Best Destination Wedding Places in Florida: Top Venues for Your Special Day

Florida, affectionately known as the Sunshine State, offers an array of picturesque settings ideal for destination weddings. With its inviting climate, Florida remains a top choice for couples looking to tie the knot. The state’s year-round warm weather and diverse landscapes provide a perfect backdrop for various types of ceremonies, from intimate beach weddings to lavish garden receptions.

Beach weddings in Florida are particularly sought-after, as the state boasts some of the most beautiful coastlines in the country. White sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and stunning sunsets create an idyllic scene for exchanging vows. Florida’s coastline stretches from the vibrant atmosphere of Miami Beach to the serene shores of Key West, catering to a range of preferences.

Beyond the beaches, Florida’s selection of venues extends to enchanting gardens, historic estates, and grand hotels that steep weddings in elegance and charm. Locations like Bok Tower Gardens and the Powel Crosley Estate offer unique experiences that combine the natural beauty and history of Florida, ensuring a memorable celebration for couples and their guests.

Top Destinations for Florida Beach Weddings

Florida’s coastline offers an array of stunning locations for beach weddings, each with its unique charm and picturesque ocean views. Couples looking for a blend of sunshine, sandy beaches, and elegant venues will find excellent options ranging from the iconic Miami Beach to the serene Palm Beach.

Miami Beach

Miami Beach is renowned for its vibrant atmosphere and beautiful white-sand beaches. Wedding venues here offer the perfect mix of sophistication and tropical paradise. South Beach, in particular, provides a lively backdrop and stunning oceanfront settings for a memorable celebration.

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale combines the beauty of its beaches with a slightly more laid-back vibe than Miami. It’s a city that couples elegance with a seaside setting. Couples can exchange vows with the Atlantic Ocean as their backdrop, ensuring a picturesque beach wedding.

St. Pete Beach

St. Pete Beach is known for its award-winning beaches and clear blue waters. Its beachfront venues provide a serene ambiance, which is ideal for those who prefer a quieter, more intimate beach wedding experience.

Key West

Key West offers a blend of natural beauty and charming architecture, creating a captivating setting for beach weddings. Its idyllic beaches and stunning sunsets present an intimate atmosphere for couples and their guests.

Palm Beach

Palm Beach is synonymous with luxury and exclusivity. Renowned for its upscale resorts and pristine beaches, it’s a premier destination for beach weddings that boast elegance and unforgettable ocean views.

Premier Wedding Venues in Florida

Florida’s wedding venues offer a blend of luxury, history, and romantic charm, tailored for unforgettable ceremonies and receptions. Each location boasts unique features conducive to creating a dream destination wedding.

The Boca Raton

The coastal city of Boca Raton is renowned for its opulence, with resorts that provide both beachfront serenity and lavish amenities. Wedding venues in The Boca Raton cater to a variety of tastes, from elegant ballrooms to tropical gardens.

The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

This Key West landmark, once the home of the famed author, offers a historic backdrop for weddings. Couples may exchange vows amidst the lush gardens and roaming six-toed cats, under the warm Florida sun or the soft glow of evening lanterns.

The Treasury on the Plaza

Located in the heart of St. Augustine, The Treasury on the Plaza carries a grandeur that reflects its history as a 1920s bank. Its majestic vault door and luxurious interior provide a wedding venue of sophistication and opulence.

Casa Monica Hotel

Another jewel in St. Augustine is the Casa Monica Hotel, exuding Moorish elegance and antique charm. Its grand ballroom and ornate furnishings set the stage for a truly regal wedding experience.

The Don Cesar

Affectionately known as the Pink Palace, The Don CeSar in St. Pete Beach is an iconic destination for Florida weddings. Its historic roots and Gulf of Mexico backdrop make it a favorite for couples looking for a mix of glamour and seaside beauty.

The Breakers Palm Beach

The Breakers Palm Beach is a luxurious resort situated along the picturesque oceanfront of Palm Beach, Florida. This historic hotel, founded by industrialist Henry M. Flagler in 1896, is renowned for its Italian Renaissance architecture and opulent design, making it a highly sought-after wedding venue for couples looking for an elegant and unforgettable setting to tie the knot.

Exclusive Florida Keys Wedding Locations

The Florida Keys offer an array of exclusive wedding locations that provide couples with private beach settings and all-inclusive packages, ensuring a ceremony and celebration to remember. These venues offer stunning oceanfront views and luxurious accommodations that cater to every detail of the wedding experience.

Key Largo Lighthouse

Situated in Key Largo, the Key Largo Lighthouse is a destination that features a picturesque private beach for intimate wedding ceremonies and grand receptions. Couples may choose from various all-inclusive options, which can accommodate large guest lists. The venue boasts a serene coastal setting that is both secluded and breathtaking, making it ideal for those seeking an exclusive wedding locale in the Florida Keys.

