Indian Wedding on a Yacht

Are you thinking about having your Indian wedding on a yacht? The appeal is clear – a gorgeous sun-filled day, sailing out in the big blue with the breeze flowing through your hair as you marry the person of your dreams.

Sailing out of Sydney Harbour when I was in my early 20s, I remember thinking to myself, I’d love to get married with this view in the background.

Yacht weddings – especially for Indian weddings also have the appeal of being unique and different as it’s not very common. And actually there’s a reason – or rather – several reasons why it’s not very common.

In this article I’m going to walk you through the logistics and details to consider for an Indian wedding on a yacht. All articles were shot by Matei Horvath.

To be clear this article speaks to the average Indian wedding with 300-350 guests, a baraat, ceremony with or without a flame, cocktail hour and a reception.

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All Photos: Matei Horvath

{Number of Guests}

The average Indian wedding in the USA, has 350 guests. Most companies don’t have large enough yachts in their fleet. So yachts are ideal for 300 guests or fewer.

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A baraat couldn’t take place on the yacht itself. It would have to be on land before the yacht departs, in the dock/harbor area.

Many yacht companies don’t allow the ceremony flame. And for the few that do that’s great, but the ceremony will probably be in the indoor, covered area of the yacht as their decks aren’t large enough for a mandap + theater style seating for all those guests.

For Sikh and Muslim weddings the ceremony flame obviously isn’t a need, but still the ceremony would be in the indoor covered area, not on the deck due to space limitations.

Additionally, (and I don’t know this but wanted to raise the question), are there rules about bringing the Guru Granth Sahib onto a boat/yacht?

{Outside Catering}

You will find at least one yacht in every major area like LA, San Diego or New York that will allow outside catering but most will not.

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{Everyone HAS to Be On Time}

South Asians are notoriously late and once the yacht leaves the dock, anyone who arrives late is left behind.

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{Decor}

Decor is one of those things where there’s no limit and you can go big or simple regardless of where or what the event is. Some might argue that the surroundings are so beautiful that they can go simple with decor. Others might say that the funds they’re saving from being on a yacht vs. a hotel/resort ballroom can go towards more decor. This is 100% subjective. My larger point was to point out that indeed yachts are generally more budget-friendly compared to hotels, resorts, and golf clubs.

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{Events To Have On A Yacht}

I was recently talking to a mother-of-the bride who wanted the wedding ceremony and the reception on the yacht – out on the water the entire time. That could post some big challenges:

  • where will the bride and groom change and get ready for the reception?
  • where will they do the bride and groom do pre-reception photoshoot?
  • how are the caterers going to store the food all day if there’s no break between the wedding and reception?
  • flipping the room from the ceremony setup to a reception setup will take time and all of your guests will be watching all of that labor.
  • the yacht company will impose additional fees and/or regulations about the number of hours they can be on the water continuously.
  • what about the people who aren’t attending the wedding and the reception-only?
  • Some guests will get uncomfortable as we’re talking about 8-10 continuous hours of being on a boat.
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Most couples who incorporate a yacht into their wedding celebration do the reception-only. There’s no ceremony flame nor baraat. The bride and groom can get ready on land and then head over to the yacht and do a pre-reception photoshoot on the dock as well as the yacht before it leaves the dock.

And caterers can manage bringing in and serving the food for the reception, no worries. Most DJs have worked an event on a yacht so that’s also no worries.

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{Venues}

For the ceremony, consider venues that are near the marina to minimize travel time and will make it easy for guests to travel to/from venues. The Marina del Rey Marriott, Balboa Bay Resort, Marriott Newport Beach, Hyatt Regency Long Beach, and the Marina City Club are just to name a few.

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{Take Aways}

Indian weddings on a yacht are a fun and unique way to celebrate. Instead of the ceremony, we recommend having the reception on a yacht! And it’s pretty awesome too! Because of the logistical challenges with the ceremony and because the ceremony won’t be outdoors but rather in the covered room on the yacht, which is probably not the vision that most people have – we don’t recommend yachts for the actual wedding ceremony.

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Are you thinking about having your Indian wedding on a yacht? This is a guide that walks couples through the considerations of having any Indian wedding events on a yacht.

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Photos: Matei Horvath