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Married at sea

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MatC
52745.  Sat Feb 18, 2006 12:02 pm Reply with quote

Iíve been trying to find something authoritative on the idea that the captain of a ship at sea can perform marriages, but other than an imperfect Straight Dope (www.straightdope.com/classics/a2_329.html) I canít find anything much. My old computer doesnít seem man enough to deal with Lexis-Nexis; I wondered if they might have anything on the legal situation, if anyone cares to have a look?

 
Flash
52973.  Sat Feb 18, 2006 7:15 pm Reply with quote

This is worth pursuing, I think. I have a contact who may be able to give us an authoritative view. Stand by.

 
Flash
53416.  Mon Feb 20, 2006 8:55 am Reply with quote

This definitive statement now in from the ex-President of the Families Division (one of our most senior judges):

Quote:
It was certainly true in the past that Captains could marry people on board. There have been changes in legislation on marriage and I have no idea whether it can still be done.

 
Frederick The Monk
55530.  Sun Feb 26, 2006 5:31 am Reply with quote

Not convinced about how reliable this is (it's from a 'how to get married at sea' article) but:

Quote:
1. Even though it is believed to be a regular event, a ship's captain generally doesn't have the legal right to perform a wedding at sea. In order for a Captain of a ship to perform a marriage at sea, he must be a judge, a justice of the peace, a minister or an officially recognize officiant such as a Notary Public.

2. Japanese ships allow Captains to perform a marriage ceremony at sea, but only if the couple has valid Japanese passports.

3. Through Bermuda law, and because the captains have Bermuda licenses to perform weddings, captains aboard Princess Cruise's "Golden Princess" and the "Grand Princess" can perform weddings aboard ship and at sea.

4. A romantic alternative is to have your wedding aboard ship while it is docked in a port. You need to follow the port's requirements for such a wedding. All cruise lines offer this option.

5. Many cruise lines will require that once in port, you will need to leave the ship, swear before a judge that everything is correct with previous prepared paperwork, then go back to the ship for your ceremony.

6. If you want to renew your vows at sea, you need to show proof of a valid marriage.

7. If the captain obtains a temporary permit to perform your wedding, a Cruise West captain can officiate your wedding within Alaska waterways.


source

 
Frederick The Monk
55531.  Sun Feb 26, 2006 5:35 am Reply with quote

According to the British Home Office :
Quote:
Marriage at sea
3.1 Although marriages on board ship have been recognised in
the past, the current view is that, since marriages must
be solemnised in readily identifiable premises (e.g. so
that the public would have access to witness the ceremony
and, if necessary, object to the marriage), a marriage at
sea is not recognisible under UK law.

 

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