Little Palm Island Resort

Little Palm Island Resort is a luxurious resort located on a private island, accessible only by boat or seaplane, which ensures an exclusive experience. The resort specializes in private, sophisticated weddings with a tropical flair. It offers all-inclusive packages that cover every aspect of the celebration, from gourmet dining to accommodations, set against the backdrop of the clear blue waters and lush vegetation unique to the Florida Keys.

Captivating Orlando Wedding Venues

Orlando, the heart of Florida, is a treasure trove of wedding venues that cater to a variety of styles and preferences. Amongst its many destinations, a couple can find luxury, elegance, and lush landscapes to create the perfect backdrop for their special day.

Waldorf Astoria Resort

Location: Orlando, FL
Style: Luxury, Sophistication
Guest Capacity: Varies by event space

The Waldorf Astoria Resort in Orlando epitomizes the pinnacle of luxury and grace. It stands out with its refined event spaces and world-class accommodations. Couples can exchange vows in a range of exquisite locations within the resort, from grand ballrooms to intimate spaces that exude elegance. The venue is also surrounded by meticulously kept golf courses, offering stunning views and a prestigious setting for wedding photographs.

Disney’s Wedding Pavilion

Location: Orlando, FL
Style: Victorian, Elegant
Guest Capacity: Up to 250 guests

Disney’s Wedding Pavilion is an iconic venue located at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, specifically on the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon near Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. This idyllic setting is a popular choice for couples who wish to have a fairy tale wedding experience.

The pavilion was designed to offer a picturesque and romantic location for wedding ceremonies. It features Victorian-style architecture with white-painted wood, a steeply pitched roof, and a cupola. The interior of the pavilion is elegantly decorated, with a neutral color palette that allows the natural beauty of the setting to stand out. The focal point of the interior is a beautiful altar that sits beneath a vaulted ceiling with an intricate chandelier. Large windows offer breathtaking views of Cinderella Castle, which can serve as a stunning backdrop for the ceremony.

Historical and Cultural Wedding Settings

In Florida, nuptials set against a backdrop steeped in history and culture offer a unique atmosphere that blends romance with the state’s rich heritage. These settings not only provide stunning visuals but also envelop guests in a sense of the past.

Lightner Museum

Located in the heart of St. Augustine, the Lightner Museum is housed in the historic Alcazar Hotel built in 1887 by Henry M. Flagler. With its impressive architecture and captivating exhibits, it creates a sophisticated ambiance for weddings. Couples can exchange vows surrounded by collections of fine and decorative 19th-century art, making for an exceptionally cultured experience.

The Ancient Spanish Monastery

The Ancient Spanish Monastery in North Miami Beach conveys an old-world charm that’s hard to find anywhere else. Transplanted from Segovia, Spain and dating back to the 12th century, this venue provides an unforgettable setting for weddings with its dramatic stone arches and serene gardens. It’s a touch of historical Spain nestled on Florida’s coast.

The Cathedral Room

The Cathedral Room is a prime feature for those who choose the iconic pink Don CeSar Hotel in St. Pete Beach for their wedding venue. Adorned with high coffered ceilings, stained glass windows, and gold-leaf details, it offers a space that is both grand and intimate. Built in the 1920s, the hotel itself is a nod to historic luxury and creates a majestic setting, especially suited for evening wedding receptions.

A Taste of Luxury in Panhandle Wedding Choices

Florida’s Panhandle is synonymous with luxury, combining the serene beauty of Gulf Coast beaches with upscale venues. Couples yearning for magnificent seaside splendor find the region’s Destin and Miramar Beach areas particularly alluring for saying their vows.

Destin Wedding Extravaganzas

Destin provides a haven for extravagant wedding celebrations. Known for its pristine beaches, emerald waters, and fine dining, this locale sets the scene for unforgettable ceremonies and receptions. One can opt for posh resorts or private beachfront properties that offer a blend of exclusivity and elegance.

Catering to diverse tastes and budgets, Destin’s venues adeptly tailor experiences for anything from grand soirées to intimate gatherings, with each event promising the coveted blend of sophistication and relaxation the Panhandle is celebrated for.

Miramar Beach Resorts

Miramar Beach is not to be outshined when considering opulent Panhandle weddings. Its resorts are the epitome of luxury, with facilities that boast manicured grounds, gourmet cuisine, and comprehensive services. Couples can exchange vows with the Gulf of Mexico as their backdrop, transitioning seamlessly to a plush ballroom or open-air pavilion for their reception.

An emphasis on coastal charm infused with upscale amenities makes Miramar Beach a premier choice for those desiring a posh and memorable wedding day.

Tranquil Beach Ceremonies on the Gulf Coast

Florida’s Gulf Coast offers some of the most serene and beautiful settings for beach weddings. Pristine white sands and gentle waves provide the perfect backdrop for saying “I do.” Among the plethora of venues, Sirata Beach Resort and Pink Shell Beach Resort stand out for their unique offerings tailored to couples looking for laid-back, yet memorable beach ceremonies.

