Cruise Wedding Dresses & Casual Destination Gowns (Updated)
by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)
If you’re reading this on my site for Baby Boomer women, there’s a good chance that you’re about to embark on your second or third or seventh marriage. And, I think a cruise wedding is a great idea. So, here are my thoughts about what type of dress you should wear for your shipboard or destination wedding.
However, before you start shopping, you should consider the logistics involved. Are you flying or driving to the port or destination? Do you want to look like a traditional Barbie-doll bride, or do you want to go casual? Did you choose a cruise wedding for the convenience or for the price? These factors will affect the type of gown you need.
How to Get Your Wedding Dress to Your Destination
You’ve probably had a big wedding before. My advice is to make things as simple as possible. Hey, the first time you got married, you probably had help from your mother or your sister. So, this time you should hire a wedding assistant if you have the cash. And, if that’s not possible, just try to stay in a zenlike mood, and don’t let anything upset you.
One of the most important issues concerns how you will transport your dress. If you’re flying, keep your dress with you. This is especially important if your ceremony will take place upon embarkation (while you’re still in port). If you put your dress in your luggage, it could get lost, or your luggage might not get to your stateroom on time. Some women have shipped their dresses by Fed Ex, but I wouldn’t chance it.
Call Your Airline About Your Wedding Dress
You should call your airline to check on their rules about carry-ons. Will you be allowed to carry your dress in a bag? Will your aircraft have a closet onboard where you can hang the dress? If not, you should wait until most people have put their carry-ons in the overhead bin, then lay your dress on top.
Try to arrive at the gate early and ask if you can pre-board. This might not work, but it’s worth a try. And, there is always a chance that you’ll have to check your dress… so be prepared. Because of these issues, I recommend you get a wedding dress that is casual and can be rolled up in a smaller carry-on bag if necessary.
A poufy ballgown is going to be more trouble than it’s worth… but that’s just my opinion. Another good idea is to have a simple white backup dress. At the bottom of the article, I have links to forums for great ideas, such as bringing a steamer.
Destination Wedding Dresses
Whether they have their ceremonies on a ship or a beach, many women choose to go traditional, most women choose to go casual, and quite a few women choose to go tropical or some other kind of indie theme. It’s totally up to you. It’s your day. You can wear Day-Glo paint and a bikini if you want…if you’ve got the body. No matter what you do, you and your guests will have a great time!
Casual Wedding Dresses
If you want to save money or you’re short on time, you can buy “wedding” dresses at a boutique or department store. As long as your outfit is suitably “festive” and you’re happy… that’s good enough for me.
Simple designs are easiest to transport. The white dress (above) is made of jersey, so the gown won't wrinkle, however you need to be cautious about the embellishments because the beading can snag the soft fabric. The lavender dress in the same photo is simple, but it has beautiful, lacy flutter sleeves to balance out the width of the skirt and to draw attention to the bodice and the upper body.
Inexpensive Wedding Dresses
Sometimes you can find casual wedding dresses for less money in regular department stores… especially if the dresses are not labeled as “wedding" gowns. However, the price differential between wedding gowns and "regular" dresses is probably not as large as it once was, depending on the bridal store where you shop.
Of course, you won't get the same level of fabric or lace or beadwork in a $200 dress as you will find in a high-end designer label. However, if you're paying for your own wedding, it's good to keep a cool head with the budget... and remember that you're only going to wear the dress one time for a few hours. All you'll really care about is how the dress looks in photos.
Cruise Wedding Dresses for Second Marriages
You can do whatever you want on a cruise wedding. Here are dresses I like. If you want sleeves, you can find lacey jackets and boleros at online wedding stores.
- Bead and Sequin Gown at Nordie's (Beaded gowns probably won't wrinkle, but they can be heavy. Make sure your dress is packed or boxed properly so the beads won't catch.)
- Chiffon Gown With Side Drape at DavidsBridal.com
Your beach wedding dress can be anything from a ballgown to a swimsuit coverup (as long as you can’t see through it). Lots of women go Hawaiian or tropical.
Colored Wedding Dresses
I love colored gowns. You can find beautiful "wedding style" dresses by googling words like maxi, prom, evening, or occasion.
- Convertible Jersey Gown from Nordie's and other sites (This comes in many colors.)
- Long Bridesmaid Dress from DavidsBridal.com (This style comes in over 40 colors.)
Short "bridal" dresses go from mini to tea length to ballet length.
Wedding Suits for Women
Look for women’s dress suits and pantsuits at your fave boutique or online store.
- Tahari Colorblock Suit at Maccy's (This suit is so nautical with its black tipping.)
- Albert Nipon Pant Suit at Neiman's
I wish I had known about cruise weddings for my last ceremony, however the first time I boarded a cruise ship was on my last honeymoon (Princess to Alaska). I remember seeing a shipboard chapel and I think someone had a wedding in that chapel. However, one couple took the idea of “destination wedding” to the max. The bride and groom (and officiant) took a helicopter to be married on top of a glacier. That couple was the talk of the town… I mean ship.
Photo Credits: Prshots.com, David's Bridal.
- Main Photo: Artisrams Flickr Commons
- Off-White Wedding Dress in Ballet Slipper Pink for Second Wedding: Navabi (plus size to size 20), 2017.
- Wedding Dress for Second Marriage: Lovarni, 2013.
- Casual Wedding Dresses for Destination Weddings: David's Bridal, Asos Plus Size, 2017.
- Mouse-over photos with curser for the rest of the store credits.
More Articles for Baby Boomer Women:
- Wedding Dress Question cruisecritic.com
- Question About Carrying Wedding Dress on Plane cruisecritic.com
- Wedding Dress cruisecritic.com
- Possible Wedding Dress Disaster cruisecritic.com
- Flying With Wedding Dress & Suits cruisecritic.com
- Carry-on Wedding Dress on SW: Need Help cruisecritic.com
- Cruise Wedding 2013 weddingbee.com
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