We see it in movies and tv-series. Many people still think that the ship’s Captains can marry people. This is not really true anymore. It was possible in the past, depending upon what company and the flag the ship was flying (the flag state).
But these days, I have not heard about anyone giving this “power” to a ship’s captain. I guess the Legal stuff is just too complex these days. But what we do, is to give our blessings to an engaged couple, or allow couples to renew their wedding wows.
But these ceremonies can be very beautiful, with joy and lot of love, and wonderful memories. Many are becoming very sentimental during their renewal of their old wedding wows. I guess they get caught up in the whole setting with all the Uniformed Officers around them, and the officiating by the captain or Staff Captain.
The ship’s passengers will normally buy a kind of a wedding package onboard. This package will include the ceremony, normally on the bridge, a short cocktail party with some of the Officers, then a very nice, long dinner together with the Captain or Staff Captain later in the evening. Ending with a show in the lounge.
For the crew, this is just a once in a lifetime opportunity to take a lot of pictures, to share with friends and family later. Fond memories.
Personally, I think this is a fine tradition, which we should make sure we continue.
So there you go, it is still happening actually.
Good luck to the happy couple, which I know very well. Fine people.