We sat down with Carisa Didoshak, Senior Event Planner at Pacific Yacht Charters, to learn all about getting married on one of the most customizable unique venues – a yacht!
All about the yacht
Tell us about the yacht
The Pacific Yacht is a 105-foot-long, three-level luxury vessel with a Main Salon, a Dining Salon, two full-service bars, an open-air Skydeck, a foredeck, and, of course, unobstructed 360º views.
How did Pacific Yacht Charters get started?
Pacific Yacht Charters began as Sunset Bay back in the 1980’s. The current owners took over in 2014 and took their time seeing how they wanted the company and the vessel to evolve. They began doing renovations and rebranding, settling on a new name and new look two years later. In May 2016, Pacific Yacht Charters was born!
What’s unique about Pacific Yacht Charters?
Well for one, we’re a floating venue! Besides being on the water, what is unique about us is how customizable we are. We tell our couples having weddings on board that this is their yacht. They are Captain for the day – they decide where we go, what we see and what we experience. So for example, you could have your ceremony on the top deck dockside, out on the open water or under the Lionsgate Bridge – it’s totally up to you! We are also a full-service venue which means you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the day. We can take care of all your wedding details such as decor, flowers and rentals.
Where does the yacht sail?
We have three iconic routes: Deep Cove and Indian Arm, Lighthouse Park, and Vancouver Harbour. But all of our charters are completely customizable. We can go wherever you’d like to go!
Talk to us about the food and drink available on board
We have our own in-house Galley team, led by our talented Executive Chef Mardy Ra. We do offer menu packages but they’re all extremely flexible. Chef Ra enjoys sitting down with couples and building a menu with them. What do you want to eat on your wedding day? Any dietary restrictions we need to accommodate? What do your guests like to eat? What are your favourite foods? We also have a bar manager who loves to work with couples and can help them create signature cocktails, base drinks on their wedding colours, etc.
Serving cuisine native to the Pacific Northwest is what we love. We use fresh ingredients of the highest quality. Chef Ra loves shopping at farmers’ markets and on Granville Island looking for fresh and local fare. We offer sit down menus, buffet and plated, as well as cocktail style receptions with passed hors d’oeuvres and stations. Everything is completely customizable and we work with couples to ensure they’re thinking about all aspects of their menu.
Getting married on board
Why get married on a yacht?
Couples who have a real love for the water seek out Pacific Yacht Charters. They’re looking for a unique experience – something memorable and super customizable. It’s also a fantastic way to see and experience the city. We host a lot of destination weddings (couples and guests from outside of Vancouver), so it’s perfect for them to see the best of Vancouver while getting married.
What do couples love most about saying “I do” with Pacific Yacht Charters?
Couples always rave about the delicious food and attentive service! We listen to our couples and create event plans that are personalized and unique to them. We really want to make sure that couples are comfortable with their choice and get to know the yacht before their wedding. For more from our couples and other guests on board, check out our testimonials here.
Let’s talk logistics: What do couples need to know about getting married with Pacific Yacht Charters?
All of the info such as maximum number of guests, services included, costs and more is available on our FAQs page.
Stories from sea
With over 12 years of experience, how did you get involved in event planning?
I started working at Westwood Plateau Golf and Country Club as a banquet server and I absolutely fell in love with weddings. I worked there for 11 years and worked my way from server to bartender to assistant event manager and, eventually, to event manager. We were doing over 100 weddings a year at Westwood and I really had a chance to learn about all of the different aspects of putting together an event.
How did you get involved with Pacific Yacht Charters?
I was contacted by a recruiter who asked if I was interested in a new opportunity. By that point, I had done everything I could at the golf course and really was looking for a change. So I started with Pacific Yacht Charters (when they were still Sunset Bay) in April 2014.
What part of your job do you love most?
I love listening to couples talk about their dream day and being a part of making that dream come true. It’s cheesy but it’s my favourite part! I love witnessing all of the emotions of a wedding – from the giddiness of being newly engaged, to the stress of planning, to the joy and relief of finally getting married.
What is your favourite memory from a wedding onboard?
One of the first weddings we did as Pacific Yacht Charters was a destination wedding with a couple from New York. Being from out of town, they asked us to take care of all the details such as decor, flowers, and tenting. It was pretty amazing to see it all come together and was a true testament to who we are. It made me excited for our future as Pacific Yacht Charters.
As an event planner, what advice do you have for couples planning a wedding?
My first piece of advice: RELAX!
I tell my couples as soon as you get engaged to sit down just the two of you and pick three things that are important for both of you to have included in your wedding. So that could be food, the bar and experience or dress, flowers and photography – whatever is important for the two of you. And don’t lose sight of those things!
You don’t want to get distracted and stressed over other things that weren’t part of those initial three. If it’s not important to you at the beginning, it won’t be important at the end. So if you didn’t care about napkin colours before you started planning a wedding, you’re not going to care once your wedding is over.
I like to keep in mind that most of my couples have never planned a wedding before, so it is bound to be stressful. But that’s where I come in. I’ve helped to plan hundreds and hundreds of weddings. So I tell my couples to text me, email me and call me anytime. I’m here for them – to help ease their stress and bring their dream day to life.
written by Riana Ang-Canning
For more from Carisa and her team at Pacific Yacht Charters visit: