Tips for Planning a Pirate-Themed Wedding
Tips and Ideas to Help You Plan a Memorable Pirate Wedding
A couple of years ago, I attended a pirate-themed wedding that turned out to be one of the most unique and fun weddings I have ever been to. If you are planning your nuptials, are a fan of high-seas swashbuckling, and are interested in a unique wedding experience, then a pirate wedding might be for you!
Setting the Date
Obviously, there are all kinds of considerations that go into setting a wedding date. When planning a pirate wedding, you’ll want to give a little extra thought to the weather. Since most pirate weddings take place outside, you’ll want to try to choose a time when you have the best chance of decent weather (not too hot, not too cold, not during the rainy season, etc.).
Choosing a Location
Although, in theory, you could have a pirate wedding almost anywhere that doesn’t have a strict dress code, you are going to want to choose a place that supports the pirate theme. After all, if you’re going to have a theme wedding, you might as well go all the way!
What could be more fitting for a pirate wedding than having it onboard a ship? Even the most skeptical attendees can’t help getting into the mood once their boots hit the deck. There are a number of historic ships that allow event rentals. You’ll need to check availability and confirm that they are OK with a pirate theme. Some potential venues:
Pirates are known to prowl rocky coastlines and wander sandy shores in search of the perfect location to stash their treasure. As a result, the beach can be an excellent pirate wedding locale. For even more ambiance, have a historic lighthouse as a backdrop! Again, you’ll need to check availability and confirm that they can accommodate a pirate theme, but there are several that allow rentals including:
- Edgartown Lighthouse, Martha’s Vineyard, MA
- Cape May Lighthouse, Cape May, NJ
- Point Arena Lighthouse, Mendocino, CA
OK, Las Vegas might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of pirates, however it should be one of the first places that come to mind when you think about theme weddings. As you might expect, there are many pirate wedding packages available.
The bride and groom, their families, and the wedding party are probably going to want high-quality costumes of the sort that can be found in specialty costume shops or at the local renaissance fair. Start the search process as early as possible so you have plenty of time to find the perfect one.
Don’t forget to accessorize! Aside from a pirate hat, you’ll want to get boots, pirate jewelry, a sword or dagger, etc. Offer to help your family and wedding party members with their costumes. Can’t picture grandma as a pirate? You can dress her as an elegant renaissance lady.
"Save the Date"
Formal wedding invitations are usually sent about 8 weeks prior to the date. In the case of a pirate wedding, however, you’ll want to give your guests a bit more notice so that they have time to get a costume.
Send “save the date” cards early enough to allow guests to take advantage of upcoming renaissance fairs and/or Halloween sales. For example, if you are getting married in May and you know that the local renaissance fair is held in September, send your “save the date” cards in late August. This might seem early, but your guests will appreciate the heads-up.
Make sure you include your expectations regarding appropriate pirate attire, otherwise you could end up with guests dressed as software pirates, or even Pittsburgh Pirates!
For your pirate wedding, you’ll want to find an officiant who is comfortable with unconventional weddings. Theme weddings have grown in popularity in recent years, so a quick search online is a good place to start. Make sure that whoever you choose is someone you feel comfortable with.
When it comes to the service itself, be creative and have fun!
- Watch a few pirate movies to get ideas.
- Ask your officiant what he/she recommends.
- Perhaps you'd like to get the wedding party involved by staging a mock battle between groomsmen and bridesmaids.
- Instead of having a ring pillow, put the wedding rings into a treasure chest to be opened during the ceremony.
- Have the officiant read the service from a scroll.
Pirate Reception/Wedding Favors
Of course, you'll want to continue the pirate theme at your reception! Hanging a few pirate flags at the reception venue is a must. A tropical theme can blend nicely with the pirate theme, so things like tiki torches, tropical flowers, and seashells make nice decorations.
For wedding favors, you really can't go wrong with pirate treasure (chocolate coins in gold foil). Mini treasure chests, pirate flags, beads, and shells make a nice combination. And what pirate doesn't need an eye-patch? Print the name of the bride and groom and the date of the wedding on the inside, and it will be a fun reminder of your special day.
Have you had a pirate wedding or attended one? Do you have additional tips or recommendations? Feel free to share them in the comments below!