Decorating a cruise boat for the wedding reception

We are having an informal wedding reception, which will follow a very private ceremony. The guests from our ceremony as well as a number of other close friends and colleagues will be invited to join us on a 3 hour evening boat cruise on the river which runs through our city. My fiance and I have both taken a similar cruise in the past and the setting is just breath-taking. The format suits us very well – the boat is chartered for about 70 people, and will include a DJ as well as a bartender (who will be manning an open bar). We will be hiring waiters to circulate and serve heavy hors-d’oeuvres and small plates. This set-up is exactly the kind of event my fiance and I always wanted for our wedding reception and we’re very glad to see it come together so well. The feed-back on the idea has also been extremely positive and we know our guests will have a fabulous time. The only issue is that the boat will only be docked for 90 minutes between its last public cruise, and the time at which our wedding party will be sailing. As a result, this leaves little time to co-ordinate decoration of the boat itself. Any thoughts on decorating ideas that would allow us to maximize the time provided to set up?

Nancy Tucker

My suggestion would be to use a professional florist who is equipped and accustomed to working under time limits. If that is not possible, use minimal candle light and mirrors to best utilize the time and create ambiance. You do not want to put yourself or someone that you love in the position of doing elaborate decorations in that short time period. It would create too much hassle for the rest of the crew who will be setting up in that time frame. This kind of stress is not what you want to remember about your cruise. Also there is also the possibility of their times being off by even a half hour making your time allowance to be even less.

Weddings by Shayna

I agree with the florist recommendation. If that’s not [possible, consider very low, stable and complete arrangements of some kind (potted, sturdy – something requiring no assembly on-site and that won’t roll off the tables). The boat itself is the scenery, so don’t go wild. Whatever you choose should be easily brought to the boat, set in place and quickly touched up.