I lurk a lot, and have found this board to be an amazing resource in helping me design a comfortable and gracious experience for my guests. Please help me decide if a cruise wedding is just a bad idea from an etiquette perspective. I am thinking of doing the ceremony onboard prior to the ship sailing, so we can have nonsailing guests attend as well as anyone who wants to come along for the cruise.
Here is the issue:
The sample timelines for an embarkation point wedding on the ship include everyone arriving at 10:30, including guests. We then wait inside and in the AC (thank god) to be allowed on the ship after it goes through customs. Everyone gets aboard somewhere between 11:15 and 12:30. That time is variable because the boat can be late, customs can take longer than anticipated, etc.
Then, the ceremony starts at 1:00. Heavy hors d'oeuvres and open bar for 1.5 hours, then nonsailing guests depart the ship about 3.
At least 80% of our guest list lives within an hour of the port, but none of our VIPs. I very much doubt we will have anyone who chooses to come on the cruise.
So, it is possible that our guests leave their homes at 9:15ish, don't eat until 1:45, and then it is just apps.
I am obviously not thrilled with this setup from a host point of view.
Would it be acceptable if the guests could go directly to the reception area and start on the open bar and apps at that time? Should I just try and switch all this to a luncheon, possibly with apps in the reception area prior to the ceremony?
What do you guys think about the amount of time everyone has to wait to be allowed on the ship? I can't do anything about this part, so if that kills this idea I won't worry about fixing the food situation.
Thank you so much for your help, in advance. It is such a comfort to know there is a source of no bullshit, correct etiquette advice.