The Best Beaches to Say I Do

By: Lauren Tjaden

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These five Sunshine State beaches vow to wow you

The beach – with its natural, timeless beauty – is the perfect place for a wedding. Whether you’re dreaming of a barefoot ceremony or a celebrity-style celebration, these five Sunshine State beaches vow to wow you.

Destinations are listed alphabetically

The blissful beach escape of Amelia Island is snuggled against the Atlantic in the northeastern corner of the state. Its rich natural beauty – sea oats curving up out of sand dunes and miles of nearly empty beaches – provides the perfect setting for your special day. You can wed on the beach of historic Fort Clinch State Park or under oaks dripping with moss at a Victorian bed and breakfast – the Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau will help you pick the venue of your dreams. The island offers ample accommodations for your guests and an abundance of options for your reception.

Longboat Key features 10.8 quiet, sun-drenched miles of tasteful luxury as a backdrop for your wedding – and an average year-round temperature of 73 degrees! Located near Sarasota, it’s known for its white-sand beaches, tennis, golf and water sports, as well as its proximity to copious cultural activities and world-class shopping. Tie the knot in a small, simple beach ceremony, an elaborate country-club celebration or charter a boat. The peaceful paradise possesses a boatload of accommodations and reception options.

Destin and Fort Walton Beach boast emerald-colored waters, white-sand beaches and romantic sunsets as backdrops for your big day in a bevy of spectacular waterside locations (complete with gazebos, pavilions and wooden dune walkovers), including Henderson Beach State Park, Beasley Park, The Boardwalk, James Lee Park, and Fort Walton Beach Landing. These northwest Florida gems offer oodles of options for your reception, from ballrooms to poolside patios to seaside restaurants, as well as accommodations galore for your guests. Unique Destin wedding experiences include exchanging vows aboard a private dolphin cruise or sailing schooner.

If pristine and serene surroundings are your idea of paradise, Palm Island Resort – located on Florida’s southwestern Gulf coast in the Charlotte Harbor area – has your name on it.  The barrier island is only accessible by boat or ferry, and golf carts, bicycles and walking are the only means of transportation at the resort. Its two miles of private, natural beach on the Gulf of Mexico, lush tropical villas and dedicated staff join together to make every detail of your wedding day perfect.

Couples craving a chic-beach ceremony should coast over to Fort Lauderdale. This sweetheart destination is famed for beautiful beaches, arts, culture and winding waterways. Shop on Las Olas Boulevard, stroll the historic riverfront hand-in-hand, indulge in a romantic gondola ride. Exchange vows in a sweet seashore celebration, or opt for something a little more unusual, such as a dinner cruise through the mansions of Millionaire's Row on a luxury yacht, or sailing a catamaran to a private island. Accommodations and reception options are abundant.

Make sure there isn’t a glitch when you get hitched! Check out the State of Florida’s Marriage Guide for requirements and how to obtain a marriage license. Click on the link to the county where you want to get married; then click on that page’s marriage information.

For more wedding information contact:

Amelia Island: Amelia Island Tourist Development Council, 904-277-0717, http://www.ameliaisland.com/group-events/weddings/

Destin and Fort Walton Beach: Emerald Coast CVB Sales Department, 850-651-7647, http://www.emeraldcoastfl.com/florida-beach-weddings/

Fort Lauderdale: Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, 954-765-4466, http://www.sunny.org/weddings/ 

Longboat Key: Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce, 941-383-2466, www.longboatkeychamber.com

Palm Island Resort: 800- 824-5412, http://www.palmisland.com/

State of Florida’s Marriage Guide:  http://www.stateofflorida.com/Portal/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=30

Sponsored listings by VISIT FLORIDA Partners

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