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Tips for Planning a Pirate Wedding

Updated on August 14, 2014
Fun and festive table decorations from the Brooks pirate wedding.
Fun and festive table decorations from the Brooks pirate wedding. | Source

Tips, ideas, suggestions and links to help you plan a memorable pirate wedding.

A couple of years ago I attended a pirate-themed wedding which 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.).

The Santa Maria in Columbus, Ohio - site of many pirate weddings.
The Santa Maria in Columbus, Ohio - site of many pirate weddings. | Source

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!

Ships: 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:

USS Constellation, Baltimore MD

The Star of India, San Diego, CA

The Balclutha, San Francisco, CA

Beach: 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:

Tybee Lighthouse, Tybee Island GA

Edgartown Lighthouse, Martha’s Vineyard, MA

Cape May Lighthouse, Cape May, NJ

Point Arena Lighthouse, Mendocino, CA

Las Vegas: 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.

Viva Las Vegas Weddings

Treasure Island

Renaissance fairs are good places to find costumes.
Renaissance fairs are good places to find costumes. | Source

Costumes

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!

Cute wedding favor from the Brooks pirate wedding.
Cute wedding favor from the Brooks pirate wedding. | Source

The ceremony

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! 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. Be creative and have fun!

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.

Other suggestions/thoughts/ideas?

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!

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    • Carol Morris profile image

      Carol Morris 15 months ago

      Love it!! What a fun wedding theme.

    • Jenn-Anne profile image
      Author

      Jenn-Anne 2 years ago

      Thanks for reading Kara! Try googling "historic ships" in your area and see what comes up. Good luck!

    • profile image

      Kara 2 years ago

      I jus want some advice I want to get married and jus thinking a pirate wedding but I live in hythe in United Kingdom but where is nearest pirate wedding to get a pirate ship.....?.

    • Jenn-Anne profile image
      Author

      Jenn-Anne 3 years ago

      Thanks Nell! It was truly a memerable wedding and tons of fun. I recommend it to anyone looking for a unique and entertaining experience.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      What a great idea! lol! wish I had done a pirate wedding! I have never been to one, I may suggest it to my son and his girlfriend!

    • Jenn-Anne profile image
      Author

      Jenn-Anne 4 years ago

      Thanks Moonlake! I had a blast at the pirate wedding I attended - the costumes and being on board a ship added an additional level of excitement and fun and in a way it turned everyone in attendance into active participants. I certainly won't ever forget it!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Very interesting. I've never been to a pirate wedding but I think it would be fun. People are doing so many different things now days for weddings. Voted up.

    • Jenn-Anne profile image
      Author

      Jenn-Anne 4 years ago

      Thanks so much Cathie!

    • cathie bridges profile image

      Hamza Arshad 4 years ago from Pakistan

      great tip provided by you...loved it

    • Jenn-Anne profile image
      Author

      Jenn-Anne 4 years ago

      Thanks Carol! The pirate wedding I attended was tons of fun!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      I thought I would read this as I like to broaden my horizons..and find out what a Pirate wedding is. Thanks for this fun and interesting hub...Maybe I will suggest it some day to some one.

    • Jenn-Anne profile image
      Author

      Jenn-Anne 5 years ago

      Thanks for the comment Elaina! I have to say that the pirate wedding I attended was one of the very most fun weddings I have ever been to!

    • profile image

      ElainaLouiseStudios 5 years ago

      I love the idea of a pirate wedding.

    • Jenn-Anne profile image
      Author

      Jenn-Anne 5 years ago

      Thanks Chris! Oh yes, people do have pirate-themed weddings. It may be crazy but the one I attended was soooo much fun!

    • profile image

      chrisinhawaii 5 years ago

      Crazy. How do I vote "Crazy"? haha! I had no idea people do stuff like this! I think it's great that you researched actual venues and resources, too...that earned another "Awesome"!

      Aloha!

    • Jenn-Anne profile image
      Author

      Jenn-Anne 5 years ago

      Thanks cc lit girl! I think it would be a unique way to renew your vows. Trust me when I say your guests will never forget it!

    • Jenn-Anne profile image
      Author

      Jenn-Anne 5 years ago

      Beata - an underwater wedding sounds interesting! I'm not the best swimmer so I think I'll stick with pirates. ;o)

    • Beata Stasak profile image

      Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia

      Would love the idea of my grown up children to choose 'a pirate wedding', when their time comes...or an 'underwater wedding'? It would be beautiful and affordable in our diving suits in our part of the world:)

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Oh now this hub is *awesome* - I love the idea of a pirate wedding. Hmm, Maybe when I hit my 11th anniversary, I'll take my hubby to the beach and make him walk the plank! Then I'll jump in after him! Hehehe. I'll have to wear the eye-patch and though it won't be the actual "wedding," I think renewing the vows would be in order just to experience a "pirate" wedding. :D

    • Jenn-Anne profile image
      Author

      Jenn-Anne 5 years ago

      Thanks Kaili! I am honored and excited about the nomination! No one at the wedding I attended was forced to walk the plank, however there were pirates guarding the entrance to keep away anyone not in pirate garb. Hee hee!

    • Kaili Bisson profile image

      Kaili Bisson 5 years ago from Canada

      Congratulations on your HubNugget nomination and welcome to the HP community. This wedding idea sounds like a hoot! You could make naughty guests walk the plank :-)

    • profile image

      Wavey 5 years ago

      Jenn, I remember you telling me all about this wedding when you got invited, how excited you were looking for your costume then telling me how much fun you had had at the wedding. I only wished i had been a stow away on that ship and been able to watch it all. It sounded so like so much fun.

    • Jenn-Anne profile image
      Author

      Jenn-Anne 5 years ago

      Thanks ripplemaker! I was extremely excited when I found out my article had been nominated! I'm putting on my pirate boots and heading off to vote right now...

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      OOh I know of several artists friend who would probably shriek at this suggestion! LOL

      Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination. Wear your pirate gear as you click on this link and vote for the Hubnuggets! https://hubpages.com/community/I-Left-My-HubNugget...

    • Dina Blaszczak profile image

      Dina Blaszczak 5 years ago from Poland

      Ha-ha, Pirate wedding sounds very unusual, but for those who seek to stand out from the crowd with their wedding theme, it's a great way to do so!

    • Jenn-Anne profile image
      Author

      Jenn-Anne 5 years ago

      Hi Maia! Aye! The wedding was tons of fun. Hope you get invited to one - everyone should get the chance to embrace their inner pirate at least once.

    • MaiaRebel profile image

      MaiaRebel 5 years ago from New York City

      Sounds like a wedding to remember :) But this is the first I heard of this! Will know where to get my costume if I'm ever invited to one, now.

    • Jenn-Anne profile image
      Author

      Jenn-Anne 5 years ago

      Thanks Brandon! I know of at least two people who have had pirate weddings in the last two years. Perhaps it helps to have a pirate-friendly ship like the Santa Maria docked nearby. Pirate weddings definitely aren't for everyone, but if you ever get invited to one you should go - I bet you'll have fun!

    • Brandon Martin profile image

      Brandon Martin 5 years ago from Colorado, USA

      WOW! The only place I have really ever heard of this is in on television. You must have had fun writing this hub. I'm not much into pirates anymore, and I don't think I will be having a wedding such as this. Well I wish you the best on your voyages!