How to Choose a Dress for Your NYC Yacht Wedding

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A NYC yacht charter just might be the most romantic wedding possible. Set in a backdrop of one of the world’s most iconic skylines, yacht weddings offer the shimmering waters of New York Harbor, juxtapositioned against the stunning blue skies, with all of the grand elegance of a yacht at your service.

But what to do about a dress? Just like any other NYC wedding venue, there are several factors to consider when selecting the perfect wedding dress for your charter yacht wedding. But the selection process is a breeze with these simple Q&A’s!

How Formal is Your Wedding?

Charter yachts don’t tie you into any particular level of formality, unlike some of the other NYC wedding venues. You can go as formal as you like, or stick with the boat and water motif and make it a casual wedding. Just make sure your dress is the same level of formality that you’ve requested the guests wear.

Casual brides dresses are generally shorter, while more formal wedding dresses are longer. Trains, for instance, go best with formal, black tie, and white tie wedding dress codes. It’s worth noting that sleeve length has nothing to do with the formality of the dress. Sleeveless and spaghetti strap wedding dresses are sometimes more formal than long-sleeve dresses.

What Time of Year is Your Wedding?

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Don’t assume that a charter yacht wedding ties you down to a Spring or Summer ceremony! Yacht weddings are gorgeous any time of year, but you’ll certainly want to dress the part so you’ll be comfortable and blissfully happy that day. Bear in mind that you won’t be inside (or outside) the whole time. In chillier months, you might select a wedding dress that comes with a shawl or wrap, or purchase one separately that matches your dress. That way you can be comfortably cool inside the boat (the yachts, of course, are heated, and 100-200 bodies produce a LOT of body heat!). Pick one that’s breathable, moveable, and comfortable, even while standing for the receiving line and dancing around like Cinderella at the ball.

But you’ll want to be able to go outside, even if it’s really cold, for photos (you cannot miss a shot of you guys with the Statue of Liberty and Washington Bridge in the background!) and to have a quiet, private conversation or two away from the crowds.

In addition to the skirt and sleeve lengths, consider the fabric. How breathable is it in the summer heat? How cozy is it in a fall breeze? Detail work on the wedding dress, such as beading and embroidering, can make the fabric heavier and warmer, as well. That’s good if it’s chilly, but not so great if it’s blistering hot. If at all possible, try on your dress and play with the thermometer a bit to see how you feel in the cool and the heat. Move around some in the dresses you’re considering to see how they feel when dancing, standing for long periods, sitting down, and scurrying around to take those photos.

Does the Dress Work for Photos or Toasts on the Boat Deck?

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It’s impossible to predict months ahead of time how windy that day will be, how warm or cool it’ll feel, or how bright the sunlight will be. But you’ll want a dress that looks good in all these conditions. When trying on your wedding dress, stand in front of a fan and see how the skirt behaves in the blowing wind. Make sure you don’t start dripping sweat if it gets too warm.

Also, see how it looks in the bright sunlight. You don’t want a dress that throws too much glare or contrast when you’re taking photos out on the deck of the charter yacht. Sure, a good photographer can edit the shots, but the more editing they have to do, the more it’s going to cost you. Plus, a better beginning shot always makes for a more perfect finished product. Finally, be sure that your NYC wedding dress doesn’t lose its luster in lower lighting, for photos on deck on a cloudy day or those taken after dark with the lights and shimmering waters in the background.

Does the Dress Have to be Stark White?

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There’s a difference in a “white” wedding dress and a “stark white” wedding dress. White comes in a dizzying variety of shades, and the whitest whites tend to be harder to match than those with a bit of ivory or candlelight coloring. Plus, stark white tends to stain easier and throws off a bit of glare in the photos, and is usually reserved for winter weddings (with Winter Wonderland type themes).

You’ll want to be able to match your white wedding dress to the ribbons and details in your bouquet, and you’ll want it to look good when standing next to your other decor. If possible, work with your wedding coordinator, florist, and the party planners with your wedding yacht charter service to assure that your dress looks great with the decor you’ve chosen. Also, hold it up next to any accessories you plan to wear — such as a shawl, shoes, and jewelry, to be sure that the whites don’t fight. A stark white next to an ivory or candlelight white tends to look dirty. Choose a white that looks great in a number of lighting situations, as well.

Is the Dress Comfortable and Well-Fitting?

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A wedding yacht charter lasts a minimum of about 4 hours. You’ll put the dress on before the ceremony begins, and wear it through the photo session and likely the reception. If it pinches just a little in the dressing room, you’ll be solidly miserable by the time you cut the cake.

Your wedding day is no day to be uncomfortable. Plus, your smile looks far more genuine when you are actually happy! Be willing to go up a size or two to get a dress that’s going to make you feel AND look like a princess for hours on end. You don’t want to deny your new husband the chance to show off those dance moves he’s been diligently practicing just because your dress is too tight for those swirls and dips.

Have You Checked the ‘Destination’ Wedding Dress Selections?

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Too many “do’s” and “don’ts” here? Don’t worry — ask your bridal shop to see the destination dresses. Destination wedding dresses are designed for weddings that take place outside the typical church, synagogue, temple, or other ordinary NYC wedding venues. These dresses are made for weddings on beaches, by lakes and rivers, in parks, or on a NYC wedding charter yacht!

Many if the “rules” for wedding gowns don’t apply when selecting a destination wedding dress. For example, a cocktail-length ivory dress looks rather informal in a synagogue, but it looks truly formal when worn on a beach. But destination dresses are ideal for venues like a NYC charter yacht wedding, where you will be seen both inside and outside. These dresses also tend to be more comfortable since they’re less formal, so brides who have a full dance card will look and feel comfortable for the entire wedding cruise.

Will Overspending on the Dress Cost You in Other Areas?

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In one respect, choosing a dress for your yacht wedding is the same as picking one for any other NYC wedding venue — if you go over budget here, you’ll have to sacrifice somewhere else. When it’s time to “say yes to the dress,” make sure your spending isn’t going to mean giving up on the other things you want. If it’s totally worth it to you to have the perfect dress, even if you have to swap your wedding menu from a full buffet to cocktails and hor d’oeuvres, that’s absolutely your choice! But if you really have your heart set on a sit-down dinner at your reception, stick closely to your budget when dress shopping.

Professional wedding planners advise that ALL attire (your dress, accessories, — including shoes — jewelry, etc.) consume no more than about 9% of your overall budget. The average cost of a wedding dress is about $1,000 to $1,100, but that figure is the national average. It’s not uncommon for dresses at NYC weddings to run a bit higher, simply due to the higher cost of living here. Just be willing to make sacrifices somewhere. If you spend 10% of your wedding budget on a dress, you’ll have to cut your floral budget to just 4% or your cake budget to just 1% to make up the difference.

The earlier you begin planning your wedding, the more time you have to make all of these critical decisions. The wedding planners at Yachts for All Seasons have planned and staged hundreds of tremendously successful NYC charter yacht weddings, and we’re excited about working with you to make yours a resounding success!

From the perfect wedding dinner to the ideal decorations, stunning floral arrangements to unique and exciting entertainment options — we’re here with the products and services you need to simplify planning and stick within your wedding budget.

Ready For The Ultimate NYC Yacht Wedding Experience? REQUEST A FREE QUOTE TODAY!

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