sorry I really hate that) and then doing the limo and picking all the flowers and decor...
Now that being said we are planning to do a big casual (maybe BBQ?) style AHR because there ARE some people who won't be able to come, whether theyre too elderly or financially unable to join us, etc. Don't have too many plans about that yet though. I'll have to talk to my MOH.
So long story short, this definetely is more 'us' - so you do whatever makes you and your FI the happiest. Enjoy!