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I can't believe I'm less than a year out from the wedding! We booked it in March/April when they released the dates. We are having an embarkation day wedding on the Oasis of the Seas out of Port Canaveral on November 5, 2017. The ceremony will be held in Dazzles Nightclub. I have been lost in this whole process. I can't seem to find much information for what I'm looking for. I've been scouring the sites since we first booked and I feel like I'm being spun in circles!

Things I'm trying to find info for (specifically for embarkation day weddings/Port Canaveral/RCCL):

I'm trying to figure out a timeline for my wedding day (time to be at the port, embarkation, wedding time, disembarkation for non-sailing)

Transportation for wedding guests from Orlando International to the hotel

Photography - I don't think/feel like 3 hours is enough time for all the pictures I want done. I have a list of pictures and I'm sure the photographer will be (hopefully) creative and come up with another list. Can we get 'first look' pictures? Getting ready pictures? I know its a no-no to bring your own, but I can't help but think about it. Its a long story but after what had happened with my dad only a month after my sisters wedding pictures are very very important to me!

Invitations - I am doing a traditional pocketfold invitation for the wedding. Has anyone done the traditional pocketfold before? If so what information did you include for your inserts? Are you willing to share pictures? I love the idea of the boarding pass/passport invites but I don't feel they are for us. 

Decorations - How much does the cruise line provide? Has anyone gone all out for their wedding? Is an aisle runner worth it?

Beauty - Does anyone have any/Know of any hair stylists/makeup artists in the Port Canaveral area? I'm looking for someone who would come to the hotel the morning of.

Welcome Dinner? OOT Bags? Flowers? Getting everything on the ship? 

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Congratulations on booking a cruise wedding! I had my wedding during a Royal Caribbean cruise while in port in April. Since I didn't do it on embarkation day, I am not sure how much help I will be. The biggest complaint I had read about planning your wedding through the cruise is that you don't work out all the little details until a few months before, so good luck!

 

I know you will have a wedding coordinator meet you at the port and escort you onto the ship. I think they will let you get onboard to start getting ready once all the previous cruisers have gotten off the ship, which has usually been around 11am on my previous cruises. I think your guests will need to be off the ship about 1 hour prior to sail away, but I know they will give you the specifics as it gets closer to the wedding.

 

My biggest piece of advice with a cruise wedding is that you need to be quite flexible and expect there to be deviations from the initial plan. I was on a cruise earlier this year and there was a wedding on embarkation day. The previous cruise had norovirus, so the ship underwent a deep cleaning and the bride, groom and their guests had to wait until the ship was cleared, which was about 2 hours later than scheduled.

 

For our wedding, we cruised out of Fort Lauderdale, so we found a hotel and were able to book a group rate. Our guests flew in the night prior to the cruise and everyone stayed at the hotel. We arranged transportation from the hotel to the port. So, if your guests will be arriving to Orlando around the same time, you could hire a van to transport them. If they are not coming at the same time, you could check the cruise critic website for recommendations of best transportation options and provide a list to your guests.

 

Since we didn't book our wedding through the cruise, I was able to bring my own photographer. I don't think 3 hours would not be enough time for pictures of getting ready, first look, ceremony, and reception. You might want to ask a friend to take the getting ready pictures. Another option might be to extend the time with the cruise photographer, but you would need to pay more. Some of my favorite pictures are the ones we took around the ship. It took us an hour just to do those pictures and that would take you away from your guests, so it would be better to do that after the guests who are disembarking have done so.

 

We gave our out of town bags to the guests at the hotel the night before, so we didn't have to take the stuff on the ship, but we did have to pack it in our luggage that we checked onto the flight. It might be too chaotic to give out gifts at the wedding because you (as the bride) will only have time to get yourself ready before the wedding. You won't have time to put together gifts once you are on the ship. You could consider only giving out gifts to the people (if any) who cruise with you.

 

I hope this helps some. I am happy to try to help as much as possible, so feel free to ask any questions.

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