Sirata Beach Resort

Located on the Gulf Coast, Sirata Beach Resort offers a variety of outdoor and indoor spaces tailor-made for hosting beach ceremonies. They are equipped to provide an unforgettable experience right on the beach, allowing couples and their guests to enjoy the tranquil waters and soft sands without interruption. Their event spaces have the flexibility to accommodate various sizes of wedding parties, ensuring a personalized atmosphere for all ceremonies.

  • Beachfront Ceremonies: Couples can exchange vows against a scenic backdrop of the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Accommodations & Amenities: On-site accommodations ensure guests enjoy a comfortable and convenient stay with access to resort amenities.

Pink Shell Beach Resort

Pink Shell Beach Resort prides itself on being a full-service wedding destination. With expansive views of the Gulf Coast, their beachfront is impeccably suited for laid-back nuptials accompanied by Florida’s striking sunsets. The resort ensures a smooth experience for couples, from planning to the big day.

  • Wedding Services: Expert wedding planners help tailor each ceremony to the couple’s preferences.
  • Beach Ambiance: The Pink Shell offers an idyllic setting for tranquil beach ceremonies, embraced by nature’s beauty.

Each resort encapsulates the essence of Gulf Coast charm with their distinct service and scenery, providing tranquil venues for couples looking to celebrate their love in a spectacular beachfront setting.

Florida Wedding Planning Essentials

Planning a wedding in Florida requires attention to detail and understanding key requirements. From choosing the ideal wedding package to navigating the legalities of marriage licenses, couples need to be well-informed to ensure their special day runs smoothly.

Selecting the Right Wedding Package

Couples should compare wedding packages in Florida carefully, considering what is included in terms of venue, catering, photography, and other services. Wedding packages often vary by location, from the historic Don CeSar to the tranquil Bok Tower Gardens, so couples must select one that aligns with their vision and budget. They may find packages that include accommodations, a benefit for a destination wedding, especially in popular regions such as Orlando or Miami.

Understanding Marriage License Requirements

Florida law mandates that couples attain a marriage license to legally wed. Here’s a brief summary of the steps:

  1. Application: Couples must apply in person at a county clerk’s office.
  2. Identification: Both parties must provide valid ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
  3. Fees: As of the knowledge cutoff in 2023, there is a fee which may be reduced if the couple completes a premarital preparation course.
  4. Waiting Period: Florida residents have a mandatory 3-day waiting period between obtaining the license and the wedding ceremony, which is waived for non-residents.
  5. Expiration: The license is typically valid for 60 days from the issue date.

It’s crucial for couples to verify current requirements well in advance as laws and regulations may change.

Unique Experiences for Florida Destination Weddings

When exploring Florida’s destination weddings, couples often seek settings that offer both the opulence of nature and exclusive amenities. Waterfront terraces and secluded island resorts with comprehensive spa services are among the top choices for creating unforgettable experiences.

Yacht Club Terrace Views

The Yacht Club Terrace provides a spectacular waterfront backdrop for wedding ceremonies. Couples can exchange vows with panoramic views of the Florida coast that boasts an elegant marine setting. Guests might enjoy cycling along the water’s edge or participating in a variety of water sports offered by the club.

South Seas Island Resort

South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island exemplifies a blend of laid-back luxury with picturesque beach vistas. This spa resort allows wedding attendees to revel in a tranquil ambiance while experiencing upscale pampering. Nuptials here are marked by dazzling sunset ceremonies followed by receptions under the stars.

Final Thoughts

Florida’s array of destination wedding venues caters to a variety of tastes and preferences, each offering its own unique brand of charm and elegance. From the Gulf Coast’s scenic beaches to the secluded gardens at Bok Tower in Lake Wales, Florida provides a stunning backdrop for any couple’s special day.

Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine offers expansive beaches suitable for both large and intimate ceremonies, requiring a permit fee that varies by the size of the guest list. Furthermore, venues such as The Henderson Beach Resort & Spa in Destin combine luxury with the natural beauty of the coastline, offering both indoor and outdoor settings.

Venue Feature Description
Natural Beauty Beaches, gardens, state parks
Variety Options from intimate to grand affairs
Accessibility Venues often have nearby parking and accommodations
Unique Elements Features such as carillon bells at Bok Tower Gardens

Couples considering Florida for their wedding are met with an impressive range of options, each promising to enhance their celebration with stunning vistas and memorable experiences. The state’s popularity as a wedding destination is a testament to its ability to deliver both romance and convenience, all wrapped in the sunny embrace of its welcoming shores.

Jerry Joyce

Jerry Joyce has been a Florida resident since 1988 and has lived in a variety of places in the South Florida area. Jerry is an avid boater & water sports enthusiast, beach aficionado, a lover of great food, muscle car fan and a theme park annual passholder for many years. Some of his favorite places in Florida include the Florida Keys, Walt Disney World, Cedar Key, the Loxahatchee River, St. Augustine and Ten Thousand islands.

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