Don’t want the big, extravagant country club or hotel wedding? Or to spend a fortune on something that will be over in a few hours? Or, have you been there and done that (and realize it’s not about big or extravagant?). If your style is more relaxed, a destination beach wedding can be a dream come true for you, your fiancé (and your family and friends too).
Destination weddings are best for laid-back couples who love a little adventure, like nature and want an extended experience just for two or with family and close friends. Florida beaches are pretty phenomenal, especially on the west coast, with amazing tropical Gulf of Mexico backdrops (think sunsets).
Advantages of a Destination Wedding Celebration
The main advantages of a destination wedding are cost and the extended experience with each other, family and/or friends. You can be in a beautiful place at any time of the year celebrating with the people you care about and who care about you for a fraction of the cost of a big wedding (you know the one where your second cousin twice removed, all of your mom’s friends and everyone you and your fiancé work with work with needs to be invited).
Resorts and beach/island restaurants and other vendors recognize the popularity of destination weddings and are eager to accommodate your group. Because they need to keep up with the competition, most offer some sort of destination wedding package at a pretty reasonable rate. Get in touch with us or contact some of our favorite Florida SunCoast resorts/restaurants.
Some of our Favorites for Your Florida Destination Beach Wedding
SunCoast Restaurant Wedding Venues
(There’s no harm in asking your resort or venue about freebies and perks when booking a large event like a wedding with them. You might be offered free accommodations for a certain number of nights, discounted rooms, waived rental fee for the beachfront terrace, a pre-ceremony cocktail, etc.
By having a destination wedding, you find out who really wants to be there to support and celebrate with you. Fewer people usually translates into a more intimate experience and costs less (think food and service, drinks, venue rental(s), etc.
Spectacular Natural Décor
No need to spend your budget on store-bought decorations when your venue IS your decoration. Your location will already have that “certain look.” By using the gorgeous scenery (e.g., beach, horizon at sunset, palm trees) at your destination as your backdrop, you will save thousands of dollars.
Many couples who have a destination wedding here on the SunCoast of Florida (Sarasota, Bradenton, Venice, St. Petersburg, Anna Maria Island, Siesta Key, Lido Key, Manasota Key, Longboat Key) extend their stay to include their honeymoon, with or without family. Area resorts love for you to stay on extra days and spend your vacation $ with them and most offer some sort of package/discounts for extended stays. (Compare this to jetting off to a far off destination post $50,000 wedding reception.) If you’re not sold on honeymooning in the same place you got married, choose a location nearby for just the two of you instead!
Less Expensive Wedding Attire
Tuxes, suits and traditional bridal gowns are typically much more expensive than what we see couples wear on the beach – and then, forget about the shoes altogether! Destination weddings are a more casual occasion, and even if you want to stick to something more classic – a wedding dress with a 12-foot train isn’t practical on the sand.
The Extended Experience
If cost savings aren’t enough to sway you toward a tropical Florida west coast destination wedding, creating more memories (and more relaxed memories at that) with your family and friends will likely tilt you in this direction. As we know, time unplugged together without the pressures of jobs and home responsibilities is rarely a reality we allow ourselves, let alone with our friends and extended family. Vacationing with your besties, while often talked about, just doesn’t’ seem to happen unless it is for a life event, like a wedding celebration. If you really want to create a memorable, unforgettable wedding, consider the extended experience a destination wedding affords you and the people you most care about.